Writer on the Go Part 2
For a writer, a good word processor is critical for productivity. For the time-crunched writer, the world of mobile phones/tablets and writing apps is a godsend. So today, I’ve included apps I use with the tools I described in last month’s post to increase my daily word counts when I’m away from my computer.
Evernote is a note taking app with writing capability. I use Evernote for almost all my note taking, capturing ideas, writing, and anything else my crazy mind imagines. Its strength is its notebook organization where a writer can create separate notebooks for multiple projects. I use it for all my stories, adding a new notebook for each idea. When an idea becomes more concrete and I have what I think is a working story, I create a new notebook and then, add additional notes for individual chapters. One perk to Evernote is that it stores my work on one device and syncs it to the cloud. This method keeps my writing organized in one place and always backed up. The only weakness I’ve found with Evernote is its limited formatting capability. On my smart phone (my preferred writing tool), I write without worrying about the format, then change fonts and spacing on my PC using Word or Scrivener. Evernote is simple and reliable (note: I have tried OneNote, Microsoft’s version of Evernote, but hated the occasional failed syncs and loss of work).
Dropbox is a document storage app that can be useful for revising documents. I prefer Evernote for revision because of its notebook organization, but Dropbox can be convenient for reading through longer works. It can be sync’d from your mobile device and sent to your PC. This is a good app for those that prefer doc or pdf files.
Overdrive, Podcast, or Audible
If you’re a writer, then you know the mantra, Read, Read, Read. For long commutes to my day job, I use several apps to supplement my reading time. I’ll listen to books using my library’s audiobook program or Audible, and to short stories with online magazines, such as Clarkesworld and Lightspeed. For learning writing techniques I listen to my favorite writing tip’s podcast Writing Excuses. Writing Excuses is produced by fantasy and science fiction authors Mary Robinette Kowal, Brandon Sanderson, Howard Tayler, and Dan Wells. Each podcast is approximately 20 minutes and covers just about everything on writing stories for the science fiction and fantasy genre, but much of their material can be applied to general storytelling. The best thing about Writing Excuses is the humor. It’s always a plus to learn something with a good laugh.
The last tool I use is the Kindle app. I don’t need to go into detail about the merits of Kindle, since most writers are familiar with Amazon’s flagship digital bookware. Though, one cool feature of the Kindle app is that it syncs across platforms. Thus, you can bookmark your last reading spot on your tablet, pull out your phone to continue reading at the doctor’s office, and then log in to your PC to finish that chapter at night. This makes reading slick and easy.
That’s it. Four apps essential to my writing process. What apps do you use as a writer on the go?