Index Card App for iPad: Featured Writing App of the Moment

I have been searching for the perfect writing app on my iPad right from the beginning. I was looking for something that would mimic the way I like to write on my MacBook. Basically, pretty much the way I like using Scrivener.

Unfortunately, when the iPad first launched, the folks behind Scrivener said that they won't be releasing an iPad version.* So, my hunt for the perfect writing app had been really tough. I tried several apps for writers - Writers app, Novel 30, and many others that never fully fit the bill. The closest I could get was just a combination of using the Notebooks for iPad app and Pages.

Early this year, however, I finally found the Index Card App.

What's so great about the Index Card App?

Out of all the writing apps that I have tried, this is the one that I found most useful with the way I write. I like being able to map out a novel, nonfiction manuscript, script, short story, or article using the index card writing method (partly thanks to a series of writing workshops I attended). That's one of the reasons I fell in love with Scrivener.

And, since the Index Card app has some function that enables projects to be synchronised with Scrivener, this makes this app quite a good tool to have. Unfortunately, I found that this sync option is only easily integrated if a project is started using Scrivener. I haven't found an easy way to import/export projects started using the Index Card app in to Scrivener, unless it's just using a compiled text version.

Other cool stuff I like about this app:

  • Export projects as RTF, plain text, or PDF document
  • Email or send to Dropbox
  • Choose which index cards will be included in the compiled version
  • Make notes 'behind' the index cards
  • Drag and drop cards
  • Colour coding the cards, with ability to label each either using default settings or settings per project
  • Stacking of index cards within projects
  • Word and character count within individual cards
  • Reasonable price (AU $5.49)

My Wish List for the Index Card App

Unfortunately, this is not yet a perfect writing app. There are a few things that I wish it would include in future updates such as:

- Being able to sync projects more seamlessly in to Scrivener, especially in its index card format.

- The RTF version of the compiled document should work better, as at the moment, I seem to be unable to open it from the Index Card app in to other apps like Pages.

- The ability to format text within index cards (eg, bold, italics, etc).

- Option to have total word count in stacks, complete projects, selected stacks, etc.

- The ability to add images and such in notes.

- More flexibility on how index cards are compiled.


Regardless of its limitations, I find the Index Card App to be one of my most useful writing apps available on the iPad. I'm currently using it to draft and track some of my writing projects.

At the moment, I find this as a useful tool to use for my works in progress. However, I still see using something else like Scrivener (on the Macbook) or Pages (on iPad) to format and finish off my writing projects.

So yes, for me, this is a keeper writing app. At least, until I find something better. 🙂

Get the Index Card App from the iTunes store.

* Note: A few weeks ago, I read that Scrivener is now developing an iPad app. I'm not sure when the release would be.

About the Author Shai Coggins

Shai has been managing and blogging here at ShaiCoggins.com for 17 years. Here, she writes about creativity, productivity, and how to recharge for a better, happier lifestyle. She is the author of Today: Life Journal, Colour Bliss: Kaleidoscopes, and a little known children's book. A serial entrepreneur, Shai also currently runs Vervely.com, a boutique digital media agency offering online content, community, and conversion marketing services. Her blogging experience and digital work have been featured in various media, including being listed in Fast Company's "Most Influential Women in Technology" list. Originally from Manila, Shai lived in Singapore and the USA before moving to Australia with her British husband. They have two children, a pet bunny, and a rambunctious rescue Labrador.

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