Writing & Note apps

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WheelieBoot

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LG phones, Motorola, ZTE, occasional Alcatel
I write daily using my Android phones and am in the process of testing apps that may work offline without WiFi until sharing is needed, and that can save files to the device but be shared to other locations, like Google Drive. I also like to pick apps with no data sharing and minimal data collecting.

Here are some Google Play apps that I've found and wanted to share in case anyone would like to try them.

Notes in folders-- Tobias Schiek
No data collected or shared
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.softwareschiek.noteful

Text Note to PDF Export
Tweenti Corp
LOTS of ads including noisy full screen videos. When I switched WiFi off, the app still worked but NO ads.
Can create notes or docs and convert to PDF, share/save files. Can't edit the pdf files once created. The editor has italics, bold, text align including center, justify. There are a number of different fonts.
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.ttxt.texttopdf

Writer Journal -- Novel, Note
Pocket app
No data collected or shared
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.lightweight.WordCounter.free

Writer Lite: Novel/Note/Editor
OneLiteCore
No data shared; may collect app info & performance.
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=core.writer

ReadEra -- book reader pdf epub
READERA LLC
No data shared; may collect app activity, info, and performance.
Converts files to eBook reading format; has text to speech feature.
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=org.readera


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I use SimpleNote for freeform jotting.

DynaList for structured hierarchies (moved over from Workflowy)

StandardNotes when encryption is needed.
 
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More Google Play apps for writers:

Moon Writer
Termina Code
Collects no data, shares no data
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.mwriter.moonwriter

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Pure Writer -- Writing and Notes
Drakeet, Inc
No data collected, no data shared
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.drakeet.purewriter

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TextMaker: Word Processor
SoftMaker Software GmbH
No data shared; may collect app info & performance
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=softmaker.applications.office.textmaker

----------------------------------------

I haven't used them enough to comment on performance, but the links are there for anyone who wants a word editor for hobby writing that works on Android phones. They may or may not work very well depending on the device or Android version.

The best rule is to test it with something generic so if the doc scroodles up, you haven't lost anything.

I like doc editors that allow creation of folders, that let me share or save to Google Drive, and that autosave as I work.

Some doc creation or notepad apps that auto save don't have an obvious place on the phone where the backups exist. I assume they save to the app's system files.

I've had some that despite allowing the creation of a backup or home folder, the saved files never appear there.

The safe thing to do is to check where the files are saving. Also, go into settings and make sure autosave and backup are enabled.

I can save docs in notepad apps without auto save by copying them (Select all, copy) and pasting them in elsewhere in case the app crashes.

I use Google Docs as primary processor, saving to Drive. I can download the files as pdf format to save to my phone SD cards.

Docs works for complex files with a lot of font upsizing, downsizing or other changes. It allows docs to be created in portrait or landscape and with different paper sizes if to be printed. The docs can have a variety of background colors that save to pdf, but not sure if you print those that it will sump your ink cartridges printing them.

With the simpler doc creation apps listed in this thread, I intend those for less complex files, such as a short stories, chapterized long stories or books that require occasional text centering, italics, bolding, or underline without font style changes. Those simple editors usually don't allow multiple font sizes or styles within a doc, or may even allow only one font size/style for all docs.

I initially test the apps by pasting in text from a pdf I've created on Google Docs, just to see how big the file can be. Usually the sentence formatting has to be redone, and on some it doesn't remain formatted if I save and reopen the file later. It might be better if the doc is created within the app rather than pasted from elsewhere.

I share the files to Drive, and usually have to reformat if I want to work in it in Docs.

If an app is spamming with ads, if it will function offline without WiFi or data connection, the ads may stop.

I prefer writing apps that have italics, bold, underline, text alignment, font sizing and at least a few font choices, but some don't have some of these with the free version.

