My 5 Favorite Tools for Writing
I’m the type of writer who thrives on organization. I love The Container Store. As a freelancer, I have to be organized in order to get paid, regularly have assignments, and turn in work on time. As a writer, I use these tools to keep me on track.
When faced with feedback from three readers on my YA manuscript, I freaked out. How was I ever going to incorporate all of their notes and rewrite?! ACK. A fiction writer friend introduced me to the BEST writing software—Scrivener. I don’t know why I haven’t used it before. Instead of having a million Word documents open, Scrivener opens projects in a digital binder so you can keep text files, images, and important links all in one place! There are many amazing functions, but the one I love the best is organizing each chapter as its own file with a little index card that I write a synopsis on and it’s there for me to refer. Plus, the character sketches allow me to write character bios more easily, even adding a photo of what my character looks like. LOVE this software. It’s worth every penny. Here’s a short video tutorial on how it works.
Whenever I interview a source via Skype, I use Call Recorder for Skype. It’s a simple download that turns the call into an MP3. I can either upload it to iTunes or listen to it through my Quicktime player and transcribe.
For my hourly rate for editing, I use the Stopwatch feature on my iPhone. I simply hit start when I begin. If I stop to answer a call or walk the dogs, I pause it.
4. Voice Memos
Some times I’m on the go, and I get an idea for a magazine pitch or I suddenly solve the problem in chapter one of my book. If I don’t have a pen and paper handy, I record a note to myself in my iPhone’s Voice Memos app. You can title your memos, so I usually title them after the project. This is so helpful to remember what I need to jot down later.
For in-person interviews or any type of live recording, I’m a fan of the Voice Record app. I once did an interview on a busy street in downtown LA. I was worried that I’d only hear street noise instead of the person talking who I was interviewing. The app worked perfectly. Plus, all the features on it like bookmarks, playback speed, and labeling make it a winner for writers.