The Speare app is like a hybrid. Before I did this Speare review, I knew that people called it a ‘thought processor’ that lets you turn thoughts into words in snap anywhere, anytime.
It’s unique in that, unlike many other writing apps, it eliminates the traditional blank white page concept and uses building blocks to write down ideas for your word processor. That makes it an excellent note-taker for groceries, work tasks, and more.
And since it’s a web-based app, you can access it from any device as long as you have an internet connection.
Here’s a quick review of all the positive and negative aspects I had a chance to experience when testing it out.
Let’s take a look…
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Speare Pros +
Speare does most of the things right. It’s easy to use, saves several versions of the same content, it works on Microsoft word, allows pdf read, and lets users collaborate with each other, and much more.
#1. Simple and easy to use
The ‘blocks’ concept is a little odd at first. But you’ll get the hang of it quickly after only a few minutes.
The user interface is clean, and all you need to do to start screenwriting is, sign-in to your author account, open a board (by clicking the ‘+’ icon), and start typing. Plus, it automatically stores every piece as you type. So, you never lose anything.
Speare is specifically built to help you write your thoughts quickly before they are lost. So, it doesn’t matter whether you’re taking notes, doing research for your next blog post, or brainstorming for a book in print, the building blocks and subscription formatting tools in Speare have got your back.
#2. Excellent content organization
When you start adding document blocks in Speare, it looks a bit messy at first. But there is a powerful organization feature to abolish all the chaos. You just need to drag, drop, rearrange, and nest these blocks to form a logical hierarchy of information, regardless of word count.
Spear also renders the power to divide and conquer any project using different boards. For example, you can split an ebook into chapters, and tackle each chapter in a different board.
According to Speare, these tools help you pour all your focus on each chapter. And when you’re done, you can either compare two boards side-by-side to fine tune your writing or hit compile and put together the whole book.
So, full marks to Speare’s tools in this department.
#3. Share and collaborate with your team
When you create a word board, you have all the rights to share the boards with your team members and download epub to allow them to work on it in real-time.
It can also publish your content to all of the different channels like WordPress, social media sites, etc. in a few clicks. So it’s definitely going to be your best friend and favorite writing tool if you’re a blogger or writing book reviews.
#4. Create and save previous versions of your content
Speare stores all the changes you make in a block or board so when you want to get a particular section back in future, you can easily do so.
#5. Compatible with all the devices
Speare is a web app and the winner of the Newbery Honor, and there’s no capping on the variety of machines you can use Speare on. Neither it imposes any restriction on the number of devices you install the software on.
You can use it on your Android phone, iPhone, iPad, Windows PC, or MacBook. And the best thing is, it adapts itself according to the screen size of the machine.
Speare Cons –
Speare is pretty great for what it does. However, there are a few big limitations if this is going to be your go-to, all-around writing app.
Here are the biggest drawbacks.
#1 Doesn’t block on-screen distractions and no writing templates
This is probably my biggest complaint.
Speare completely overlooks distraction-free writing. There is no full-screen mode or focus mode.
There also aren’t any writing templates or word prompts to start with, either. That’s a big turn off for someone who heavily relies on writing templates to gain some momentum quickly, especially for magazine articles and similar pieces.
So while Speare is great for taking notes, writing long passages for hours might not be as easy.
#2. More expensive than other simple note apps
Note-based writing apps, like Speare, tend to be fairly inexpensive.
My favorite budget-friendly app, Write!, will only set you back $25 bucks. For life!
Compare that to the $15 monthly price with Speare. It’s a pretty good writing app, however, it’s also priced on the high end for what you get.
#3. Limited export options
You can export your characters as epub PDF, Word, Markdown, or HTML formats.
But there are still a ton of other file formats like RTF, ODT, and plain text that are left out completely.
#4. Slow customer service
Ideally, you shouldn’t need the customer service department for a writing app.
But when you do, for technical or billing issues, you also shouldn’t have to wait days for a response.
For example, I sent them an email where I asked a few questions about the product. But it’s been more than 24 hours, and no-one from their team got back to me.
So, a quick customer support or a live-chat feature for creative developers would make the tool even better.
Speare pricing plans and payment options
Speare has a single pricing plan which is divided into three categories: Monthly, Quarterly, and Annual.
Here’s the story on the Monthly plan. It costs you $14.97/month — definitely on the high side.
The per month price comes down to $9.99/month if you want to pay quarterly as a one time fee of $29.97 every three months.
Finally, the annual plan is for $4.95/mo when you deposit a one-time payment of $59.40. That’s a little better, but still double Write! app.
All three categories provide a 30-day money-back guarantee. And if you’re not sure, whether you want this tool or not, you can use their 14-day free trial (no credit card required) to take Speare for a spin.
Now, coming to the payment options, you can pay either by your Credit or Debit card, PayPal, or Amazon Pay.
Do I recommend Speare?
Yes and no. Here’s the true story:
Speare is an excellent drag-and-drop note taker. The idea of ditching blank pages for blocks was odd at first. However, it’s great at organizing your writing, divide large novels into small chunks, and saves all the previous versions of your content.
But I’m not completely sold on Speare’s software being your all-purpose writing tool.
If you have the attention span of a child (like yours truly), you need distraction-free writing. The software pricing for these platforms was pretty high, making as expensive (or more) than some of the best on the market like Scrivener or Grammarly. And yet, Scrivener’s app for writers offers way more value for serious writers.
That’s a long way of saying:
Great for note-taking. So-so as a writing app. If you’re a serious writer, you’ll do well to skip it.
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