For preset indention I use a Google Play keyboard app that has it as a feature, NextApp Technical Keyboard. It way speeds up moving the cursor to another spot on the screen instead of dabbing the spacebar. The app can be used on tablets too. It provides navigation features such as up, down, left, right, up & down page, etc. And, it works with Google Voice To Text.

I've tried MS Word, which has its own cloud storage, but I'm used to Google Docs. The files created within the two processors aren't necessarily cross compatible.

The smallest font on the free version of Word I've tried is 8 point, but Google Docs allows down to 1-2 point. Word has a MUCH larger library of fonts. However, Docs has a good range of different types that suit my needs.

Word has a free trial period, afterwards 6.99/month. Google Docs doesn't have a paid version, but Drive does have paid storage after the free max is reached. I think it's 15gb.

There are Google Play store apps for self publishing sites where writers can put their work up for others to read, but I haven't tried the apps. WattPad was recommended, but there are others. I long ago created some free websites where a few pieces of my written work was posted, but haven't posted to them in years.

A good rule is to back up all of your work even if you have your work on a website. I lost a part two of a story from a website, it was just gone. Unfortunately the hard copy of the story was lost when I moved, along with some of my older computer disk saved/hard copied works.

One issue I have with publicly posting my work is that trolls or spammers may attack on technicalities, subject matter, or how the characters were handled. SO, if I ever get back to posting my work, it will be by invitation only, not to the general public.

That's something most creative writers may want to consider, is to reserve their work to "privy invite only."

I began writing in the 1970's, with most of my stories begun in the 80's. I rewrite and update them, but the more complex they get, there's no chance of finishing the worst of the lot before I die.

One thing I've done is to create a fictitious genealogy that includes all of my story characters. It's a character and story idea generator. It tracks current characters, and characters in stories that no longer exist (lost). The ideas written in the geneo pages are a way of storing ideas for later development.

I miss being able to write by hand because I could illustrate the pages. Now I can only write with a finger tapping a cellphone sized keypad, and can no longer hold a pencil to draw. That's why I seek apps for writing on a phone.

I hope the info I've posted here helps anyone who loves to write.

A person who loves a thing and isn't paid to do it is an amator.







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I use SimpleNote for freeform jotting.

DynaList for structured hierarchies (moved over from Workflowy)

StandardNotes when encryption is needed.
I didn't intend to bury your post between my thick stacks.

Thank you for adding what you use. You might add links to where they can be found.

I found Dyna List but it said it's for an older version of Android, which may appeal to people who use older devices.



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Thank you for posting the links. I visited each and the apps look very "sophisticated," as in, they have some advanced features for serious writing projects, not just the average note.



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I installed the free version of Standard Notes from Google Play store. After creating the account, I created my first note by pasting a 4 page text pdf document into it and cleaning it up to fit the format.

During the editing process, it popped a message saying there was a conflict. I checked to see what, and it said there was more than one version and asked which to destroy or which to keep. I ignored it and went on writing.

After it was complete, I saved the doc and closed it to see what it looked like on the list of notes. The menu options included star, pin to top, share, export, duplicate, spell check toggle.

I shared it to Google Drive storage, and export sent a copy to my phone's download folder.

At the bottom of the menu it had the analytics on the doc.
1981 words · 10587 characters · 41 paragraphs
Read time: 10 minutes
Last modified:
etc.

The free editor is basic plain text only, no formatting choices, but it seems clean and straight forward. I like the share & export functions.

I need to install it on another phone to test its synch ability between devices. The app page said no limit on number of devices. I am supposing that applies to the free version too.

The paid version begins at $90/year, ouch, but it has more rich format features.

It looks intriguing.

The synchronization across devices could be the first writing app I've used that does that (aside from Google Docs/Drive or MS Word).

It isn't just a notepad jotter. It looks like real writing can be done with this. It will take further testing to see how long each doc can be.

However, any app that synchs between devices and requires login is connected online, and must therefore be non functional if WiFi or data is disconnected. I haven't tested to see what that does yet....

