Monday, June 29, 2009

Choosing the Best Writing Tools

Although some writers still insist that their muse will vacate the premises unless they are writing on paper, that is not the case for most of us. We typically like the "type once" approach that a device provides. Today there are more choices than ever before. Here are a few that work for me.

Quickpad - The Quickpad is a small, keyboard sized device with a small four line LCD display window. It starts up very quickly, saves quickly, and shuts down quickly. That combined with long battery life and and light weight make this a great device for writing on the go. I have found this to be perfect for writing a first draft. The four line screen is not very helpful for editing.

Smartphone - That's right, I said smartphone. I would not recommend writing a novel on a phone-size device, but it is great for blogging, social networking, and even writing articles. Take advantage of those fifteen minutes you wait for the oil change or sit in a waiting room. I use a T-Mobile Shadow and have written more than fifty of my blog posts from the phone.

Netbook - The most popular computer devices on the market are also great for writers on the go. The small form-factor, light weight, and Wi-fi connectivity make them perfect for blogging, writing articles, social networking, and writing novel length fiction. I recommend a screen ten inches or larger, less for the screen size than for the larger keyboard which allows for comfortable typing.

Laptop/Desktop PC/MAC - Most writers today use a PC/MAC as their primary writing tool. It is my top choice for serious writing and my only choice for editing. Why mess with a good thing.

Word Processing - I still prefer MS Word over most of the competition, but I have used the free OpenOffice package and it did what I expected from a word processor. Google Docs has been my recent tool of choice which is helpful if you find yourself writing from different computers or internet enabled devices.

The bottom line is you have a lot of options. Choose wisely and you may even increase your writing productivity.

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