Using technology to help you write
We all need tools for whatever job we are doing and writing is no different. Here are some of the tools and technology that I use. These are useful additions to your writers toolkit.
Computer and some sort of software
For the actual writing, use Microsoft WORD. Whatever you work in make sure that it supports the way that you write, can be styled according to the end result that you need. I also have Scrivener which I like, however, I was bought up on WORD and I just find it easier to use.
In terms of computers, I favour a notebook which I can easily carry around. I have my Mac and and ASUS Transformer PAD. The ASUS is like and iPad but has a keyboard. It fits into my handbag and as I use Dropbox to store my files, I can access my writing at anytime.
Spell checker and proofer
WORD has an inbuilt spell and grammar checker, which is wonderful for ensuring that your writing is accurate and makes sense. Be warned it will check what it thinks makes sense, so no excuses you still need to manually edit. There are several different options for the grammar checker, I start with a simple check and make it tougher the further on in the editing process that I am.
Video or voice recording
With the advent of digital cameras and digital camcorders there is lots of opportunity to be able to video anything you want to say and capture. This adds an extra dimension to your writing and research.
One of the other things that I like to do is to use the Dictaphone and I do this when I’m walking the dog, or driving as this enables me to collect random thoughts and ideas which come to me from my subconscious. When I get home I’m able to listen back and type / write up what I want to keep.
Dragon Naturally Speaking or Dragon Dictate on a Mac allow you to talk to your computer. Dragon will interpret what you say and type as you speak. I love this software! I will issue a funny words warning. Even when I am talking slowly and carefully some of the words that come out are rather odd. I usually talk a section, stop and then edit, just to catch those funnies.
Find out what other people have in their writers toolkit, like to use and why before you invest. Technology is an enabler and if it doesn’t work with you, then you are simply wasting your time and money.