It seems like there are a million and one things going against you when you are a writer trying to get your writing done. There are other commitments, distractions, things to clean, walls to stare at, and a million other ways to put off getting some real, actual writing done. This is something I struggle with… a lot! But I have been working on trying to create more structure in my day and make the most of my time. As with most modern day people, I have learned to completely rely on modern technology to help me do it. So, here are a few helpful apps that can help other writers or anyone else be more productive.
This time tracking app is a great way to monitor your time whether you’re at home or away. I use the desktop and mobile version to track my time doing tasks and figure out where I can cut time to get more done. It’s way too easy to go on Facebook or Twitter for a few seconds, then two hours later come to the realization that you are still on Facebook or Twitter! Toggl will also prompt when you aren’t tracking time, which is a great reminder to get back to work. After you use it for a few days you start to realize where all that extra time you need to get your book done is actually going.
Novlr is an online writing app that is ideal for me as a writer. Most of my writing time tends to happen at night, so I would wake up with some really exhausted eyes in the morning from staring at the bright, white Pages screen all night. Novlr’s night mode was the perfect solution. It blacks out my screen and just leaves white words for me to focus on.
I can get easily distracted by something as the buttons and icons on a word processing program, Novlr is designed just for you. In full screen, it’s just you and the story. I took a screenshot of how it looks when I get to work on writing. It’s a bit pricey at $10 a month, so I’d suggest going for a lifetime membership next time it’s offered.
I’ve gotten hooked on making lists of things to do in order to keep my life organized, even while most of my mental energy is directed towards writing. My wife will tell you how scatterbrained I can be. You tell me something and I will probably forget it five minutes later… unless it’s something I can put in Wunderlist. This is great for everyday stuff, like adding items to a grocery list or making sure I remember to mail out the bills each month.But, it’s also great for writing. You can set a date or time to accomplish a
But, it’s also great for writing. You can set a date or time to accomplish a specific task. And set yourself reminders to work on those tasks. I use it to set up my goals for the day whether it be checking sales, blogging, checking social media or writing a set amount of words. Once I get those things done, I move on to my next task and don’t spend extra time lingering unnecessarily.
Grammarly is a desktop app and web browser extension that is an advanced spell-checker. It works whether you’re writing on the web or in many word processing applications. While no programs seem to help you perfectly edit a text, Grammarly is a good tool to save a lot of time. It points out many grammar mistakes as well as repetitive or vague word usage. I put every chapter I write through Grammarly and usually at least find 20-30 corrections that were missed in editing.
Ever wished you could write like Hemingway? Well, this app won’t teach you that. However, it does some cool stuff to help make your writing “bold and clear” like Papa Hemingway himself. Hemingway will point out sentences that are difficult to read, usages of passive voice, as well as adverbs that can easily be cut. The app will also indicate the average grade reading level and ease of reading overall. Best of all it’s completely free to use online and is a great tool when making revisions.
Buffer is a great tool for anyone that needs to maintain a social media presence for themselves or their business. This simple app allows you to create up to ten social media posts for twitter, facebook, linkedin, or google+ and schedule them several days in advance. As a writer, this allows me to spend an hour on figuring out my content for the next several days so I can put social media aside and totally ignore it while I get some real work done.
Now if only they made an app that mowed my lawn, changed diapers and helped children sleep through the night. That would really make it easier to get things done! Do you have apps you can’t live without or that make managing your life and work much easier?