Thank you for sharing this app so we could try it!





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I installed the Standard Notes app on my 2021 Moto Play and second on my Moto g7 Power.

I can access all menu features on the first phone. I can write and synch notes on both phones.

However, I can only export or download notes from the first phone. The note menus will not pull up on the Power.

I can change the font sizing, line spacing, etc under general settings on the Power. However the " ... " and three lines options at top of the notes don't respond to touch to open their menus on the Power.

An interesting feature, I'm able to edit the Standard Note files I exported to the Play's downloads folder. I can actually edit them IN the downloads folder. I can also send them up to Google Drive and convert/edit them there as a Docs document.

I downloaded them to the Power from Drive after editing one of them with Docs, and the Docs pdf couldn't be edited in the Download folder. However, the one still in Standard Note format was able to be edited in the Power's download folder.

I really like the app, but if the notes can only be exported/shared from the first phone the app was installed on, it limits the usefulness of the app. However, the synch feature does allow the notes to update and edit on all devices with the app installed. VERY useful.

I'll install it on my other devices and see what happens.

Thank you again for posting info on the apps.





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Found a few more notepads and word processing apps. I haven't used them yet but installed them on my phones for testing:

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Wordpad Plus: Text Processor
Griffin Developer Labs
No data shared or collected
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=word.text.editor.wordpad

Comments: The text resizing is slide switch and seems to go from 8 to 16 to 24. The notepad does have some good rich text formatting. Center, align left or right, bold, italics, to name a few.

I can save to downloads as pdf or text format. I can share to drive. The text format save to downloads can be edited.

It has simple stats, # of words, characters, sentences.

It does have some ads; nothing too annoying yet.

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WordPad Textnote
Qwabber
No data collected or shared
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.qwabber.wordpadtextnote

Comment: It's very basic but it allows font resizing, and may have some promise as a jotpad editor. When I save to the downloads folder, I can still edit the file in downloads. I can share the files to Google Drive.

The ads so far seem low key, small banners at the bottom of the screen.

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Edit Text Files TXT File Maker
Kaveri Tyagi
No data collected but says it may share location, device or other IDs for advertising/marketing purposes
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.OneLife2Care.NotepadClassic

I usually don't install apps that say they harvest or share data, but this one looks good. It has some rich text editing features.

It has font resizing, font choices, text alignment, bold, italics, line spacing adjustment, choice of where to save the files. However, alignment and rich format applies to the entire doc. If I change from normal to bold or italics, the whole doc changes to it. If I want to center a line, the whole doc center aligns. That's the only major problem so far.
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I worked with Moon Writer for a few hours today, testing with and without WiFi connected.

I was able to edit a long text file I pasted in from a Google Docs pdf, WiFi off the whole time. I could share/save it to an internal storage folder on my phone. I could only share it to Drive after connecting WiFi. The shared/save formats weren't in the Moon Writer format, they were plain text without formatting.

Moon Writer created a folder on my phone under main storage and auto saved my files there. I can save the files there or elsewhere by choosing share and then file directory.

Moon Writer has some good features for casual writers. It allows choice of fonts and font sizing for creating files, but that applies to all files not for each doc. They can only be seen in that format from within the app. Elsewhere, plain text without formatting.

It has bold, italic, & underline on the toolbar, but the text doesn't appear that way when those are selected, it just highlights the text with asterisks. Maybe the paid version offered the preview of the doc with italics etc.

I just wanted to see if it could be used offline. I can convert to Google Docs and reformat them there later.


Moon Writer
Termina Code
Collects no data, shares no data

https://play.google.com/store/...ails?id=com.mwriter.moonwriter

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I've never paid for any.

Standard Notes advantage over Simplenote is **only** the encryption AFAICT.

It has a BIG disadvantage with large docs, in not highlighting FTS results after opening the file. And Tagging support is not there either.

For formatting use Markdown syntax regardless of app, plaintext is fine.

