Tag Archives: Open Live Writer

What’s In My Toolbox

clipart print of a re toolbox full of writing implements

My Writing Toolbox

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.)

My iPhone

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.

iPhone X

My iPhone X

My iPad

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.

Photo of Apple iPad

My iPad

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.

Photo of AlphaSmart Neo

My AlphaSmart Neo

My Laptop

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!

 

Leave a Comment

Filed under Blogging Tools, iPad, iPhones, Software

Scrivener On The iPad

Literature and Latte have just released the iOS version of Scrivener. I’ve touted the wonders of Scrivener elsewhere (here and here), and while I still use it extensively, I no longer use 750 Words. I still think it’s a valuable service, but I’ve moved all of my writing to Scrivener. I use Jarte for quick notes, which I later import into Scrivener, but all of my blogs are done in Open Live Writer and then copied to Scrivener. And now that I have Scrivener on my iPad, I’ll be reversing the process and doing everything in Scrivener, then copying it to Live Writer to post to my blog.

Let’s face it: as handy as they are, most of us don’t carry our laptops around with us everywhere we go, right? We have tablets for portable computing. My iPad Mini is my faithful companion (I’m going to ask Santa for a full-sized iPad Pro), and until now, getting articles from the WordPress app into Scrivener has been an arduous, complicated task. But no longer!

I’ve got Scrivener on both my PC and my iPad configured to save their files to DropBox, and to send backups to my iCloud account. I also have a 3 terabyte external drive that automagically saves all of my files, so I am in full compliance with Robyn’s First Rule of Computing. Remember that one? It says Be Paranoid and Compulsive!

The Journey of a Thousand Miles

Or, in my case, about 2,600 miles. Next month will find me on the road (well, to be honest, the rail) to Seattle, WA. Stacey and I have finally decided the time is right to head home to the Upper Left Coast. I’ll be traveling by Amtrak, and I’m bringing my iPad, laptop, and camera to document my journey. Stacey and Fyona will follow later by car.

Once again, I’ll be handling the entire project in Scrivener. It will go a long way toward weaning me completely off MS Word, which with each “upgrade” becomes harder and harder to use.

But more on that in a future post.

Leave a Comment

Filed under Blogging Tools, scrivener, Writing Tools

Open live writer redux

I’ve been using Open Live Writer (OLW) for 10 days now, and I’m sold on it. Well, not really sold sold, because it’s free, and that’s free as in free beer. It’s also free as in you’re free to modify it however you like. I still have Windows Live Writer (WLW) on my machine, for the spell checker. Once OLW adds that feature, it will be goodbye to WLW. WLW has been a good friend for many years, but now that Microsoft is no longer developing it but has turned those chores over to OLW, my good friend will be going into a well-deserved retirement.

The New Appearance

As you can see, I’ve once again changed the theme I use for this blog. I believe that Fashionista by aThemes is a cleaner look, and less distracting. And the price was right, too: free, as in free beer. This is probably the 6th or 7th design template I’ve used on this site; I like to change it when I start to get bored. Yest another benefit of having ADHD.

It’s also one of the many benefits of using a host other than WordPress.com: I can find a template I like, then upload it to my independently-hosted site, and it installs itself. You can’t do that with WordPress.com unless you pay for a custom site. I pay for my site, but my fees include a custom domain name and a reasonable montly hosting fee. I do have a couple of other blogs on WordPress.com, but this is my main site.

Until Next Time

And tha’s it for now. See you next time!

Robyn Jane

Leave a Comment

Filed under Blogging, Writing Tools

At Long Last, Live Writer Is Open Source!

Apparently I haven’t been subscribed to the appropriate services where such announcements are made, but this morning I decided to Google “open source live writer,” which led me to http://openlivewriter.org/, where you can download a copy. It’s released under the MIT License model, which, if you’re unfamiliar with it, you should probably read up on.

It was a quick download, and a quick install. If you’re already blogging with Microsoft Live Writer, you can install this version right alongside it, as it won’t make any changes to that installation. In fact, I’m using Open Live Writer to write this entry. So far, I haven’t noticed any major differences between the two—but then, I’ve only written two paragraphs.

The few comments I’ve read on a couple of boards say that some people have had problems using it with Blogger, but other users say they’ve had no problem on that platform. So if you blog on Blogger, I’d say download it and give it a try.

Why Use It At All?

I’m using version 16 of Windows Live Writer, which was released in 2012, and there hasn’t been any further developments since then. Open Live Writer was released in December of 2015 and while there don’t appear to have any changes, the idea is that the open source community will keep it alive and well, with improvements and quite possibly newer features. In fact, the release version available now is 0.5.1.4, which in plain English means “Not Ready For Prime Time Software;” that is, it’s still essentially a beta (test) release.

If you do decide to use it, I’d suggest you do as they advise on their web site:

If you’re interested in getting occasional notices of updates to Open Live Writer and hearing about opportunities to try new features, you can subscribe to our Announcements email list. You can also follow @OpenLiveWriter on Twitter and like the page for Open Live Writer on Facebook.

That’s what I’ve done. And so far, it looks as if I’ll continue using Open Live Writer for my blog posts.

Robyn Jane

Leave a Comment

Filed under Blogging, Writing Tools