Friday, June 10, 2011

Writer's Tool Box

Every writer has a few special tools of the trade that help us in our writing and research endeavors. Here are a few of mine. . .

One of my new favs is EverNote. I heard about it on former Thomas Nelson Publishing CEO Mike Hyatt's Intentional Leadership blog where he has a series of articles on how to use EverNote. EverNote is a free download similar to Microsoft's OneNote. No more scribbling endless wordpad notes to self containing research notes, resources, links, research, and brainstorming ideas I'm gathering. Now I just open EverNote and scribble it down and it's all in one place. You can organize it anyway. And it automatically saves everything. Quick and easy!

Story Toolz has several useful tools for writers, but my favorite is their Progress Meter. You can set it up to track your word count and show the meter on your blog or personal home page if you like. It's a cool way to keep track of your writing goals and even share them with others if you'd like.

This is rather basic, but I cannot live with out my dictionary and thesaurus. The one I use, seems almost daily, is Dictionary.com. The dictionary provides definitions, word origin and history (helpful for historical writers), and sample usage. The thesaurus provides a comprehensive list of synonyms and antonyms. There is also a Visual Thesaurus feature which diagrams a network of alternative words. Another feature of the site is the reference area which gives  few encylopedia entries of the word in question. Dictionary.com can be accessed online and you can also download their tool bar for easy access.

When I'm away from my Microsoft Word where I do most of my writing, but still have access to the internet I use Word Count Tool to keep track of how many words I'm writing. There is also word count software you can download with a free trial, but to register you must pay an annual fee. It might be worth it if you do not have access to the internet.

Another one of my favorite resources is Google Books. It is priceless! And very helpful for finding little know historical detail. Today at Colonial Quills, author and expert researcher Laurie Alice Eakes shares how to get the most from Google Books.



What are some of the helpful writing tools that you use?

3 comments :

  1. OneNote, OneNote, OneNote!!!!

    Can't sing its praises enough. And I probably don't even know how to use 90% of its features. I use it for character background sheets, keeping all of my continuity information (about settings, props, secondary characters, etc.), brainstorming, and as a collection place for my research.

    Of course, then there's just the good old-fashioned pen and spiral notebook. Can't live without those, either.

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  2. Oh, you and Kaye have such good ideas!!! Off to investigate... Bless u both!

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  3. Ive been using Onenote by Microsoft and I think it's pretty similar. I love it. It keeps me organized and it comes with Microsoft Office - most versions. We need all the help we can get!
    Blessings
    Jan
    www.jancline.net

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