Writer’s Tools and Technology

pcpastelThis was the topic of the past writer’s meetup we had on Saturday. As a computer consultant, instructor, and techie, I’m surprised at the number of writers slogging through early level skills with word processing.

For those of you wanting some tips, enjoy;

  • Use keyboard shortcuts. These keep your hands on the keyboard instead of always reaching for the mouse. Those moments of reaching for the mouse can now add words, and maintain focus on the writing.

Windows Keyboard Shortcuts

Mac OSX keyboard short cuts

  • Back up your work. There are a number of ways to backup your writing. Flash drives are small portable (and fast) hard drives you plug into a USB and drag-and-drop to backup. Cloud drives offer online backup, anywhere from 5 GB to 25GB. You can also backup to DVD/RW/Recordable disks.

Windows SkyDrive 25GB

Zumodrive 2GB

Amazon Cloud Drive 5GB

Cloud Drive 5 GB

Apple ICloud for Iphone/Ipad/Ipod Touch/PC/Mac 5 GB


  • Learn basic technical support to maintain and even repair your computer. Sometimes simply restarting the computer fixes problems, or running Cleandisk or Defragmenter programs. Its important to learn basic maintenance to keep your computer in good working order.

Computer Help:

Clean and optimize your Windows Computer.

Free Antivirus- AVG

Malicious software removal tool

Online Virus Scanner by Kapersky

CCleaner- provides maintenance programs for the PC User

  • Writing software. Some programs may have a bit of a learning curve, but novel writing software provides many tools to help organize your writing. I’m also including blogging software.

Spacejockcom– includes a number of helpful programs for a writer;

YWriter– free novel writing software

YLaunch– lets you assign several programs to open at once by the push of a single button.

Sonar- free submission program to keep track of who and where you submit your work.

Chapter by chapter– A useful program that uses any word processor you have to organize your chapters into documents while providing the find/replace function for all documents. It will also compile your pages into a book when you’re finished.

OpenOffice- A free, open source office suite that includes a word processor, spreadsheet, presentation, and database programs all in one. This is compatible with the MS Office file formats. Includes a button that saves to PDF to create ebooks.

A DOCX Converter allows you to view these type of files.

Windows Live Writer- (For Bloggers) Very useful for posting to blogs by easy formatting, adding graphics, video, ‘link-to-me’ buttons, and monetizing your blog.

  • Publish online. There are a number of web sites that enable writers to publish their work.  Remember to read guidelines on how to format your manuscript, include a cover, decide on pricing, and learn marketing to get the most out of this method of publishing.

Kindle Publishing- Self publish your novel, short stories, or even your blogs via Amazon so people with Kindles can read your work. You can also add EZines and online magazines.

Barnes and Nobles PubIT– Self publish through Barnes and Nobles.

referral_120x60_dYahoo Contributors– Join this site and sell articles for some income.

Do you have any programs to add?


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