Tag Archives: programs

My top writer phone apps

I finally updated to an iPhone 7 Pro from the iPhone 4S. The size difference is considerable. I thought it would bother me more, but between the much improved camera and larger screen (my eyes are not so great) I’m adapting quickly to it.

So I though I’d share with you some of my top apps that I think writers might like;

mswordMS Word app– A full word processor, I would also note this does not include the fonts you would have on your laptop/desktop computer. You can however open and save DOC files, typing up novels no matter where you are at the time.

Cost: Trial period for 30 days then various monthly cost with Office 365 subscription. This is $6.99 – $99.99 depending on which plan. I already have a subscription so this was free for me.

openofficeOpenOffice App– Unlike  MS Word, this app includes the ‘suite’ of Openoffice software. This means you get the word processor, spreadsheet, and presentation elements of OpenOffice.

Cost: $5.99. This is a flat cost not subscription.

googledocGoogle Docs is a free word processor app that connects to your Google Drive account. This connects to your Google account, so links with the Google Drive.

Cost: Free

***The iPhone comes with a robust Notes app already installed.


iDeasiDeas for Writing is a fun app that helps you with ideas with prompts. This includes First Lines, Title, Character, and Five Words. I’ve used this my writers group. The app looks good, provide ideas, workshop (writing techniques challenges), and a built-in notebook so you can jot down ideas or take on the writing prompts.

Cost: $2.99 for the app.


Story Planner enables you to outline plots, characters, locations, scenes, and more. This exports to Scrivener, Final Draft, into PDF or DOCX formats, or just plain text. This app syncs with iCloud so your work is backed up,

Cost: $3.99

Writer Lists includes tons of lists for ideas. You can pick names, roles, body types, appearance, personalities, plots, setting, and more.  I use this to look up elements of a story or browse for ideas.

Cost: $2.99

canvaCanva is the official Canva.com app. Here, you can create designs such as book covers, but also design graphics for Facebook, web sites, Twitter, business cards, and more.  You can create an entire media kit for your author brand.  You can save designs as PDF or PNG formats.

Cost: Free

What are your favorite apps? Ever considered writing a novel with your smartphone? Comment below.


Filed under Links, Program, Writer

Sitting versus running (from Zombies)

blogzombiesI spend a lot of time on the computer. I’m self employed with my business, Learnthepc.net, so I spent time working on web sites, templates, consulting, and sometimes computer repair (remotely). I also work on graphics, web design, blogging, and writing. This means a lot of sitting.

There are studies on the dangers of sitting too much. One can assume this includes work related sitting as much as school related sitting, and writers tend to also sit while they work their craft. The studies indicate that sitting

The American Medical Association (AMA) agrees that sitting for extended periods of time can be bad for personal health. Click here to read more details, and the sources of the information.

So I’ve found some tips and tricks to help get moving that might help, that are either free or low cost;

Use reminders to get up and move. Getting a program or reminder app to get you moving helps with keeping the blood flow.

facetopFadetop.com provides a nice (free) program that periodically reminds you to get up and move without shutting you out of your work.

You can also use your Smart Phone to set off alarms every so often to remind you get away and move around a bit. Set this under the Reminder app, or use the alarm app.

Get a treadmill or use the one you have. What you see here in the picture is a shelf to attach to the treadmill to walk while using the PC. Please remember to walk 2 mph or at a slow pace so as not to trip and hurt yourself.

You can also find furniture to accommodate a treadmill, or you can also buy treadmills specific to being a desk and treadmill in one. They even have stationary bike desk ($299) as well. The desk itself is rather simple. I can see you could make one out of wood or PVC pipe as well.

DIY Treadmill Desk

DIY Desk via Instructables

DIY Treadmill from PVC

Dictate your writing. Whether you use your Smart Phone, MP3 recorder, or just an old fashioned tape player, dictate your writing to transcribe later while you take a walk around the block, or even step in place.

Use Text-to-Speech software (just so you know, Windows already has this feature built in.)

How to use Dictation on Smart phone and tablets.

Use an activity tracker. I prefer Fitbit Flex over the many trackers out there, and you could use an iPhone app as well (see below). The idea is that you are moving, and seeing how much you move throughout the day.

Fitbit Flex – ($100) This activity trackers tracks all steps, even if you walk in place. While playing Skyrim, I clocked over an mile. Each time my character ‘walked’, I would stand up and step side to side. I could feel it, too. (Imagine how fit I would be if it counted Dragon killing!).

striivStriiv iPhone App– (free) This was entertaining because it includes a little game in the app. While you walk, you turn on the app. It starts counting steps. More steps and you earn more ‘energy’ or ‘coins’ to use in the game that builds a little village. You can get the Striiv activity tracker, but I just used the app by itself.

zombiesrunZombies! Run app (iPhone and Android)- Imagine having to run to get away from zombies! This app provides a story you listen to, where you play a ‘runner’ gathering supplies for a village. You periodically get a warning of zombies in the area, and must increase your activity to get away.

So get up and move! Your body will thank you.

Like this post? Please like, share, and comment to let me know. Feel free to also comment with your own tips on moving and being healthy (as a writer).



Filed under Handy Links and Resources, Links, tip, Writer

Chapter by Chapter program

In my “Daily Vlog Challenge”, I talked about the Chapter-by-Chapter program I use for compiling a novel. Its works similar to a ‘master document’ but without the bugs and issues, and helps organize scenes/chapters into single documents that also works with  ‘find-replace’ function for all files.

This program is free, works with MS Word 97 and later, and can work with Super Notecard as well.

Here is my video-

I’m thinking of also doing a video on the yWriter novel writing program I’ve used in the past, in case readers might be interested. If so, post in comments, or mention a program you’d like to see, or another topic.

Leave a comment

Filed under Friday Fun Tip, Program, Writer

Tech issues and tips

MC900432646I was up to my elbows in computer guts yesterday while upgrading my son’s computer. This is why this posting is late; So here are a few tech tips I often share with my clients when they start having computer problems;

  • Try rebooting the system. Restarting the computer enables the system to refresh the RAM and reset information that often causes issues when programs aren’t playing well with other programs. If you can’t get the system to reboot (and yes, this does happen) press and hold in the Power Button for 8 seconds. This shuts down the PC. If you’re really desperate, unplug the power cord.
  • Make sure your Anti-virus software is not just updated but scans frequently. Sometimes the settings scan late at night. If you shut your system down, then its not scanning at that time. Run the scan at least once a week.
  • Run the Cleandisk and Defrag programs. Cleandish cleans out useless files that fill up the hard drive, while Defrag re-organizes them to efficiency.
  • Use Ctrl + Alt + Delete button by pressing all buttons at the same time, and you get the Task Manager. With this program you can shut down troublesome programs one at a time. Pressing twice will often reboot your computer.
  • Check your Startup Folder to see what programs are starting up when you turn on the computer. Some program are useful while others simply take up memory. I shut off all programs, although you might want to add programs. This is a personal choice for users.
  • Back your files! I cannot emphasize enough for computer users to use some method to back up their files.  I prefer the USB flash drive method, but cloud drives are also useful. Remember to back up items in the My Documents folder, as well as any add-on files you’ve added.

These are just the basics. Feel free to add questions and comments below on the topic of computers. I’m a PC users, and I realize some readers are Mac users, but feel free to post or share your own input on the topic of technical issues.

Friday Writing Prompt:

The Door…

Write an excerpt, story idea, or thoughts on this closed door. Where does it lead? Does someone live here? Is it a special place?

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Filed under Writer