Probably, you’ve never seen anyone juggle a notebook to scribble thoughts in transit. Or waiting in line to place a deli order. But that doesn’t mean they don’t happen.
Three years ago, I wrote a post about almost slamming my tiny little face into a metal pole.
I was writing. Walking + writing, to be honest.
Over time, technology has scooped us creatives up and set us down on this rock called Hope, told us we could let our minds wander in the spaces between bus stops and red lights and office hours and find answers to our next stories. Technology has freed us to dream without risk of losing them to wind gusts.
Let’s start with Google products, because I could gush about them all day long.
Google Drive is a cloud-based tool for word processing, spreadsheets, forms, presentations, etc. It’s like having all your Word documents in your pocket. (Note: I secretly adore the iPhone app for Google Drive, too.) Save your whole life on the cloud, if you want. I’ve used it to jot down quick notes, paragraphs, topics, titles, sentences, phrases, etc. when I’ve just arrived at work and have a half-baked idea formulating from my commute, on campus (when I was in college), and even still on my laptop. It eliminates the need for hard drive space and makes sharing easy for collaborative inter-office communications or writing groups [link here].
I admit it. I send myself emails like a total dork. Some of them are links on links on links of writing, design, communications, marketing, etc. articles I want to read/tweet/pin later. Others are things I suddenly remember I wanted to do, like send a chapter to a friend or finish my editorial calendar. Then, the ones I have to write down (and can’t keep because I’m not at home or don’t have paper) go in a folder labeled To Read.
I told you. I’m obsessed with the big ‘G’. I have had a crush on Google for probably 10 years. And somehow, in all the insanity that was my life in high school, I had no idea that Google made time management look like color-induced bliss. Google Calendar allows you to have multiple color-coded calendars (each set to hidden or visible) all on one nifty screen. So naturally, it’s a great option for editorial calendars (shareable with other Google Accounts) and moving through any submission-based editorial process or plotting your blog’s monthly topics with deadlines for yourself and guest contributors. You can also choose how far in advance you’d like to receive a pop-up notification and/or email notification for any given calendar event.
Sorry, not sorry, but this is a tad bit ‘Apple is Ah-mazing’ biased because I am in love with the Notes app on iProducts. I have written entire blog posts in Notes (also see the dictation feature) while sitting in my car in the library or Wegman’s parking lot. All the notes sync with my Google account, so I can see them in the Notes folder of my email, too.
Not the hefty paper weight. That’s cool, yo, but not the book. I’m talking about the dictionary built into your computer. Click on the word and choose ‘Dictionary’ from the ‘Tools’ drop-down menu. Word. Defined. Bam. (Coolest part: the thesaurus). I’m a sucker for words, so I’ll be writing something and know that there is this word inside me, I know it but can’t explain it, and I’ll search the thesaurus for every other word I’m thinking of until it hits me. It’s sort of boring, sure, but it’s better than using the wrong word. (Word nerds: back me up on that?)
What are your go-to writing/editing tools? Did you hand yourself over to technology or holding your pen to paper until your wrist aches? Or both?
By the way, every month I send out a short + sweet newsletter brimming with cool finds related to the monthly theme. It'd be stellar if you subscribed. If it's not worthy, it doesn't go in the newsletter. That. Simple.