If you’re a writer of some sort, you’ll have no doubt come across the often cluttered and distracting interfaces of some word processing applications. But it’s 2012 — web apps are popping up left and right to ensure that we can manage our documents online without having to worry about losing them or endure the slow update process of traditional desktop apps. However, even some of these apps contain over-designed and clunky interfaces that make it near impossible to just sit down and get some writing done. We often see simple, uncluttered writing apps for Macs, so surely there’s a new and better way to write and manage documents online?
Quabel just might be that better way. It’s a new and promising distraction-free writing web app that weilds several interesting features that are sure to set it apart. It ensures that writers can get on with what they do best and not have to worry about getting easily distracted. Keep reading to find out more!
Quabel exists to solve the problem that so many of us writers seem to suffer from: distraction. It provides an interface for your words that allow writing to not feel like a chore thanks to ugly applications and certainly makes it interesting again.
It’s free to use during the beta period and once the premium pricing model comes into force, free accounts will be limited to five documents at a time and premium users will be allowed to store an unlimited number. These are priced at a mere $2 per month — certainly not a dent in one’s wallet.
As well as an incredibly pretty editor, it also provides users with a way to share documents with others in the form of web pages and also supports the exporting of documents to various popular formats.
After registration, you’ll be able to quickly begin using Quabel to get your words written down. The main section of the app is split into two sections: the Explorer and the Editor. As you would expect, the Explorer provides an easy way to see all of the documents stored in each Quabel account and these can be searched in realtime — allowing users to find the documents they’re searching for in milliseconds.
In addition to this, documents can created from this particular section of the app and Quabel supports labels. This allows documents to be categorised a lot easier to ensure that users with many documents can easily find them.
Using the Editor
After creating a document, you’ll be taken to the editor. This is the main part of Quabel and from here, you can start writing the content. Everything’s formatted in Markdown so a decent knowledge of the syntax will make using the app that extra bit easier.
It’s also worth noting that pretty much everything in this section is realtime; documents have no save button, Markdown-formatted text is formatted instantly and unlike some other WYSIWYG editors, typing is not laggy at all. In this respect, it’s definitely one of the best content editors I’ve come across for a while and certainly makes editing a breeze.
A nifty feature that ships right inside Quabel is the ability to set goals for the documents that are created within the app. Got to write text for a 15-minute speech or talk? Need to write a post that’s a certain word or character length? With Quabel, this is made incredibly easy.
At the bottom of the Quabel interface is an indicator (split into three) of how many words long the document is, how long it would take the average user to read it and how long it would take to read the content out loud in a speech or other spoken presentation. In addition, there is a bar across the top of the app’s interface that acts as a sort of progress indicator and it fills as you get closer to the target. This makes it really interesting to reach a desired word count and reference this easily as you’re going along.
Finally, one of the other small features that Quabel offers is a Night Mode. This turns the interface from the black-on-white to white-on-black to make using the app a bit more pleasant at night when lighting may be different. I personally found this interface more desirable than the standard one but I imagine it’s down to personal preference.
In addition to this, though the app doesn’t support the choosing of particular fonts, it sports both a ‘Typewriter’ and ‘Magazine’ design option so that again, depending on preference, different fonts can be applied.
So, Any Good?
I’ve said before in reviews that if one has the right tools for the job, the final product is so much better and I believe that this is certainly the case with Quabel. I’ve written this entire review using Quabel and the app seems flawless. Everything about it suggests that a lot of time has gone into ensuring that it’s of the best possible quality and this has certainly worked. From the editor itself to the goals feature, it makes writing fun again — supporting the idea of being as simple as possible to ensure better productivity. Though it could be improved with a spell-checking option akin to that of Google Drive’s, it’s certainly an app that’s worthy of trying out to see if it works for you.