Like every professional, a writer needs and uses a number of tools to produce a quality product. I thought I might share some of my current favourites with you. These are not a definitive list at all, and they change over time depending on my mood but these have been the most consistent. The ones I go back to time and time again, like trusty old friends.
Scrivener – according to their website this is a ‘powerful content-generation tool’. Okay, so is Word or Pages if you use a Mac. But Scrivener offers so much more that I’d have to dedicate a whole post to it. I use it for first drafts as I write in scenes and it is so easy to move these around if you change your mind. It offers distraction free writing, just the screen and the words, and has a useful ‘corkboard function’ which is a kind of digital’ form of index cards. It also exports your projects into Word when you’re finished. I’m using it to prepare this blog as it is also easy to gather and collect research, website information and images. What’s not to like? As with many things (the cooker, the washer… the laptop!) I only use about 25% of its functions.
Pocket – Do you sign up for newsletter and articles via email? If so, your inbox probably gets full up of ‘for reading later’ stuff which you end up deleting some days later. (Sign up to my newsletter in the side bar – I can’t miss the opportunity for a bit of self marketing!) But to get back on track, Pocket is a great tool for saving things to read later, it can be accessed from a tablet or iPad which is perfect as I don’t read easily on laptop. It doesn’t feel like reading. You can send web pages as well and label things for easy reference. I have lots of articles labelled as Scrivener!
One Note– I use this tool for bookmarking research, collecting information for particular WiPs . It’s like a virtual binder for organising information. Again, it’s very powerful and you can create documents and all sorts. I should probably learn to use it more. It gets a bit untidy, a bit like my desk.
Bookshelf – both hard and digital, I love collecting books and have a lot of ‘how to’ in my writers tool box, many of which I will refer to time and time again. I will start to blog about ones I’ve found useful… they range from the humble dictionary to self editing and marketing publications
The ones I would take to a desert island though, remain very simple.
Desktop Tools – no, not of the virtual nature but the old fashioned, traditional kind; my diary, calendar, coloured pens and fountain pens. As those close to me will know, I love lists and ticking things off. Here is a picture of this months calendar which I pin above my desk to keep me on track.
So what favourite writing tools do you have in your box? If you could only choose one, which would be your desert island choice?
Next Week: I will be sharing some of the books on my Bookshelf