A simple feature request for Ulysses on Mac

We need a Share Menu extension.

Ulysses is my favorite app. I use it every day for everything I write and it’s the only non-Adobe app I consider essential.

But there is one, tiny little feature I’d like to request: We need a Share Menu extension for the Mac.

When I’m in Safari on my iPhone or iPad, I use the share sheet to send links to Ulysses. If I’m working on a story for one of my blogs and find a link I want to use in a post, I send it to Ulysses and it appears in a new sheet. It makes research just a little bit easier and when I’m ready to write the article, the link is right there. And on iOS, it works perfectly.

But on the Mac, if I’m browsing in Safari and I want to send a link to Ulysses, there is no Share Menu extension for Ulysses. I end up manually copy and pasting the link. Or if I don’t have Ulysses open, I might add it to Read Later and then move it over later. Other apps like Day One and Evernote have Share Menu extensions and I’d like to see one for Ulysses.

I really love Ulysses. The absence of a Share Menu extension is only a minor inconvenience and really isn't that big of a deal. I may be the only person that would use it, but it sure would make my workflow a little more fluid. Hopefully, it's something they will consider.


Bob Wertz writes about design, technology and pop culture at Sketchbook B. Bob is a Columbia, South Carolina-based designer, creative director, college instructor, husband and dad. He’s particularly obsessed with typography, the creative process and the tools we use to create. In his spare time, he looks for new ways to incorporate Ulysses into his workflow. Follow Bob on Twitter and Instagram.

Using an iPad again

In December, I pondered my mobile computing options. Do I move toward the iPad or MacBook for my mobile option? A couple of months after I posted that article, my wife mentioned that her iPad Air 2 wasn't working for her. We foolishly got her 16 GB of storage and she really wanted to use her iPad in her classroom for video. Plus, she really preferred the iPad Mini form factor over the iPad Air. So we bought her a new iPad Mini and I took her iPad Air 2.

I love the iPad as my mobile option.

My iPad is pretty much exclusively for writing. I won't be taking videos or storing pictures on my iPad so the 16 GB limitation isn't really a problem for how I'm using it. (That said, don't ever buy an iPad with only 16 GB of storage. It's massively limiting.)

I really like the 9.7-inch form factor. Much better for me than the Mini I had previously used. It weighs less than my laptop and I can use the same lightning charger that I use for my iPhone. (Not that I really ever need the charger on the road... The battery lasts for an insanely long time.)

But the real reason I love my iPad? Ulysses. My favorite writing app for the Mac is also on iPad and it's perfect. The syncing between my Macs, my iPhone and my iPad means that I can write or edit anywhere, on any device. It's amazing how a single great app can completely change the way I use my iPad.

I don't see going back to a Mac for my mobile device.* While this iPad will work for the foreseeable future, the new 9.7 inch iPad Pro looks like a perfect machine for me. I'm intrigued by the Apple Pencil and the keyboard cover. I don't mind typing on the screen, but I'm much faster and more accurate on a physical keyboard. 

Hopefully, Apple will continue to improve the hardware and developers will create pro caliber apps that take advantage of iOS ecosystem.


* Although, let's be realistic. I'm probably going to want one of the rumored MacBook Pros when they are finally released. 

Write everywhere: Ulysses comes to the iPhone

My go-to writing app on my Mac and my iPad is Ulysses. I love the simple structure and that I can pretty much write anything... from a blog post to something much longer. And my writing syncs between my devices.

Now, my writing syncs between all my devices. Ulysses for iPhone launched today. The app is impressive and includes some great implementations of iOS features — iCloud synced all my content effortlessly, Handoff works great between devices and the share extension works perfectly.

I don't plan on writing long essays on my phone, but I think I'll use Ulysses on the iPhone frequently:

Brainstorming. When an idea strikes, I can add a note directly to the writing app. Since I always have my iPhone with me, I'll be able to capture those random thoughts and convert them into actual posts or essays more easily.

Links. I can use the share extension to send links I find directly to Ulysses. For links I want to write a post about, this will be much more convenient than using a service like Evernote.

Edit on the road. The keyboard on my iPhone isn't great for writing longer pieces, but Ulysses should be perfect for reading and editing on the go.

Ulysses isn't for everyone. It's a Markdown editor, so you need to be comfortable writing in Markdown. And it's not cheap. Ulysses for Mac is $45 and the mobile version is $25. In this era of free and freemium apps, this is an expensive app, but Ulysses is a professional tool and worth every penny.

I was expecting to have to pay for the iPhone version, but because I had already purchased Ulysses for iPad, I got the new Ulysses Mobile with support for iPad and iPhone as a free upgrade.

If you are looking for a Mac writing ecosystem and like working in Writedown, Ulysses might be the perfect system for you. There’s a great review over at MacStories if you want lots of specific details.

Writing with Ulysses

I recently started using a new application for most my writing. Ulysses is a distraction free text editor with a wide range of additional features and an outstanding interface. It's available for Mac and iOS. I was planning on writing a long article about Ulysses, but the folks over at the Sweet Setup beat me to it. They've got a great review of the app.

Ulysses is a Markdown app. (If you aren't familiar with Markdown, it's a way of formatting documents quickly and efficiently.) I'm still uncovering all of the features in Ulysses, but I'm impressed. It's not cheap, but it's worth every penny.

Ulysses features an intuitive interface that works well on the Mac And iOS devices.

Ulysses features an intuitive interface that works well on the Mac And iOS devices.

I did have one problem with Ulysses and syncing. When I first bought the iPad app, some text it had written on my MacBook Pro wouldn't sync. I struggled with the issue for a little while, but then figured out that if I made any change to the text, it would then upload and sync. So I added a space to the beginning of each problem file and everything synced perfectly from that point on.

They also mention a few other writing apps as honorable mentions at the bottom of the article. And they are some of my favorites, too. Specifically:

Scrivner: I really love Scrivner. It's exceptional powerful, but really complicated. Lack of sync is challenging and I prefer the Ulysses interface, but for really long form work, it might be the best option in the App Store. 

Byword: Still one of my favorite distraction free writing apps. Byword works on iPhone, iPad and the Mac. Great app and I highly recommend it if you want a Markdown editor that isn't as expensive. My go-to note taking app.