Ulysses App Reviews

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Killer app for large documents and big projects

Ulysses is a killer app that I strongly recommend for specific users. In particular, I recommend this app for people who write complex document or for people who work on long projects. I am using Ulysses to write textbooks and to document projects that require months or years of time to complete. I have tried many programs for writing large documents and for organizing projects (indesign, frame maker, LaTeX, scrivener, evernote, word, pages, ….) and this is the best because it allows me to continuously organize my work and then to modify my organization scheme as needed. It is this feature of flexible organization that makes Ulysses such an outstanding program.

Fantastic App… but...

I have been personally using Ulysses since they first came out, and have found it nearly indispensable! However, the switch to the Subscription model hurts. I understand their reasoning, but as more and more apps roll out subscription based models, people like me, who have limited finances, will begin looking elsewhere or even settling for second best and eventually companies like this will begin to lose money. Keep up the good work on the app guys, but please rethink the subscription model.


Wait, you not only switched to a new SKU solely to implement a subscription model —but the non-subscription SKU is completely removed from the App Store? So I paid $49.99 for the original Ulysses, only to be completely abandoned?

Ruined my Writing Experience

I bought Ulysses a little over a year ago. In that time I wrote three screenplays, 2 stage plays and three fourths of a novel, as well as an untold nuumber of blog posts. It was, in short, the best writing experience I’ve ever had. And then… this… happened. As it stands right now, I’m actually terrified to use this app anymore. Nothing happens to me when I open it, where I used to jiust fly off and words would happen. Now I only think of what’s going to happen when my “free use” expires and I can’t afford to keep paying these people to use an app I payed $45 dollars for in the first place. I get. paranoid thinking of what’s going to happen when I don’t have the cash to renew my subscription, or when Apple updates macOS and the old version of the app no longer works. What then? A frantic search for an alternative? Borrowing money to work on projects? Writing everything somewhere else and spending more time moving to the app? Or just not working; let the ideas rot on the vine because I can’t pay to play? This is where I’m at, Ulysses. I’ve barely written a word in six months, and I largely blame you’re decision to place profits over users. Oh, and in case anyone is wondering, there really hasn’t been much in the way of signifigant improvement in the app to justify the continued expense.

disappointed at best, loved the app before not so much nowadays

After a trying different writing apps I finally decided to buy Ulysses (original version, one big payment for a complete program that was updated by the developers fixing small bugs). Exactly what I needed it. A simple friendly markdown editor app, free of distractions, that would help me to organize my work and complete my novels. I didn’t mind paying so much money, plus I liked it so much that I was going to buy the mobile app for my tablet. Then, that’s when the developers had the brilliant idea of making it a monthly subscripton (note the sarcasm). Promising previous users a lifetime discount for their previous purchase. So, depite my initial irritation I decided to give it a try and see if the lifetime discount was even worth my pain for an app, I like to use when I write. Still, I hardly use for a long periods of months during the year. As writing is not my full-time job. It seems like an idiocracy to have pay for a year subscription when 4 to 6 months of the year, the app isn’t used. Or to do a month to month subscription, and having to renew everytime I feel like writing. Indeed, $4.99 a month doesn’t seem like a lot of money, but it adds into $59.88 a year. Or I could just pay $40 for a year subscription. And within 3 years, I would end paying more than I did for the original version. I wouldn’t had mind paying for app updates, which it reasonable since the developers are working on improving the app. But month to month subscriptions is just a but too much. Another great program where making money is more important than their clients. Just like Adobe, went from buying an expensive software to month of month subscriptions. As if we didn’t have other bills to pay or student loans. But I guess, if you don’t mind paying on a monthly basis for a product you already own or you are a first time user, it won’t make a diferernce. The app itself is a great writing/editing application. But I’m not sure it’s worth the hazzle of having to renew a subscription every time inspiration knocks on my door.

There is nothing better

Ignore the cheapskates. Pricing is reasonable, the app is fantastic. There is nothing better for organizing your thoughts, outlining, organizing workspaces and groups, and creating your document all in one place. If you want a free writing app, go check out Google Docs. If you want a professional grade writing app for organizing and working through complex ideas, this is the one.

Once Again, Two Stars Forward, One Star Back. And Back Again.

UPDATE: Find still broke on iOS. Why am I reviewing it here? Because by asking us to pay a subscription for the whole, the whole should work. This is not yet the case. Still, this is a higher-rated review than I left on the iOS page. Minus another star for STILL wasting my time. PREVIOUSLY, ON Ulysses Review… I was coming here to update my review to 4-star because while they were messing around with the broken search in this app, I decided I best start looking for something to replace it. Well, after trying EVERYTHING else that there is in the world, I have to give these guys credit and say that Ulysses is the best at what it does — editing, multi-file, exporting. The only thing close is Scrivner, but I really don’t like how that app keeps getting in the way. I want capability & invisibility. So, to be fair, I decided to come back (after getting the subscription stuff dealt with) and bump my review up to 4 stars. Then I saw how the latest update of the iOS version broke…you guessed it…search. This would be laughable if only it wasn't a waste of my time and money. Is this what’s meant be frequent updates? Y’all are going to frequently break something and then come back to fix it? All those other apps? They’re not as good, but I can figure a way to get them to work. You’re trying my patience here.

