Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Best Apps for Writers

People say phones are a distraction.  Numerous studies, even, have been conducted on the multitude of ways that using smart phones has harmed or hindered us.  As a college student, I know well that, all too often, smart phones are used to enable laziness and procrastination—just look around most any college library.  However, I also believe that, if used wisely, smart phones possess a great potential for good, especially if you are a writer.  In my efforts to prove this, I have compiled a list of 15 of the best apps that will help you get your book accomplished.  No smart phone?  No worries. Many of the apps have corresponding websites that work just as well. Check ‘em out!



Hemmingway:

This app analyzes your writing, highlights the difficult-to-read passages, and gives you suggestions for improving it.

For Web.   



Wunderlist:

If you are collaborating with a friend, keeping track of your own writing projects, or just buying groceries, Wunderlist is almost like a spare brain.  And there’s nothing like that feeling of checking off a box.

For Android, for iPhone, for Web.  




MindNode:

It lets you map out idea flow charts, which it calls “Mind Maps.”  These are great for fleshing out ideas and plots or for charting character progressions.  MindNode really gets your ideas out of your mind’s eye so that your physical eyes can see them too.


For iPhone, for Web


Wikipedia

Just like the website, it’s a near-bottomless source of knowledge.  It might not contain all the information you need for your next book, but it can be a great starting place when mapping out research for your novel.  

For Android, for iPhone, for Web



Dictionary.com

But what about Spell Check, right?  In addition to showing you how to spell words correctly, Dictionary.com also serves up intriguing words fresh every day.  This keeps your brain juices flowing and lets you improve your vocabulary by learning something new.  

For Android, for iPhone, for Web



B Rhymes:

For all of you closest (and not so closet) poets out there, this app just might be your new best friend.  You simply punch the word you’re seeking to rhyme into the search bar and it will give you every possible rhyme and slant rhyme.

For Android, for iPhone.



Dragon Dictation:

Don’t have time to write?  With Dragon Dictation, it’s not a problem.  When you use this app, you can “write” without writing.  Simply dictate what you want to say and Dragon copies it down for you, almost like a personal assistant.




Evernote:

Need a way of keeping track of your ideas?  Use Evernote!  It is a virtual notebook with cloud capabilities—meaning you can access it on your desktop, your laptop, your phone, or your tablet. And if you’re a college student like me, you can record lectures and seminars right into your notes. And you can add pictures and diagrams into your notes too.  It really is very incredible.

For Android, for iPhone, for Web. 



Som Note:

Somewhat similar to Evernote, but perhaps a little more colorful.  And the world could always use more color, right?

For Android, for iPhone, for Web.


Kindle:

Someone once said that to write well you must read often.  The free Kindle app grants you access to over 1 million eBook downloads on your phone.  With a library that size, you could literally read until the end of time.

For Android, for iPhone.  



Goodreads:

Just like the literary website, but for your phone!


For Android, for iPhone, for Web.


SelfControl:

It lets you block certain sites from your phone or computer for a certain period of time so that you will be less distracted and better able to write that novel.  Besides, who couldn’t use more self control?

For Android.  



Write or Die:

It lets you set goals for your writing projects and even allows you to set punishments for yourself if those goals are not met.  Use caution with this one, friends.  The disappointed face of Grumpy Cat greeting you if you fail to complete your tasks is pretty terrifying. Be afraid…?

For Web.



Spice Mobile:

Looking to spice up your writing?  Tired of using the same old adjectives?  Spice Mobile allows you to search the writings of Shakespeare and Dickens and many others to find some new word-choice inspiration.

For Android, for iPhone.  


Pandora:

In the pursuit of muse-worthy music?  Pandora is a hefty serving of internet radio with a side of freedom.  It allows you to create your own stations.  You can choose soft, slow music to get your thoughts moving or even something a little more epic to get your blood pumping.  Whatever mood you’re in or whatever project you’re working on, Pandora will undoubtedly have something to fit the bill.

For Android, for iPhone, for Web.  


Well, that's about all I've got right now, but these apps have been a huge help to me.  If you know of any other amazing writing apps, feel free to leave them in a comment!

***

Hannah Lokos is a college student and an author.   Her novel of historical fiction, Labyrinth of Lies, is based on the true back story of a Greek myth and will keep you guessing till the end.  She also has lately taken to making chocolate. Find her on Facebook or Google+ or check out her website!

5 comments:

Big Mike said...

Nice, and boy do I use a few of them like constantly. I find Dictionary.com priceless for Synonyms. I use Pandora when working outside (better reception for my Iphone) and Sky.Fm while typing away on the keyboard (better selection of my style of music, new age.)

Julie Eberhart Painter said...

Very informative. The dictionay is a good idea, especially. Is there one for avoiding anachronisms?

I have a question: How does one make chocolate. Cocoa grows on trees in the Carobbean. Do you mean fudge? Would you like to know where to send mine!

Liz Fountain said...

Gotta try these - thanks!

Liz

Hannah Lokos said...

Thanks, Mike! I've never tried Sky.Fm--I'll have to give it a go!

Julie, you are hilarious! And actually, I do mean chocolate. I wanted to learn how to make chocolate from scratch. The word chocolate links to a tutorial I wrote on the subject :) And no, I'm not sure about anachronism apps. Sorry!

Thanks, Liz!

Rita Bay said...

Thank you for the info. Very useful and new.