I create a lot of content. With the understanding that during this time period I also wrote various articles and posts in Word and the test solutions mentioned above, in exactly one month of Evernote usage, I created 50 blog posts, 6 UPDATE editorials (one for next week), 27 SuperSite articles, one print magazine article, and 38 news stories. I also tooks notes for four meetings and collected a ton of notes from various Microsoft blog posts. And since I'll always have an Evernote mobile app on my devices, I've begun collecting notes that will be useful on the go, including one for my frequent flyer/rewards programs information.
How do you keep track of it all? Like Paul Thurrott, I keep most of my writing in Evernote, in the cloud. I can access and work on a blog post or an article anywhere. I can also rapidly scan through to see what I wrote last week, last month, or a couple of years ago.
For longer projects, I use Scrivener. Rvery few days, I compile each Scrivener project into an RTF file and add it to Evernote. Not only does this make me feel more secure (backups ALWAYS fail, sooner or later, don't ask), it also means that I can read and make notes on anything in Scrivener when I'm out of the office.
The other key factor in replacing a computer with an iPad is a useable keyboard. It's true that the iPad has an onscreen keyboard, and I've heard there are some people who are adept at using it to write email, send text messages and create word processing documents. I'm not one of them, and apparently I'm not alone in my sentiments. If you're going to try using an iPad instead of a computer, you need a real keyboard. There are now several BlueTooth-based keyboards to choose from, many of which come in an integrated case that also holds the iPad, turning it into a smaller, lighter version of a laptop.
Scrivener and Tinderbox are natural friends, and now they’re even better together. Have a Scrivener file? Tinderbox will open it! We’ll capture the structure, links, references, and notes. Fast, easy, and terrific.
When you write on a computer, the words appear on the screen; the emotional tone depends on the application you use to get them there.
Word processors especially an emotional tone. If you've been writing long enough, you may remember WordStar, and WordPerfect 5.1 for DOS. Ah, memories. For me, these programs' emotional tone was one of relaxation, inspired excitement, and creativity.
In 2011, my most-used word processor is MS Word, on the Mac. The tone? Briskly business.
When I need relaxation and inspired creativity, I write with a fountain pen, using J Herbin inks.
My favorite ink is Violette Pensee. Purple says creativity to me, so do turquoise inks. Blue inks are strictly for business.
Please share your thoughts on the emotional tone of your favorite writing tools in the comments.
Does your word processor inspire you?
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I received a frantic message this week from a writer whose computer had died. His latest backup was three weeks old... Ouch. Three weeks of work, gone in an instant.
What's your backup strategy? You do have one, right?
If you don't, implement a simple one today. It doesn't need to be extensive or time consuming.
Here's a simple strategy, in two steps.
1. Each day, before you start writing, make another copy of your current document. I like to add date stamps to my documents, so I've always got several copies of any long document. Just choose "Save As" from the File menu, and add the day's date to the end of the file name.
It's rare that a document will be corrupted, but it does occasionally happen. In my case, I create a fresh version of any long document every day because I know myself. I slash and burn when revising, and more than once, I've deleted material I wish I'd kept.
2. Get a Dropbox account (free) if you don't have one. Copy your day's work to Dropbox when you're done writing for the day.
Longer term, investigate painless online backups. There are many of these programs. Your material is uploaded online each day, so that even if your computer dies, you can be up and working again quickly.
I've heard good things about Arq (Mac) and Mozy (PC and Mac.)
"Nominated for over 15 awards for best original screenplay, and soaring away with the coveted WGA award for writing, Inception took the world like a storm. Part heist film, part mind-bender, and part love story, Nolan’s ethereal tale is brimming with visual articulations of the Jungian dream archetypes. Waves and trains crash as the harbingers of death, glimpses of the underworld fly onscreen, an Odysseus and his crew struggle to survive as worlds and realities collide, all to Hans Zimmer’s hauntingly fluid score. Inception appears on over 273 critics “top ten” lists; the film is a visual, emotional, and lyrical masterpiece."
Visit BlakeSnyder.com to download the Beat Sheet template. It's a wonderful way to structure your novel; it will stop you wandering off on tangents, and completely eliminates the "dreaded middle", which is the downfall of many a novelist.
You're a writer, and if you're thinking about buying an iPad, your primary concern is whether it will help your writing.
Can you write on it?
Image: iPad home screen
Yes, you can.
The big benefit is that the iPad just makes it easier to write wherever you are. I love the iPhone, but the dinky little keyboard is sheer hell. The iPad's keyboard, while still obviously not a full-size keyboard, is a pleasure to use: just watch the screen, and if you've made a typo, the iPad will usually auto-correct it as soon as you hit the spacebar.
After playing with it for a while, you'll be able to write on it almost as well as you do on your laptop.
Apple's Pages app, while not essential (there's the iPad's Notes app, and many other notepad apps) makes writing easier, and you don't need to confine yourself to simple text documents.
As you can see in the image below, Pages has 16 templates: you can create flyers, project proposals, recipes, and much more.
Image: Pages templates
Pages documents look wonderful. Unfortunately however, there's no word count functionality, which ruins the experience for me. I like to know how many words I've written.
(If you know of an iPad word processing app which has a word counter, please tell me -- I've been searching, but haven't found anything yet.)
Writing on your iPad is fun; it's not like work at all.
I've spent the weekend upgrading software after the release of Leopard, and so far it's been fun all the way.
Several Mac-using writers have contacted me to let them know how the upgrade went, so I hope this information helps you.
The upgrade to Leopard took around two hours, and went very smoothly, no hiccups at all. All my peripherals work, even my Palm, which was temperamental on Tiger.
My Mac writing tools all work fine; MS Office apps work, and so does Scrivener. I've covered writing tools on the Mac before, so I won't list them all again, but I've used them all under Leopard now, and they're fine.
Adobe's not updating older products for Leopard, but Adobe Creative Suite 3 applications will be updated in December. I'm still on version 8 for Dreamweaver and Fireworks, and they both work great under Leopard, so no hassles there.
Oh, the excitement! I can't wait to get my hands on Mac OS X Leopard. This guide has whetted my appetite; it's 20 minutes long, but it convinced me that the upgrade is worthwhile, just for the new Finder.
If you'll be upgrading this weekend, as I will, do take care and make a complete full system boot-able backup first, just in case something horrible like a power outage happens when you're in the middle of the upgrade.
The trick I used for my system upgrades/moves previously, and with the Leopard beta, was to run an exact copy to a Firewire disk using SuperDuper. SuperDuper is nice because you can at least make an exact copy of your disk that works well in the demo mode.