Update 1/16/18: Happy New Year But Still Remains BUYER BEWARE: an unfair pricing scheme!

I purchased for full price Ulysses for both Mac (OS X) and iOS. Spent over $70. Now I am told I need to continue to pay $30 a year in order to use an app I already paid full price for. NOT FAIR! The developer keeps posting trivial updates in order to quash reviewers who are upset that they paid a lot of money and now are being asked to subscribe. Very unfair! Update: Soon after my review appeared another review appeared making the claim that we shouldn't expect to get quality apps for little or no money. What a joke. It's this sort of "review" that makes one suspect that there are shills writing some of the positive ones (so I guess it's possible that these are real customers that are just woefully uninformed or easily duped). I don't say the above this lightly. However, the whole bait and switch pricing scheme-model was really unfair and disturbing. I did NOT pay little or no money for both the Mac and the iOS versions of Ulysses. In fact, I shelled out about $70 for both apps! For that amount of money upfront, I expected to get a fairly long life of updates and the continued ability to use the app and all of my writing that is contained within it. Instead, I'm offered the joke of a 50% off lifetime subscription, which turns out to be really only a 25% reduction (corrected recently by the developer). What would've been closer to fair? Being grandfathered in for putting up so much money upfront. Or being offered one or two years of "free" use of the new Ulysses, and then a real life time reduction on subscription fees of 50% or 75%. It really should, for original purchasers, cost nothing more than $.99 a month or at most $1.99 a month. Update 10/14/17: looks like they’ve added some updates, but the above considerations all hold as far as I can tell. Disappointing. Moved to another platform. Update 10/17/17: trivial updates. All of the above applies. Update 12/22/17: Happy Holidays but still effectively abandonware for those like me who already shelled out about $70 for the total package just to be asked to pay an ongoing, lifetime monthly subscription! No thanks! Update 1/16/18: Happy New Year but no better. Total waste of about $70. Please perform your due diligence before “subscribing."

Love the App, Happy to Support the Subscription Model

Ulysses declutters the writing process by removing all the formatting distractions that you don’t even realize are distractions until they’re taken away. For me, this eases the process of writing and allows me to really get at the core of what I’m writing about, and craft how I want to express it. I wasn’t thrilled about the shift to the subscription model. After reading co-founder Max Seelemann’s very open explanation for why they’re making the switch, however, I’m convinced that the decision is not only the right move for the developers, but the right move for me as a devoted user of this exceptionally well realized and continually improving writing tool. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED and PROUDLY SUPPORTED

Nice editor, but app doesn’t recognize subscription renewals [FIXED]

Things I like about Ulysses: document management, markdown editing, iCloud sync. Things I don’t mind: paying $4.99/month. Devs gotta eat, too. One thing that’s really starting to annoy me: every month, the App Store reports that my subscription has auto-renewed; the credit card reports that I have paid $4.99; and the apps - all of them, across all my devices - report that my subscription has expired. It happened last month, it happened again this month. (No, the “restore purchases” link did not help. Thanks for asking!) Update: the January 2018 subscription renewal went off without a hitch. I don’t know who did what to make that happen, but thanks. Wish list: 1. Some kind of history mechanism, so I can get back that page I shouldn’t have tried to rewrite. 2. Some way to identify pages as “draft”, “needs editing”, “final”, etc.

Great app ruined by greed.

Perfect example of an awesome suite of apps/programs ruined by the allure of getting monthly paychecks. When we first used Ulysses and paid a huge premium for a “basic” markdown editor, our bond with the developer was that it was to be updated regularly and would work flawlessly moving forward. For a time, things were great. The moment the team realized they could adpot a monthly subscription method, older users were basically screwed out of their money (which at the time, was pretty substantial as we were banking on a simple program but were willing to pay the premium for the simplicity). Ulysses is great but not annual subscription great. We’re talking hundreds of dollars over a few years and the updates aren’t worth the added cost over a more traditional “buy it, own it” impementation. We were treated with a blog post excuse (sob story) as to why they felt entitled to it, but frankly, the math doesn’t add up. So sad to see this handled the way it was. Sales are down, reviews are down, and the program isn’t even being promoted as it was. 4.5 stars for funcitonality, zero for being greedy and taking advantage of your early adopters.

Tried it for two weeks but back again to iA Writer

The app is not bad, but I like the feel of iA Writer better, which is not subscription based. I played with it for two weeks but find $40 per year for just a markdown text editor way too much. The app was buggy when exporting my text to PDF.


I’m a professional writer and I love this simple interface. I’m happy to support this great program.

