My Favorite Writerly Apps

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! 😉

  1. Scrivener
    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!

  2. Dropbox
    Dropbox keeps your files synced between your phone, tablet,, 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.

  3. Simplenote
    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.

  4. Writer Lists
    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!

  5. 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!

  6. Carrot To-Do
    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…

  7. Due
    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!!!

  8. 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.

  9. Nature Space
    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!

  10. Spotify
    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!

Giveaway Winners Revealed!

Apologies for the extreme lateness of this post… The reason for its lateness is very lengthy, so just know that it involves a hacked wifi router, algebra, a new phone, and multiple security scans on a MacBook that are still going on as I am writing this. Just take my advice and don’t EVER download Mac Keeper! Also I a typing this on my phone with a demented bluetooth keyboard, so I am sorry in advance for any nonsense! Anyway, this post is to announce the winners of this giveaway! So without further rambling from me…
Tanya is the Winner of Scrivener, and Abby is the winner of Storyist! I don’t really wanna post the discount code here because… obvious reasons, so I’m just going to message both of you guys on twitter! 😄

The Story of the Possessed Calculator

Once Upon A Time Handwritten
Once upon a time, in the real-life world, there was a blind algebra student who was trying to do a crap load of homework after laying on the couch with a sinus infection for two days. In order to properly calculate the absolute value of x and y, this student used a graphing calculator just like those used in classrooms far and wide, except for the little synthesized robot named Betty that lived inside it and read out the numbers for people who couldn’t see what she put on the screen for them.
Betty was being quite a good little robot and was happily calculating things, (hopefully correctly), as the student wrote down equations, typed in numbers, and occasionally yelled at Siri to google mathematical terms. And then suddenly Betty was not very happy anymore, and she announced that her battery was critically low. She began to slur her words as though she were drunk and stuttered hopelessly over her words as the somewhat frazzled student tried to find her battery hatch! And then, she died completely!
Now our little story does not, in fact, end with Betty’s demise! Horrified because her calculator had died one problem away from being finished with her homework, the student rushed Betty to her Dad to see if he could find the battery compartment. Upon locating the compartment, her dad exchanged the spent batteries for new ones, and that gave Betty a bit of juice. Said student’s dad could now perform such simple math as, “2+2 = 4,” and “1+4 = 5,” but Betty did not utter a word while this was going on! If Betty could not talk, the student could not read her calculation results, and therefore no Algebra homework could be completed… But our story doesn’t end there either!
After pressing numerous buttons and making multiple google searches, the student concluded that there was no fixing Betty without a call to tech support, and therefore she would just have to attempt to do the last problem on her phone or Braille sense calculator. Dropping Betty on her desk to await the opening of the calculator company, the student set about the extremely confusing task of entering numbers and parenthesis into her phone calculator. Three steps into the lengthy equation, she was interrupted by a horrible sounding buzz coming out of Betty’s speakers! The hideous buzzing noise repeated itself about four times during the amount of time it took the student to complete her problem, and by then she was quite sick of hearing it! This time she took Betty to her mom to see if anything was on the screen of importance, and her solution was to take Betty’s batteries out completely until morning, when a call to tech support could be made. Upon the removal of her batteries, Betty insisted that her power was low, and that she was, “shutting down now!” She then proceeded to vibrate repeatedly, even though both her main and backup batteries had been removed, and technically she shouldn’t have had any power with which she could vibrate! The family then concluded that Betty had gone bananas and should be left on the kitchen table for the night! The student then returned to her room to email her Algebra teacher and say that her calculator was possessed, and therefore she couldn’t do her next assignment, and then she flopped on her bed and began to entertain her followers by writing a blog post about betty the Possessed Calculator!

Yes, that is a true story! My calculator is somehow vibrating and making hideous buzzing noises with no batteries! I’m just a lil bit creeped out…