All of these apps are 100% fine while disconnected. Just get back to online before starting to edit the same file on another device.

Use a "diff utility" app or website to resolve sync conflicts.

Note that full monitor / keyboard not just with DeX and other phones / tablet's "PC Mode" but sharing with PC, Windoze and Mac
 
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I've been trying some of the editors I posted to this thread and have eliminated one already:

Classic Notepad

Kaveri Tyagi

No data collected but says it may share location, device or other IDs for advertising/marketing purposes

https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.OneLife2Care.NotepadClassic

I tried Classic Notepad on several devices and deleted it.

The app was lagging VERY badly while typing to the point where I couldn't read what I was writing. It sometimes worked but slowly, then reverted to lagging again.

Also, the ads were annoying. It didn't pop ads while writing but it did between actions. I turned off WiFi and it still presented ads.

The processor in and of itself is appealing, the toolbars easy to understand. It has a number of fonts to choose from and they're easily resized.

The editor has optional word wrap. It has text alignment, bold, italics, underline, and strike through. It allows save and share to a number of user-defined locations.

However, the format features apply to the entire document. It's not possible to bold, italicize, or underline only one word or one line. Text alignment also applies to the whole document. Can't center or left & right align a single line.

The lagging was the worst, or I might have kept the app for notes rather than long docs.

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This is my impression of Google Play store's WordPad TextNote by Quabber.

https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.qwabber.wordpadtextnote

FIRST IMPRESSIONS OF TEXTNOTE:
________________________________
It's very simple. Can't create folders, just notes. When the app opens, it presents the editing screen.

My phones present the editing screen with white text on a black background.

Only one basic font, but it has font resizing.

The menu options are: New, Open, Save, Save As, Print, Share, Font Size, Settings. Settings is a toggle for "Set Auto Save In" (must mean Set Auto Save On).

The Save As feature allows the file to be saved to a user defined internal location. Share is the same, except external locations are possible.

To copy and share, can use Share from the app's menu, or the phone's editing menu by choosing Select All, Copy, and then Share. I use that to transfer between docs or to transfer text from a pdf file or notepad to an editor.

The TextNote files save as basic text, but in the internal storage location the file format still can be edited.

If it's shared to Google Drive, I can convert it to edit in Google Docs, use its rich text tools then save as a pdf.

The only folder organization possible is by creating folders in the storage location, then manually saving note types to those folders. That means this notepad is less feature friendly than a note editor that has folders within the app. For that reason I would rather have another app, like Offline Notepad.


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Using #tags to categorise files is the way to go.

Folders are a waste of time
 
Using #tags to categorise files is the way to go.

Folders are a waste of time
That depends on a person's particular choice. I've never used tags. I organize my files into folders and subfolders and if I want to find something I can use Search.



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WordPad Plus: Text Processor
Griffin Developer Labs
No data shared, no data collected
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=word.text.editor.wordpad

IMPRESSION OF WORDPAD PLUS
"" "" "" "" "" "" "" "" "" "" "" "" "" "" ""
It opens to a screen that allows creation of folders. If I try to create a subfolder it asks for subscription of 1.99/mo, 8.99/yr or 18.99/lifetime.

Folder titles only allow text, not symbols. Note titles allow symbols to be typed but seems to reformat to remove them, as in the date "10/29/23" becomes 102923.

There's one font, basic sans serif.

The toolbar has a variety of options:
Add a Picture {one says OCR, the other shows the Gallery/Photo toolbar button}.
Undo/Redo, Text Resizing, Bold, Italics, Underline, Strike Through. It offers font colors, Indent, superscript, subscript, text alignment, (left, right, center}, numbered and bulleted lines.

Text resize has a slide switch that starts at 8pt goes to 16, then 24, 32, 40, 48, 56.

I can bold, italicize, underline any words I select.

Colored fonts doesn't seem to work so it appears to be a paid option.

