The traditional word processor is basically a listing application. You list your thoughts down, and organize everything in your head while doing it. The program does nothing to aid you. If anything, a writing program like MS Word exudes Computer Inhibited Creativity (CIC), or can be characterized as a Creativity Killer. My first choice for a Computer Aided Creativity (CAC) writing program is Ulysses.
My brain doesn’t work like a listing program, it works like a movie making program. So I searched for a writing program which would work with me instead of me working around the limitations of the program. I looked for a writing program which was actually developed for writing, that allows one to move ideas around and jump between different project documents.
I started using Ulysses about three years ago, and have never stopped loving it.
Ulysses was developed around the idea of making content and writing the main focus of the writing process, and specifically not focusing on formatting. The program is straight forward, you write in the main window, on the right-hand side is a Notes window, on the left are all the individual documents in your project, along with their Notes window. Naturally, the user interface can be customized.
How exactly does Ulysses enable CAC?
Well, if you have an idea in your head, then you intuitively understand it. The problem is communicating it to others. The most common form is writing. But once you write something down, you will naturally try to modify it, as opposed to writing down a completely new thought. This is where Ulysses kicks ass.
Since text can be moved between documents so easily, and documents can be displayed so quickly, the program actually helps you organize ideas, as opposed to simply being a processor for words.
I use Ulysses for many different projects including webpages, blog posts, technical papers, a PhD dissertation, letters, the list is endless. Projects and documents can be exported as simple text, MS Word, even in LaTex.
If Ulysses could be better, it would be the ability display the documents in a mindmap layout similar to MyMind. This would allow the user to visually organize ideas, but keep all of the actually writing within that visual representation. I highly recommend Ulysses if you’re looking for a writing program, it can change the way you work and think for the better.