I write stuff for kids...and muse on writing, children's books, and the publishing industry in general
Showing posts with label Pages. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Pages. Show all posts

Monday, June 25, 2012

Writing with Technology (Scrivener, Evernote, iPads, oh my!)

(Scrivener - source)
I've turned into a bit of a techno-geek lately, I must admit. It all started when my iPad arrived a couple of months ago; since then I've been researching the best ways to do my writing, and programs that will make things easier. And not just writing my novels, but also blog posts, information-gathering, administrative tasks, and general organization. Different considerations apply, of course, most notably whether I'm working at my desk at home or on my iPad offline (unfortunately I don't have full-time internet support when I'm away from my home wi-fi setup). I thought I'd share a few of my discoveries with you, and see whether you know of different ways of doing things that I can yoink borrow and use myself.

I'm writing my current manuscript with Scrivener on my laptop, and have been for a while now. At this stage, I don't think I could live without it! It's got so many useful functionalities, and I particularly like the corkboard, the ability to take snapshots to save previous versions, the full-screen composition mode, and the collections (ah, the collections!). I don't know about you, but I love how I can gather scenes that deal with one particular thingmy love story, for exampleand list them all in a "love scene" collection so I can find them easily, while at the same time not changing the order of my actual drafting and scenes.

Only problem is, Scrivener isn't out for iPad yet, and is unlikely to be out for a few more years yet, according to the Literature and Latte guys (who developed Scrivener). Until that day, I'm having to use other programs in order to write on my iPad.

I bought Pages, for approx. $10, and that is a pretty good word processing toolsome say it's the best word-processing tool that there is among the current apps. My difficulty with Pages, however, is that every time I amend my manuscript on my iPad, I have to email myself a copy of the document and copy it back into Scrivener. Forget to do that, and I'm working with incorrect versions, and it becomes a headache waiting to happen.

So I've been trying to find something that will allow me to sync between my home computer and my iPad. Scrivener for Mac gives you the ability to sync to Simplenote, using Dropbox I believe, but I use Windows so I don't even have the "Sync" button on my version of Scrivener :( And I haven't found any other way of automatically syncing between Scrivener and another program.

Instead, what I've been doing is manually copying and pasting my Scrivener scenes into Evernote once each is completed (each in one document/note). I could use Simplenote to do this as well, and many prefer Simplenote for its "pure text-based" fuctionality. But I like how I can use Evernote for so many thingskeeping photographs, to do notes, reminders, links and articles I've copied in from the web, etc etc. Plus, Evernote keeps my formatting from Scrivener, including highlightingwhich I use extensivelywhereas I lose much of that when using Simplenote.

And there are all sorts of companion apps to Evernote that are making my life so much easier, including Skitch, Clip to Evernote, and Clearly. I can even save Tweets and tweet links into Evernote, simply by copying a tweet into @myen, or DM'ing Evernote.

Ah, techno-geek heaven *sighs*!!! And that's not even mentioning Write or Die and Freedom, and my NaNoWriMo Report Card which I have open all the time to record my word count progress (even though it's not November)!

How about you: What programs/apps do you use to write when you're away from your computer (and at your computer too)? Is there anything I haven't mentioned above that you think a techno-geek like me would like? :)

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