It’s easy to get distracted from writing with constant access to technology and the internet (just how does it have the power to make you lose a solid hour to looking at a baby owl riding a toy animal around the house?) Rather than let this divert your attention from the writing process, why not use it to your advantage instead? Here are eight useful apps to help with productivity, time management and the writing process itself.
- Freedom: This is the nemesis of procrastination and a work of genius. You switch it on and it blocks your access to the internet for the time specified, or you can create a custom list to block certain sites. It also works as a smartphone app although the Facebook app is great at resisting it, hence the specific advice the app provides on ‘how to block facebook.’
2. Grammarly: This Google Chrome add-on works as a grammar checker and is much more in-depth than Microsoft word. It’ll highlight any mistakes no matter where you’re typing, handy if you’re in a rush or if grammar isn’t your strong suit. It can also be integrated into Word, the premium version offering other more in depth features.
3. Write or Die: Another enemy of procrastination and battles the fear of getting started. Enter a time limit and a word goal, then you choose between reward, consequence or stimulus mode. These either give positive reinforcements when you reach milestones towards meeting your goal or set off unpleasant alarms or images if you stop writing and become distracted. If you’re feeling particularly brutal towards yourself then choose kamikaze mode; which will eat your words until you start writing again.
4. Novlr: This novel writing software was built by writers and allows you to log on and access your words anywhere. It’s user focused and the software is constantly improving and providing what its writers have asked for. You can save individual chapters which makes it easy to navigate your novel in progress, rather than scrolling through an endless word document. It also provides offline writing, integrating with google drive to back everything up.
5. Evernote: If you can never find which piece of paper or notebook you’ve written something down in then Evernote is the solution. It’s an app for notetaking and syncs between desktop and the app, meaning you can add whatever pops into your head no matter where you are.
6. Dubscript: Dubscript is a screenplay app for Andriod which prides itself on being easy to use, giving you the ability to write in plain text without having to figure out the usual stuff which comes with screenwriting software. It saves to your device rather than the cloud and doesn’t require an internet connection to use.
7. Threadnote: This is another note taking app for iPhone; it records your notes and thoughts like tweets (although they are not shared with the world of Twitter, they remain for your eyes only.) It’s handy for jotting things down quickly and adding in a hashtag means that topics can be organised together and easy to find again.
8. Be Focused: This is basically an app version of the Pomodoro technique which is a method for managing your time, following the logic that you can only concentrate on one thing for short bursts. For example the timer is set at 25 minutes which is your window for completely focused work and then you’re allowed a five-minute break. It breaks things up into small chunks, making a big scary task feel manageable.
Do you swear by any of these apps, or use any others to help you write? Let us know in the comments.