Are you the type to carry around a notebook, fully prepared for inspiration to strike, only to find you can’t find that diamond inside pages of gems? Or maybe you’re a scribbler; napkins, scraps of paper and even airplane sick bags cannot escape your pen when your muse appears.
I personally am more of the latter but in digital form; I type up ideas in the Notes app on my phone, in random Word documents and in random files on my Dropbox. Luckily, there are plenty of apps out there to help us organise our ideas the way we want to.
I know, everyone and their mother has recommended this appto me at some point or other. The thing is it does indeed live up to the hype.Scrivener works better for long-form projects like books or dissertationsrather than blog posts and articles. It allows you to write your text inwhatever order you want in sections big or small. It also allows you to keepyour research materials in the background, ready to pull out at the relevantmoment.
Ulysses is a fabulous writing tool that keeps everything youneed in one place. Not only does it make writing, editing, and exporting abreeze, but it also has a unified library to arrange all your notes. Whetherit’s that idea you caught while coming home from work or a detailed outline ofyour next big project Ulysses’ comprehensive system is an excellent addition toyour writing toolkit.
Working with others on a project can be painful, but GoogleDocs takes a big chunk of that effort away by allowing you to work on the samedocument without having to physically be in the same space. Leave comments,make notes and track the document’s history all at the same time withoutleaving your workspace. I use Google Docs multiple times a week for variousclients across the world and it does truly make a difference.
Evernote describes itself as ‘a single place for all yournotes, ideas lists, and reminders’ and they most certainly are. It capturesscreenshots, your chapter beat list and even voice memos and backs them up onthe Cloud, so you don’t have to worry about losing your precious words. With afree version, a premium version and a business version, you can select whichstyle suits you and your budget best.
Mind maps can be tricky to figure out but fun, nonetheless.I use them for figuring out characters, scenes or even creating writing gameplans. While I love getting out my coloured fine liners and doing things theold-fashioned way, it isn’t always possible when you’re out and about. This iswhere Mindmeister comes in. It allows you to create slick and detailed mindmaps for presentations or simple ones just for you and your ideas. Give it atry next time you’re plotting the chapters of your next book.
Writing this article has made me realise how old-fashioned I am but even I use or have used multiple apps featured here; specifically, Scrivener, Google Docs and Evernote. All of these are great, but if you want to try out some alternatives or just see what else is out there then take a look at these suggestions.
Have you tried these before? Do you have any other suggestions? Let us know in the comments below or on Twitter – we’re always excited to hear what you think!