It is easy to lose concentration while writing. And cluttered editors with distracting menus and buttons make the situation worse.
Luckily, there are several minimalist online editors that allow you to focus on writing by removing distractions. Here we discuss the seven best distraction-free online writing tools.
ZenPen is a minimalist online editor with a clutter-free interface. The home page contains guidelines on using the editor. You can select and delete it to start writing. It allows you to bold, italicize and highlight text. Likewise, you can add links and citations.
To further minimize distractions, you can switch to full screen mode using the button on the right side. ZenPen also has the ability to invert the colors which makes the background dark.
Another cool feature is that you can set a target word count. As you write, the bar on the right side continues to fill to reflect the number of words remaining. When you hit the target, it turns green. So you can keep an eye on the word count at a glance without having to slow down.
Perhaps the best thing about ZenPen is that you can download the text in Markdown, HTML, or plain text. Similarly, you can copy your text by choosing one of the three formats and pressing CTRL+C.
Although having the same purpose as ZenPen, Calmy Writer Online offers more features. Thanks to a clean interface, it still does a fantastic job of minimizing distractions.
The editor is a completely blank screen with a Calmy Writer logo at the top. Clicking on this logo opens a menu with all the features you would expect from a text editor. You can change the text width, font size, and font style.
For people with dyslexia, it has an OpenDyslexic mode. Calmy Writer offers a smart punctuation feature, so you don’t have to worry about capitals when writing.
Calmy Writer Online offers three modes that further reduce distractions: dark, full screen, and focus. Focus mode helps you reduce distractions by graying out all text except the paragraph you’re on.
It also offers basic formatting options, such as titles, quotes, bullet points, and links. You can format with Markdown and keyboard shortcuts.
Calmy Writer lets you save your work locally or to Google Drive in different formats. The auto-save feature saves your work in real time to your browser’s internal memory.
CalmyWriter also offers desktop apps for Windows, macOS, and Linux. Although these apps require a paid license, Calmy Writer Online is free.
Hemingway Editor is a popular editing tool, especially used to improve readability and spot hard-to-read sentences. But it has a write mode with a clean and unobtrusive interface.
When you switch to write mode, the editing tools disappear so you can concentrate on writing. At the top of the screen, you can find a toolbar for titles, or you can use keyboard shortcuts.
Once you’ve written the first draft in distraction-free mode, you can switch to edit mode to remove redundant words and simplify sentences. The web app is free, although Hemingway Editor’s desktop app costs $20.
Google Docs is a full-fledged word processor. Naturally, it has a bit cluttered interface. However, Google Docs offers a full-screen mode that hides the editing tools and lets you write freely.
To enable full screen mode, click See in the toolbar and select Full screen. Google Docs hides all control options and you’re left with a blank page to write on.
To further minimize distractions, you enable full-screen mode in your browser. For Windows, press F11 and Ctrl+Command+F for macOS. After the initial draft, you can go to normal view and edit your document.
If you want to simplify your workflow, this is a great option because you can write without distraction and format it in the same application.
typWrittr is another minimalist online tool for writing, focused on providing a customizable writing experience.
typWrittr has multiple themes with different colors, backgrounds, and feel. From the preferences button, you can customize each element of these themes. Additionally, you can enable three different keystroke sounds and adjust their volume.
It saves your work in the cloud. From the drawer button, you can view your previous writings, open them, and download them.
typWrittr costs $5 per month, but you can get a three-week free trial. It’s a decent choice for those who need to personalize their writing experience.
Writebox has a really clean and clutter-free interface. The default plain background color is white, with a simple toolbar at the top. When you start writing, this toolbar disappears, helping you focus.
According to your preferences, you can change the background color, text color, font, line height and width.
You can connect Writerbox to your Google Drive or Dropbox and sync all your writings to the cloud. Apart from cloud storage, it also saves your texts locally. You can also upload documents as text or HTML files.
If you want a minimalist editor that syncs with your cloud, Writebox is for you. Best of all, free.
The great thing about Writer is that you can dictate what your writing experience looks like. From background and text colors to fonts and spacing, everything is customizable. You can activate the sound of the manual or electric typewriter.
Writer also works great in offline mode. When you come back online, your documents will be automatically synchronized. Writer lets you save an unlimited number of documents. All your writings are automatically saved on its servers and backed up frequently.
A standout feature is that you can set session and document goals based on a word or character count. If you need to complete a document by a specific date, enter those details. Writer then shows how much you need to write daily to stay on track.
It supports Markdown formatting and allows you to export text as a text file, HTML, PDF, etc. You can download the documents and share them via a link.
The Pro version of Writer offers more features like a built-in thesaurus, revision history, and export to Google Docs, Evernote, or Dropbox. The monthly subscription costs $5, although it offers a lifetime plan for $99.
Write without distraction
It can be difficult to stay focused while writing, especially when using cluttered editors or word processors.
The tools mentioned above offer a clutter-free interface that makes it easier for you to focus on writing. Best of all, they’re all browser-based, so they won’t take up disk space.