Indent works to indent the entire paragraph, not just the first line of a paragraph. Undo Indent sends it in reverse.

Center align centers one sentence or the whole document, as you wish.

Left align aligns the entire doc left, or one sentence, as you wish.

Bulleted starts where you like, it doesn't do the entire document.

Numbered lines starts where you want it, it doesn't number the whole document.

X² Superscript button: Note in tiny script placed above a word to the right.
EMC²
X Subscript button: Selection of subscript places tiny note to lower right of a word.

Sub or Superscript seems to require choosing font resize to escape it. I see no other way to do so. That's why I don't use super or subscript most of the time.

When finish with the note, I tap DONE at the top and it takes me to a menu. I can choose Save & Exit, Stats, Print, Export. PDF, Export . txt, or Share.

Stats offers the count on sentences, words, or characters.

Export PDF saves it to a user defined internal location as a PDF.

Export . txt saves the note as plain text to a user defined internal location and it may be edited in that form.

Share allows me to share to a destination on the share menu, including Google Drive. However if I use the app's Share option, it saves in html tagged format. That is a mess to read or edit.

Depending upon the device's features, it may be best to Select All, Copy, and choose Share from the phone's editing menu. That may be different depending on keyboard in use. I'm using Technical Keyboard that has editing features.

I copied this WordPad note directly to Google Drive and pasted it into a new document. It pasted in the same appearance as in the WordPad app and can be edited there. Bold, italics, underline formats are all intact.

This was edited on WordPad Plus and pasted into this Howard Forums post.





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Notes In Folders-- Folino
Tobias Schiek
No data shared or collected.
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.softwareschiek.noteful

First impressions:

This Folino notepad app is relatively simple.

It allows folder & sub folder creation.

The toolbar has Undo-redo, text size, bold, italics, underline, strikethrough, font color and highlight color, as well as numbered and bulleted list making capabilities, and search.

There's a chain link button on the toolbar and it appears to allow website links to be embedded in specified text.

Search finds and highlights a chosen word so it can be changed.

It doesn't have the ability to align text to center, to left or right. It has one font style, plain sans serif.

Font size is stated as default, smaller, larger, huge, rather than point size. I can resize text wherever I like. It doesn't resize for the entire document unless I choose to do that.

I experimented with using the highlighter and the font color, and it was difficult to figure out. I found I was not able to manipulate the text or edit normally if highlight was chosen.

When I tap DONE, the menu allows pin note (to top), heart note (favorite), Move, Duplicate, Export as text file, Share, Copy to clipboard as plain text, Details, Delete.

Details includes title, folder location path, when created and when modified, file size, number of words, number of characters with and without spaces.

Save options:
Export as text file allows me to save it to an internal storage user defined location as a plain text file that can be edited.

Share options:
Any location on the device's share list including external. It saves to Google Drive as plain text but can be converted to Google Docs format and edited.

If I copy and paste directly from the note into a new Google Docs document, it can be edited without conversion. The note arrives in Arial 11pt size.

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Pure Writer-- Writing & Notes
Drakeet, INC
No data shared or collected
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.drakeet.purewriter

Initial Impressions

Pure Writer app allows creation of Books in folders with chapters. I can create my own folders and name them.
There's only one font but it can be resized. If an additional font is desired it has to be placed as an otf or ttf file in the app's external directory.
Toolbar tools include choice of leaving a space between paragraphs, remove spaces between paragraphs, or indent first line of a paragraph.

The toolbar has undo-redo, "quotes," (parentheses), copy, move cursor to any point in the document, move cursor to Home and End of document, search and replace.
I use a keyboard that has navigation and editing features, Technical Keyboard, but the app's editing features may be helpful to people who use keyboards without editing features.
The app has wallpaper themes from plain to images.
It has optional Markdown / markup language or plain text mode.
It doesn't appear to allow text alignment, bold, italics, or underline.
If I choose the "dot dot dot" menu it shows options including Share, and I can save the file as plain text to a user defined location.
There are other features as well as a paid version.

