Best Memoir Writing App: 8 Top Options

Discover the best memoir writing apps that will save you time writing a non-fiction story, which readers love.

Writing a memoir is a fun experience. It’s a great way of exploring non-fiction. You can use a basic word processor, like Microsoft Word or Google Docs, to write a memoir just fine. However, a dedicated app can save you a lot of time. It’ll help you arrange and plan your non-fiction story and also prepare a draft for self-publishing.

Some apps can also help with the editing process. While writing my memoir, I tried and tested some of the best apps available. If you need help, remember to check out our guide, How to Write a Memoir.

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What is the best memoir writing software?

1. Scrivener

Pricing: From $49 per month

Scrivener
The perfect memoir app for non-fiction writers

Scrivener is one of the best memoir-writing apps available because it excels at long-form writing. You can use it to plan, arrange and write your memoir using virtual index cards, files and folders. You can also use this app to format a memoir before self-publishing.  

Pros
  • Scrivener features a drag-and-drop tool that will help you organize your thoughts
  • Offers numerous templates that can help write a memoir
  • Full-screen mode removes distractions
Cons
  • No collaboration options available
  • Learningn curve may putt off some memoirists

The program works for Mac and Windows. There is also an iOS version. Unfortunately, collaboration options are limited, so if you want to write with others, you are out of luck. The learning curve may put off memoirists who prefer old-school apps like Microsoft Word. For more, read our Scrivener review.

2. Grammarly

Pricing: Free trial available, then $29.99 per month

Grammarly for Windows
Grammarly is the best available grammar checker for memoirists

One useful app is Grammarly. This program automatically detects typos, spelling issues, and grammatical problems. It comes with a free version that acts as a powerful spell-check tool. However, if you are willing to pay for the premium options, you can use plagiarism tools, stylistic suggestions, a citation manager and in-depth writing analytics.

Pros
  • Free version available
  • It will help you catch grammar issues
  • Paid version also provides a plagiarism checker
  • Good for copyediting memoir drafts
Cons
  • For editing rather than writing
  • Most useful features are in the premium version
  • Pricey

It’s not a dedicated app for writing a memoir, but you can use it to edit your early drafts before sending them to an editor. I love its ability to revise sentences at a click and it saved me hours of editing time on my last non-fiction book. You can add custom words and names to its dictionary too. For more, read our Grammarly review.

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3. ProWritingAid

Pricing: From $79

Prowritingaid new UI
Prowritingaid is a great grammar checker for journalists

Another program to consider is ProWritingAid. Again, it’s more for grammar checking your memoir chapters for errors rather than writing and planning. It can also act as a writing coach, helping you avoid mistakes such as passive voice, errors and parallelism, and stylistic concerns. It’s somewhat cheaper than Grammarly and works with Scrivener files. It contains more reports than its competitor. For more, read our ProwritingAid review.

Pros
  • Integrations for Google Docs, Microsoft Word, and Scrivener
  • One of the best grammar-checking tools available
  • Flag common writing issues including overusing adverbs, repetitive words, and passive voice
Cons
  • Only works well for single pieces
  • No mobile app
  • Reports can become overwhelming
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4. Ulysses

Pricing: From $5.99 per month

Ulysses Writing Apps
Ulysses is ideal for managing all your writing, including memoirs

Ulysses is a good writing program if you want to manage multiple writing projects from one place or you like Markdown. It supports Markdown and excels at managing long-form writing projects, including a memoir. It’s designed for Mac Os and iOS. It automatically syncs your memoir drafts to iCloud, so it works great with other Apple products. However, no windows version is available. For more, read our Ulysses review.

Pros
  • Manages all your writing in a single library.
  • Tracks of every version, so it can save older copies if you want to refer to them later.
  • Exports documents from Ulysses into any file type including EPub, PDF, HTML, Rich Text, and Plain Text.
Cons
  • Does not work with Windows

5. AutoCrit

Pricing: From free to $30 per month

AutoCrit
AutoCrit is for fiction writers but also works for memoirists

AutoCrit is a writing app for fiction that will help you handle word choice and phrasing issues. However, you can also use it for memoir writing. It comes with a spell and grammar checker. It also includes repeatability analysis similar to Hemingway. 

