Monday, June 24, 2013

This Writer's Smartphone Apps

I got my first smartphone in August of last year--a Samsung Galaxy S2. This was was the fanciest thing I had
ever placed a call on. It introduced me to touch-screens, voice command, Swype . . . and the glorious world of apps.

Apps are terrific, especially for writing, so I wanted to share with you what apps I use when it comes to putting pen to page. Love being able to have a digital thesaurus at my fingertips. And the dictionary side is pretty nice, too.

Google Translate. In the last year I wrote two novels with heavy foreign-language usage. This app has been priceless to me, especially in drafting EMPIRE OF CRANES AND SPIDERS. It will also pronounce words for me, which minimizes my butchering of foreign terms.*

Wikipedia. Never know when an idea requiring lore research might pop up, or when I need to look up random facts away from my computer.

Lightning Bug. My newest acquisition. Great for when you need to listen to something non-musical. I recently wrote a piece of flash fiction that took place in a rainstorm, so I had rain playing in the background for almost an hour while I drafted it.

Twitter/Facebook/Goodreads. These are pretty self-explanatory.

Had TweetDeck for a while, but it turned out to be more trouble than it was worth. :/

I don't personally use note-taking apps because I find that carrying small notebooks allows me to record ideas faster and access them easier.

What apps do you love? What am I missing out on?

*NOTE that Google Translate is not reliable for grammar. If you're translating long phrases, best to get a native speaker's input!


  1. Ever used Evernote? It's pretty much just a cool interface of a notepad.

  2. I was going to suggest Evernote! :) Plus it links to chrome.

  3. As far as productivity apps go, I love Write Chain and Pomodoro. The former keeps track of your daily and aggregate word counts and uses the pressure of "not breaking the chain" to keep you writing every day. The latter helps you manage your time via the Pomodoro technique (a real godsend as a Chrome plug-in that blocks websites for a short time), setting out alternating stretches of work time and break time.

  4. I have a kindle app on mine, though that doesn't help with the writing exactly. I also have dropbox so I can access my work on my phone from anywhere. I'll have to check out the apps you mentioned. Lightingbug sounds great.

  5. I once heard of an app that can turn your photo into a zombie pic. Never checked it out but that might catch your fancy App fan.

  6. Fun! I don't think I could live with out my smart phone...which really is sad!

  7. Juliana Brandt shared an awesome one with me. It's called Catch, and you can access it on your phone and online. It's great for organizing notes, especially since you can create folders and use Hashtags to keep everything organized. Check it out here:

  8. I really don't use my phone to it's full smartness potential. I do have a thesaurus lurking on there somewhere though.

  9. Oh my gosh... right??? I LOVE my phone... I do SO MUCH on it--it's such a different world now then even a couple years ago!

  10. Looks like you got most of the major things covered. While I love my smartphone, I love my Galaxy Tab 2 more. I can actually type on it just like a computer keyboard with maybe just a 30% speed & accuracy hit. Of course, the voice recognition is wickedly accurate and far better than that on my phone or old tablet.

  11. Wow, everyone's making me feel quite archaic. I have resisted the smart phone revolution.

    However, I just love turning my iPod touch into a book (pdf reader) and sneaking into the bathroom at work to read. (Hey, I don't do it all that often). It's a good way to get through a few small chunks of a manuscript you're editing/critiquing.

  12. Website:
    SnapHits is a photo sharing app... with a difference;
    Yes, you can take a photo with your smartphone, upload a picture from your photo library and share it in the app and with your friends.
    You can also share your photos through other social networks.
    We have taking photo sharing to the next level - now you can share up to four photos, or Snaps (as we like to call them) and get live feedback from your friends. Let them help you decide which is the best snap.
    Ask the question, post the Snaps and wait for the 'Hits';
    iPhone App here & Download the app and enjoy it on your iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch.

    Also more details here