I prefer writing apps that offer rich text formatting, but for people who like plain text formatting, this app may be worth trying if the object is to work on a particular device and save to that device, but have the option of exporting/sharing to external locations.

With non-synching note or writing apps, email export is a good method of sharing between devices if all of your devices have those same apps installed. I use that method to paste the documents into apps on my other devices.

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Writer Lite Novel/ Note/ Editor
OneLiteCore
No data shared, may collect app and performance data
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=core.writer

First impressions of Writer Lite.
''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''
It allows Folder creation for writing books.

It allows files to be added as cover art.

The toolbar items include undo, redo. <<Beginning of sentence, end of sentence>> cursor repositioning.

It shows bold, italics, underline and strike through. If they're selected, it doesn't show bold, italics, or underline, **it marks the text with asterisks** _italics use underline marks _ etc. I assume a paid option would show the document with those markdown items expressed.

There's no indent or text align.

There's one simple font. It looks like additional fonts are paywall only.

Font can be resized with a slide switch between 8 and 32.

There are wallpapers from white to gray to dark, a few images, and customizable choice of wallpaper.

It has a share option. Copy, text, file, convert, PDF.

Some features appear to be paywall items. App subscription rates are 1.49/mo, annually 9.99, to 19.99/lifetime.

Text to speech is on the toolbar but it's a paywall item.

There's a statistics option with choice of counting characters or words. The counter shows in upper right corner of the document.

I shared this note as a text file to a folder I created in internal storage.

Attempting to save as a pdf hit the paywall message.

If I copy the note and save to an app that allows files to save to pdf, that circumnavigates that.

My summary of Writer Lite is that if a person wants very basic edit formatting, this might be just fine.

Sharing to Google Drive and downloading, or sharing via email can make the files accessible on other devices.

I copy directly from the file and paste wherever I want it to go.

Rich text editing options are available on MS Word and Google Docs, but some of these simpler writing apps can allow writing without going online to save the files.




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I wanted to update info about some of the writing apps.

Blaze Wordpad has been flashing messages on my notification panel on the phone saying it's no longer supported and if it's not uninstalled, the phone might get hacked (!). That's pretty bizarre so I uninstalled it.

There's another app called Wordpad Plus and AFAIK it's okay.

Currently I'm trying out Writer Journal and it has been pretty good. It's $9 to buy the app, but haven't yet.

https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.lightweight.WordCounter.free

The free version allows resizing of text, choice of two fonts (serif and sans serif), and it allows rich text (bold, italics, underline and strike through) as well as text alignment (right, left, center). It permits creation of folders and subfolders, sorting of folders and files by a variety of methods including manual drag and drop. AFAIK it can work offline. I usually use it with WiFi on.

I can't locate where it autosaves the files to, so assuming it includes them with the program files in some codified format. I've chosen the save location but the saved files don't show up there. I save by using the share feature.

The free version allows files to be shared as plain text to any specified location on my phone. It doesn't preserve the formatting but the file can be edited and saved.

I haven't enabled backup to Drive yet but if I select all/copy while in a Writer Journal doc, I can save the files to Drive as plain text by creating a new file in Google Docs, then pasting the body into the new doc, and I can format it there.

I also tried Moon Writer, Pure Writer, Lite Writer, Folino, WordPad Plus, and SoftMaker Office/Textmaker which is a full desktop editor for phone or tablet. That one doesn't seem to fully function offline, but is worth trying if a full editor is needed. I can't say how reliable it may be. It allows files to be saved in a variety of formats.

I narrowed my choice to Writer Journal because it has more free features than some of the others (exception of SoftMaker which is a fully featured editor), and it doesn't pop noisy intrusive full screen ads.

Moon Writer is also a good basic editor and I was able to find the backup files I was saving to the folder I specified.

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