Pros
  • Provides real-time feedback on writing style and quality.
  • Can be adjusted for different genres.
  • Detect bad habits such as phrasing issues, repeated words, and adverb problems
Cons
  • Might need to do some extra formatting
  • Aimed at fiction writers

When this program exports your document in Microsoft Word, it doesn’t always place your content smoothly. Some lines might have awkward spacing between them, so you might need to do some extra formatting. That being said, I can help you improve your fiction writing. For more, read our Autocrit review.

6. IA Writer

Pricing: From $29.99 per month

IA writer graphical user interface
IA Writer is a joy to write early memoir drafts with thanks to focus mode

If you are looking for a minimalistic memoir writing app, then iA Writer is for you. This minimalist program eliminates distractions so that you can focus on your writing process. With a short learning curve, it doesn’t take long to master this program.

Looking for more? Check out these memoir writing prompts.

Pros
  • Clean interface that is easy to use
  • The mobile app is available on multiple applications including iPhone and Android
  • Focus mode enables writing memoir draughts without distraction
  • Works on Android, iOS, WIndows and Mac
Cons
  • Doesn’t feature a lot of the customizable options
  • Memoirits must learn Markdown to use it

It doesn’t feature many of the customizable options that some other memoir apps have. However, it is perfect for distraction-free writing. For more, read our IA writer review.

7. Evernote

Price: Free with in-app purchase options

Evernote graphical user interface
When it’s time to write a memoir, simply fire up Evernote, read through your notes and begin writing

You’re not going to write a memoir with Evernote but it’s a useful writing app for capturing notes and ideas. You can sync them across all of your devices. Then, when it’s time to write a memoir, simply fire up Evernote, read through your notes and begin writing. 

Pros
  • Easy to write with
  • Secure
  • Ideal for journaling and free writing
  • Supports images
Cons
  • Mac only
  • Less suitable for writing sessions unrelated to journaling or memoir

8. Day One

Price: From $2.92 per month

Day One writing software
Day One provide prompts and even surface old entries via its “On this day” feature

Day One is a popular journaling app developed by Bloom Built. It’s available on Android, macOS, and iOS devices.  It sets itself apart from other apps as it’s designed to encourage you to create journal entries. It’ll provide prompts and even surface old entries via its “On this day” feature. All of these tools are useful for turning entries into a memoir. For more, read our Day One app review.

Pros
  • You can write while on the go
  • Sync your notes across multiple devices
Cons
  • The free version is limited
  • Gets clunky if you’ve lots of memoir notes

Why You Can Trust Us

I’ve written and published dozens of articles for newspapers, magazines and online publications, including, Forbes and Lifehacker. I’m also a best-selling non-fiction author, a trained journalist and a copywriter. I also wrote a memoir about parenting using some of these tools.

Our Testing Criteria

We regularly update this roundup as new products are released. We test memoir writing software by checking book chapters and personal essays. These articles and other writing samples range from several hundred to several thousand words.

Best Memoir Writing Apps: The Final Word

Currently, I use Ulysses and Day One the most for this type of writing. If you’re on Windows, try IA Writer and Scrivener. Or simply use Google Docs or Word. These are a few of the best options available for memoir writing software. Compare the benefits and drawbacks to your specific needs. Then, select the best option for you. These programs can help you organize your thoughts and efficiently translate your life story into written words. Want more? Read our guide How to Write a Book and our roundup of the best writing apps.

  • Bryan Collins is the owner of Become a Writer Today. He's an author from Ireland who helps writers build authority and earn a living from their creative work. He's also a former Forbes columnist and his work has appeared in publications like Lifehacker and Fast Company.

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