Check Out This Google Docs Competitor

What I love the most about Graphite , the new blockchain-based competitor to Google Docs, is that it is much faster. Documents used to be a lightweight alternative to MS Word; now it seems just as slow and bloated. Although I still use it for collaboration, I leaned towards the Apple Notes app in all of my solo work; it is much faster, but has some silly design options such as poor default font and bright yellow link text. (My second favorite thing about graphite is that it looks crisp and beautiful.)

Graphite is a web-based application for documents, spreadsheets, and an email alternative called “Conversations.” Its creator, Justin Hunter, highlights its security and privacy features: Graphite can store your documents on your own servers or on Blockstack, a recently released decentralized network that uses blockchain to securely distribute encrypted data. As Hunter explains in Product Hunt , your data is encrypted on your computer before being sent to any servers. And unlike Google, Graphite never knows your password.

How to get graphite

The registration process is a bit tricky: you will need to download the Blockstack app and create an account, then log into Graphite with that account. But Graphite walks you through the process fairly easily. (Blockstack will ask you to pay in Bitcoin to register a username; just skip this part.)

Graphite is already a solid alternative if you just want to edit your documents on multiple computers for free. It has all the basic features of Google Docs and Word such as autosave, text formatting, image and video embedding, and real-time word counting. But it comes bloat-free and with a clean web interface. You can easily print or export to a .doc file.

What graphite can’t

Graphite only works on desktops, not mobile devices. The service lets you collaborate on documents, but we couldn’t get it to work, at least not without paying that bitcoin for the username. Even if you manage to share the document, multiple users will not be able to edit it in real time.

Even without these features, Graphite may be my new choice for composing short documents like blog posts, especially as it will likely improve over time. If you want to start with a new word processor and want to experiment with the nerd system, give it a try.

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