How I use Ulysses for writing, journaling and notes

I’ve been writing stories on my Mac for a couple of years now. When I started out I was writing in Textwrangler and then would copy and past my story into my blog. I would then do the formatting and link adding using the blogging platform’s tools. Then I discovered markdown. This lead me to apps like Ulysses, Scrivener and nvALT. I tried the Scrivener free trial for a few days but it was to complicated for my simpler writing needs. At the same time I was trying the Ulysses free trial and feel in love with it. I still use nvALT for note taking. I recently wrote a story about Quick Notes with nvALT and 1Writer which you can find here.

Ulysses is an easy to use writing app with a 3 pane user interface. The first pane is your Library, the second is your sheets and the third is the editor. Ulysses works great for writing blog posts, articles, and even longer-form content. You can export to HTML, Markdown, ePub, PDF, Word, or even straight to Medium or WordPress.

I write all my blog posts in Ulysses using markdown. I keep the preview open so I can see what my output will look like as I type. If you have Marked 2 you can use it in place of Ulysses built in previewer. Once my story is complete I publish it to WordPress and Medium from within the app.

I also write what I call ramblings. These are personal experiences that I want to write about. One of the last ones I wrote about was my frustration with setting up a system in Todoist. I guess you could call this a form of journaling.

My primary notes apps are nvALT on the Mac and 1Writer on my iPhone which sync via Dropbox. I have Ulysses connected to this folder also. This way if I happen to be working in Ulysses this saves me from having to open nvALT to add or view a note. Ulysses external folders lets you add Dropbox folders to your library. So if you prefer to store your notes in plain text files, or collaborate with others, you can.

Ulysses has many uses beyond short or long form writing. I write things like emails, letters, client proposals and much more in Ulysses.

You can get Ulysses for Mac here and for iOS here.