I'm the creator of this site (Grammar Gang). I'm also the founder of Codeless, a long-form content creation company that's been featured in The New York Times, Business Insider, The Next Web, and hundreds more.
We produce around ~100 long, in-depth articles each month. So we're relying on these tools on a daily basis. Here, I break down the good, bad, and uuuuuuggggllllyyyy.
Latest posts by Brad Smith (see all)
- “F-You, Pay Me.” How to Get Paid to Write - May 16, 2019
- The 7 Best Writing Tools to Write More, Faster, in Less Time - April 17, 2019
- Why Most Freelance Writers Shouldn’t Waste their Time with Pinterest - February 9, 2019
FocusWriter was the weakest writing app I tested. It’s nothing else, but just an alternative to Microsoft Word. That’s it.
There isn’t anything special that I could mention other than the fact that it’s the only writing software (in this test) which is absolutely free.
However, you pay the price by not having all the essential features you saw in the above applications like versioning, storyboard, writing templates, etc.
So, does it has anything good that could make it worth at least for a trial? Well, there are some plus points.
But giving it a try? I leave it on you.
#1 FocusWriter has a very straightforward, distraction-free interface where all you see is a blank white paper. There’s no tabs, navigation buttons; you can’t even see your computer’s clock.
So, it does an excellent job of keeping the writer immersed in writing.
#2 The next benefit of using FocusWriter is it doesn’t cost anything. It’s yours forever for free.
#3 FocusWriter performed much better in customer service than most of the prominent app included in this test.
The maker of this app, Graeme Gott himself deals with the users’ grievances, and this dude is fast in his email game.
I sent him an email to ask a few questions about FocusWriter, and he got back to me within 24 hours.
#4 You can run FocusWriter on Mac, Windows, as well as Linux computers.
Now, I know it’s not something significant considering it still doesn’t offer anything for the Android and iOS platform, but I didn’t know whether to add it to the pros or cons section.
That’s why you can count it as a sympathy point before you start going through the long list of cons.
#1 Though there are some writing themes available in the app, you won’t see any writing template. Neither it has any facility to create one on your own.
#2 There’s no way you can save the previous versions of your current copy. Once you’ve made any changes, the older copy is gone forever.
#3 You can’t share your content and collaborate with others.
#4 Interchanging different sections in the same document is also a pain. Unlike Scrivener, where all you need to do is drag and drop; you have to follow the traditional ‘Cut and Paste’ method on FocusWriter.
That becomes tiring when you need to work on full-fledged books or novels.
#5 FocusWriter provides a limited number of export formats. It only supports plain text, and a small subset of ODT, RTF, and Docx file.
#6 It also doesn’t provide any specific solution to note down rough ideas or random thoughts quickly.
FocusWriter Pricing Plan
As mentioned earlier, FocusWriter is a free of cost software. However, there’s an option to donate some amount to the maker of this app that ranges from $5 to $100.
But it’s optional, and you can set the donation amount as $0.00 if you want.
Do I recommend FocusWriter?
In one word, no.
It’s just a simple word processor, not a modern writing app. And if writing is the only thing it does, then MS Word or Google Doc is also not bad, right?
There’s no reason I would recommend you to try FocusWriter unless you want to experiment yourself.
Writing is one of those activities an average adult do every day.
Whether it’s writing stories, blog posts, letters, social media posts or as simple as writing an email to your boss.
And a writing software makes this whole process of jotting down words easier and brings more fun.
After analyzing all the five apps, I found Scrivener to be the overall champ. It’s an all-around app any type of writer can use. On top of that, its price is also well under budget.
Final Draft would be an excellent pick for professional screenwriters and novelists. Though it’s a bit pricey compared to the other tools, the features cover the cost.
If you own Apple products and looking for an app that grants you cloud storage as well as allows you to access your files in all your Apple devices, then Ulysses is made for you.
iA Writer is a perfect fit for those who like simple, user-friendly software that could be run on any device regardless of its operating system.
And finally, Focus Writers is for those who are looking for a free alternative. But I won’t recommend you to go for it.
Now, I would like to turn it over to you:
What kind of writer are you? Do you write novels, screenplays, blog posts or just a hobby writer? And which software you want to try first?
Let me know by leaving a comment below.