Apps…Apps…I love Apps!

I LOVE Apps! There are GREAT apps out there that can HELP you in your Writing journey.  I have listed a few below, and tell you WHY I love them!  And for your future/currrent authors. if you don’t have a IPad you are LIMITING your organization to a very information needing career!  I use my IPad ALL THE TIME, EVERY DAY.  I will do a post on HOW I use it in the near future- look for it.

MUST HAVE APPS:

Merriam-Webster Dictionary.  I am the WORST speller in the world. Ok, no, I know that is not really true, but I use this dictionary all the time!  I have a huge beef with dictionary’s – at least I once did.  I couldn’t understand how to use the dictionary if I didn’t know HOW TO SPELL THE WORD!  It has caused me even greater stress in my lacking of skills from my childhood through my adult hood.  UGHHHH.  But now with this new app.  I can use the built in microphone and SAY the word and it will pop up with the spelling AND the definition for the word.  I LOVE this app!  It also has a little person inside that will Pronouce the word properly. That is HUGE for me for some harder words.  I would HATE to be a “Don King” with big words that aren’t pronounced properly or used in the wrong context. (yes, I have been known to do that too! But I don’t want to!)  Cost: FREE – I LOVE FREE!

Organization Apps:

Wunderlist: This is a TO DO app.  There are a lot on the market, but here is WHY I like it.  I’ll list my needs and how this app helps me with them.

 #1. I have a publisher, and she is wanting to be updated as to the progress that I’m making on a variety of projects.  Well, I HATE being checked up on. So this app is helping with this HUGE issue.

#2. I work in a variety of locations.  So I use a few different technologies.  When I’m sitting in the back yard and I want to work on something, or I’m at my iMac or I’m at the book store, etc. I have to know what I need to do.

#3 I NEED a LIST that keeps me FOCUSED! I don’t have a family, I don’t have a boyfriend, and I don’t have anyone needing my time. So I am a spontaneous crazy person.  I can go off on a tangent at any moment and at the end of the day, wonder “where did the day go, and I didn’t get one thing done!”

#4 – I HATE to be nagged. But I NEED to be nagged on some level.  

How does this app help my ‘issues’..

#1 – This app allows me to make a ‘list’.  I make one for Mon, Tues., etc.  On the monday list I have my “usual” needs in my book writing area: i.e. Editing and computer changes on manuscript, Networking: write on 2 blogs, Research: Reading, Actual writing: book, posts, articles for other blogs, etc., Rewrites, Research, authors, editors, illustrators, publishers (no, I don’t do all this on one day! It’s just an example of the “repeat” to-do’s I work on over the weeks time).  I can make up this LIST and email it to my publisher. So she knows what is on my schedule for the day.  And will not make needless calls to me asking that very question!  At the end of the day, I can send a update with how many pages in which manuscript I made, or a new editor I thought would work with my ‘style’ etc.  (I haven’t yet done this part…updating, but I plan to! Does that count!)

#2  What really made me choose this app over others that “did more things” or looked prettier, is that it connects all my cool technology/toys.  I make an addition to my “to do” list on the iMac and it automatically sends it to my iPad and to the iPhone!  I don’t have to send it, or do anything.  I CAN hit the syncing button when I make the changes or check off a task, but if I don’t – it just sends it.  I MIGHT have to hit “sync” on the other tool (iPad) but thats an easy step. So when I’m out in the yard sunning myself and I remember that I have to do something…I look at my iPad and it’s all updated as to what I have to accomplish and I have to get my lazy butt moving!

#3 It keeps me “on task” with what I have to accomplish that day.  I have open up on my iMac main window and it’s off to the corner and it just sits and admires me. (at least that’s how I like to see it) and it’s just a quite as a little mouse – showing me the things I need to do today.

#4 Being nagged is the thing I need. And this little app does that.  It allows me to set deadlines and it will move things that have not been done on one day to a little button and list of “overdo” items.  So what I didn’t get to yesterday is being added to another list automatically. And when that little number on the screen says 6 or 8…I know it is adding up my undone tasks! What a nag!  Cost of this fine app: FREE!!!

 Noteshelf – This is a LIFE saver!  Remember I have 13 projects that I want to bring to form.  This app allows me to make a “book” that I can label and add a variety of page types to (graph, to-do lists, story lines, blank paper, yellow legal, etc. or buy more specialized papers )  I can pick a different cover for my book (and buy more cool fun covers)  

For example:  I made a book for “Timingo and Me” my working title for a book about working with my mentor.  In the book, I chose a paper for that ONE PAGE ONLY – of a ‘story board”, I need some sketches for the art work needed for the book.  I can push the “pen” button and with my finger – sketch out my idea for one of the illustrations I would like and I can ALSO  TYPE a note to him as to what I would like the focus to be in the illustration.  I can then send it to my illustrator via email- I make a note of the date sent to him in the corner of the drawing – RIGHT IN THE APP.  Hit save and the book saves the new drawing/description (and note)  and then closes the book and puts it back on my “bookshelf” (it looks like ibooks in that way.)

I can open another book – say “Logos” and see what my needs are in that area – I can write a note to my logo guy and then email it to him with a sketch of the logo ideas that I have.  It keeps it all in one place and I can get it on my iPad, which I use in more situations then on my iMac.  It’s the best that I have found and I have fun visual “books” of all my projects and I even have one for “Random ideas”, “Blog post articles”, “wish list”, etc.  

You can also make multiple books that you can attach to each other. For instance, with each of my children’s books, I have a book with the name of the project that has all my notes and drawings and to-do’s for that single project. But I wanted a second book -attached to that project that had all my RESEARCH on that ONE project. So I attached a second book to it.  So when I select that book project up pops up BOTH books and I can keep my research separate from the other “business” information.

Noteshelf has a FREE app for you to play with. But if you find you like it, beware that the information that you put in the free version might NOT transfer to the PAID version.  So play with it, and if you see it has usefulness, go buy the paid version.  You can also purchase more book covers (I love poka dots!) and more specialize paper types.  The paid version is $5.99 but well worth it! and the extra’s run .99 for a variety of covers or papers  (not just one or two- more like 4-6)  GREAT App.

Evernote- I haven’t used it a lot.  It has a lot of cool things you can use for organizing a bunch of stuff.  I mostly use it to grab things from the web that I want to read later.  I have it set up as a email address to accept things I want to work on and in some of my other apps, it has a drop down box and lets me send it to that address – easy and cool.  I HIGHLY suggest you check it out.  It might help you with a lot of your issues.  I have it on my list to ‘play’ with it .  

 

Lesson Learned: Just like having too many magazines, you MIGHT find you have too many apps.  Get the free apps, play with them and see if they are really worth buying, if not – delete it. Get apps that HELP your organization and writing – not make ONE MORE THING you need to worry about.  I do also suggest that you keep checking the app store, this technology changes so quickly and more and more developers out there – so really cool stuff is coming down the pike!  Have fun with it – if not fun or productive – hit DELETE