Another developer rip off

Paid full price for this app and the ipad and iphone version. Now this idiot developer wants me to pay a yearly fee. If people support this kind of rip off then every developer will start to do this. Come on people put your foot down and show these folks that this is not the way we want to do business.Everyone wants to make money I guess, but other companies have upgraded people who have purchased their product, not this developer. And updating the app to bury these reviews is just unprofessional.


Subscription-based apps are an instant delete. We’re customers, not cattle. If your product is good, then people will throw money at you for it, but they expect some ownership.

My Favorite Writing App

Excellent doc organisation and sync with iCloud and DropBox between Mac, iPhone and iPad Love that we can easily and seamlessly export to WordPress or PDF when I need a printout. The WordPress export is absolutely stunning (also from iOS), but hope they will add functionality to update WordPress articles that are already published directly from Ulysses. PDF and Docx stylesheets are quite advanced (CSS like) but it still leaves somethings to be desired … (Hint, hint;) Ulysses doesn’t have TOC or Markdown tables yet, still waiting for that … Love the editor, even though it’s not purely Markdown, I find it much simpler to use. The auto-backup is on by default and you might not even notice it until you need it. Restoring single sheets or whole projects (groups) is even simpler than from Time Machine. The quick open function is incredible easy to use and searches and finds text throughout the whole library or just your current project in a second. Don't think I've seen an easier and better search function in any other app. Ulysses also has an extensive set of x-callback-url commands both on iOS and Mac. I would say that Ulysses has the best user support I have exeperienced from any company. The library might look like a cryptic vault, but it's actually a regular filesystem with UUID as file and folder names.. Documnts are not saved in Markdown, but in in a very simple xml format not too difficult to parse if you are a geek. So, if you are concerned about future safe, it’s easy to copy projects to an external files folder and they get converted to vanilla Markdown on the fly. Or you may use a python script that converts the whole library or both iCloud and On My Mac libraries: (Look for it at github under "rovest/ulysses_snapshot") Bottom line: I switched from Scrivener to Ulysses about three years ago and never looked back. But if you don’t need the library for splitting and organizing documents (sheets), and you don’t need the advanced export withn stylesheets, Ulysses might be overkill. Then you can find a couple of other fine apps that would better fit the bill.

A Scivener convert!

I wrote my last book and many peices in Scrviner and it is a great program however I found syncing was weird. Ulyusses has the iPhone/iPad/Mac story down perfect. No app theyt make is a second class app. Each one works perfectly in sync just like the others. As I travel I find writing on my ipad or even scramming down lines of text on my phone to be almost too easy. My ability to write everywhere and anywhere has my word count up and that’s what really matters. Learning to lay out all your texts in Ulysses does feel weird at first coming from using other editors but after finding my own system it works very well. I also really like the approximation settings in the goals section. I’m not bothered by software by subscription, that seems to be most people’s sticking points in the reviews.

It took me years to find this perfect writing app

I have been a professional writer for 20 years. I created and wrote the animated show "Dr. Katz: Professional Therapist" for comedy central on a laptop in a bar, as I did with all the other animated shows I created. These days, writing comedy and musicals, I work at the same bar but now with an iPad. I can safely say that I have tried every single writing app available and have given to each one a really thorough try. Now, with Ulysses, I can stop looking and spend all of my time writing. Any serious writer who has lived with writing programs will find out very quickly that the Ulysses team is thoroughly committed to a powerful but simple work environment that gracefully renders anything from short documents to novels, scripts, everything. When I first read about it I was hesitant because there were several references to markup language and that sort of thing which has never interested me or been necessary for me. You can safely ignore your similar concerns, should you have them, because "Markup" simply refers to their way of formatting text. I look forward to writing every day (I never order a glass of wine till 5 PM) and those writing with me feel the same way. The synchronization is blazingly fast and reliable. I look at the Microsoft word app now with a shudder, and if I want to send a word document to someone, that is trivially easy to do within this App. I just love it.

Not really worth the cost of the subscription

I purchased Ulysses almost two years ago, before the subscription model was put in place. It was a pretty good app — a bit barebones — but I enjoyed using it. The problem, however, is that they are now forcing a subscription model on all users (and apparently they have removed existing users’ ability to redownload the older versions that we paid for), and quite frankly, it’s not worth paying a subscription for this particular app. There are better options for writing out there that are, in my opinion, more reasonably licensed and priced. I would accept having to pay again whenever noteworthy upgrades were released offering substantive improvements in features, usability, and bug fixes, but for an app that is pretty simple and doesn’t see a lot in the way of sweeping or major change, it’s pretty hard to justify paying any recurring fee in order to use it. Scrivener and Write (writeapp.co) are two preferable options that come to mind. To be clear, Ulysses is not a _bad_ word processor. It’s decent, but it has a poor monetization model. SaaS works and makes sense for some software, although this software is not one of those cases in my opinion. It’s worth trying out if you’re not opposed to paying a recurring fee to use a word processor as long as you try it alongside some of the various other options that are out there. It disappoints me to say it, but I’m not subscribing and I have found a replacement for Ulysses.

