Choosing a Word Processing App for Your iPad

Whether you're an early adopter, just received an iPad (what a fun Easter basket!), or you're thinking about buying yourself an iPad tablet device, as a freelance writer, you're faced with a very big decision.

  • What word processing app will you use?
  • What to Look For in a Word Processor
  • What does a freelance writer need from a word processor?

We aren't your average typing Joes, we need something that can run our relatively low-fi businesses with ease and comfort. This means that the program or app that some people may spend moderate amounts of time in can see near endless clocked hours from a freelance writer.

We need to find word processors that can go the distance for our specific brand of heavy usage.

I aim to help you in choosing the right app for you in this guest post.

I write for my clients, and myself, exclusively on the iPad with few exceptions...I occasionally find myself working from my iPhone. No, I don't use a computer. I find that I just don't need to.

Keep in Mind How You Use Your iPad

Your mileage may, of course, vary, and I understand that. You may only occasionally use your iPad, or it may be something you use only in one step of you writing process (only brainstorming, only drafting, etc), so keep these things in mind as I discuss the different word processing options and what they can do for you.

Just promise me this: you'll be willing to give several options a try until you find the right option for you.

I personally, expected to love Writing Kit but had to give Pages a try. I always use Pages now, and I couldn't be without it.

As writers, we often don't like the learning curve that comes with trying out new software or apps. I understand that you may feel this way. Many writers do. Just give them a try so that you can find the right word processor for you.

Thinking of purchasing the iPad but don't have one yet?

If you're still considering purchasing an iPad, you're going to to need to try out the apps just like those who already own one to make your decision. Choosing the app before the iPad would be silly: you don't yet know how you'll use your tablet for your business.

So, when you do get an iPad, you'll need to fiddle around with it and see what suits you how, and that includes the word processor.

Good News: Trying Out Apps is a Lot More Affordable

Trying out several word processors on your computer could cost you several hundred dollars, but with apps, I would be surprised if didn't have a leftover balance on a $50 iTunes gift card.

Because some options do cost $9.99, it becomes a little bit more than chump change, but it is still very affordable to try out different writing options for the iPad.

Some apps to try

  • Pages Writing Kit
  • Clean Writer
  • Write or Die
  • Notes
  • iAWriter
  • Quick Office Pro HD
  • Office (squared)
  • Docs To Go
  • Docs (squared)
  • Omni Writer
  • Heart Writer
  • Smart Paper
  • Compositions
  • Daedelus Touch
  • CPWord
  • Paper Helper
  • Writings

Now, you just might break the bank if you try them all, so hold off on that. Look them up in The App Store, see what other users have said. Find tuts online. Just be sure to try the two major contenders (Pages and Writing Kit) as you may find the right app for you in one of those, as countless other freelance writers have.

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Jessie Fitzgerald writes about health and nutrition, especially for direct B2C sales nutritional supplement companies.

6 thoughts on “Choosing a Word Processing App for Your iPad”

  1. Has anyone found a good iPad word processor that tracks changes? I need to do this for several of my clients and it drives me crazy that I can’t find an iPad app with this feature. One thing I do use TONS is Splashtop, which lets me access my computer’s desktop and work from my own programs (including Word!). It’s WONDERFUL and I can’t recommend it enough. Still, you have to have an Internet connection to use it, so it would be nice to be able to track changes on a native iPad app. 🙂

  2. Thanks for sharing these apps. I’m still thinking about purchasing an iPad or a similar product. The iPad is too heavy and clunky for me. I like electronics to be streamlined and light. It’s one of the reasons why I’m considering purchasing the MacBook Air or a laptop similar to it. If Apple can create a lightweight and thin MacBook Air, I’m sure they can create a lightweight and thin iPad.

  3. I get annoyed with tablets and even my trusty iPhone because I type faster than it does. I hate the typos and the autocorrects although i know I can turn them off.

    In lieu of a tablet, I opted for a very basic, inexpensive netbook. It’s 10inches and super lightweight. I removed a lot of the fluffy software including the Office start thing, and it sped up a bit. I use it primary for pure content creation and then transfer to the big computer with dual monitors for revisions, additions and posting. I might consider tablets again in the future, but not right now.

  4. I don’t own an iPad, but I’m starting to consider one. I understand that Scrivener is developing a version that will run on an iPad AND RenLearn is in development for creating a dongle that will allow an Alphasmart Neo to interface with an iPad as a keyboard. When this perfect storm happens, I will probably purchase an iPad and use these three items together. For now, I rough draft on my Neo and I do revisions on the fly on a NEC Mobilepro 900 that I’ve souped up or on my desktop.

  5. Like others, I’ve held back from buying an IPad as I need something that can take serious writing and spread sheet work. I finally spent some time at the Apple store yesterday and decided to stick with the PC and laptop/netbook solution. The IPad simply couldn’t keep up with my typing speed – especially with that crass keyboard (so easy to miss the right key). Yes you can get a Bluetooth keyboard – but why? All you’ve got then is a poor netbook!!

    I wasn’t impressed either with the staff at the Apple Store. They seemed phased about me considering an IPad for serious word processing – said it all really!


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