I love cool tools. I’m a sucker for analog tools like well-built notebooks and the ever-versatile index card, but I also have a definite weakness for software and apps. While I sometimes feel a little guilty about my fascination with shiny new toys (don’t tell, but I have been known to temporarily abandon a deadline in order to download and explore a new app), I also know that writing is hard work and I can use all the help I can get. For that reason (and because #geekfactor), I’ve decided to share some of my favorite tools with you via a post series called, aptly, Tools for Writers.
And the first tool I’d like to share with you is Apple Notes. (Sorry PC users.)
Despite my recent technical troubles with my MacBook Pro, I’m still an Apple fan. So, it was no surprise that the headline Apple Notes is the most innovative thing Apple did in the last two years caught my eye. The post, written by Matt Haughey and published on Medium, opened my eyes to the potential of a modest little Apple app called, simply, Notes. It’s standard on all Apple products – Macs, iPhones, iPads. I’ve used it on my iPhone for years to capture everything from shopping lists to story ideas to the names of people my daughter and I met while out walking dogs. What I didn’t know until I read Haughey’s article is how you can supercharge the usefulness of this tool by linking your notes in the cloud.
I won’t go into tons of gory detail (Haughey’s article does a great job with that), but I will say that the brilliance of this app is the fact that you can instantly capture any info you need (notes, links, images) and because it’s uploaded to the cloud you can then access it anywhere. Now, I realize that there are tons of ways to do this same kind of thing (Dropbox, Google Drive, and Evernote come immediately to mind), but I have found that there’s something about the simplicity of Notes (and the fact that it’s so perfectly designed for the iPhone, which is the device I use to capture ideas when I’m out and about) that makes it particularly useful and fun to use.
Here’s a screenshot of Notes on my MacBook:
One of the very first posts I wrote for this blog (way back in 2010) was about the importance of capturing your ideas in the moment. Notes has been an easy and reliable way for me to do just that – no matter where I am. And I love being able to instantly access my information from any device at any time. Other cool features include the ability to add images and links to my notes (see the link at the bottom of the screen shot above), lock notes (so that a password is required to open them), and create checklists (again, see the screen shot above).
All in all, this is a super handy, free, reliable, and fun way to capture ideas and even work on projects. If you use Apple products and haven’t yet discovered the full potential of Notes, I highly recommend exploring this app and making it part of your writer’s toolbox.
Jamie Lee Wallace Hi. I’m Jamie. I am a content writer and branding consultant, columnist, sometime feature writer, prolific blogger, and aspiring fiction writer. I’m a mom, a student of equestrian arts, and a nature lover. I believe in small kindnesses, daily chocolate, and happy endings. Introduce yourself on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or Pinterest. I don’t bite … usually.