Works Excellently For Blog Posts and Longer Form

Acknowledgement — The transition to the subscription model was clumsy. Today, I paid to upgrade MindNode to version 5 because it is excellent. I subscribed to Ulysses because I appreciate markdown and the ability to send my completed posts directly to my website. And yes I used it before the subscription model. I probably will not pay to upgrade Scrivener because Ulysses works better for my current use. (Scrivener is excellent,) Ulysses’s library provides organization without getting in the way. A just right level to keep hundreds of files sorted. Typewriter and distraction free modes eliminate visual busyness. Like Scrivener, I can write in small chunks then arrange them in order. Or I can combine them into one document. No I don’t always upgrade to the new. Fantastical wanted a stiff upgrade price I declined. But Ulysses fits with how I work. I chose to subscribe.

Simply Amazing!

After much research, I found myself downloading this app for my Mac and my iPhone. The quality and features are amazing. I hadn’t had an issue with it until this morning. I was informed that my subscription had expired, while I had paid the day before. After an email to support, and a ridiculously fast turn around I had a solution and am back in working order. As a customer service manager, the quality of their service is through the roof. I expected a 24 hr turn around time, it was probably around an hour or less with a very detailed solution. This app is everything I ever wanted and more for my writing needs!!!

Great writing app for my purposes

I just started doing long-form writing, and in particular writing a novel. Although my file structure is not complex yet, having gone through the tutorials it seems like the app will grow with me and provide me with the structure I need going forward. I was actually weighing Ulysses against a few other writing apps and I simply could not get myself to spend $50 or more on some of these apps, sight unseen and without knowing if it works for my workflow. It was a coincidence that only a week later Ulysses switched to a subscription model - which I very much appreciate actually! It provides for perpetual updates and support, to a well-designed and thought out product. I’m a product designer as my day job and there are simply no other writing apps with this level of functionality and thought put into it. The competitors are either hyper-focused on doing only one thing, or if they’re in the same space as Ulysses they look like they were designed and engineered in 2001. To the company, it seems they could have avoided a lot of the unnecessary backlash by grandfathering the existing purchasers and using them to evangelize the product. There’s no way to get around how stupid of a product business decision this is. That their leadership would even sign off on it says a lot about the kind of people running this place. That greed has turned a great product into a 2.5 star app and has turned away God knows how many potential subscribers. All that aside, I do like the app, I appreciate the modern design aesthetic and the work that’s gone into it. I’m happy to pay the subscription as long as I’m using the app, and I really like the syncing across all my iOS devices. To any new writers considering this app, for $5 you really can’t go wrong. If you absolutely hate the app, the cost of switching to a competitor is low and you’re not stuck with some $60 app that makes Word look like it’s from the future.

Good Job

I paid 50 dollars for this app about two years ago, now I have to pay for it again every year. Good job.

Well, so much for that.

I was an early adopter of Ulysses. I wrote three books with it, plus scores of notes and project work. It was my go-to app for writing. I had a job change, along with some major life events, and I stopped using Ulysses for a short while. Fast forward to today, when I got a new laptop and decided one of the first apps to install was Ulysses. I was greeted with the App Store's numerous 1-star reviews and thought, “What is going on?” After reading the reviews, I downloaded the app anyway. I wanted to see this travesty for myself. Subscription-based revenue model. I paid $70 for the app when it premiered; it’s a great app but there are many other apps out there that are either cheaper for what Ulysses offers or apps that are comparable to the $70 price tag but offer way more features. Ulysses is definitely not worth any kind of subscription model. Which is why I promptly deleted the app. I would urge any writer who might be considering this app to look elsewhere. It is not worth the subscription price. No way, no how. Shame on you, Ulysses.

The subscription mode is robbing the old users

They forces all the previsou users to convert to the subscription mode. I’ve already paid $40+ dollars before and now why do I have to pay it month by month. BAD!

Feel like I’ve been robbed.

I purchased this at the end of April based on the reviews and awards that it has won. Because I’m so busy over the summer, I had little opportunity to play around with it. I do have a number of small projects that I wanted to work on this winter. Now my $25 has been flushed down the toilet. Alll of the sudden I need to pay a monthly fee to use an application that I purchased, really! If I was an author and made my living with writing it might be worth it. But a monthly fee for me is a waste of my money. Just another company trying to pull money out of my pocket every month, no thanks.

