3 Writing Tools Every Writer Needs (for better, faster writing)

September 23, 2012 — Leave a comment

Ten percent of bloggers make enough money to pay bills and live comfortably. About two percent make over $150,000 a year while blogging from around the world. Whether you aspire to a professional blogging career or just want to improve your productivity, there are a number of writing tools that can help.

writing tools

Scrivener, Evernote and Dropbox are three writing tools that have been designed for writers on the go. These tools can help increase productivity, keep you organized and enhance your writing skills.

Scrivener

scrivenerScrivener is a tool offered by Literature & Latte for both Windows and Mac operating systems. You can purchase the software for about $40-$45 (depending on your operating system), which is a great deal for a complete virtual writing studio. Features include:

  • A virtual corkboard for pinning ideas, plot points and images.
  • A powerful outline and project management tool that allows you to track progress, organize your work and move passages around.
  • A unique “scrivenings” setting that breaks your work into bite-sized chunks for editing.
  • A text mode that gets all the WYSIWYG distractions out of the way.
  • Special tools for non-fiction and script writing.
  • A snapshot tool that allows you to reclaim deleted data or changes.
  • Automatic backups so you can write worry free.
  • Fun and helpful tools like name generators and statistics bars.
  • And MUCH more. Find here.

Scrivener is like a word processor on steroids, and the benefits to a writer are obvious from the features list. However, two specific benefits really stand out:

1. Scrivener removes physical limitations on your writing.

You do not need a physical bulletin board, a file cabinet or a desk full of sticky notes. The program provides for all of that organization in a virtual space. You can work on your book, article or paper from any location with full access to all your ideas, notes and research, as long as you have your computer.

2. All elements of Scrivener are tied together.

When you create a physical cork board, you are always moving things around on it to match edits in your writing. You may also have to spend time moving things around in your document after seeing a better arrangement on the cork board.

With Scrivener, a move on the board equals a move in the document! You can edit entire passages with a few mouse or stylus clicks. Download the free software trial (macwindows) and check out the power of easy editing for yourself.

Evernote

evernoteWant some of that writing and organization power in an even more portable tool? Evernote is a great app that works on computers, smartphones and tablets. Not only does it work on all your technology, it also syncs notes and documents so you can access them from any piece of equipment.

Imagine that you are working on an article about organic food for a local magazine. All of your work and research is on your laptop. You leave the computer at home and run to the grocery store for milk. While there, you see something that gives you a great idea for your article.

The old-fashioned thing to do would be pull a napkin out and jot down a note. How many times have you lost the note or forgotten what you wanted to write while looking for a pen? What if you could edit your article or research notes directly from your phone? Then, it would be ready and waiting for you back home.

Other features of Evernote include:

  • Ability to save images from online or a device camera.
  • Audio notes you can attach to documents or images.
  • Ability to save webpages for later research or reference.
  • Collaborative tools allow you to share notes and work with colleagues.
  • Scheduling tools keep you organized and on deadline.

Although Evernote does not offer the sheer creative power of Scrivener, it is free to download.

Dropbox

dropboxEverything is hitting the Cloud these days, so you might want to consider bring your creative work to the virtual sphere. Cloud computing means working on a virtual server and sharing resources over multiple networks or devices. Pioneered by businesses, this process offers several benefits to the writer.

You can share resources with only yourself, making documents and files available anywhere, anytime and on any device. One easy way to achieve cloud status for your work is by downloading Dropbox for free.

Dropbox is exactly what the name implies. It is a virtual place to drop all your stuff so you can pick it up later. Imagine a milk crate with a series of hanging files. You keep your research, finished documents, works in progress and random notes in the files. You could carry it with you everywhere you go, but that would get cumbersome pretty fast.

Instead, create virtual copies of all documents and save them to Dropbox. You can even scan copies of handwritten documents or images. If you can create a computer file out of it, you can store it for retrieval on Dropbox.

Dropbox offers bank-level security, so you don’t even need to worry about your data. In fact, your documents are safer with this tool than they are in a milk crate or home filing cabinet. You don’t have to worry about fire, water damage or a spilled cup of coffee over your research.

Making the Most of Tools

These three tools offer a powerful advantage for busy writers. However, all the writing tools in the world will not perfect your craft if you aren’t willing to put in the time.

Scrivener helps you organize a book, but it won’t write one for you. Dropbox allows you to access documents from anywhere in the world, but you have to create them first. Evernote keeps track of all your ideas, but that assumes you take the time to record them.

These three writing tools make it easier for you to stay organized and keep track of your work. Put them to use by making it a point to organize and brainstorm for at least half an hour every day and then write for one hour every day. What are you working on that would fit perfectly in one of these tools?

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