The Productive Author Writing App of the Week: FocusWriter

Distraction is the bane of any productive writer, particularly all you NaNoWriMo’s out there.

You can find a slew of distraction-free writing apps, so it makes sense to start with a free one. FocusWriter stands out because it works on a variety of desktops (Windows, Mac, and Linux).

It’s also pretty. You can choose among a few different background templates:

FocusWriter App

Courtesy of Graeme Gott at

The app supports TXT, basic RTF, and ODT files, but you can also copy and paste to programs like Word or Scrivener. A tool like this will sound superfluous to some, but many authors swear by the simplicity. The idea is that FocusWriter gets you away from social media or even your word processor interface. No formatting, just drafting.

That said, you will find a few other features:

  • Timers and alarms
  • Daily goal tracking and ‘live statistics’
  • Optional typewriter sound effects (my favorite feature, actually!)
  • Optional auto-save
  • Spell-checking
  • A portable mode

FocusWriter is also available in more than 20 languages.


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