Friday, January 13, 2012

Tools For The Writer

Writer Tools

Every Writer has tools they use to make their jobs easier. Or they could be used to keep them on track. Some are pretty common to all writers. Others are specific to a particular writers personality and specific needs. I'll share a portion of my list with you. Perhaps you'll recognize a few of these items.

Earplugs I live in a noisy house. “I'm writing” doesn't always illicit the quiet I need for concentration. So I put in my earplugs. But they are no good alone, which leads to my second tool.

Simply Noise On this website ( I can fill my ears with white, pink or brown noise. It helps to drown out the TV, stereo and video games. For the most part, it also drowns out voices too :)

Timer The timer has a two-fold purpose. Sometimes I use it to time my breaks. When it goes off then it's butt in chair time. Other times I use it for writing sprints. I set it and write until it dings. Both help me manage my limited writing time. If you don't have a good old-fashioned kitchen timer, you can always use an online one like

Voice Recorder Why is it that the best ideas always come to me when I have no pen and paper handy?Does that ever happen to you? And the problem is, if I don't record it, it's lost forever. So to remedy that, mu husband bought me a hand held voice recorder a few Christmases ago. Of course now that I have an upgraded mobile phone, there is one on there as well. So now there's no way I'm letting an idea escape me.

EverNote I love this application. It allows me to access my WIP from anywhere. I have a copy of it on my phone. It's on my laptop. And if I'm anywhere with Internet access, I can get to it, pull up my WIP, edit or add to it, save it and access it from someplace completely different later. I think this is pretty cool.

So what tools do you find useful as a writer? Feel free to share.

About the Author:

Marietta "Mari" Taylor is the the author of Surviving Unemployment Devotions To Go and is monthly blogger for the GoAskMom blog at Find out more about Mari at her blog or her website,


Magdalena Ball said...

Good set of tools. I've never used EverNote but I'm going to look into it as it sounds like just what I need (earplugs too). I like to write on my netbook (a tablet just doesn't cut it and my big laptop is a little cumbersome), so I'd put that as my biggest tool. And Google of course - always researching stuff on the fly.

Aileen said...

What great tips! I am going to put some into practice today. Thanks, Mari!

Margaret Fieland said...

Mari, love the post. I especially enjoyed the tip about the ear plugs {grin}, and I'll have to check out evernote -- it sounds interesting.

Anne Duguid Knol said...

I like One Note for researching and making notes but am now more and more using Scrivener to organize the everlasting WIP .
The other tool I use is my Flip. It's tiny, the batteries last for ages. I can use it as a recorder and for recording interviews for non-fiction pieces.

elysabeth said...

Mari, awesome list. I don't use earplugs because I have to use them all day with my job. I'm the only one in my area so noise isn't a factor unless of course I turn on the TV or whatever. I have a digital recorder but never thought of using it to record ideas that come to me whenever; may have to pull that out and start using it. I have to agree with hAving Google as my homepage on the internet - always researching.

Thanks for sharing - E :)

Elysabeth Eldering
Author of Finally Home, a YA paranormal mystery

Unknown said...

I've used One Note at work. i think that's why I don;t use it for my writing. I need some separation :) I have heard of Scrivener. Will have to check into that too. And Google is something I use a ton as well.


Angela Ackerman said...

I love the site 'Rainy Mood'. The sound if rain is sooooo soothing to write to!

Martha said...

Love the idea of timing my breaks. I'm like the children's book "If you give a mouse a cookie" I'll take a break for tea, see that I need to fold laundry, step on a toy, start to pick up, find a dust bunny, start to dust.....
Timer, that's for me.

Mary Jo Guglielmo said...

I'm going to check out simply noise. Also, I was using the voice recorder on my iphone but found an ap that worked better.

Unknown said...

Martha, I'm the same way. That's why I use a timer :) Angela, hadn't heard of rainy Mood but I'll check it out. Mary, I like simply noise because it has other sounds besides white noise.

Karen Cioffi said...

Great list of tools, Mari. I've used a recorder, but haven't lately - need to get back into keeping it handy. I'll have to look into evernote - it sounds similar to dropbox, which I have already. I have dropbox on my computer and laptop - if I update on one it automatically updates to the other.

My favorite tool though is my zip drive. I pop it in where ever I am with an available laptop or computer and my files are at my finger tips. I always back up the files for protection also.

hpvanduuren said...

Thanks for your post Marietta Taylor,

I especially like the idea about the Voice Recorder, (and also actually just 'Updated' a page on my blog) because while on the 'Writer's Kit' page on my blog, you could already read about an MP3 Player as a Writer Tool - for listening to Music while writing -

You just reminded me that several MP3 Player's also have a Microphone and Voice Recorder in them.

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