Dishonesty, dysfunction, and appalling tech support

I paid the full price for Ulysses a little over a year ago. I made the investment on the understanding that the product was durable and would last me a few years. The transition to a subscription model was annoying and I felt cheated at the time, especially since the app website gave conflicting information about how much the subscription would cost if you had previously paid full price. Two different figures were quoted for the discount on a subscription, and as it turned out, neither figure was correct, because there is no discount if you subscribe monthly. This was lazy at best, dishonest at worst. Without intending to, I subscribed at the full rate, which I have now been paying for three months. Except that last month, Ulysses charged me as usual, then informed me in a popup window that my subscription had expired and that I needed to re-subscribe to continue using the product. Since then, I have been in the most frustrating email dialogue with their customer support (there is no telephone number) which has not resolved the problem. Today customer support emailed me back, after I let them know that their attempted fix did not work, and in the email they suggested I try out Ulysses "for free for one month." Um..... What? First of all, I am already paying for the product, so I cannot use it for free without a refund. Second, that is not a technical solution to the problem. It is a transparent attempt to fob me off. Look, guys, I realise that you must be inundated with complaints by email, but this is really shabby. Please get your act together.

The best for longform writing

I am writing my entire dissertation in this app. It’s customizability and writing environment remains the best, in my view. That said, those who are writing nonfiction/academic stuff should know that this app will introduce a number of huge hassles to your workflow. For example, this is not the best environment to create and edit footnotes because the app basically hides them from view in a bubble that is far more suited for reading rather than writing/editing. It leaves a huge margin for error since you have to click on each footnote just to read it (and forget about search/replace in footnotes, thus making quick citation formatting an impossibility). Creating your own Markdown style to mitigate the issue only introduces new issues when it comes to exporting. And speaking of exporting, it is virtually impossible to create a professional-looking document from any of their built-in templates, since they have so many little spacing oddities. And the style exchange really isn’t much better since it’s highly customized for specific purposes. You’ll have to spend a lot of time with their CSS, learn pandoc, or simply export your stuff to Markdown and take it to a different Markdown app/script/service that handles exports better (pretty much most of them).

Don’t subscribe to this app

There is a trend of greedy app developers who produce a product and now try to copy what legitimate subscription service providers do and charge you a monthly fee. The difference is, they don’t provide a service like the real subscription service providers do: Evernote - uploads every file you add, performs text recognition on their servers, stores all your files on their servers, and gives you a web application to access your files. Dropbox - provides online storage of your files on their servers, a web interface that you can access your files on, and a sophisticated file sharing mechanism so you can securely distribute your files. Spotify and Netflix offer you access to a wealth of premium music and movies that they store on their servers and stream to you on demand. All these service providers have huge monthly costs to maintain their servers in the internet, provide you access, and recruit teams of 24/7 technical staff that keep things running. So it makes sense they pass the cost on to us as a service subscription. What ongoing service costs does this developer have to justify taking your money month after month? Not much. In fact they even expect you to have dropbox or iCloud subscriptions to pass files between your devices. If you buy a tool to create your own content with, then you should own that tool for life. In a year or two if the app developers are keeping on top of things they will produce an upgrade that you will be inspired to buy. If not, you still have your old, potentially outdated app to use as you see fit. But Ill only pay for a upgrade when I see that the new features are what I want and the best the market has to offer. I especially don’t want to be forced to pay monthly for a companies ongoing updates without knowing if they are what I need personally.

Best writing app

I like this app a lot. I’ve been using the various versions of Ulysses since v1, and used Scrivener extensively for several years. To me, Ulysses is the best app of this type. Simple, good sync, graceful design, all that stuff. Scrivener has some strong features but also feels a little cumbersome some times, where as Ulysses feels better for “start writing anything” moments. At the end of the day it’s a preference/comfort thing. I also used Daedalus and a variety of note-taking apps of various robustness. Ulysses, in the current single app for both iOS and macOS, is my favorite at the current time. The main issue driving reviews recently is the move from purchase to subscription, which is taking this app from 4+ stars to the current average. To me, it’s valid to include price in review, because that’s often the difference between relatively good products. Subscription products are exponentially more costly than non, however it also *should* guarantee the software going forward. Whether that happens is dependent on the developwers, the product, the user base, etc. I’d like to beleive, given their history, that Ulysses developers are behind this app. For that, to me, they get at least a year of subscription pricing before I can actively review whether the transition is “worth it”. So I’m on board, and like every bundle, like every purchase, like every piece of software or hardware I use, I’ll review that usage later and see if it’s still a good deal. I’m optimistic.

Might be for you if...

… you love markdown and don’t mind continually paying for the same feature set. There are lot’s of Ulysses fanboys clamoring to give it five stars, but honestly, this app isn’t that special. I don’t see it. I do understand why it has gotten so many one stars--just read the blogs about what happened to their existing customers when they switched over to subscription. But my low review isn’t because of that. The app has a basic minimal feature set for a premium price: a you pay forever for it like it were a service. That’s silly. Plus the transition to subscription has resulted in nothing but instability and bugs. What was a basic but solid little app is now an expensive irritation. There are better apps out there that you can simply buy--I’ve bought most of them. The one I ended up using is far more powerful for long writing, and I use another now for markdown blogging. Problem solved, no ongoing payments required so that I can keep access to my writing life.


