Speed Up Your Ulysses Workflows With Apple’s Shortcuts App

Are you eager to reduce the time you lose with routine tasks? Then you should have a look at Apple’s Shortcuts app for iOS. You can use it to combine actions from many different apps into a single shortcut, accessible via a home screen icon, the shortcuts widget or a Siri voice command.

Let’s assume you keep a journal in Ulysses; every day you answer a number of predetermined questions. Your journal is represented by a Ulysses group, and every day you create a new sheet in that group. At the top of each entry, you’d like to include the current date and location. In our brand-new tutorial, we introduce the Shortcuts app and walk you through the creation of a sample shortcut that does all of the above for you!

Forget About Copy-Paste, Make Use of the Share Extension!

You read about a subject and collect information about its essential aspects — that’s how many writing tasks begin. If the research is taking place on the web, the share extension is a helpful little tool to make it easier. It has been part of Ulysses for iPad and iPhone for some time; with Ulysses 14 we integrated it in the Mac app as well.

You can use the share extension to send text, links, and images from Safari and many different apps directly to Ulysses. It is easy as pie: Select the content you want to share, execute the Share command (via a toolbar button or a context menu), then choose Ulysses from the list of apps. This will open a share sheet where you can add notes or a description, or edit the text directly. Moreover, you can select the Ulysses group to which the content should be sent. Finally, click Send, and the content will be added to Ulysses as a new sheet. For a closer look at how to use the share extension precisely on your different devices, check out our new tutorial.

Ulysses for iPhone XS Max

Artwork with Ulysses logo and iPhone XS Max

We’re excited to announce that Ulysses is now optimized for both iPhone XS Max and iPhone XR! Ulysses 14 on the super large super retina display of iPhone XS Max and XR – it’s a super-combo for your writing needs on the go.

The update is now available on the App Store – install it on your shiny new device and have fun!

Ulysses 14 on iOS: Let Siri Do Some Work for You

iOS 12 has arrived, and, on schedule, a new Ulysses version for iPad and iPhone! Ulysses now supports Siri shortcuts. Here is what you can do with it.

Do you keep a notebook or a diary in Ulysses, where you jot down ideas and reflections on a regular basis? Or is there a book project you keep coming back to? If you find yourself doing the same thing over and again in Ulysses, Siri shortcuts are for you. In Ulysses for iPad and iPhone, you can now add voice commands to selected recurring actions. Read …

Architect and Book Author Geoffrey Makstutis: “There Is a Sense of Release as the Words Come out on the Screen”

Geoffrey Makstutis is an architect and works in one of the world’s largest education companies. He also writes books; the latest, Design Process in Architecture, will shortly be released with Laurence King Publishing. From having an idea for a book to its actual release, it can be a long journey. Geoffrey describes how his ideas take shape in Ulysses, how he’s handling images (his book contains a lot of them), and how copyright clearances, reviews and translations contribute to the complexity of the whole process.

Please tell us something about you and what you are working on.

Geoffrey Makstutis

Originally from the United States, for the past 28 years I have lived and worked in London. I am an architect, educator and author. I studied architecture in the United States and the United Kingdom; with most of my professional practice being within different firms in the UK. I’ve worked on projects; ranging from small residential schemes to large cultural institutions, in the UK, US and Far East. In 2004, I became a full-time academic; running the architecture program for a UK university. Since 2016, I have been working for one of the largest education companies in the world, developing vocational qualifications related to construction, art & design and creative media production.

What is writing for you — a profession, a hobby, or a calling?

Writing plays multiple roles in my life. My professional work involves a great deal of writing; ranging from producing reports to developing qualifications to creating training materials. When my day-to-day work was purely academic, I did a good deal of research; so I was involved in writing research proposals and research reports. In addition, I was often reviewing and writing academic policy information.

Read …

Read Short Stories, Write Short Stories

The Short Story Project is a digital platform for curated and hand-picked short stories, most of which are available in multiple languages and as audio versions. Just recently, the platform launched a short story competition. We talked with the initiator, the Israeli author Iftach Alony, about it.

