Our 1Writer review profiles the pros and cons of this Markdown editor for writers.
I’ve been using WYSIWYG editors since I started my writing career, and I’ve always faced formatting issues when publishing my articles. These editors also have distracting dashboards that make writing for long hours difficult.
Fortunately, I started using 1Writer a few months ago, which helped me avoid formatting problems and get into a flow state quicker.
But 1Writer offers additional features that set it apart from regular Markdown editors.
This post will cover everything you need to know about 1Writer before buying the software. I’ll talk about my experience, what stood out to me, and if it’s worth your time and money.
What Is 1Writer?
1Writer is a Markdown iOS editor founded in 2014. It combines basic text editing features with advanced integrations, a built-in browser, and a distraction-free interface.
This app is built to streamline your research, writing, and editing process. These 1Writer features stood out to me:
- Inline Markdown preview
- Dark mode
- Built-in distraction-free browser
- Integration with Evernote, TextExpander
- Works well with Markdown apps like Obsidian
- Face and touch ID app protection
1Writer costs $4.99, and unlike other Markdown editors, you won’t have to pay a monthly subscription.
This stood out because it allows me to free up my income as I don’t have to pay a monthly fee. With alternatives like Ulysses, you pay $5.99 monthly, which can be costly as a student or new freelance writer.
Who Is 1Writer For?
After using 1Writer to create blog posts and email newsletters, I found it empowers the lives of:
- Content creators
- Personal knowledge management writers
Writing in Google Docs or Microsoft Word can cause formatting problems when copying text to online tools like email automation software. For example, you might notice that the word “won’t” appears as “won1t.” Fixing these issues is frustrating, especially after several hours of writing persuasive copy.
Fortunately, most tools can read Markdown. Basically write your article in 1Writer with Markdown. Then, paste it into an email tool, and you won’t struggle with formatting issues.
1Writer even has an inline markdown preview so you can view your writing before publishing it. You can use this to spot formatting errors before copying and pasting text.
When opening 1Writer, you’ll find an empty screen with a cursor, and on the left, there are options like “Documents,” “Favorites,” “Settings,” and “Recents.”
This minimalist user interface makes it easy to get into a flow state. But 1Writer’s distraction-free features are more extensive than Ulysses. 1Writer has a built-in browser, so you can use it to research articles without leaving the app.
1Writer can also benefit the lives of authors. Let’s say you’ve completed a draft and want to send it to your editors and researchers. Simply generate a 1Writer link, and share it with your team via email.
If you’re a new author who’s still building an audience, 1Writer is a good option compared to tools like Ulysses and Microsoft because it’s far cheaper. To access the Ulysses Markdown editor, you’ll need $5.99 monthly, while Microsoft Word sets you back $149.99 annually.
These are more expensive apps for new writers. Luckily, 1Writer costs $4.99, and there’s no monthly subscription.
Personal Knowledge Management Writers
Personal acknowledgement management describes keeping a personal library of notes, research and ideas that you come across in books, courses and other media. It’s popular with those who like to following the Zettelkasten Method.
Several popular personal knowledge management apps exist, including Evernote and DEVONthink.
We like 1Writer as it doesn’t lock you into any specific platform. You can write up your notes in Markdown and use 1Writer and read, access and edit these files on your devices. That way, you can easily port your notes from one app to the next. 1Writer won’t offer advanced features in other dedicated apps, but it’s affordable and prevents lock-in.
Read our guide to the best personal knowledge management apps.
How Does 1Writer Work?
Setting up 1Writer shouldn’t take longer than two minutes. First, head to the Apple App Store, type “1Writer” into the search bar, and select “Buy.”
Once installed, 1Writer automatically prompts you to download the app on your macOS, iPadOS, and iOS devices, so your documents are synced.
When opening the app, a pop-up window allows you to import work from your computer. This is handy if you’ve written content in other Markdown tools, as there’s no need to copy and paste hundreds of documents.
The first thing you’ll notice is how simple the dashboard is. It looks almost too simple. However, the developers designed the software like this for a reason. The minimalist design ensures zero distractions, and you won’t have to use the mouse to bold words or create headings.
Select the “Preview” button in the top-right-hand corner to see how your work will look when published.
You can share your files in the left-hand toolbar, and sync options are available with iCloud, Dropbox, and WebDAV. You can also switch to a dark theme if you’re writing at night and want to reduce eye strain.
Now that we know how 1Writer works, let’s look at some features that stood out to me.
Inline Markdown Preview
1Writer has an inline Markdown preview that’s similar to IA Writer. Once you’ve finished writing an article, click the “Preview” icon in the top-right-hand corner, and you’ll be able to view how your writing will look once published.
1Writer also offers MultiMarkdown, which is an extension of Markdown that allows you to add:
- Citations and references
- Image attributes
- Glossary entries
This makes your life easier as a writer because basic Markdown tools don’t support these entries.
However, 1Writer falls short in the distraction-free department compared to competitors like IA Writer and Ulysses. It doesn’t have Focus or Typewriter Mode, which is a significant drawback if you need the best distraction-free tool possible.
