Some days when I sit down to write, I think I would be more productive if I went back to using an old-fashioned typewriter. There are so many distractions, so many choices, so much speed to everything! Then I remember the hours spent re-typing term papers, or trying not to be impatient and smudge a correction as I waited for the White Out to dry. I come back to reality even faster when I stumble across a writer’s tool that just blows my mind. Distractions are with us to stay. That’s a fact. Great apps, tools, websites, and hundreds of other helps are also with us to stay, not only making the writing process easier but allowing us to become better writers. Everything we need is right at our finger tips in the comfort of our own homes. Check the three tools that I’m trying. A starter version is free and may be all you need.
FOCUSWRITER – Speaking of distraction free writing, this clears everything off of your screen except exactly what you need and want. There is no spell check and this particular app only accommodates .txt files.
AutoCrit – I love this site! Do you ever worry you’ve used the same word fifty times in one paragraph, or you are pretty sure you’re guilty of an adverb habit? Do you change tense without realizing it? We’re all guilty of bad writing habits. They tend to creep up on us. Well, fear no more. Just click into AutoCrit, copy and paste your ms. into the little box on the site and in nothing flat you will receive a complete report on all your little foibles. The good news is that you will also see what you’re doing right! It will not only help you fix manuscripts you are working on, it will make you a better writer by calling your attention to common errors that when corrected make a piece of writing more enjoyable to read.
Evernote – I downloaded EverNote today. Everyone is talking about it. ComputerWorld touted it to be “the best web-clipping tool you can find”, as did PC Magazine. If you’re looking for an app that helps you organize your online research, give it try.