Portrait of Iftach Alony in his office
Iftach Alony, initiator of The Short Story Project

Short stories, Alony says, always have been his passion. In his opinion, they suit the pace of our time: “I believe, life can be better explored and investigated through short stories rather than novels.” The wish to draw more people to a (wrongly) neglected genre was part of his motivation to start the project. Read …

Author and Teacher of Creative Writing E. Christopher Clark: “That’s My Mantra: Just Get to Work”

E. Christopher Clark writes fiction about fractured families, lust gone wrong, and memories as time machines. In October 2017, he published his first novel, derived from a one-act play written twenty years ago in college. In our interview, he talks about the process of writing and the things that helped him to go through with it. Also, he discusses the benefits of studying creative writing at the university. As a teacher and holder of two degrees in the field, he knows a thing or two about it.

Please tell us something about you and what you are working on.

My name’s E. Christopher Clark and I published my first novel, Missing Mr. Wingfield, in October 2017 to celebrate turning 40. In 2018, I’m aiming to top that by releasing not one but two new books: Bad Poetry Night, a collection of poems that came out in April to celebrate National Poetry Month; and The Seven Wives of Silver, a collection of pulpy 19th-century stories set on Cape Cod that’ll be out this fall.

E. Christopher Clark
E. Christopher Clark

What made you start writing in the first place?

In 2nd or 3rd grade, we were given the assignment to write the story of a picture we’d pasted to a piece of construction paper. That challenge — of turning visual inspiration into text-based storytelling — thrilled me, and working from photographs and drawings is still something I do today.

Read …

15 Years of Ulysses: Max’ Story

2003 was the year of Finding Nemo, Kill Bill, and Pirates of the Caribbean. The shipping release of Mac OS X was 10.2, and click-wheel iPods were the hottest thing around. Also in 2003, version 1.0 of Ulysses was released, the predecessor of today’s Ulysses.

In computer terms, 15 years is an eternity. And for our co-founder Max, now 31 years old, these 15 years equal his whole adult life. On Medium, he shares a personal look back on how it all began and how he got where he is today, with Ulysses.

Read Max’ Story

Achieve Your Writing Goals With Ulysses

Writing goal on Mac

The ability to set writing goals to your texts has been part of Ulysses for a long time. Here is a little overview of what you can do with writing goals:

  • Set a desired text length for any sheet and any group. You can specify the type of goal: at least, at most, or about.
  • Select from a variety of measuring units. You can define your goal in terms of characters with or without spaces, words, lines, paragraphs and pages, or, for reading time and reading aloud time, in hours and minutes.
  • Track your progress, visualized by the circled goal icon. It appears as a tiny symbol in your sheet list and on your sheets. If you want, you can share your progress on social media.

With the latest version, the feature got even more versatile:

  • Set a deadline (in addition to the desired text length). And let Ulysses help you organize your workload by calculating the amount of text you need to write every day in order to finish in time.
  • Set yourself a daily writing goal. This option is available for groups only. The status of the goal will be reset every morning, waiting for you to fill it with words during the course of the day.
  • Review your writing history. This option is available on Mac for group goals. You can find out how much you have written in the last days, learn about your daily average and your daily best.

For detailed information about how to use the goal feature, please refer to the respective tutorial in our knowledge base. Good luck with achieving your writing goals!

Author Thomas Meyer: “I Think Most Couples Are Unhappy”

Thomas Meyer, Photo: Foto: 2teNaturManufaktur
Thomas Meyer, Photo: 2teNaturManufaktur

The Swiss writer Thomas Meyer used to earn his living with advertising copy before he started publishing books and essays. His debut novel, published in 2012, was a bestseller in his home country; it was also turned into a movie and will hit the theaters in October 2018. Meyer’s latest book is entitled Trennt euch! (“Break up!”); it is a treatise for unhappy couples aiming to help them break up. We asked Meyer a couple of questions about the book and the writing life.

Do you believe in the one great love?

I don’t believe in the singularity of great love. But I also don’t believe that a great love equals a great relationship.

Your book aims to encourage couples to end their relationships. Why did you write it?

It encourages only unhappy couples to break up. I wrote it because I think most couples are unhappy and because I wanted to show them a way to end their suffering. And to understand the reasons why they entered an unhappy relationship. Read …