Apps I Use as a Writer, or Uses of a Technological Horcrux for Writing

Technology has made certain aspects of this world so convenient; we can keep our food cold, our homes warm, and our entertainment at the tips of our fingers. Technology has evolved at a fast pace throughout the years (I remember the days when my mom made me get off the computer so she could make a phone call!), and it has come to the point where almost everyone owns a cell phone, and most of those cell phones are considered Smart. I only recently acquired an intelligent phone within the past few months, and through that time, I came to realize the parallel between Smart Phones and Horcruxes: our phones have become an extension of ourselves, and the apps we use reflect that.

My iPhone reflects my passion for writing. Though the iPhone is a Smart Phone, it is not smart enough to actually write for me; not that I would want it to! But the tools that it can have not only give me a sense of organization but also a sense of connectivity, as I am connected to my writing wherever I go. With these apps together, they create what I like to call the Writer’s Toolbox. Every writer has their own toolbox, whether it is a digital document or a physical notebook and pen. I am personally a hybrid writer; I switch from the computer to a journal to keep myself focused.

The following apps are the ones I personally use, and find rather helpful throughout the writing process. I back up my writing through Drive, Dropbox, and flash drives, so my phone has become my own personal writing Horcrux. All of the apps listed are available for free.

Drive – This app links to my Google Drive, giving me access to my documents anywhere. I can send the documents to my Dropbox in the form of PDF files, which is my favorite aspect of the app. The mobile app organizes the documents in the same format as the website (folders then files), and I can upload documents and pictures from my phone straight to Drive. Many features, such as sharing, are also included in the mobile version.

Docs – Docs is an app that links to Google Docs, which allows me to edit the documents that are in Google Drive. In Docs, I currently have access to documents I opened in 2011! I can create a new document or pull a document directly from Drive. It’s helpful in regards to editing my NaNoWriMo novel on the go.

Dropbox – This app links to my Dropbox, also giving me access to my documents anywhere. I can email the document links to friends and beta readers, and I can print the documents from my phone. The documents automatically update if I edit them from a computer, and vice versa. I cannot edit the documents in Dropbox straight from my phone, but I can definitely create a document with UX Write and upload it to Dropbox to merge with the original document later.

UX Write – UX Write is a flexible app that can draw from Box, Dropbox, Google Drive, Microsoft OneDrive, and WebDAV. My favorite feature is that documents can be created and saved within this app and uploaded later to Drive or Dropbox. It doesn’t get too fancy as far as word processors go, but it gets the job done.

wc Free – While the free version of UX Write does not provide the word count of your writings, wc Free does just that. I copy and paste from my UX Write document to wc Free to get the document’s word count. This has been very useful to me, as I have written some of my NaNoWriMo novel from my phone. This app does not save documents; it only states the word count. But it is very helpful. It gives the word count along with the counts of spaces, characters, and new lines.

A Novel Idea – This is one of my favorite apps. A Novel Idea allows you to list and organize your story ideas. Scenes, characters, locations, and miscellaneous ideas can be recorded in the app, though I personally just use the “Novels” categorization. I use this app to list the name of novels and novellas I wish to write, and the pseudonyms I want to write them under. The app organizes the ideas alphabetically by pseudonym (or Group, as it is listed), and within each Novel idea, you can list the setting, theme, tone, POV, premise, and plot. At the bottom of the list, I have a group called “Written” that I use for keeping track of what I have written and under what name.

eMobo – The Cell Phone Novel is a trend that has recently reached North America all the way from Japan. The genre is made of books that are written in text format, with chapters small enough to be seen on the screen of a mobile phone. On eMobo, users can read or write cell phone novels. I plan on writing a cell phone novel, but I want to read some first to get a feel for the genre. This app connects to Textnovel, the database of cell phone novels from around the world; if you have an account with Textnovel, then you can use that same information to log into eMobo.

WordPress – This handy app helps me connect to my blog, so I may post if I am away from my computer.

I survived the weekend with my head above water in the sea of words for NaNoWriMo, and these apps have each helped me in their own way, and will help me for the rest of the month as I attempt to finish my NaNoWriMo novel (or at least reach the word count!).


4 thoughts on “Apps I Use as a Writer, or Uses of a Technological Horcrux for Writing

  1. Wow, what an assembly of apps! I use Scrivener and that handles almost all of these functions (except blogging!). But it has sort of a learning curve so I think a lot of people shy away from it. Good resources! Thanks!


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