The Write Way: 7 Tips to Overcome Writer’s Block
Speakers are often required to be writers, but putting thoughts down on paper or electronic devices is not always easy. Almost everyone can use some pointers for getting organized, staying on task, and creating content without going crazy. Add the following resources to your repertoire to ensure that your content flows, not ebbs.
What Writer’s Block?
If you’re a big procrastinator but work well under pressure, Write or Die is just what the doctor ordered. Putting the “prod” in productivity, the app encourages writing by providing punishments if you stop. Choose from Gentle (pop-up notification), Normal (unpleasant sound) and Kamikaze consequence mode, which erases your previous work. Yikes! You configure your own word goal, time goal, and preferred punishment. Once you’re done, export to Dropbox or straight to your inbox. Available for Windows, Mac, and Linux. $10. WriteOrDie.com.
Get a Room
Easily distracted? This app is for you. A simple yet powerful concept, WriteRoom allows users to convert their desktops into a minimalist writing surface so the focus remains on the task at hand. Think of it as silencing your phone; fewer distractions equal increased productivity. WriteRoom wows with a distraction-free interface, customizable fonts and colors, full-screen mode, autocorrect, and Dropbox synced folders to keep everything organized. Now all you have to do is avoid Words with Friends. Available for iPhone and iPad. $4.99. HogBaySoftware.com.
Windows user? Check out DarkRoom, an app with the same idea. Download at They.Misled.us/dark-room.
These days we have so many things to remember and store, that it’s easy to get disorganized and forgetful. Let Evernote do the work for you. The app works on all of your devices, keeping everything you need in sync and available no matter where you are. Snap photos, save your favorite websites, plan your next trip, and collaborate with colleagues and friends. Evernote allows you to collect information from anywhere into a single place so it’s always at your fingertips. Available for Windows, Mac, Android, and Blackberry. Free. Evernote.com.
When you’re composing a long and difficult document and Microsoft Word just won’t do it, turn to Scrivener. A powerful content generation tool designed for writers, Scrivener is essentially a file cabinet, word processor, and project manager rolled into one nifty app. The corkboard and out-liner tools allow you to draft and format later, or do both at once. You can make notes in the sidebar, store earlier versions and revert to them at any time, and import files to use as reference alongside your writing. Available for Windows and Mac. $44.99. LiteratureAndLatte.com.
Touted as one of the 2011 Mac Apps of the Year, iA Writer lets you keep your hands on the keyboard and your mind in the text. Completely lacking in settings except for the ability to toggle full-screen and focus mode, the app offers a noise-free writing experience. As soon as you begin typing, the title bar disappears and leaves you with a blank sheet. Focus mode lets you craft one sentence at a time, fading the surrounding text into the background. Sync documents using iCloud and Dropbox, check spelling, customize formatting, and more. Available for Mac, iPhone and iPad. $0.99 for two mobile devices or $4.99 for desktop. iAWriter.com.
Now stop reading and start writing!
Are you really spending your days the way you want to? Make measurable changes that impact your time and efficiency with RescueTime, an application that runs in the background on your computer and tracks which programs, websites, and documents are being used the most. This sobering feedback will provide invaluable insight into exactly how you are spending your time each day, and help you make better decisions for the future. Available for Windows, Mac, Linux, and Android. Free for RescueTime Lite or $9 per month for RescueTime Pro. RescueTime.com.
Join the Circus
Similar to Scrivener but not as word processing focused, Circus Ponies NoteBook provides a digital locker for you to store, outline, and string together ideas and information you will want to recall later. An app that looks and works just like a paper notebook, Circus Ponies helps you stay organized with a user-friendly interface, built-in Multidex90™ search tool, and amazing features including the ability to annotate PDFs, assign due dates, import attachments, and synchronize audio recordings with typed notes. Available for Mac and iPad. $29.99. CircusPonies.com.