Friday Fun is a group post from the writers of the NHWN blog. Each week, we’ll pose and answer a different, get-to-know-us question. We hope you’ll join in by providing your answer in the comments.
QUESTION: We’re all suckers for good pens and beautiful notebooks. Each of us has her favorite writing books and references. But, what about our favorite writing software and apps? Do you have a favorite writing technology that you just can’t live without? What is it and why do you love it so much?
Julie Hennrikus/Julianne Holmes: Scrivener. Hands down. I am a plotter, so I write scene cards on index cards, then put it all in Scrivener. I can tag the cards with character names, add time codes, add scene goals, and move things around if I need to. It takes a bit of learning (Gwen Hernandez can help with that!), but SO worth it.
Lisa J. Jackson: I’m content with any word processing program (such as Word) that lets me type and search/replace. 🙂 Other than that, it’s paper and pen that I can’t live without!
Diane MacKinnon, MD: Like Lisa, I don’t feel strongly about word processing programs, but I do find the notes app and the voice recording app on my phone helpful for getting ideas down before they disappear. I’ve also been taking my iPad with me everywhere so I can get writing time in wherever I happen to have some quiet time: parked in my car or sitting in a waiting room. Once I open it up, the whole world goes away.
Jamie Wallace: I’m with Julie … Scrivener is fabulous. I’ve used it on a number of projects and found it so helpful in terms of helping me organize my thoughts and my document. I’m sure I’ve only scratched the surface of its functionality, but I love the parts I’ve learned to use so far.
I also love my outdated version of MindManager by MindJet. This is the best mind mapping software I’ve found so far, mainly because it allows you to attach copious notes to topics in your map and also hyperlink topics to outside web pages and locally stored documents. Sadly, this software is only available in a SaaS (software as a service/subscription) format now, and it’s pretty pricey. Still, if my current copy ever dies on me, I will give some serious consideration to buying a license for this powerful tool.
Finally, I have to give a nod to a nifty little iPhone app that has become part of my 10-minute writing practice. Werdsmith is a fairly simple writing app, but I enjoy using it more than the native notes app on my phone. It allows you to create projects with word count goals, track progress, and even set up specific writing rituals. There are also sharing features (which I’ve never used), and a subscription-based “Write Club” that allows you to edit your mobile creations on your desktop or laptop computer, and access other premium features like customized themes, etc. I’m happy with the free version (which allows you via email and a variety of apps like Evernote).
Other than that, I agree with Lisa – paper and pen rule. But … on the other hand, I’m also having iPad envy based on what Diane shared about her iPad writing habit. (Have you seen the new iPad Pro? I’m totally lusting after that!)
Deborah Lee Luskin: I’m so Old School: I use pen and paper and Microsoft Word.