Writing can be a chore or a pleasure, and the tools you use are pivotal to your success. If you feel comfortable with the tools you use, you will also be more comfortable with your writing. Starting out most seem to choose Word as the primary word processing tool. And no wonder, Word has so many benefits, just the thesaurus is worth a cheer. However, as you progress you might get new needs. Like a better overview when plotting a story.
1 Scrivener (mac/win)
A magnificent tool for writing is Scrivener. It’s a binder, a cork board, an outliner, a journal, a research storage and much more… in one. And you can transform every project as you wish with comment, metadata, images and what not. If you are curious about a different software this is worth a look.
2 Aeon Timeline (mac/win)
When K wrote her first draft, she wrote herself into major problems without knowing. At 60.000 words she read back and realised that there were huge holes in the story. The need for a time lining tool had emerged. Luckily there was such a thing available where you can sync back and forth between Scrivener and a timeline.
Macupdate.com summarised it perfectly
Aeon Timeline is the timeline tool for creative thinking.
Most traditional timeline applications are designed to suit a single need: to create an attractive display of one- dimensional time. They are presentational, static, and perfectly suited to overhead slides and projectors. Aeon Timeline aims to be different. Model relationships between people and events. Divide your events into concurrent arcs. Filter events based on people, places, and tags. Zoom to view the time scale you wish to see. Navigate and edit your timeline with a simple, intuitive interface. And when you are done, export data to a range of external formats.
Aeon Timeline is also the only timeline tool that allows you to create your own fantasy calendar systems.
3 The sound of a retro typewriter (mac/win)
This might seem odd but the sound of a typewriter seems to help with speed when writing long chunks of text. There are many options for this out there.
One option for Mac users is KeyBell which is installed system wide. It has options that makes you choose in which apps to enable or disable it.
A free alternative for Windows users is FocusWriter, a small writing software with many options. It might not look very handsome but it packs an arsenal of sweet features. FocusWriter’s typewriter sounds only works within that app, not necessarily a bad thing.
There are many options out there besides Word/Pages/OpenOffice and it IS worth spending a little time finding the right ones’ for yourself. With a little patience you will have a brand new writing studio in no time, boost productivity and be happier.
Good luck hunting!