Read our guide to the best distraction-free writing apps
Multiple Third-Party App Support
Third-party support sets 1Writer apart from IA Writer and Ulysses. 1Writer integrates with:
The Evernote support allows you to import existing notes, add tags, and turn your entire document into a rich-text note. This is super helpful because I use Evernote to record article ideas and outlines, and instead of copying and pasting everything into 1Writer, I can import it without hassle.
Another 1Writer integration that benefited my life was the TextExpander support. I love using TextExpander when writing on the go since the shortcuts let me type quicker. Fortunately, 1Writer supports these shortcuts, so if you’re currently using TextExpander, consider connecting it to 1Writer for faster note-taking.
Locating documents in 1Writer is much easier than IA Writer because the tool integrates with Spotlight Search. You won’t have to go into 1Writer to find specific files. Simply click the command and space bar simultaneously on your Mac, and you’ll be able to access 1Writer files.
In-App Web Browser
The last feature that caught my eye was the in-app web browser. This browser is valuable when researching articles. Instead of switching between 1Writer and Google Chrome, I can use the internet within the app.
I like that it has zero email or social media notifications. So if you notice yourself being distracted when researching keywords, opt for the 1Writer in-app browser. Arguably, it classifies as a distraction for some writers though!
Areas For Improvement
Although 1Writer is a handy Markdown editor that’s affordable and allows you to create content distraction-free, there are a few drawbacks the developers should focus on improving:
- Organizing the document library is challenging
- It isn’t compatible with LaTeX, Android, or Windows
Document Library Challenging To Use
The document library interface is similar to IA Writer. Organizing notes and ad copy is straightforward, but long-form content is challenging.
So if you need a Markdown editor specifically designed for easy organization of folders, consider Ulysses because you can split, combine, and print chapters.
Incompatible With LaTeX, Android, or Windows
1Writer is native to macOS, iPadOS, and iOS, which is good news for Apple users because all the features are tailored to Apple operating software, creating a more personalized experience.
However, you can’t use 1Writer with Android or Windows devices. Instead, opt for Markdown editors like IA Writer, Typora, or Ulysses.
If you’re shopping for a Markdown editor and looking to compare features, consider IA Writer. It is a popular Markdown editor, offering unique features like “Focus Mode” and “Typewriter Mode.”
With Focus Mode, IA Writer will blur out all text except for the paragraph you’re currently working on. This feature is helpful if you sometimes catch yourself editing and writing simultaneously.
The Typewriter Mode is perfect when using a desktop with a large screen like an iMac since IA Writer will ensure your current paragraph is in the middle of your screen.
IA Writer has a more polished user interface than 1Writer. At $29.99, it’s also more expensive. However, IA Writer lacks advanced integration features and an in-app browser. Unlike 1Writer, you can’t connect it to Evernote, TextExpander, and Spotlight, making 1Writer a better option if you’re utilizing these apps when writing.
Read our IA Writer review
1Writer Review Criteria
When testing 1Writer to see if it’s a viable tool for freelance writers and authors, I looked at the following criteria:
- Ease of use
After using 1Writer to create countless blog posts and notes, I feel it comfortably meets all these criteria.
1Writer only costs $4.99, which is far cheaper than most Markdown and WYSIWYG editors. Once you buy it, you own it forever.
You’ll notice how clean the dashboard is when you first log in. There are zero distracting features or learning curves, allowing you to use the tool to its full potential within minutes.
It provides helpful functionality for freelance writers due to its distraction-free design. This way, you can quickly get into a flow state, which is handy when battling creative ruts. You’ll find MultiMarkdown features, so adding tables, citations, and footnotes is seamless.
The last factor I looked at is integrations, and this is where 1Writer stands out compared to IA Writer and Ulysses. 1Writer integrates with several apps like Evernote, TextExpander, Obsidian, and Spotlight, so you can import files, create content quicker using shortcuts, and locate old documents without logging into 1Writer.
Why You Can Trust Me
I’ve been writing articles, email newsletters, and social media posts for over four years, and I attribute much of my success to Markdown editors like 1Writer.
With Google Docs, I have to use the mouse to bold words, create headings, and build tables. Using a rich text editor reduces time spent in flow state. I also noticed that it’s easy to get distracted when researching article ideas.
But with 1Writer, I access a simple dashboard with zero distracting features so I can concentrate for hours. Research is seamless as I don’t have to go to Google Chrome all the time.
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1Writer Review: The Bottom Line
1Writer is a text editor that offers advanced features like MultiMarkdown, a built-in browser, and third-party support, which sets it apart from other tools.
In short, if you’re a freelance writer or author mainly using an iPhone, iPad, Macbook, or iMac, 1Writer is an affordable choice. You won’t face online distractions due to the straightforward interface and in-app browser.
When utilizing tools like Evernote, TextExpander, or Obsidian, feel free to connect them to 1Writer for a better writing experience.
- The distraction-free browser streamlines your research process
- MultiMarkdown allows you to add pictures, images, and references
- It’s compatible with TextExpander, Evernote, and Spotlight
- The face and touch ID will enable you to protect sensitive information
- You can write at night and avoid eye strain with the dark mode
- Organizing long-form documents is challenging
- It isn’t compatible with LaTeX, Windows, and Android