At one point in my career I worked for a restaurant that wanted the hostesses to cash out all the receipts at the end of the night. There are many things I remember about that job; the waitress who hated me because I flirted with her boyfriend, the waiter who hated me because I shocked that his coffee mug had alcohol, the manager who groped me (along with all the other hostesses). But of all the nightmares in the job, the thing I hated the most was learning how to use that damn receipt calculator.
Every job has technical tools it relies on to be more effective. Architects have drafting tools, athletes have helmets…. But what about writers? What helps us with our job?
It turns out… a lot! We live in an age where there are more apps and tools for writers than ever before; and I’m not talking about just the thesaurus app in Word (though this is one of my favorite tools). The switch from pen and paper to typewriter was life-changing, I am sure. So magnify that by the laptop and all of the software programs on it and you have a writing revolution.
Here are a only a few of the tools writers now have available:
Scrivener – Handles work as a total project including everything you need from idea to research to writing to editing.
Simplenote – makes writing on your phone actually possible.
Evernote – Holds onto (in the cloud) all of the material, including pdfs, mediafiles, links, a writer finds while researching and makes it accessible later from anywhere.
Dropbox – whatever you do, back-up your stuff…. This has been a mantra since writing moved to the computer. Dropbox allows you to do this quickly and easily.
Ommwriter – Creates a creative environment clean of distractions so you can actually get writing done.
Looking for details on these and more…. Author Edward Humes has pulled togethwer a great list of tools for wriers: http://www.edwardhumes.com/2011/02/12-essential-apps-tech-tools-for.html
And, my favorite blogger, Kristen Lamb is constantly coming up with helpful writing and social media tools to keep us working: http://warriorwriters.wordpress.com/2012/09/12/mythbusting-three-lies-that-could-sabotage-your-writing-success/
Now… I guess we have no excuses and need to get to work. Thankfully this is all more appealing than learning to 10 key or putting up with a lascivious manager.