Are you eager to reduce the time you lose with routine tasks? Then you should have a look at Apple’s Shortcuts app for iOS. You can use it to combine actions from many different apps into a single shortcut, accessible via a home screen icon, the shortcuts widget or a Siri voice command.
Let’s assume you keep a journal in Ulysses; every day you answer a number of predetermined questions. Your journal is represented by a Ulysses group, and every day you create a new sheet in that group. At the top of each entry, you’d like to include the current date and location. In our brand-new tutorial, we introduce the Shortcuts app and walk you through the creation of a sample shortcut that does all of the above for you!
You read about a subject and collect information about its essential aspects — that’s how many writing tasks begin. If the research is taking place on the web, the share extension is a helpful little tool to make it easier. It has been part of Ulysses for iPad and iPhone for some time; with Ulysses 14 we integrated it in the Mac app as well.
You can use the share extension to send text, links, and images from Safari and many different apps directly to Ulysses. It is easy as pie: Select the content you want to share, execute the Share command (via a toolbar button or a context menu), then choose Ulysses from the list of apps. This will open a share sheet where you can add notes or a description, or edit the text directly. Moreover, you can select the Ulysses group to which the content should be sent. Finally, click Send, and the content will be added to Ulysses as a new sheet. For a closer look at how to use the share extension precisely on your different devices, check out our new tutorial.
The ability to set writing goals to your texts has been part of Ulysses for a long time. Here is a little overview of what you can do with writing goals:
- Set a desired text length for any sheet and any group. You can specify the type of goal: at least, at most, or about.
- Select from a variety of measuring units. You can define your goal in terms of characters with or without spaces, words, lines, paragraphs and pages, or, for reading time and reading aloud time, in hours and minutes.
- Track your progress, visualized by the circled goal icon. It appears as a tiny symbol in your sheet list and on your sheets. If you want, you can share your progress on social media.
With the latest version, the feature got even more versatile:
- Set a deadline (in addition to the desired text length). And let Ulysses help you organize your workload by calculating the amount of text you need to write every day in order to finish in time.
- Set yourself a daily writing goal. This option is available for groups only. The status of the goal will be reset every morning, waiting for you to fill it with words during the course of the day.
- Review your writing history. This option is available on Mac for group goals. You can find out how much you have written in the last days, learn about your daily average and your daily best.
For detailed information about how to use the goal feature, please refer to the respective tutorial in our knowledge base. Good luck with achieving your writing goals!
Writers of technical documentation, this one is for you! Are you aware that Ulysses now is not only capable of highlighting the syntax of your code blocks during editing, but also during export? Namely, the HTML, ePub, PDF and DOCX files you output may contain syntax highlighting. That way your readers will benefit from better legibility as well!
All built-in formatting styles now include a syntax highlighting that matches the style design. The color scheme used in Ulysses is derived from GitHub’s. If you’re a Mac user, you can also create your own Ulysses style and change the colors according to your taste and needs. If you’re using a custom export style already and want to beef it up with syntax highlighting, you can of course do that, too! For details, please consult the code blocks tutorial, we have just extended it to explain how it works.
Categorizing your Ulysses sheets with keywords can help you keep track of your writing. With the latest Ulysses version, things got even better! You can now also assign colors to these keywords, which will be applied to all its occurrence in your library. With a colored keyword, a tagged sheet is much easier to spot.
If you write technical documentation for a living, you have to deal with code examples on a daily basis. With the latest Ulysses version, we vastly improved code blocks support. Adding code snippets is now a piece of cake, and they’re clear and easy to recognize in the editor.
What’s more, Ulysses can now apply proper syntax highlighting to 48 different programming and markup languages, and supports GitHub-flavored Markdown (GFM) code blocks. Read all about code blocks in our detailed tutorial.
With Quick Open, you can search your entire text library within seconds, and instantly open a sheet for editing — you don’t need to navigate through your group hierarchies. Sounds like a small thing? Hey, if you only save 10 seconds per sheet thanks to Quick Open, and you’re looking for six sheets per day for the next 30 years, this sums up to 8 days in total! You could spend this time on vacation or use to write a short story, for example.
So, if you usually click or tap through groups and subgroups before you start writing, today may be the day to change your habit and embrace Quick Open!
Whether you’re a professional writer or just have some small side projects, you may be interested in how much time you spend on writing. Maybe it’s just your own curiosity – how long did it take you to write that chapter or blogpost? Or you may be working on a client project, and you need to bill the hours spent on writing a report or article. On macOS, you can use Timing to automatically track time spent on basically any activity of your Mac: researching, communicating, procrastinating – and most importantly – writing. Starting with Ulysses 12 and Timing 2.2.1, these apps have a much tighter integration.
The Sweet Setup is a small yet classy website dedicated to apps, but with a twist. Among a number of good quality options, the authors aim to identify the best one: the best weather app, the best e-book reader, and so on. Ulysses had been honored as “The Best Pro Writing App for Mac (and iOS)” on The Sweet Setup, and Shawn Blanc, the site owner, uses Ulysses personally for all his writing and note taking. That’s why he wanted to help others learn Ulysses as well and discover everything it’s capable of doing.
MindNode, made by our friends IdeasOnCanvas, is a beautiful mind mapping app for Mac, iPad and iPhone. What’s more, MindNode integrates nicely with Ulysses: You can easily turn a mind map into a written outline, or – vice versa – turn your notes into a beautiful map. So, if you’re a writer looking for new ways to boost your creativity and sort your thoughts, make sure to check it out.