WriteRoom; the minimalist

by marcsexton

WriteRoom is a virtual tool with the purpose of facilitating focus when writing. Other tools, such as scrivener (see previous blog post) focus on organizing what has been written. WriteRoom, however, focuses on first getting the material out of your head and onto the page.

The basic idea behind the platform is to extract distractions out of the writing process. Most works intended for the classroom are not hand written anymore. This, although generally positive, does hold its own set of particular problems. The main hindrances is the distractions that come with the computer; games, internet, videos, friends, etc. It is also available as an app for iphone and other handheld devices.

(WriteRoom and Notational Velocity)

WriteRoom removes all of these elements and leaves the student alone with his screen. This way he can focus on his work. The distraction free area created in beneficial to both the creative and reflective process necessary for anything from novels, essays to research papers.

“But if, when it comes right down to it, full screen is your holy grail, and the ultimate antidote to the bric-a-brac of Word, then you must enter the WriteRoom, the ultimate spartan writing utopia.” — Virginia Heffernan, New York Times


Microsoft word does not hide the tool bar and all opened programs and tabs. WriteRoom does not, however, allow for page layout or insert tables and graphs. This can be a negative for the writing process as a whole. However, WriteRoom focuses on the basic writing itself, somewhere between brainstorm and first draft. It is a minimalist program, simplifying the work.

(Going minimalist with my notes)