Apps for Writers: Evernote, Idea Sketch, Write or Die


Although I still carry a small notebook and pens wherever I go, I also use apps on my laptop, iPhone and iPad for writing as well.  Today I'm sharing a few of my favorite apps--the first two are great for ideas and structuring a story, the third for cranking out the words.

Evernote: This app lets you capture everything from ideas to photos to web page clips to audio.  Although I have the app on my Mac, iPhone and iPad, I tend to only use it on my iPad (it's easy to cart someplace to write, yet large enough to not feel cramped for space when using it).  Later, I can look up my notes "on the go" with my iPhone if I want.  Evernote is also available on PCs, btw.  You can get the free version or for a small fee (something like $2.99) the bells & whistles version.  I use the free version and it's great.

 I used Evernote to capture ideas for my next book--I enjoyed being able to categorize topics as well as set tags for my different notes.  It was then a breeze to refresh my memory on ideas by looking them up via tags.

To "see" how a writer uses Evernote, check out writer Christopher Gronlund's YouTube "Evernote for Writers" that offers step-by-step directions.

Idea Sketch (for iPhone & iPad): This app is great for those of us who like to see the "big picture" as we're structuring a story. You can craft your ideas as a mind or concept map/flow chart, then see the layout in text (or vice versa).  I use the free version, but there's also a premium version for $3.99.

Write or Die.  I know, it sounds heavy.  But sometimes, especially when you're facing a deadline, what you need is a heavy push to write, write, write.  This app is available for the PC (although I easily downloaded it to my Mac) and iPad, and costs a minimal amount (currently $4.99 and worth every penny).

The app has built-in "punishments" but for me, writing can be punishing enough without making it more so!  Punishments aside, you can set word goals and time goals, then save your writing to a text file, Dropbox, email or clipboard.  A writer-friend recommended this app (she actually wrote an entire novel in 2 weeks--no, I'm not kidding--and the darn book was nominated for a prestigious award, too!  Of course, she's a NYT-bestselling author so she certainly knows her craft, but she swears Write or Die helped her meet that crazy-tight deadline.


I use other writing apps, but these are three of my faves.  What about you?  Got an app that you love for writing?