The Missing Workflow in iA Writer 3

The major upgrade of iA Writer 3 took me by surprise. Original iA Writer customers will find the upgrade wonderful, but Writer Pro customers will miss a workflow.

Workflow is imperfect. It makes no sense to switch between modes that only alters font and cursor color. Which part of it helps you become a better writer?

I don’t know about the rest, but mode switching teaches me to become a better editor. It teaches me to edit when I’m editing. It teaches me to write when I’m writing. That’s the role of modes: keep the writer‘s mind focused.

You can relate to this situation.

You’re a writer. You’re writing to share an idea, to tell a story, and to create a moment. Somewhere in between, you detected a couple of grammar mistakes and typos. Without being aware of it, you repeatedly press Delete key to correct them. Now you’re an editor.

It takes discipline ignore our editor-self while writing. We aim for perfection, and our brain is used to alert us when it detects mistakes.

“Please rewrite that sentence.”

“Did you really mean that?”

“That sounds stupid.”

I activate Keep Writing macro to prevent the editor from interrupting my writing session. Writer Pro Workflow creates the writing environment for me to switch between modes.

Nitti the font used in iA Writer and the blue cursor puts me in writing mode. I’m allowed to make mistakes here, and Delete key is disabled.

Serif-font Tiempos and the pink cursor color defines the mode where I’m free to edit the prose I’ve written during writing mode. The goal is to prune and refine a piece of writing.

It’s an immersing way to write.

Despite how much Information Architects used to market this hard-selling feature, they removed workflow in iA Writer 3.

When questioned by Writer Pro customers where the feature disappeared, iA replied that it’s still available if you rename the file extension into .note, .write, or .edit. It doesn’t work — the only color that changes is the extension; cursor and text selection background color remains the same.

That’s one of the reasons that made me buy Writer Pro. If I wanted to keep thing simple, I’d just stick with the original iA Writer.

Compromising is the worst. You get a half-baked feature to appease baffled customers.

Please add back the workflow mode, let there be three modes: note, write, and edit — strips away the useless read mode. We bought Writer Pro for that feature.

What I’m worried about is that one day the feature I use every day becomes unusable in every new major version. I like the simplicity, but please, don’t take away a feature without telling us in your product description.