Today is favorite app day on the Wordcount Blogathon. These are my five favorite apps. I’m looking forward to reading about your favorite electronic helpers.
Scrivener – I can’t praise this program enough. It has features you didn’t know you needed until you started using program. I rarely use WORD for anything anymore. At the beginning of a project, the outline view and notecards view help me get the structure of a story down. Once I start writing, each scene gets its own text file, then the scenes can be grouped into chapters. As the writing process proceeds, I can move scenes around and rearrange the chapters simply by dragging them up and down the left side of the screen. Editing is easy with the snapshot feature. And finally, Scrivener makes formatting the text as an ebook or print manuscript was relatively easy. It’s great.
Evernote – Evernote is a powerful application with myriad uses across platforms. You set up general topic notebooks, then organize your notes, photos, websites, and voice memos by notebook. The cloud feature is what I find most valuable. I have Evernote on my Mac, my iPhone, and my iPad so I can file things to my notebooks wherever I come across them. As a writer, I use it to keep track of research and ideas. It has replaced my old habit of scribbling on the backs of receipts and envelopes.
Dropbox -Every writer needs Dropbox (or something like it) because you must back-up your work. Dropbox is a cloud based storage service. They will give you 2 GB of storage with a free account, and you can get more by referring people or paying for a larger account. With a Dropbox account, if your computer blows up or your office floods, you won’t lose the manuscript you’ve been working on. You can also use your account to port files between your devices and share things like pictures with your friends and family.
Documents – I try to be paperless when I go to critique group. Printing out 100 pages every other week uses far too much toner and paper. That is where the free Documents app comes in. I can add my comments to a WORD file, save it to Dropbox, then view it on my iPad using Documents. The app allows you to view Office files, photos, and PDF’s. You can also annotate and highlight PDF’s. It’s a great way to take your comments with you.
Tiki-Toki – I recently discovered this timeline app. Scrivener has an excellent outline feature that was more than adequate for my first two books. The book I am conceiving now has five main character, each with their own story arc. I needed something more powerful. Tiki-Toki allows me to color code each character’s timeline, have overlapping story arcs, and see all the separate timelines on one timeline. I’m still learning how to use this site to its fullest but I think it will be useful.