When it comes to prewriting, nothing beats a distraction-free interface. A very common writing exercise is to just let the words flow, but many people have a difficult time letting that process happen. Then end up sitting, pen in hand but not touching paper, for minutes on end. With Flowstate, you either write continuously or lose what you’d already begun. It’s an amazing tool for forced prewriting, or just capturing sessions of continuous writing. The app’s philosophy is “Flow, then react,” meaning you let the words pour out of you, and then edit them later.
You begin your flow by choosing how long you want to type, between five and 180 minutes, and how you want the text to look. You can choose from such favorites as Apple’s new San Francisco font, Futura, and Baskerville. When you start “flowing,” you are greeted with an interface that has nothing to distract you from your job of writing. The only text, other than your own, is the timer that counts down how long you have until it’s safe to stop typing. If you stop writing for more than five seconds before the timer ends, you’ll see your text begin to fade away. It disappears. Gone. Poof. This encourages you to keep those creative juices flowing, or you can just type random keystrokes until you get your groove going again.
Support for how you prefer writing
Bluetooth keyboard support is included in the app, as I would expect. Flowstate also fully supports landscape mode, allowing you to type with your iPhone or iPad in either orientation.
Share with the OS X version or with other apps
Once you’re done writing, you can easily share your document with other apps. Everything is automatically shared with the OS X version of Flowstate, but you can also send the document via email, text message, or copy it to the clipboard. Integration with Dropbox is also nice. On OS X, you get the same distraction-free interface, with the app taking up the full screen.
Formatting options, but not
I found that when using my Bluetooth keyboard, I could use the Command-B combination to make the text bold, Command-U to underline it, and Command-I to type in italics. However, the shared version of your file doesn’t incorporate those formatting choices. All you get is plain text. I would really like to see Flowstate support Markdown in a future update.
Flowstate is designed for iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch, and requires iOS 9.2 or later. The software is available for $9.99 on the App Store, without any ads or in-app purchases. On the Mac App Store, Flowstate is $14.99, again without ads or in-app purchases.