Ink stained fingers were the badge of honour for a writer. Until recently, the tools of the trade involved stuffed notebooks and a variety of pens or pencils. Unfortunately, great ideas, character profiles and scenes could be easily mislaid or lost amongst piles of notebooks or files.
Although writing does not need to be any more complicated with the introduction of technology, with tools and applications easily accessible from a phone or laptop, managing files and resources has never been so easy or accessible to fit in with a flexible and freestyle life. The influx of online systems to help busy writers can seem dazzling, so listed below are a number of well-regarded applications which will assist with keeping files in order.
Dropbox is a virtual online storage application which interfaces with your computer or iPhone. By dragging and dropping files into the Dropbox application, it syncs and keeps track of changes made to the contents. It also updates all computers linked to the Dropbox account. Dropbox offers a certain amount of free storage (2 GB) but has upgrade options at reasonable prices. Users are able to share single documents or folders with teams, allowing collaboration among its members.
Carbonite allows subscribers access to their files and documents anywhere there is access to the internet. It is relatively low-cost at $6 a month, offering a high standard of security and peace of mind with its state of art back up guarantees.
Evernote allows the writer to take photos and notes which are in turn backed up to an online system and onto your main computer files at a later time. It integrates neatly with computers, phones and mobile devices allowing the writer to search for keywords, tags or handwritten text inside images stored.
Comodo Cloud is another online storage system for files. It offers 5 GB of free storage, with similar drag and drop features as other systems.
Amazon Cloud Drive promotes themselves as the personal hard drive in the cloud. They offer 5 GB free space to upload files, specifically music and images. 5 GB equates to around 1000 songs (and countless short stories or manuscripts of novels!).
Scrivener is a little different to the applications already mentioned; in that it is a wordprocessing program designed specifically for writers. An informal survey conducted at a writers’ forum showed that Scrivener was most popular to keep track of chapters and characters during NaNoWriMo.
This system allows the writer to manage documents, notes, key concepts, research information, images, videos and PDFs for future reference. A key feature includes a virtual corkboard where files and notes can be pinned to it, giving the writer a snapshot of the work in progress and allows the writer to have a big picture view of their work. Priced at under $50, it’s a worthy investment of any potential novelist.
These applications will eliminate the panic of losing a USB, giving the writer flexibility on their workspace and timeframes. Do you have a favourite application or program to keep your files and information in order?