Just like every other craftsman, a writer needs her own specialized tool kit. My tools consist of hardware and software, as well as reference books, websites, and whatever else helps me get the job done. Yes, I said “job.” If you don’t treat your writing with the same respect and dedication you would any other job, you’ll never get any better at it.
Let’s Start With The Hardware
(NOTE: Don’t worry about the specific hardware brands I use; when we start discussing software, I’ll cover iOS, Android, MacOS, iPadOS, and Windows applications.)
I have quite a collection of devices for writing. While there’s always good old pen and paper, my arthritis makes it all but impossible to hold a pen or pencil. Instead, I carry my electronic notebook: my iPhone. It’s small, fits into a special pocket in my purse, and crucially, I always have it with me. In fact, it could almost be called a toolbox itself, as I have 14 writing apps on it. Simply because of its size and the fact that it’s always with me, it has become my main writing tool.
Larger than my iPhone, the iPad still has its own pocket in one of my purses, so it’s also easy to carry around. Both devices sync with each other via the Cloud, so what work I do on one of them instantly appears on the other.
The AlphaSmart Neo
This device was developed for school students in order to give them a tool for doing their in-class writing and then sending the results to the teacher. It never really caught on, but a few writers discovered it and now it’s a hit with the writing community at large. It’s such a great tool that it deserves its own story, which I’ll be posting in the near future.
Finally, we come to my Windows machine. This tool does all the heavy lifting. While so many mobile apps have great capabilities for composing and editing, there are still times when a more powerful device is required.
Here’s an example. I do a lot of writing on Medium. Medium has an app that runs on my mobile devices, but it’s quite limited when it comes to inserting pictures: it doesn’t allow you to resize them, add a caption, or insert photo credits. For those tasks, I have to switch over to my laptop.
Using Evernote, which I do to archive my stories, presents a similar problem: the Evernote Web Clipper doesn’t work on my mobile devices.
Given all that, I’m confident in saying that mobile devices have yet to reach the point where they will replace desktop or laptop computers.
Coming Soon To A Theater Near You
Not really. But definitely to this blog: a review of my favorite writing apps for your mobile devices. Until then, stay safe!