Best designed Apple writing apps ✍🏻

Gorgeous writing and note-taking apps for your Mac, iPad, and iPhone.
by Mihhail
3 min read

For the better part of a decade, I’ve been developing a minimalist writing app called Paper, so it’s fair to say that I know my way around the world of Apple text editors, writing apps, notes apps, and word processors.

What I’ve noticed over the years is that the top search results for best writing apps simply repeat the same old 5–10 apps that everyone knows by heart. I want to try something different. I will list what I consider the most aesthetically pleasing text editing apps in the Apple universe. Some are well-known, others less so. You can then try each one and draw your own conclusions. Writing and note-taking are such personal experiences that suggesting the one that is best for you is impossible without knowing your preferences. Only you can make the call.

A lot of the ones listed below are paid, and don’t offer a free trial, but here’s a little secret — you always can ask the App Store for a refund and they will give it to you, no questions asked. There is close to zero risk in paying upfront. You are guaranteed to get your money back if the app turns out to be a bad fit for your needs.

I love highlighting great work in the ecosystem. This article is my love letter to the best work that I’ve seen so far.

I will cover only native apps that have been purposely built for Apple devices. Obsidian, Google Docs, Notion, Microsoft Word, and such are all great products and need no introduction. The boring vanilla choice that just works is often the best one for most people, so give the mainstream apps a chance before considering other options. That said, if you’re looking for something more polished, cleaner, simpler, or just different, then read on.

Writing apps

Apps for professional and amateur writers, bloggers, journalists, and just anyone who writes a lot of long-form text.

Note-taking apps

Apps for private note-taking, daily notes, memos, journaling, random ideas, and such.

Word processors

Apps for making documents with a wide range of styling tools, formatting options, tables, images, charts, and more.

Outliner apps

Apps for organizing thoughts in a hierarchical manner with infinitely nested foldable lists.

Apple Pencil notes apps

Apps for taking notes and annotating PDFs with Apple Pencil. Designed for the iPad.

The flexible canvas with pan, zoom, and rotation makes it easy to mix text, handwriting, sketches, and drawings.

Those a not strictly text editing apps, but they are used for note-taking, so I feel like they are worth the mention.