NOTE: This is a post I’ve been very eager to finish for quite a while. You might notice some of the changes going on around here. Soon you won’t recognize this place, believe me!
There is one thing that conspires against me this time of year…
I realize that in many areas of the world right now, it’s blowing ice cold air everywhere, but in Florida, January truly begins what is known as “Season.” It is, without a doubt, the busiest time of year here, and every aspect of life takes longer here during Season.
In pursuit of my Pulp Speed goals, I’ve got to use some hacks besides Word to get my work done in a timely fashion. Here, in no particular order, are a few online or software writing tools that I absolutely cannot live without these days .
- Scrivener. This writer’s software is indispensable. Many people coming from Word are leery of trying to use a new program, but time and again I hear from fellow authors that the idea of having all of the research, notes, and the ability to “Take a Snapshot” of a previous version of a scene and know that you can just type away and go back to the original if needed is just so freeing. It also auto-saves every two seconds, so you don’t have to worry if your power suddenly goes out that you’ve just lost a bunch of hard work. While there are tons of blogs and videos all over the internet about Scrivener, I just thought I’s show you all a screenshot of my “corkboard view” of The Inventor’s Son: The Beginning:
- The Swype app with Dragon Dictation for Android. (Swype is also available for iOS, but you need to download the Dragon Dictation app separately, though that download is free). Not only does the “swype” keyboard do a better job with gesture typing than the Google keyboard, but the paid version comes with Dragon Dictation (since the app is made by the same company who brought us Dragon for the computer). If you’ve never done gesture typing before, it takes a little getting used to, but now I find it indispensable. Swype sometimes comes on your Android phone, but the paid version, at 99 cents, includes the Dragon Dictation as well. I’m also thinking of investing in a special microphone that will work with my phone and pick up my words while I’m driving. One I’m looking at is the Rode SmartLav Plus which comes highly recommended by someone I follow on Periscope. I imagine the mic would work for my situation as well.
- Neil’s Toolbox Speed Writer. I’ve only recently started using this online tool, thanks to a fellow Pulp Speeder’s recommendation. I use the Speed Writer with the keywords, but if you look around the site a bit, you’ll find a Creative Writing version without the need to add three or more words. I like this one because it makes me focus exactly why I’m writing this next 200 or so words. The only way you’ll understand it’s power is to use it.
- Todoist. As an app for the phone, a Chrome extension, and whether the free version or the premium, it keeps me on track.
- Mind mapping apps. One I’ve grown fond of is SchematicMind. It’s a free app, available on Google Play. Apple users, I recommend Mindly, a beautiful mind mapping alternative. If you’ve never tried mind mapping, it’s an amazing way to organize your thoughts. Here’s a screen shot of my Mindly mind map for this very blog, planning into 2016:
- Pomodoro apps. The one I use is Pomodoro Timer Lite for Android, but here you can find some web based apps as well as programs for your computer. Breaking up writing into 25 minute segments keeps me from getting numb.
I’m sure there are loads more apps, tricks and ideas for upping productivity that I haven’t mentioned or have even seen before. What are some of your favorites?