SnippetsLab is ten bucks to own and does almost everything that this app does.

It’s expensive now and the price may go up without warning or they may simply disable it

I bought the original version which has was good but it was suddenly replaced with a nag-ware version that keeps stopping me to persuade me to buy the new version and re-pay for it every year. I was hoping that they may have acquiesced by now but don’t seem to have. I’ve gone back to Scrivener and I forgot why I switched in the first place! Just be aware that, as a subscription model, the price may go up without new features being added - you’re not in control.

Not just the best writing app, the best app

I’ve been using “word processing” software for 35 year of academic and professional writing, and Ulysses is the without peer as the cleanest, most well thought out, and most useful software I’ve ever had the pleasure of using. It is not a hipster “minimalist” writing app, although it can look that way at first, but a powerful, multi-faceted writing tool and an effective, if basic, content management system. If most of your prior writing experience is with Word and similar programs, there is a learning curve at first, because Ulysses was designed from the ground up—or perhaps it is better to say, from the writer out. But if you care about your writing, and the tools you use to create it, I urge you to try Ulysses, learn how its customization features work, learn some basic Markdown, and see what you think. Among other strengths, it builds on Markdown with additional tools to allow for sophisticated and highly customizable commenting and formatting. You can mark-up a document extensively, using whatever custom set of commenting styles you wish, and then choose with a single drop down a variety of output options. You can modify text formatting in a variety of ways suitable for online publishing, simpler printing, or for a robust initial submission into a full-scale production tool. I was initially wary of its “library” content management function, thinking I could do better with Finder folders, but over time, I’ve migrated just about all my written work into the library, as I built it out to suit my needs. As with the rest of the app, the more you use it, the more you understand how to use it to its full potential. The iOS app is amazing—full-featured, essentialy the same but with smart tweaks—and the sync has been flawless for me. There are certainly limits to the apps feature-set, but they are not likely to be an issue for the vast majority of writers. It isn’t enterprise software, for example—it’s version management is limited, I don’t believe it has any multi-author functions. So it likely is not be suitable for a highly collaborative environment. It has basic footnoting and citation capabilities, but not full-fledged authority management. It has basic functions for collecting research and related files, but is not a file management system, or something like Scrivener. Pair it with Michael Tsai’s outstanding EagleFiler, however, and you have the best of both worlds. I will add that the feature set has expanded graudally and thoughtfully, and the developer has been responsive to my occasional emails—try that with MSFT! As far as the subscription model goes, it is plainly the future of software, considering the dynamic nature of underlying OSes, and while I thought the developer did not handle the communications aspect of the transition well (it was rather abrupt) the economics were fair. If you write for a living, if writing is important to you, isn’t it worth a few dollars a month to have the best tool for the job?

Absolutely Indispensable

Ulysses has been a part of my daily work for years, both on my Mac and iOS devices. I had also used many other writing apps along the way for the reasons: 1) I thought some features they offer would be beneficial; and 2) Going all in with Ulysses made my Library rather cluttered. So I assigned different apps for different tasks to get the optimum environment to work, and that worked well for awhile. I think that this scheme can still work, but it is still a complicated way to work. After giving some serious thought, I remembered Ulysses. I remembered that this is the one app that can handle everything I need. So I decided to experiment by using only Ulysses. And I am happier than ever. It does everything I need, and it does so better than anything I have tried. All the features it offers are useful and meaningful, while the ones that are not on offer, as far as I can think of, turned out to be non-consequential. As for Library, since I now have far more projects to work on than ever before, the ability to oversee the progress of everything at one glance is indispensable. I just gave more thought into how to manage it. I uninstalled all other writing apps. I am all in, and I am finally happy. Lastly, I would like to speak of the subscription model. I understand that many are upset about the change, but personally, I am relieved and happy about the decision taken by Soulmen. I have seen many apps abandoned on course of many years. I have been concerned about the shift in the economics of software market. Implementing subscription model means the developers’ commitment for quality and sustainable evolution of apps. While I did terminate subscriptions to some apps I no longer find that useful, for the app as indispensable as Ulysses, I am glad to be a subscriber.

At least they gave me four months to copy my work out of it.

Not down with the subscription model. Thanks for taking my money and walking away.

Worth every penny

I use this for all my writing now. Ulysses exports into any format I want. I use it for novels, short stories, blogs, class work, work work, and etc. Having everything I need synced on iCloud is perfect for those times I have an idea and all I have is my iPhone. I’m glad they went to a subscription model. It means that I get more features and more bug fixes and they won’t go out of business, and this is an app that is worth it. This isn’t a “pay us $99/year to get rid of ads” app, this is a “subscribe for a reasonable amount to get a top-notch experience."

The old bait and switch

What more is there to say? For previous users who had already paid, this is a total scam. For new users, if you want to pay $40 a year for a bare bones writing app, then that's your call. I personally do not think this app is worth $40 a year.

