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Show HN: Ulysses–a writing tool I built to refocus when my mind is too loud (sonnet.io)
18 points by rpastuszak 11 days ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 14 comments

You're going to want to change the name.


Ulysses: The Ultimate Writing App for Mac, iPad and iPhone

A pleasant, focused writing experience combined with effective document management, fast syncing and flexible export options make Ulysses the first choice for writers of all kinds.

Also, when naming a product, Google the name you're thinking of and the category.

For example: ulysses writing

Yeah, saw these comments first thing in the morning. Coming up with names as we speak.

Suggestions are welcome.



Ha, initially I thought this sounded too close to the previous name, but actually it fits nicely: Homer was blind, whereas the input is slowly fading out and only 3-4 lines are readable. Neat!

Great. Bartholomew JoJo was my other suggestion :-)

Author here. I know the title sounds a bit cheesy, I built this to help myself refocus as I've been dealing with a lot of stress and struggling with depression.

The main goal of the app is to help you focus, organise your thoughts, find a quiet space.

The UX is based on the conversations I've had with my friends and writers—it will make it very hard for you to edit your text, but also prevent you from being too self-conscious when writing.

Here's a post describing it in a bit more detail (3 min read): https://sonnet.io/posts/ulysses/

The app works offline and does not track you in any way. I have no idea how many people are using it. I'm happy to make the repo public if you're interested.

I've been using it every day in the morning, for the past 5 months, still clocking 800 words per day. If you knew me, you'd know that I get bored much quicker than that, especialy when it comes to the results of my own work, so I think there's some potential in terms of usefulness.

I submitted it several months ago, but based on the current content on HN, and how most of my friends feel—it seems worth a bump.

You say, "The main goal of the app is to help you focus, organise your thoughts, find a quiet space."

The well-known Ulysses app's home page slugs are:

- Ulysses Helps You Focus on What You Want to Say

- Ulysses Organizes All Your Projects in One Place

- Ulysses Lets You Work Anywhere, Anytime

So, it's even the same three value props in the same order using the same keywords. You sure you didn't absorb this at some point and play it back later?

Wow thanks, I'd give you 10 upvotes if I could. Honestly I think these points are fairly generic and not that surprising given the current discourse re work-life balance. It's not a secret that writing can be therapeutic and the usual problem statements revolve around: focus, structure, space.

> - Ulysses Organizes All Your Projects in One Place

My focus is to help you structure your thoughts by writing in a manner that's inherently unstructured or linear (literally a stream of consciousness). I don't care about organising your projects or text.

The previous prototype would not even allow you to read your notes for 2-3 days. It'd take them hostage and send to your email.

> - Ulysses Lets You Work Anywhere, Anytime > vs. "[...] find a quiet space."

I mean the mental space.

Although similar phrases are used, their meaning is vastly different.

The idea for the app came from:

- the need to improve my writing fluency and fight anxiety - I was inspired by the writing process of a certain author/blogger: dim the screen so I can barely see any text and focus on writing (I lost her/his name—if you now them, please let me know) - Mihály Csíkszentmihályi and the concept of flow, burnout

I blame myself for not being creative enough wrt wording, but not for being repetitive in terms of product. I takes 5s spent with each app to realise how different they are. I didn't convey the problem I intend to solve well, so this needs to be redone.

Is this related to the iOS writing app by the same name?

Ha, not at all, I didn't know there was one!

Ulysses makes it easy to insert text, but hard/annoying to make edits, so what you end up with is often a stream of consciousness—hence the name. Cheesy, I know.

The entire app is a really stupid text area. In fact, I was amused to discover how difficult removing certain features was.

It's the same name as https://ulysses.app, which is a very, very good app for writing long-form research articles, thesis etc. I wrote my masters with it. May wish to reconsider the name if you are looking for people to be able to find it.

Nice work, what you have though!

Ouch, thanks for letting me know. I wrote it mainly for myself, didn't expect more than 10 active users. I'll need to check how many people are actually using it first.

The next closest meaningful name would be "Csíkszentmihályi", less catchy though!

Why the downvote? I'm genuinely curious and I don't mind constructive feedback.

“Why the downvote” is that perennial question. If I get downvoted I assume it’s a fat finger (it really could be on mobile devices!) or someone disagreeing with any tiny aspect of the comment from the spelling of words to the tone or perfect logical correctness. TLDR = don’t worry about downvotes

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