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3 Simple, Distraction-Free Writing Tools

3 minute read

Chrome Blue

As the adage goes: Less is more. Here are three simple, no-frills tools that let you write right from within Chrome, but take note: They are pared down so you can really focus on writing.

Writer, aka “the internet typewriter”

  • Search in the Chrome Web Store for Writer, and then click “Add to Chrome” to install it. You’ll need to access it with your Google account and then give it permission to access that account.
  • Now you’ve got a distraction-free, really cool retro interface for writing from right within your Chrome browser. (For all the gamers out there: The interface reminds us of the early text-based adventure games from the 80s, like Colossal Cave Adventure… yes?)


  • Saving files is easy because the program does it automatically, but you can also click on the disk icon at the bottom of the screen to save your work, and then access your saved files by clicking the hamburger menu (the icon with three horizontal lines).
  • You also have the option to export your files as a txt file, a PDF, or a few other options.


  • Another really cool feature is that you can set a daily goal for your writing. For example, if you set your goal to 1,000 words, the app will track you as you write, helping keep you accountable and on track for your goals. There are even more features available with the paid Pro version, so if you really like this app, that might be worth exploring as well.



Litewrite: “Unobtrusive writing”

  • Search in the Chrome Web Store for Litewrite, and then click “Add to Chrome” to install it.
  • This is a similar writing app to Writer, but it’s more of a note-taking tool. We Iike the very modern, clean interface.


  • You can start a new note by clicking on the plus icon up at the top, and as soon as you start the note, it will give it a heading in the left-hand column, which you can later use to navigate between them.
  • One very cool and unique feature is the ability to specify your own storage with your notes so that you are truly in control over your own data. 



Papier: “Open a new tab and trap your best thoughts”

  • Search in the Chrome Web Store for Papier, and then click “Add to Chrome” to install it. Because this is an extension rather than an app, once it’s installed, you’ll notice its icon up in the extension toolbar. Click on it to open it. 
  • If a sudden flash of brilliance hits you and you want to “trap your best thoughts,” all you have to do is open a new tab in Chrome, and then type into the blank screen. Your text is backed up directly to Chrome, so you don’t need to create any accounts or sync anything.


  • The beauty of this extension is that you can jot down your thoughts, and when you return, your notes are still there. You can continue right where you left off. Just open another new tab and you’re ready to continue writing.


  • You can use the menu down at the bottom to print or adjust the formatting of your notes, and you can follow a running word count in the lower right-hand corner.


Click here to watch this video on YouTube.

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