Why is this a subsription app now?

Another greedy app developer.

Customers who bought the App are now being charged again and again

I paid 45 USD for this app less than a year ago, now I am supposed to pay 30 USD (after deducting the 25% lifetime discount) every year for it? Changing the business model like that is like a slap in the face of customers, who purchased it on false premises. This kind of behavior should be regulated by the App Store. I am very upset about this. The new (subscription) version doesn’t even come with any ground-breaking new features, let alone ANY new features. It is literally the same with the exception that Ulysses GmbH & Co KG now wants to charge you for it every year. Shame on you!

Subscription model is a poor substitute for functionality

I’ve been using Ulysses for several years and it’s currently my go-to word processor, although this will probably change soon. Ulysses is a great idea — allow writers to write plain text with markdown (which is all writers mostly need) and then produce beautiful documents by rendering HTML from the markdown and use CSS to make beautiful end-results. Wrap this all up in solid document management, search, and tools to facilitate export to ePub, PDF, etc. The problem is that this feature set has pretty much been in place for five years, and extra stuff has been slow to materialize. E.g. a large minority of writers need tables all the time and a majority need them some of the time. Good luck working with tables in Ulysses. Images are an obvious workaround, at least for small tables. The new version of Ulysses offers the ability to preview inline images but that’s it. E.g. you can’t search or browse images or manage them in any useful way. It’s worth noting that if you just want to word-process in markdown you can use MacDown which is free and open source, or Mou (in the App Store) which is cheap. Ulysses’s document management features are nice, and the ability to drag-and-drop images into a document is nice, but iCloud gives you the document management stuff anyway and the lack of decent image management features in Ulysses undercuts its convenience. Ulysses is a fine app. It was never especially cheap for what it was, and even at the discount ($30/year for people who bought it before) it’s pretty hard to justify using it over, say, Pages.

I would have paid…if it had been discussed with users (updated)

I have purchased this application since its initial offering, and although it has never been able to handle my actual writing workflow due to what appeared to be a simple oversight on the part of the developers, I had continued purchasing new releases and requesting the fix that would have allowed me to use Ulysses so much more. It was easy to forgive the lack of a basic, but necessarily required feature, since I could still use the application for other writing even if I didn’t upgrade to the latest version when it was released (since what I required has never been fixed). This measure of control also made it easy to recommend Ulysses to the thousands of people I train every year. However, since the devs couldn’t be bothered to even discuss options with its userbase before moving to a subscription system by claiming it was the “only” way to maintain a consistent flow of revenue, well, I guess I simply can’t be bothered to pay into a system that feels the need to ignore the possible input of a userbase it purports to serve. So the devs haven’t fixed a basic piece of funcationality since the very beginning that has been requested repeatedly and they now want people to “trust” they will get their money’s worth enough to keep paying according to the dev’s schedule instead of facing the broken functionality when they don’t pay up. I think I’ll just skip the whole thing and use something else that doesn’t treat its userbase like a thoughtless, brainless ATM.

Double charge! Apple cannot help

I initially purchased Ulysses a couple of months back and paid 45 dlls for the app. Literally days later, the app changes to a subscription model. But atleast I would get some “free” months and a lifetime discount. Today I tried to download the app for my iphone. Before opening it, I had to choose the type of subscription I would like to have after my current subscription ended in July 2018. I chose the annual subscription. To my surprise, I was immediatetly charged 40 dlls for a one year subscription thats starts immediately. So, this app has now cost me 85 dlls for 1 year use. Ulysses says all payments are processed through Apple. Apple says it cannot process my request for a refund. Dissapointed.

