When it comes to the craft of writing, I thank God every day for the gift of computers. My college papers (and I did a ton of them) were all written on a manual typewriter without the benefit of Liquid Paper. Sometime I’ll write a post about that process.
- Evernote – I’m writing this blog in Evernote. It’s a nice app that synchs across all your devices from a computer (PC or Mac) to a tablet to a smartphone. But what’s especially nice is that I can set up folders (called notebooks) and store ideas, research, partially-written blogs (not that I’d ever let one float in non-published land too long). Plus all this is backed up on the cloud and the basic version is free.
- Dropbox – A writer’s mantra (unless you’re still using paper/pen or a typewriter) is to backup. Often. Dropbox does a nice job of backing up your files on the internet and it also allows you to work on those files on a variety of devices or on the internet. The basic version is free. If you use this Dropbox link, we’ll both get extra storage.
- Scrivener – I love Scrivener for serious writing! In one file, I am able to store all my research on a particular story plus character sketches, photographs, outlines, and more. I can write each chapter in a separate document so that I can see the chapter titles in a list plus I can re-order the chapters whenever I want. That’s a huge benefit for me over a basic word processing program. Plus Scrivener can handle manuscript formatting when I’m ready to send the story on. I’m still learning all the features and they are many. This one isn’t free but it’s not expensive. A program that makes your life organized (well, my life at least) is worth $45.
- iPhone – OK, you don’t need an iPhone but a smartphone is wonderful. I always have with me a camera that allows me to photograph scenes that I might want to use in a story, a voice recorder for ideas, a notepad for writing down other ideas- all in one little digital gadget. Plus I can access Evernote and Dropbox documents. This one isn’t free but it does make phone calls, too.
I keep searching for new tools for there will be future posts on this topic, I’m sure. Any tools that you love for writing?