As a writer, you may not often talk to other people about their work habits. Especially if you work for a small start-up or as a freelancer from home, you may not hear what apps others are using. There are lots of apps for marketers and writers to choose from. It’s challenging to keep up with every app that comes along with the potential to boost your writing and marketing. Some are worth your time. Others are not. The sheer quantity can seem daunting. We’ve collected several highly recommended apps for writers and marketers.
Why You Need Apps
Do you really need an app for every aspect of your life? Well, no, but you do want to work efficiently with the best product possible, right? Writing and marketing bring a host of challenges that you may take for granted. Take a few moments to ask yourself what hurdles prevent you from writing at your best. Do you think of mindblowing ideas late at night but then forget them when your monitor is staring you down the next morning? Do you lose track of multiple drafts as they’re passed among collaborators? Is spelling just not your thing? Here are some of the main ways apps can help.
- Organize your thoughts
- Record important information
- Collaborate with others
- Maintain professional standards
Some apps provide assistance in one of these areas; others overlap. You may face different challenges in your writing life. These may help you, too. Experiment to learn what works best for your unique process and style. Then, be sure to share the results with your fellow writers.
Organize Your Thoughts
MindNode allows you to map out your thoughts and visualize ideas. It comes recommended by an aspiring novelist, but all good writing is based in storytelling. An at-a-glance “story map” shows you where you’re going and how to get there. If you’re not a linear thinker, you can piece your story together in your own creative way. The Sweet Setup blog named it the best mind mapping app out there. It’s available for IOS. Similar alternatives include Coggle, XMind, and MindJet.
Evernote is popular for organizing notes and tasks. You can store text, as well as images and audio files all in one handy place. It works across multiple platforms and allows you to post your notes to various social media. Best-selling author Jeff Goines says he uses it for all of his notes and research.
Record important information
Both of the apps mentioned above can be used for simply capturing information. But here are a few other suggestions for capturing those precious ideas before they flit away.
Draw your ideas with Autodesk Sketchbook. Available for IOS, Android, or Kindle Fire, it’s great for when you can see what you want to say but can’t quite put it into words. Grab that inspiration when it strikes.
You may think of Pinterest more purely as entertainment. But, as a writer, you often find inspiration in unexpected places. As you’re browsing the web, a news article might spark an idea for a blog post. A beautiful image might provide the setting for a story. Grab them in the moment and pin them. You can create private boards, if you don’t want the world to see the inner workings of your process.
A simple voice recorder app can also help you remember fleeting ideas. You might already have one on your phone. Lifehacker recommends Audio Memos.
Collaborate with Others
Slack has become increasingly popular, now with more than three million users. It provides direct messaging, organized into channels. Communicate quickly and efficiently with your collaborators, and attach supporting documentation if needed.
Google Docs provides a host of features and you can access it from anywhere. The learning curve is a breeze, especially if you’ve been a Word user in the past. Easily share documents with multiple users and track one another’s comments. You’ll never again worry about which draft is the latest or if you remembered to save your changes.
Trello pops up on a lot of writers’ and marketers’ lists of favorite apps. It’s highly visual and intuitive for keeping track of works-in-progress. Pin projects to boards, visible to all team members, and freely move them back and forth as needed.
Maintain Professional Standards
Everyone needs a dictionary. Merriam-Webster offers different versions of their dictionary app, ranging from free to $25, with various features. Use it to find the perfect word, check its spelling, and discover words that rhyme with it.
Grammarly, a free extension for Chrome, claims to be the world’s most accurate grammar checker. If you’ve worked much with Word, Google Docs, or similar word processors, you’re probably aware of their shortcomings in this area. And English grammar presents some complicated puzzles, even for seasoned editors. Why not call on some built-in help?
What about you? What are your favorite apps for marketers and writers? Once you find the tools that work for you, you’ll maximize your creativity and brilliant ideas.