The variety and selection of writer’s tools are endless because their selection is so subjective. Here are what we believe are the essential ones every writer should have in their writer’s toolbox.
We invite you to submit additional tools you think may be useful to other writers. Submit to Richard at email@example.com
Win 10 has STICKIES and it is free. Serious computer users will find no better ‘sticky’ notes app than NOTEZILLA.
NOTEZILLA, the Cadillac of sticky notes, app does what every digital note making app does and more: reminders, colors, formatting customization, folders, and much more. Its coup de grace feature is its capability to stick a note to a website. That note pops up on your next visit to the website reminding you what you noted.
The app is uniquely priced with the developer, Conceptworld, The entry price is high but after the first year of subscription, the app is competitively and fairly priced. However, NOTEZILLA is so superior to all other such apps, its initial fee becomes justifiable in no time.
NOTEZILLA has a free trial version available at Concept World. [Full disclosure: we have built up a relationship with Concept World over the years. If you are seriously interested in the app, contact Richard who may be able to arrange an extension of the trial period for you or even get subsidization for the initial price of purchase.]
(expensive investment in devices)
Not a writer’s tool per se, but a program that runs on Apple devices (iPad) only but one that will become your right/left arm in no time. NOTABILITY is an electronic notepad on steroids. Type, draw, highlight, record, copy, paste, edit…do it all digitally as if writing into a notebook. Big advantages though, portability, storability, retrievability…this is the very best of any tools you can get if you use computers. [ Unfortunately, NOTABILITY is available on Apple devices only. You will need to buy an iPad device and an Apple pencil (vers. 2 is best). But if you are serious about writing and research, this is roughly a $1200 investment that just gets better and better as you use it. It will become your right-hand assistant in so many ways, you will wonder how you worked without it.]
(usable on multi-platforms)
“If you’re a writer, this extension is an absolutely essential.” It highlights spelling and grammar errors instantly letting you decide whether or not to use the suggestion, but often it improves what you wrote.
The free version will serve most writers very well. Try the free version for a period to evaluate it.
Grammarly can be downloaded at Grammarly.com
MS OFFICE (WORD, EXCEL)
WORD and EXCEL are the foundation of MS Office applications.
WORD is a word processing program used by much of the text writing world. There are free versions of text processing programs such as Office Libre and Google Docs but WORD is our word processor of choice.
Many people view EXCEL as a numbers crunching program, a spreadsheet. It is but it can be much more. Manage lists, inventories, rosters and such data, and be able to manipulate and modify easily to suit your needs. Free alternative programs are easily found on the Internet.
A word processing program on steroids. Scrivener is not for the easily intimidated computer user. It is a very powerful text management program that takes common word processors to new heights. Manage your writing in ‘movable chunks,’ easily arranged and rearranged at the click of a mouse. The program also is noteworthy for its final productivity. You can compile your output into more than a dozen formats: book, ebooks, pdf files, WORD files, generic text files, very handy if you need the capability of producing your material in different formats.
Most email programs are similar. If you use anything in the Google family, consider Gmail for your email needs. It actually has some in-depth features that make it very useful, maybe a notch more than many other email programs. MS Outlook seems to be playing a good game of ‘catch up’ nowadays. Try Gmail taking some effort to learn its deeper features. It will redeem the effort it took to learn it very quickly.
Again, if you are using GOOGLE products, it is best to stay within the family for compatibility efficiency.
There are many browsers available on the Internet today. But again, if you are a GOOGLE user, stick with GOOGLE Chrome as your browser of choice. Again, learning its many features will do you well. Serious computer users may quibble over aspects about Chrome but for most people these are not enough to change the game. [ I found one bit of discomfort. Google does monitor your work which may result in advertising popups later. But I can live with this, especially as there are ways to reduce or eradicate the issue if it is problematic. ]
The GOOGLE CHROME browser offers its users little applets, programs that perform specific tasks. Here is a partial list of some excellent ones for writers:
This is a very useful and practical GOOGLE extension. Configure it to display synonyms, antonyms and/or definitions. Then, merely click on the extension, type in your word and voila, the results pop up on the screen.