Monday, February 20, 2017

5+ Tools for Writer Productivity




Hello All!

Phew! It's been forever and a day, but I'm back with a blog post on some of the techy tools I use to improve my productivity when writing. While there is no shortcut to getting your words down for the day, these things help me to stay on track with my writerly life. 


Scrivener

This is a popular app/program that many writers use to brainstorm, draft, and revise their WIPs. With the plethora of tools at your fingertips, it can be a bit daunting to get started, but it was worth it in terms of how I organized my work. I primarily used it for revisions on this first, original project of mine, but any novel afterward will be started/imported into Scrivener.

Why I like it:
  • Many tools for a powerful writing experience
  • The ability to set WC goals in-program
  • The ease to organize the "flow" of your WIP by simply dragging and dropping 
  • The ability to use a split screen to have your writing alongside something else like previous drafts or visual inspiration

Habitica


As many of you may have guessed, I am a big gamer. Habitica combines the joy of gaming with completing tasks and establishing good lifelong routines. I primarily use this app on my phone and use it to track my habits.

Everything from "get up at a decent hour" to "work out 3 times a week" is in this app. What's neat about this is that it treats your daily life like a game. The more good habits and things you check off your dailies, the more your avatar "levels up". 

If you are interested in a more in-depth blog or video on how I specifically set up Habitica, let me know, and I'll get right to work. 


Forest

This phone app does cost money, but I love the effect it has been having on my productivity. The object of the app is to get you to not be distracted by your phone. Set the timer for a certain length of time, and if you succeed in not exiting out of the app, a tree or bush will "grow" in the "forest" of the app. If you do get out of the app before the timer runs out, the productivity tree dies. 

I like to use this app to track how long I've stayed focused on my writing as well as use it in conjunction with Scrivener for writing sprints. You can even join friends who have the app and see their Forests as well. 

Fitbit


While not directly related to the actual act of writing, anything that can help me form a daily routine and stick to it is something I will love. And as a writer, I find myself sitting long spans of time in a sedentary position (which is not beneficial to my health). 

I need to get up and movewhether that is by doing yoga (which I have been loving) or going for walks while playing Pokemon Go, or even a movement-based video game like Just Dance or Wii Fit.

I use my Fitbit to keep track of my sleeping habits, my water and food intake, and my steps/exercise. This, by far, is my weakest area in terms of consistency for me, but I am trying to get a little better at living a healthier, more active lifestyle.

Of course, there are many other watches/apps that does what Fitbit does, but it's the one many people are familiar with.


Google Docs

If Scrivener is out of the question, GDocs is a great way to go. It allows you to organize your writing by using folders to keep everything separated, and you can take your writing anywhere as long as long as you have an Internet connection that will sync anything new into Google Drive. Added to this is the fact that you can work on files offline and then update them later is one reason I use GDocs.

But my main reason for using it is the collaborative tools it comes with. By sharing my chapters/drafts/outlines with Alpha Readers, Beta Readers, and Critique Partners, I am able to see their comments as soon as they are posted as a running document. This saves me so much time and energy in that I don't have to keep track of a ton of e-mails to get things done.


MyWriteClub

If I need a change of pace or it's NaNoWriMo time, I use MyWriteClub.com. It's a free site that does word sprints. You are given a text box on the site, 25 minutes to write as much as you can, and a counter on the side that awards stars at certain word increments. I enjoy the global sprints because it allows you to work alongside others, but you are also given the option to do word sprints on your own.



Honorable Mentions:

Hope you are all doing well, my writer-fam, and as always...may your words be great and your pages many.

PS. If you'd like a video tutorial on anything mentioned here, please let me know!

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