If you’re a newcomer to this blog and you haven’t already figured this out, I’m a self-proclaimed tech nerd as well as a writer and bookworm! I recently cleaned out my iPad, (no one needs 128 apps in their life when they aren’t using 50 of them), and decided to compile a list of the top ten writing apps that got to stay on my home screen. I am using the Mac/IOS versions of everything, but I’m pretty sure some of them have Android and Windows apps as well. Also, if you’re visually impaired, all of these apps are fully accessible with Voiceover! 😉
Scrivener is literally the best thing that has ever happened to my writing process! It basically lets me have all of the files associated with my WIP right in front of me in the same window! If you’re a writer and you’ve ever had to do a bunch of research for something, you know what it’s like to have multiple Word docs stored in multiple subfolders. It’s not exactly the easiest thing in the world to look at your research info and your writing document at the same time, and when it comes to reorganizing the scenes that you wrote in the wrong order, you’re in for a copy/paste party and lots of scrolling. Scrivener makes all that super easy because you basically get to drag and drop virtual index cards around your screen! It’s kinda hard to explain, but it’s amazing, and you should go download the trial!
Dropbox keeps your files synced between your phone, tablet, dropbox.com, and the Dropbox folder on your desktop! Also, you can put your Scrivener projects in there, so all your writing syncs with the Scrivener IOS app! If you forced me to pick only two writing apps, Scrivener and Dropbox would be my dream team.
Simplenote is possibly the easiest text editor I’ve ever used on my phone. All you have to do is open the app, tap the plus button, and start typing. It keeps everything synced in the ever mysterious cloud so you always have it on any device. You can even collaborate on notes by putting someone’s email address in the tag field! It’s kind of like Google Docs, but simpler and way more blind friendly. I put all my random brainstorm notes in Simplenote before I transfer any of them to Scrivener.
This app as a list for pretty much anything you could possibly want. I use the name lists all the time, and sometimes I’ll shuffle a random list to get a quick writing prompt. I believe the IOS app costs $3 now, but it is well worth the money!
Write or Die!
This is for those times when you just really cannot make words happen. It’s for those of you who need some rather… threatening circumstances to get you through writer’s block, and it does its job quite well! I usually don’t need any incentive to write, but it’s super fun to just watch my score climb!
Have you ever wanted an angry robot to yell at you for not completing items on your to-do list? There’s an app for that! I put all of my tasks into Carrot To-Do, (writing related or otherwise), and I’ve actually been a lot more productive since I bought the app. There’s just something about an angry robot screaming at you that makes you wanna do stuff so she’ll shut up and let you gain a level so you can unlock another function of the app…
This app lets you create reminders and preset timers. I haven’t used the reminder feature much because I always either yell at Siri to make my reminders or feed them to Carrot, but the preset timer thing is awesome! I do a lot of word sprints, and I also use the Pomodoro method, so that means I set a lot of timers! I don’t always wanna yell at Siri to set a timer, and the little flicky time picker thingy in the IOS clock app gets real old when you change the time length 20 times in a given day, so having a list of timers set for various lengths of time that I can just tap to start is super nice! Also, it has cool sounds!!!
Voice Dream Reader
This is a text to speech app that was originally developed for the blind and dyslexic. Basically you can give it almost any document, hit play, and it’ll read it in a really good sounding computerized voice. You can also buy several other high quality voices, and some of them make your documents sound almost like a real audio book! I’ve used Voice Dream to read eBooks and convert stuff to blind friendly formats for a while, but I recently got the idea to use it to play some of my writing. I’m currently editing my “shaman novel,” and listening to it with Voice Dream Reader has helped me pick out some rough places, so I thought I’d include it on this list.
So maybe this isn’t directly related to writing, but I’m the kind of writer who cannot write in silence. When I just need a little background noise, this is my go-to app. It has a ton of super realistic sounding nature sounds, so I can slip on my noise canceling headphones, turn on some ocean waves, and write away!
This isn’t directly writing related either, but I always make a playlist for the plot and characters of whatever I’m working on. I use Spotify to do it because it’s super easy to use, I don’t have to pay $1.29 a song, and it even shows me related content so I can find songs that I myself might never listen to but that fit my characters perfectly!
That concludes my top ten writerly apps! I hope y’all found this helpful, and feel free to ask me any questions about any of these! Also, tell me about your favorite writerly apps in the comments!