Smartphones have become an almost essential tool for any professional. The freelance writer included.
As you may or may not know, I ditched my Blackberry for an Android-powered phone a few months ago. And I haven’t looked back.
Not only is my phone good for making calls and checking my email (among other things), it’s become a tool that helps me with my writing. How? Thanks to some really good apps.
Here are a few of my favourites.
WordPress for Android
Just about every writer I know has a blog. And just about every one of those blogs runs on WordPress. Say what you will about Blogger, TypePad, and the rest I think that WordPress is the most flexible blogging platform around.
While I don’t advocate doing too much blogging with your phone (typing on those little keys really isn’t a substitute for a full keyboard), there are times when you might want to upload a short post or check the comments on a post. To do that, I like using WordPress for Android
WordPress for Android is small but powerful. You can write and publish posts (including adding images), approve and reply to comments, add pages to your blog, and even check your blog’s statistics. The latter only works if you have an account at WordPress.org
I don’t know about you, but I like to have as many of my notes in digital format as possible. This enables me to get to them no matter where I am or with what computer I’m using. Manually copying notes from one device to another is not only a pain but dumps inconsistency into the mix. What happens if I make a change in one place, but don’t update in another?
That’s where AndroNoter comes in. It’s a note taking app with a twist: it works with Simplenote, a Web-based repository for your notes. Just type your note in AndroNoter and when you’re done you save and sync it to Simplenote. Pretty … well, simple. And effective.
So much so that I’ve incorporated Simplenote into my note taking workflow.
Files. We all have a lot of them. As with notes, it’s a chore to continually copy them to other computers or to your phone. Thanks an online storage service called DropBox, it’s easy to share the files that you need.
You can do it on your phone using the DropBox app. You get access to the files that you need during the day without syncing your phone with a computer. Here’s how I use it:
- I keep copies of articles that I need to review in DropBox, and do the deed while riding transit or waiting in line at the bank
- My resume is handy if I need to apply for a gig
- I keep the password database for my password keeper application
My use of DropBox isn’t limited to that, though. It really is a flexible service. You get 2 GB of storage for free, and can upgrade fairly inexpensively.
I don’t have to tell you how much I like using Google Docs. I’ve written about Google Docs extensively in this space, and you can search for all the posts about it.
Using GDocs, you can download documents from Google Docs and edit them on your phone. You can also create a new document in GDocs. When you’re ready, just tap the Sync button and your edited document or new file is uploaded to Google Docs. It’s quick and simple, as a good app should be.
What smartphone (they don’t have to be Android) apps are useful for your writing? Share your picks by leaving a comment.
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