Productivity Tools for Writers
Seven Online Productivity Tools for Writers
Writing frequently results in headaches, panic attacks, and even mild cases of delirium… but it doesn’t have to! With these seven online writing tools, you can stay on track and produce quality content within your deadlines:
1. A Timer
time is of the essence, especially if you write copy for clients on a daily basis. One of the most important things to stay productive is to stay on top of time. You can do this by setting an online timer. Write or Die: Dr. Wicked’s Writing Lab is an effective app you can use on your desktop or mobile device that will make you write fast for fear of the consequences of failing to meet your goal on time. With the free Web app, you simply input your word count goal along with your time limit. You set the consequences for failure, and press “Write.” Instantly, you are taken to a plain screen where you are ordered to write. If you fail to meet your goal, you will get an annoying consequence, such as an irritating sound, or the words you wrote will start to un-write. And no one wants that. If you would rather not be annoyed, use the Tick Tock Timer app, or any other simple online timer that keeps you heading towards your writing goals.
2. A Writing Environment
Many writers need the focus of a clear space and the peace of ambient noise to get them in the mood to write. Instead of trying to create that yourself, allow an app like OmmWriter to do that for you. Its free version, Dana I, gives you a colorful backdrop for your typed words, a calming audio environment, and even the sounds of keystrokes as you type. If you want more environs to choose from, you can contribute money to use Dana II. The suggested price is $7.33, but you can pay whatever price you desire to access it.
3. A Calendar
When you’re a busy writer, you are likely to have a lot of tasks to accomplish. With Google Calendar, you can post all of the things you need to get done so that all the people in your life – including your clients and editors, as well as your family and friends – can make a note of when you will be busy before they even ask you whether you can do something. Google Calendar will also send you messages to your email address or even your mobile phone reminding you of what needs to be accomplished. You could choose to stick with a paper calendar, but isn’t one on your mobile device so much cooler?
4. A To-Do List
One way for writers to keep themselves organized is to keep a to-do list. Though a pen and a notepad might work for you, others find it difficult to keep their scribbled-on to-do lists neat and organized. That’s where online to-do lists come in. The web app TeuxDeux works simply. It gives you a view of your week followed by a few lines under each weekday. You write in what you have to do and it saves it there, keeping it first in line after each new entry. Once you have finished that job, you cross it out by simply marking it with your mouse. It’s incredibly simple, but it gets the job done in an orderly way. All you have to do to access your list is register. You simply log in and continue crossing things off your list as you progress in your writing duties.
5. A Critic
What every writer needs is a good kick in the pants. People like editors and critics help writers live up to their full potential so as to avoid the harsh criticisms they receive later. So instead of using a real, flesh and blood human being to lay out all the flaws of your writing, why not use a computer application called AutoCrit? AutoCrit is more than just a spelling and grammar check. It actually checks your manuscript for excessive use of adverbs, passive writing, and repetitious diction. The AutoCrit is not free, but you can rest easy knowing that it was developed by a writer and linguist, Nina Davies, in an effort to improve her own writing. You might also elect to use human proofreaders and copyeditors through an online service like Verbal Ink. Remember that no matter what route you choose, you want someone or something that can help you weed through the flaws in grammar and style in your work. When you begin to realize your pattern of mistakes, you will learn to write more efficiently.
6. A Shoebox of Ideas
Like Pinterest, Evernote helps to keep all the things that interest you in one place. However, unlike Pinterest, Evernote can keep things like music, itineraries, and whole webpage snapshots in one space that you, as well as anyone you wish, can access from any computer or mobile device. Writers will find Evernote useful in that it can save all of your research sources, including pictures, notes and diagrams in one spot online. It can also keep everything that inspires you within arm’s reach.
7. A Reader
As a writer, you sometimes might get sick of researching and straining your eyes to read the contents of an online source. With SoundGecko, available for free online, you can turn any article or RSS feed into an mp3 file. The app sends the file to your email where you can download it and play it on any supporting device. You can also stream the file directly from the SoundGecko website. This is ideal for the busy writer who has a lot of driving to do. It also works well at the gym, where reading and exercising takes too much effort. Getting more research done as a writer means you’re getting that much closer to completing an assignment.