Monday, August 31, 2015

Top 5 Apps for Writers part 2

Last week I put up three of my Top 5 Apps for Writers. If you haven't read it yet, read it first. It includes my criteria for choosing these apps.  So, go here and read it first before I get to my Top 2 Apps. Otherwise, let's begin:

2. Evernote and Goodreader: This one is a toss-up. Every author needs some place to store research and recall it at a moment's notice. These two help with that. Evernote has the advantage of being cross-platform compatible and ubiquitous. However, unless you upgrade, you cannot access your files without wi-fi. Goodreader stores files and PDF's on your device so they are accessible all the time, but they don't store them in the cloud so it is not quite cross-platform compatible.

1. Ulysses by The Soulmen: My number one app is number one for the same reason that Scrivener is not on the list. It is a text editor that has all the features that I look for. It is easy to use and intuitive. It helps me focus on writing. It also helps me organize everything. I can put Scenes and Chapters in one Folder, and in another folder I can put Character descriptions and bios. In another folder, I can put in setting and in another. I can move these sheets from one folder to another, switch the order of the sheets AND MOST IMPORTANT - it is available on the Mac and iOS (it is not yet available for the iPhone, but it is only a matter of time). I can start with an idea on Drafts, move the draft to a page on Ulysses on my iPad, and then open it up on my desktop Mac or MacBook Air and not worry about whether or not I am working on a different version. The only downside is the cost for both the Mac and iPad App. But don't let that dissuade you. This App is a fantastic value.You can always wait for a sale.

Runners Up:

Scrivener by Literature & Latte: As a writing App, Scrivener is THE reason to by a Macintosh computer (desktop or laptop). It is hands down the best writing app out there. You can do everything that Ulysses can do AND store all your research in your computer. But if you want to use Scrivener on the go and on iOS, you're out of luck. Rumoured to be in development for several years, an iOS app is still vapourware. It is apparently in beta. You can use other iOS apps and sync with it in Dropbox, but I don't want workarounds. I want the real thing. Maybe next year my Top 5 will be different. Maybe not. I will be pleasantly surprised if it makes out for NaNoWriMo this year.

Textblade by Waytools: Not an app, but is perhaps the piece of hardware you need to get if you are going to type on iOS. Since the early days of iPad and iPhone, I have tried hard to make the iPad work as a content machine and not just a consumption machine. But typing on glass is weird and off-putting and I found it hard to really get a lot done. All that changed when I got a bluetooth keyboard. I suddenly had touch typing back. Textblade takes this to the next level by making that keyboard small enough to fit in your pocket. Next year, I’ll bring it back to the WWC and show you how it works, but right now, it is still “in transit.” I hoped to have it here, but some manufacturing problems have delayed it.

So there it is: my top 5 Apps as of August, 2015. Now it is your turn. What are your favorite apps. iOS or Android, it doesn't matter. Just let me know in the comments below. I am always willing to try new apps to help improve my writing. 

This Week's Reason to Read: The Three-Body Problem by Liu Cixin and translated by Ken Liu: Winner of the 2015 Hugo Award for Best Novel, this is a novel about an alien invasion by the Trisolarans. It is the first book in a trilogy entitled Remembrance of Earth's Past. I haven't read this yet, and it wasn't on my radar, but the Hugo Award has put it right at the top of my list of books to consume before year's end. Check it out.

That's it for this week. Sorry this post was a bit late. Watch out for the next one later this week.

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