If there’s one thing in the tech world that’s misunderstood, it’s Linux. Linux is perceived as the realm of the uber geek. Of the hardcore techie. Of the programmer or system administrator.
No ordinary computer can come to grips with a Linux distribution, let alone use it effectively and productively.
And if you believe that, I have a dozen wonders of the world to sell you at a bargain price.
You don’t need to be technically inclined to use Linux. And you can use it to write. Without, by the way, turning to the command line. There are any number of solid Linux tools for writers. Let’s take a look at a few of them.
If you know anything about me, then you know that I use Markdown more than quite a bit. In fact, I do a majority of my writing (and all of my blogging) in Markdown.
While I’ve used a number of text editors on the Linux desktop, when I write in Markdown I turn to UberWriter. Why? It melds a very simple and spartan interface with a variety of useful features. Those features include the ability to convert documents formatted with Markdown to a variety of formats, and a mode that allows you to focus on the paragraph your writing.
You can learn more about UberWriter by reading this blog post.
I don’t use a word processor very often. But when I do, I turn to LibreOffice Writer. I won’t go into the reasons why, but LibreOffice Writer does what I need it to do and does it well. Sure, there are a few things that annoy me about the application, but the positives outweigh the negatives.
It’s a flexible word processor that not only lets me work on documents of varying sizes. LibreOffice writer also has a number of extensions that add a number of features to the software. One of my favourites, in case you’re wondering, is one that lets me create an ebook.
Over the years, I’ve tried a number of digital note taking tools. One that I’ve consistently come back to is Simplenote. The reason? Simplenote is flexible and does its job with very little friction.
But I don’t always want to use Simplenote’s web interface. So, on the Linux desktop I turn to nvPY. While it’s not the prettiest piece of software out there, it’s a great tool for taking and saving notes, drafts of whatever you’re writing, and more.
In many ways, nvPY mimics the web version of Simplenote. You can create new notes, add tags to them, search your existing notes, and even format them using Markdown or reStructuredText.
On the other hand, syncing your notes with Simplenote can be a bit slow.
If you want to learn more about nvPY, take a look at this blog post.
For some people, Simplenote lacks the features they need to take notes. That’s why many people turn to Evernote.
While Evernote has a decent web-based interface, you can download a desktop application for Windows or Mac OS. But not Linux, though. Which is where EverPad comes in.
EverPad isn’t as fully featured as the official desktop applications from Evernote, but that’s not a bad thing. EverPad integrates nicely into your desktop system tray, and gives you instant access to the last 20 notes you created. You can also open a full list of your notes, and the note editor acts more like a basic word processor.
EverPad has a few quirks, but if you can get around them it’s a solid tool for taking notes and more, and saving them to Evernote.
You can read more about EverPad here.
Is that it?
Hardly. Just some of the tools I use, have used, or recommend. There’s a lot of writing software available for the Linux desktop, and it would take a number of posts to do all of it justice.