Ulysses is a smart hybrid of Scrivener, Evernote and IA Writer

What I like about Ulysses is that it’s got some of the powerful export and writer-oriented features like Scrivener, a cloud-synced organizable notebook library like Evernote, and a minimalist editor and Markdown features like IA Writer. Somehow, with these powers combined, I actually get some writing done. ## Pros: * New sheets don’t have to be individually saved—they are autosaved and added to your current notebook or inbox * Minimal interface with extended Markdown support like footnotes and comments * Highly-customizable folder groups and filters to organize sheets to your workflow * Searchable tagging support * Lots of options to help edit and review work, including special editing Markdown marks, and combining and splitting sheets * Character or word-goal tracking (great for personal goals or writing events like NanoWriMo) * Several export options: Text, PDF, HTML, Word, publish to blog, or even combining sheets into EPub books (best EPub export after Gitbook and Scrivener) * Many export styles, including Manuscripts and Academic papers, and more available from a community library * Dark mode and typwriter mode!! ## Cons: * iCloud is the only sync service that gives all of the nice notebook features like tagging, goals, and not having to treat each sheet like a named file. (Dropbox and Google Drive have been requested and vetoed by the developers due to constraints in the Apple-device ecosystem.) Not a dealbreaker, since text documents are small enough not to require me to upgrade to a paid iCloud account. * Would prefer optional versioned paid upgrades every 2-3 years (like OmniGroup software) to a subscription ## A note on the payment structure I, too, felt burned when my one-time-price Ulysses suddenly became obscelete software and replaced with a subscription. It should have been communicated much differently. Ever since I received the dreaded pop-up on my Ulyssess, I took a good hard look at other options, including Scrivener, Evernote, Gitbook, and my next-favorite Markdown editor, IA Writer, all of which I own. When I look at how much I’ve used these different pieces of software for actual creative writing and journaling, Ulysses won out. Its particular balance of non-distracting minimal interface and power-user features keeps me from getting too distracted by the software itself. Just looking at the facts, I've actually done more good writing in Ulysses than the other apps I mention. That may change when Scrivener 3 comes out, but for now, it’s worth it for me to move to the subscription. The previous-user discount is acceptable to me at $2.50/month (paid annually). I’m not saying that this will work for everyone. Each will have to make their own assessment. I don’t condone the way that the subscription was rolled out, but I understand why it was done. I do use Ulysses, and I want them to be able to support it into the foreseeable future, especially since new OS upgrades tend to break older software.

Deceptive Company - AVOID

A few months ago I purchased both the Mac and iOS versions of Ulysses. One of the key reasons I chose Ulysses is because they didn’t use the scammy “subscription” model to get users to re-pay for software every year. Now they switch to that model, after taking my money for a product I had bought forever. If the people behind Ulysses were ethical, existing users would either be offered a refund or a FREE subscription, since that was the deal under which they sold us software. What was offered was to pay them annually for software I’ve already paid them in full for. Unless this policy changes, AVOID THIS COMPANY and every product it sells. No telling how they’ll be trying to scam you next.

Great app, not worth it.

I think Ulysses is an amazing app, useful, versatile, functional. It has been my go-to editor for general writing. I originally wrote a negative review about the subscription changeover, which was turbulent. However, the transition to the newer app has much improved and the credit process for current owners has been clarified and updated; the offer is fair and for the most part so is the subscription price. For me. I understand it might not be acceptable for everyone. It is important to know that keeping a large base of documents locks you into Ulysses’s database format, and batch-exporting those documents (to text files, say) is not enabled, so there’s a lock-in to the product. That’s partly why so there’s so much upset from long-time users. It’s an unfortunate choice, so less than 5 stars. Otherwise it’s the best and most thoughtful of the general-purpose writing apps.


Free in App store, subscription mode or 14 days trial.

From one-time $44.99 to annual $39.99???

I purchased this app a year ago for a one-time payment of $44.99. That’s a lot of money for a minimalist text editor, but I chose Ulysses over another app because the other app had a subscription payment model and Ulysses had a one-time, up-front payment. Now, Ulyssess has gone to a subscription model, too. They want $39.99 annually. That’s almost as much as I paid for the app to begin with, and they want me to pay it to them every year! I don’t like subscription models because they give every app on my computer a direct vacuum hose into my wallet. I bought Ulyssess specifically because it wasn’t a subscription app. But now that I’ve invested a lot of time with the app and created a lot of content in it, they switched their payment model. And I’m kind of stuck with it because it’s hard for me to switch out. It’s a little too close to extortion to be friendly. And the price is just galling. True, I get a 25% discount and a couple of free months for having purchased the app previously. But $39.99 annually? Who do they think they are, Microsoft? By comparison, Bear, another excellent text editor, is $14.99 annually. If you’re considering Ulysses, check out Bear first. It doesn’t have all of Ulysses' output options (yet) but It does do some things better than Ulysses — like outlining — and it’s a fraction of the price. Finally, I’m a little skeptical of some of the five-star reviews that have been posted for this app. I know there are people who like the app and who feel that the price is fair. But some of these reviews don’t sound genuine. They sound a little too polished, a little too eager to point out what a great value the app is, how it saves time, how other apps just don't measure up, and yada yada. Each review seems to point out how a different feature of the app makes your life easier, as though they were written by a marketing team instead of real users. Apple should look into this. It’s a problem on other platforms; I’d wouldn’t be surprised if it's a problem here, too.

If you create value by writing, this is the most valuable app of all.

I’ve been a longtime user of Ulysses. It’s integrated into my total workflow—from phone to tablet to laptop. It is thoughtful: backup systems that ‘just work,’ with incredible care and detail to ensure that happens. Its search systems are effective, and the sheets method of handling text innovative and productive. I highly recommend it.

Poor quality; deceptive

If you’re wondreing if this app is actually any good: just look how the deveoper advances the version number simply in order to cover up poor reviews of previous versions! Basically, this word processor offers similar features as IA Writer, Focused, ByWord, Scrivier (which have much better UI and feature set), except Ulysses has a more-expensive subscription model whose terms become more expensive after you sign up.

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