September 20, 2014
A startup for writers everywhere (now in private beta) BlankPage.io launched in October of last year and is hoping to make it easier for writers of all levels and areas to sit down and actually write without all the annoying distractions that come with it and hinder the ability to put thoughts down into words. This startup is aimed at every writer from bloggers to published authors and offers intuitive features such as constant backups to the cloud, export functions, the ability to create multiple outlines and reorder them, and daily word goals (manually set) to urge you to write.
The User Interface
The UI is about as simple as it comes, minimalism is obviously the key with this startup, here as you can see from the below screenshots anything that may distract the writer has been totally removed and only what is necessarily has been kept. As you can see from the top screenshot this will be the first page you see after logging in, a clean layout with only your word count per day on the top and your stories below that.
The bottom screenshot is the what you are presented with after selecting the story that you are working on, you have your story title, outlines which can be arranged in whatever fashion you like as well as the ability to create as many of those outlines as you would like! Just above that is the ability to export your work in either the DocX and TXT formats that are currently supported.
The Founder & History
I reached out to the startup founder (and developer!) Jesper Bylund on Twitter and he was kind enough to answer some questions I had for him pertaining to exactly how and why he started BlankPage as well as where he envisions it going in the future.
BlankPage was first launched as an early beta the last week of October 2013, it had already been in slow production for almost 6 months. I started out creating a tech demo to help a writer friend write more. And it grew from there. When Nanowrimo approached I realised I had half a product finished. So I sat down with the rest of Odd Alice (web agency extraordinaire) and we talked it over. We decided to launch fast just to try the idea.
BlankPage was originally created to help a friend of mine write more. He’s an excellent writer and used to do these intricate outlines of stories, but he never had the discipline to write them all out. After a few beers one weekend me and a another friends cobbled together a nice editing interface with a scratchpad and we gave it to him to see if it could help. I got my start as a game designer so I tried to find motivational tweaks that would help him go further. He ended up writing 2000 words in very short time. And I was completely smitten by the idea of creating a small, easy to use, app for aspiring writers to just reach further with less discipline necessary. Both friends have since moved on to other projects. So I have developed BlankPage almost completely on my own with some suggestions and design feedback by the team at Odd Alice, and that’s how we’re still developing it. I do almost all the work, Alex makes sure the design is tight, and TDH (as our only published author) makes sure it’s on track from a writers perspective.
I hope BlankPage can be a gateway service for aspiring authors, a service where people can start writing easily and end up with a novel or a book in just a few months. If they then move on to more complex tools, we’ll cheer them on and hope they’ll remember us fondly.
Last but not least BlankPage plans on having an open beta within the next month or so and during these beta phases all features and the service will be entirely free, however when they have their full release which is currently unknown but notice will be given a long time before, they will be charging a fee. A breakdown of the charges are as follows: $5 a month, $2 a week, or $50 a year (a 20% savings!)
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