Are you on the lookout for the latest app you won’t be able to put down, the next gadget you’ll be itching to get your hands on, or the slickest new tools to make your workday more productive and your downtime even more fun?
Then look no further than our favorite site for finding the latest and greatest tech products. Each week, we review the crowdsourced links posted to a website called Product Hunt, where tech-savvy users post their best finds and discuss the latest apps and gadgets with a growing community of developers, designers, investors, founders, and tech enthusiasts.
The detween 600 and 800 reportedly use the site, a great testament to its ability to surface products that would otherwise fly under even the best-connected people’s radars.
We took a look at all of the apps, gadgets, and services posted on Product Hunt last week and chose the apps that have the most potential to boost the productivity of aspiring and professional writers. From apps that enable you to tune out the distractions and simply focus on your writing to those that offer easier ways to manage your documents or search for the information you need throughout the research and writing process, these are the exciting new writing apps and tools to turn to when you want to improve the productivity of the hours you spend at your desk (or your local coffee shop).
HAVEN is a Mac app that’s intended not just as a tool for writers, but as “a place to write.” The app helps amateur and professional writers to find inspiration and to focus on their writing with creative writing aids like a character builder, a plot generator, random words, and inspiration dice. HAVEN creates a sense of place with eight different animated themes — “from snowy Jutland to mysterious Kyoto or the vibrant Berlin” — which offer distinct environments with corresponding music and ambiance. The app enables you to customize fonts or change or turn off soundtracks, and you can establish writing goals and set timers, and share your text via email or on social media.
2. Ink Paste
Ink Paste is a simple tool for anyone who wants to stop forgetting the meaning of words they look up. Using Ink Paste’s websites — or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org — you can look up a word. Once you’ve confirmed your email, Ink Paste will send you an email with the word’s definition at daily intervals based on the Fibonacci sequence. (You’ll receive an email on days 1,2,3,5,8,13,21 and 34.) Inkshares chief executive Jeremy Thomas explains on Product Hunt that after day 34, the repetition should have committed the word to your long-term memory thanks to what psychologist call the “spacing effect.” Thomas writes, “My co-founder has the densest vocabulary I’ve ever heard. He says words that I faintly remember having looked up once or twice before, but have since forgotten what they mean. We built Ink Paste so this won’t happen again.”
Keybr is a web app that will help you improve your touch typing (a key skill for writers). Keybr’s website explains, “A person possessing touch typing skills will know their location on the keyboard through muscle memory. It can improve any individual’s typing speed and accuracy dramatically.” Keybr doesn’t use the same repetitive exercises that many typing tutorials employ, but instead uses an algorithm to generate typing lessons that match your skills with random words generated from a subset of the current alphabet. Keybr measures the time that it takes you to type a key, and uses that time to measure your learning progress. As you perform better with a set of letters, the algorithm expands the subset with more letters. At any given time, you’ll be typing with the letters with which you’re least familiar.
Not just for writers, but for anyone with work to get done, Noisli helps you improve your focus and increase your productivity with ambient noise. Noisli — which is now available on Chrome, iOS, and on the web — enables you to create and listen to background sounds that help you focus and concentrate on the work at hand. The newly-launched Chrome extension, which gives you access to the main functionalities and features of Noisli; from Chrome, you can access and play your favorite Combos, use the timer for productivity sessions, access the master volume control, and sync all of your Combos. Noisli founder Stefano Merlo explains on Product Hunt that the new web version also includes the ability to create user profiles, or to save and share your favorite sound combinations. It also adds a timer which you can use with time management methods like the Pomodoro technique, plus an enhanced text editor that enables you to write a in a minimal and distraction-free environment.
Paragraphs is a minimalist writing app for Mac. Paragraphs “gives you everything you need to create brilliant prose and does away with the rest.” The app offers a quick context menu with simple formatting options, and when you begin typing, the interface “melts away” to help you focus on what you’re writing. The app features multiple layout and font styles, and also offers a Dark Mode for writing at night. An overview screen enables you to switch between projects, and you can easily export your text to markdown, HTML, or plain text. The team behind Paragraphs carefully chose what the app does as well as what it doesn’t, and the app’s Mac App Store description notes, “Paragraphs isn’t a word processor or desktop publishing application. It doesn’t have tools for creating complicated layouts, and only has formatting options that are absolutely necessary for pure writing. Paragraphs provides an ideal environment for getting your ideas on ‘paper’ and can work well along side a page layout application for formatting your finished work.”
6. Quokky Assistant
Quokky Assistant is a personal assistant for iOS and Android that enables you to save, archive, and store all of your documents. Quokky chief executive Filippo Veronese explains on Product Hunt that “Quokky magically recognizes documents from your camera, Gmail and Dropbox” and reminds you of due dates makes searching your documents easy, and keeps your records safe. Quokky stores your documents online, archives everything simply and efficiently, helps you keep track of deadlines, enables you to extract data from your documents, and protects your files with “best in class” security. With a feature called Q-Magic, you can take a picture of a document to store it in the app.
Recalll is a tool that enables you to search and discover information across services, all in one place. Recalll founder Parvinder Singh writes on Product Hunt that while a traditional search engine “steers you to right section of the library, but doesn’t answer your question or compile that answer,” Recalll aggregates possible answers from websites, blogs, and documents saved in cloud storage apps on a single page. You can search “answers, topics, docs, code snippets, definitions, articles” and more via Recalll.