Writing and Technology ....
There are lots of writers and workshops and retreats that push writing without technology and internet connectivity, or with minimal technology and connectivity ... I am not that kind of writer.
I keep lots of apps open and running all the time, downloading new ones everyday, and ruthlessly weeding out the ones I don't love and use all the time. When I'm writing on my Chromebook, I usually have a couple of these same things open in background tabs, but to a lesser degree (both to reduce clutter and in an effort to reduce my demands on bandwidth and battery in my laptop).
Here's a list of my current favorites, somewhat in descending order of my love for them (in combination with the frequency of use):
Gmail - I love staying connected to my email, and also use gmail as a memo device to send myself (and other family and friends) reminders.
Facebook - When I'm writing, I enjoy keeping people who follow my writing involved in the process, and that often means posting about times and locations I'm writing, as well as progress updates on my current projects.
Twitter - I'm not at all sure that I use Twitter to its full effect, but I like to post fairly regularly with some bite-sized updates about what's going on with my writing.
Google Keep - This app is great for speech to texting ideas for any current or future projects I'm working on ... this is the one I reach for when I'm in the car and something comes to me.
Google Maps - A good feeling of location is vital (to me at least) in writing and reading and enjoying stories, and I use Google Maps all the time to remind myself and/or get a feel for a place as I'm writing.
Google Photos - My iPhone has limited memory, so I don't keep a lot of pictures on the phone, but I like being able to access my huge collection of picture, for either stories or SmartPig business.
This - A simple but amazingly useful photo-labeling app.
Starbucks - My Starbucks app and membership allows me to order ahead of time, skip the line, and get free refills while I'm writing there; since they've gone to free wifi, I enjoy spending serious chunks of time (but not serious money) in these writer-friendly spaces.
Music - One of the first things I do when I sit down to start writing, is open up one of my writing playlists. Depending on the writing I'll be doing, I have playlists ranging from super-mellow to seriously rocking.
Spotify - Recently, I've been exploring the wonderful world, and app, of Spotify more and more. With my membership I can make and save and share playlists of new and favorite music, share them with family and friends, and even try playlists that other people (other writers even) have generated.
Audible - On drives of any length, or flights, or just to calm down and reset from a long day, I enjoy listening to audiobooks. I've been listening to lots of fantasy books recently, gearing up for writing my first fantasy novel this coming year, and it's a wonderful way to explore other authors.
Flipboard - I can't remember the last time a day went by without my looking through gazillions of articles, sharing some of my favorites, and dumping others into my own "magazine". It's a great news aggregator that can be infinitely tailored to match your interests.
BlogPress - This is a great little app that allows users to post and edit their blog(s). I recently was travelling in Iceland, and able to post numerous blog entries on the road, with only my iPhone to work with, and it was super.
Layapp - I often use photos to communicate via FB or Twitter, and this is a fun and useful app for arranging pictures and text.
Invoice Maker - This app is relatively new to my iPhone, but is already easy to recognize as incredibly useful and easy and practical.
Spyglass - Hearkening back to my love or maps and geolocation, Spyglass is a fun tool to play with, integrating map and compass and GPS with an intuitive interface makes this a go-to app for finding my way in the world.
Moonphase - Although not absolutely necessary, I like to know when and where and to what degree the moon will be present in my writing; this app helps me manage all of these needs.
Sunset & Rise - As with MoonPhase above, the times of the sun rising and setting often play an important role in my stories, so it's nice to be able to access that information.
Sky Guide - Being able to know what celestial bodies, constellations, and satellites are passing overhead during my stories is fun, and helps me climb inside the moment.
Date & Time - I use this app when finding out birthdays/birthdates, elapsed time from certain events, and other date-related information in my stories.
Writer Lists - This almanac-like app has an incredible amount of useful information in it, that I should probably make better, and more frequent use of, but don't (which is why it is way down here at the bottom of this list.
... and my battery-pack ...
I use an Anker Battery Pack to extend the life of my iPhone while working. With a full charge, I can work all day (or longer), recharging my phone every few hours, and keep every app I want/need open and operating the whole time. Nothing is more annoying than running out, or even running low on, power when you're working, but with a big external battery pack you never have to worry about it happening.
Thanks for reading!
I'd love to hear what apps and gear you find essential to your writing process, and to field any other questions you might have.
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