Time for a quick list of actual tools I use for writing.
This isn’t the “exhaustive” list…but it’s the most commonly used tools and a couple of new tools I’m going to try out. I’ll even include what they’re used for. Remember, this isn’t a template…it’s just what works for me.
- Moleskine Notebooks – I use a lot of these. I specifically use the Evernote Moleskine Notebook (really!), They are tough, come in many species and do the job, last a very, very long time. The Evernote variety actually works as advertised.
- Tarot Cards – Yes, you read that right. I learned how to read Tarot decades ago and figured out they work well in fleshing out characters. Now I can look at a picture and get the “Oh yeah! This character would do this…” reaction. For me, it works great.
- If you plan on trying this, keep it simple. Just pick up a simple deck with a simple book and go. Don’t get lost in the world of Tarot while trying to write something…they’re a great distraction.
- Freemind – Mind Mapping, another thing I’ve used (without knowing it) for my entire life. Freemind is an Open Source (free) piece of software that runs on just about any platform. It’s no-frills, easy to learn and powerful. I’ve tried literally hundreds of these programs and always return to this one.
- Google Drive – Screw Office. I pretty much have everything I need right in one place, accessible everywhere from everything…even if I’m offline.
- Evernote – I really started using Evernote in 2008 and became a Premium Member in 2011. I will not live without it! If you do not use it, you should take a serious look. This is the link between pen, paper and screen for me! In fact, the first person that asks me will get a year of Premium for free (reply in the comments).
- IFTTT – “If This, Then That”. This website uses channels (Evernote, for example) to connect information to another channel as “Recipies”. So, if I save an article I read, scan it into Evernote, with specific tags (or use Pocket to save it in Evernote), IFTTT can take that and add it to a spreadsheet on Google Drive. If I get a news alert about a specific story, it can make lights flash. If it’s going to rain on a day I want to ride my motorcycle, I can be alerted a variety of ways! Think of IFTTT as the glue that makes all those damn accounts you have work together. And it’s easy!
- What does this have to do with writing? Depends on what I’m writing…sometimes it delivers new information from unlikely sources, as it happens. Think about it…
- Scrivner – Here’s one of the new ones I’ll be trying. I’ve used it for a few projects before, but never to its full extent. To be honest, give me a mind map, a whiteboard and a bunch of sticky notes, a camera, and 90% of the “Scrivner” work is done. If this starts distracting me, then it goes away…so we’ll see.
- Soundcloud, AGBT, BT, etc. – Give me some good “Trance” music to write by and all is well.
- Space, Time and Isolation – Finally, these three things. Give me these, most of all, and understanding. I can’t do this without them…sometimes that means I take off on my motorcycle for a bit. Other times it means closing the door. It never means I don’t care.