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Tuesday, August 30, 2011

All Tooled Up: Tools, Tips, and Writerly Solutions

What The Heck Is It?

This is a picture of my favorite writing tool—noise reduction ear muffs. I don’t use them very often but if the television is on in the other room or the neighbors dogs are barking up a marathon salvation is hanging on the wall behind me right next to the calendar.

Writers are natural explorers. We research, we test, we discover, we innovate…and then we share. Today I’m inviting you to share your favorite, most unusual, or most productive writing tool. Perhaps you outline on a dry erase board or rough draft in charcoal pencil. Maybe you’ve found the perfect place to download business templates or can share with us a fabulous accounting system.

Have you found the perfect pen, a terrific website designer, no-hassle hosting or a cost effective solution to any writerly dilemma? Please—do tell! Inquiring minds want to know.

Robyn Chausse


  1. Morning, Robyn!
    My share for this morning is a new techie tool I found that has freed up so much space on my computer, I am amazed someone didn't think this up years ago. It's a USB plus hub. I can put all my USB plugs in one port that actually has space to piggy-back another port just like it. I don't need that feature, but I sure did need the seven USB outlets it offers.

    I gained a 4"X12" space to the left of my computer. It's wonderful!

  2. Ha! I listen to music on big clunky headphones like that. Turns out when I turn off the music they do a great job of blocking out noise as well.

    But my biggest discovery recently has been legal pads. I realize that doesn't sound too high-tech but they're so much easier to write in than notebook for when you need a shot of free-hand writing AND, for lefties like me they eliminate a tone of hassle. :)

  3. Great Ideas!

    Hey Linda, thanks for that one...many of the new laptops I've seen are sparse on USB outlets...I think my dad's has two! He needs one of those.

    Great information doesn't have to be high tech. Thanks for mentioning the legal pads. Not only are they easier to use but I've seen them in packs of 10 for less than the cost of one spiral notebook--and they often are available in recycled paper.

    This is fun, I hope to see more pointers!

  4. I spoil myself with paper--the kind of paper that makes it exciting to scribble all over it. I collect anything from 1950s stationery to recycled and bumpy paper. For some reason, I'm not so daunted by the page since it's already beautiful. Greenroom products are inexpensive and fun.

  5. Hi April,
    I love unusual personal stationery, not only for letter writing but for crafting. If you have resources for retro or handcrafted let me know :)
    I also like recycled products, thanks for the tip on Greenroom.

    Available at Target, the website is greenroomeco[dot]com. There is a link to there blog where you can view their line of binders, stationery, notebooks, file folders, etc...

  6. I help small businesses and creatives (writers, photographers, artists, etc.) with their marketing so I just have to brag on my awesome graphic designer.

    Nola Cooper of Nola Cooper Designs ( designs beautiful, functional Wordpress sites, custom designs Twitter and Facebook pages and does gorgeous print work. She did my one-sheet for the last conference I attended and everyone raved.

    She gives free quotes and is super affordable. And once you have a WP site set up, adding content is as easy as working with MS Word.

  7. I've always been a journal fan. Love journals! I used to spend a lot on the most expensive, but lately, I've found stacks of journals about the size of paperbacks at an artist chain, each a dollar. They have unique covers, so I can differentiate between which has 1 story, and which has another type of story.

  8. When I get mentally stuck in the writing process and have exhausted all other options I rearrange the layout of a few pieces of furniture in my study or if it has been quite a while, all of the furniture. Something about moving those physical pieces around allows me to move things around mentally where before they wouldn't budge. It may sound a little off, but it gets me unstuck every time.

  9. Hi Nicole,

    I see you are working on a book. I love the title and the synopsis and would really like to read it when you are finished so keep us posted :)
    Thanks for sharing Nola's info with us--so many of us are looking for a great designer!

    Hi Kayfey,

    Great tip! Thanks!
    I love journals too but never though of writing my book that way.

    Actually I think you're onto something...isn't that the basis of feng shui--paying attention to the the movement of energy? They say it can stagnate just like pond water.
    Thanks for the tip!
    Ummm, can you help me move my desk?


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