These days, there’s a crazy amount of competition in the world of literature. Fortunately, there are also more tools than ever to help writers create, organize and publicize their work!
There are hundreds of thousands of mobile apps available for Apple, Android and BlackBerry devices, and too many specifically geared toward writing to even list. However, we’re spotlighting several of our favorites this month in a series of blogs covering word processing/writing apps, writer’s tools, blogs and social media apps, and even applications for tracking your work.
Today we’ll focus on tools you can use to get the creative juices flowing and keep your writing on track.
We all get writer’s block at one time or another. The Brainstormer is designed to inspire you to break out of that mental vapor lock and start creating again. A shake of your smartphone or iPad activates the spinning wheels, which churn out endless combinations of random ideas you can spin off into a brand new story of your own. The Brainstormer is a terrific starting point for writers who’ve committed to writing regularly but are unsure where to start.
Similar in ways to The Brainstormer, Writing Prompts provides you with ideas you can use to begin writing a scene or story — settings, characters, objects in the scene or story, genre and phrases to jump start the project. Save your favorite combinations and even customize your prompts with ideas of your own.
Writers are notorious for procrastinating; any tool that encourages discipline is a boon! Whether you’re participating in NaNoWriMo or just trying to get more focused on your writing in general, Pomodoro is useful for staying on task. This timer divides your task time into half-hour segments made up of 25-minute chunks of time (called pomodoros) for work and 5-minute breaks. It’s a fantastic way to get a lot done in a short time, while still allowing for stretch breaks and vital burnout prevention.
When ideas just spill out faster than your fingers can fly — or one finger in the case of mobile apps — a talk-to-text application is essential. There are thousands of apps that record voice and/or take dictation, but Dragon Dictation is one of our favorites for its accuracy. Just press record and start talking. Yes, you’ll get a few interesting interpretations of your dictation, but this is one of the most accurate dictation apps available and it’s regularly updated.
We love the functionality of this micro-dictionary and thesaurus! Not only is it speedy and user-friendly, but it also instantly provides you with a list of words similar to the one you’ve searched. Another huge plus is that once the app is downloaded to your device, you don’t need an Internet connection to use it. While there are many — and we mean many — electronic dictionaries available to mobile device users in every imaginable price range, few offer as much bang for the buck for under a dollar.
Keep an eye on this blog for more apps for writers. Next time, we’ll highlight the essential blogging and social media applications and how to use them. In the meantime, we’d love to hear from you about your favorite productivity apps and the unique ways you’ve put them to work!