As you may know from previous posts, I am a bit of a sod about messing about with various software for writing, to the detriment of actually writing.
I then resolved to reduce my software use to just Microsoft Word. This is still true, but I have now gone further and I’m using notepad as the text editor. I have also discovered (via the LifeHacker website) the product WriteMonkey.
WriteMonkey is a basic green screen text editor. You get a dark green background that takes up the whole screen, with a three column format with your text in light green in the middle column. The text size and width can be altered, but for all intents and purposes, that’s all you see.
The software is configurable, so you can display a status bar, and various Microsoft syle windows appear on keypresses (details available by pressing F1). However, I keep a blank screen and the main keypresses I use are CTRL-O to open a file, CTRL-S to save periodically and CTRL-Q to quit. I find I don’t need to use the mouse at all.
The main strength of the program is how the layout promotes a very focussed writing style, as it blocks out other windows (read: distractions) on screen. Obviously you can have your music player running in the background if you like to work that way, but by having WriteMonkey full screen I find I can get text down a heck of a lot quicker.
WriteMonkey is Windows only, requires the .Net framework installed and is available at www.writemonkey.com. It is small enough to fit on a USB stick to carry around with you, obviously the PC you connect to needs .Net running, which to me is the only downside and not an issue with the computers I use.
Give it a whirl, see what you think. Files save as .txt files which is the format I now use for all my writing files, as that also removes the tendency to mess with fonts and margin sizes, which is just not needed at this stage.