Every now and then I reevaluate the apps and programs I’ve been using to write. The perfect suite would be one that I could use on all of my devices: my iPad and iPhone running (as of this writing) iOS 11, and my laptop PC running Windows. Add into that mix the fact that when my wife and I write something together, she’s on her iPad Pro and writing with Apple’s Pages.
For her, it’s easy: whatever she writes will sync automagically across all of her devices. For me, it’s another story.
The Previous Solution
It was something I cobbled together, based on the fact that Pages wasn’t available on my PC—which is where I do the bulk of my writing and editing. Since Pages will export to MS Word format, and LibreOffice will read and write MS Office files, it was a simple matter of Stacey exporting her efforts in .docx format and sending them as attachments in emails. I could then either edit them and send them back to her, or append them to the master document.
All of this was before the Cloud. After the Cloud, we used DropBox and iCloud instead of emails.
The Better Solution
Recent changes to Pages have made things even easier: I can now log into my iCloud account via my Windows browser, and use the on-line version of Pages to write and edit! My edits are saved, and both Stacey and I have access to them no matter which device we’re on.
It’s a Fact of Life
You’d think that after using computers since the early ‘80s, and having worked as both an educator and a service engineer, I would have learned my lesson: go big! But no. Which means that when it came time for me to make the jump from an Android phone to my new iPhone 6s Plus, I’d have maxed out the options. Nope. Just the basic 16 Gb memory.
Which means that I rely on the Cloud even more than before. Still, the iPhone X is almost here, but $1000 is a lot of money to spend. Would I be better off keeping what I have now and upgrade my iPad Mini to an iPad Pro? If I did that, I might not even need to use my laptop for writing anymore.
My Current Writer’s Toolbox
- iPad Mini
- Lenovo laptop PC
- Apple’s Pages (a free download)
- LibreOffice Writer (also free)
- Scrivener (free evaluation copy)
- iCloud from Apple
- Dropbox (because there’s no such thing as having too many backups. This is in addition to my daily automagic backup to my external hard drive.)
What About You?
Do you deal with different platforms and incompatibilities? If so, do you have a system that works for you? Let me know—I’m always open to suggestions.