Smart Phones and Apps that Aide Writers

Saturday, August 14, 2010
There's an app for that. The smart phones do so much more than make calls or connect to the internet.  The smart phone is expanding the laptop (a writer's best tool). There's an abundance of apps to make the writer's life easier and more productive.

On The Go-Lightning Fast Service 

Writers can't always take a laptop with us, but most of them keep their cell phones close by. The speed with which the phone connects to the internet is amazing. Emails on the fly, and access to social media sites day or night makes the smart phone a must have tool for writers. It's easy to get bogged down by the massive amounts of emails that are received. With the addition of Facebook, Twitter and other social media groups, emails grow faster than stars popping out on a clear night.   Each new message comes with an audible nudge, like saying "Droid". The email can be handled at a convenient time, view it, delete it or file it.  

Access to Social Media
After the smart phone notifies the user of a new entry from the social media service she has subscribed to, it makes an easy transition from email to Facebook, Twitter, MySpace or any other site the writer has joined.

Synchronizing an online calendar with your phone makes it easy to add and remove entries. It's a great way to stay on top of writing schedules. The Muffin's calendar is a free calendar provided by Google. Sync several calendars together add icons and reminders. The email reminder is very useful. Writing schedules, events, appointments and birthdays reside on the same calendar.  

News and Weather Updates
Read the latest updates from sites you subscribe to using RSS. Google reader is accessible to the pc and the phone.  
In order to expand their horizons, writers need to be aware of current events and the news. Traveling to a writer's conference or taking your books in for a signing? What's the weather going to be doing in that area?

Office Programs
Read PDF's, make out invoices, edit documents and perform other office tasks right from the phone.

Download books and articles to smart phone apps like the Kindle or Google reader. The color or of the screen and the size of the print can be adjusted.

Early morning on the riverbank with the fog clinging to cattails, storm clouds rolling in like dust raised by a thousand buffalos or a meadow sprinkled with yellow flowers are just a few scenarios that could make a great setting for a story. How wonderful to snap a photo, save it, email it or post it immediately to a social media. There are free sights that the photos upload to for safe storage and easy access when the writer needs to refresh her mind.

Music sets the perfect mood for work or relaxation. Subscriptions to internet radio, YouTube or other places that supply music steam easily to the smart phone.
Voice Notes Recorder
Of all the apps, the Voice recorder is the most valuable for recording ideas, notes, character studies and location descriptions. Read articles or chapters into the voice recorder to hear the rhythm of the writing. Name the voice notes and add typed notes in the description to aide in recall. The use of this app is as vast as the sky.

This is just a sampling of the power behind the smart phones. With a little research, apps as vast as the universe can be found either on a pc, laptop or with internet access from the phone. New apps are created every day. In addition, calls to a publisher, editor or critique partner can be placed from the cell phone.



Jeff & Nicki said...

When you have so much wrapped in one little gadget, what happens when you drop it in a river or down a flight of concrete stairs?

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