Sunday, May 18, 2014

Apps for Writers and Readers

Last month I made the plunge and bought myself a phone. I held off for years, because I hated the idea of being tied down to the monthly payments. Now that I have my phone, I've realized what a great tool it is (and how much fun it is!). I've been hunting down my favourite free writing/reading apps for android devices (many of these will be compatible with iPhone, as well) and this is what I came up with.


Evernote

This is by far my favourite organizing app. This is how I keep track of all my ideas and life details. This app consists of different virtual notebooks that you fill up with virtual notes. Notes can be made up with pictures, voice recordings and simple written notes. You can also add reminders to notes, if you need a deadline on a project.

The genius of this is that it syncs with all your devices. For me, I use it on my phone and on the computer. Sometimes I get an idea for a blog post at work, I jot it down in Evernote or use my voice-to-text feature, then when it comes time to write the post, I open it up on my computer and there it is! Evernote also allows shared notebooks, so you can collaborate with other writers. This app requires internet to sync/update your notebooks, but is still usable if you're not on a network. It's a simple concept, but a brilliant one.


Merriam Webster Dictionary 

This is a must have app. It's a dictionary in your phone; perfect for those times were you encounter an uncommon word and need a definition. The great thing about this app is that it's completely offline (except for pronunciations, I believe), so you don't need the internet to search for a word. 


Bloglovin' 

If you use Bloglovin' to follow the blogs you read (which I highly recommend) then this app is great to keep up with your reading. The nice thing about this app is that is simplifies the blog posts to just pictures and text, which makes it a lot easier to read on a small screen. It also gives you the option to click through and see the original post on the blog/website itself for commenting and the like. 

Goodreads

I absolutely love this app for one reason. This app allows you to scan a book's bar code (using the camera in your phone) and bring up all the Goodreads data on it. I was in the bookstore this morning and I saw a book that I wanted to buy. I pulled out my phone, scanned that bar code and looked up the general rating (decent) and saw that a few of my Goodreads friends had given it three stars and then I read a few other reviews of it. I just love that I can confidently buy a book and not just base my decision off the flap. The scanning feature will also work to automatically "shelf" books on your Goodreads shelves. I still prefer to do the normal Goodreads stuff like rating and reviewing on the computer, but the scanning feature is great. 



Story Plot Generator (ARC Apps)

There are tons of different story plot generators out there, but this was my personal favourite. In this app you first pick your genre. The options are: Action/Thriller, Misfortune/Drama, SciFi/Space, Murder Scene, Fantasy/Magic, Horror/Suspense and Romance. Each genre has four or five different parts of the prompt (see below). I like that it goes beyond the usual "a purple dog in the park" or "a woman walks into a restaurant alone" prompts and adds categories like themes and details. I also appreciate that each genre has categories specifically catered to it (e.g. Murder scene has: where, how, who and detail). 



Unolingo

This last one is more just for fun, although it might help with your spelling, tehe. This is crossword app, but there are no clues, and you can only use each letter of the alphabet once. The aim of the game is to fill in the whole puzzle before the timer runs out. It sounds hard, but I find it so much easier than a normal crossword puzzle. Plus, there's hints for those tricky spaces. 



Those are a few of my favourite writer/reader apps. I'm sure the list will grow as I use the phone more and more, but for now that about covers it! Have you used any of these apps? What are some of your favourite apps? Any recommendations? Do you have any tricks to getting the most out of your cell phone? Let me know in the comments!

Reading: Rules of Civility by Amor Towles (still!)
Listening: Plain White T's 
Watching: God's Not Dead

6 comments:

  1. Ooh, I have Evernote and I love it. I have it on my computer and my tablet and Id love to have it on my smartphone if it wasn't so old. It's the best app I've found for my writing so far. I have the plot app too, though I haven't played around with it much yet. I'll have to have a look at the rest of the apps. They all look so great.

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    1. Evernote is so great! Whenever some one mentions not being organized or losing their notes I always pipe up and suggest they get Evernote. Hopefully you find another gem among the other apps:)

      Thanks for sharing!

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  2. I think you've possibly just saved me hours per wee with these. I've got a Windows phone, probably the most horrible phone for a reader or blogger, as there are no official apps for anything, but Evernote sounds exactly what I need. Jot it down and it waits for me on my pc?

    I'm super excited to download this now. I can't thank you enough for sharing *does cartwheels out of here to download*

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    1. Your most welcome! I'm happy that I could help you out.I know that I spent (too many) hours hunting through the app store and trying out so-so apps before finding these ones, so I figured why not save everybody else the trip.

      I'm sorry you're having such a bad experience with your phone. That really sucks. Maybe these apps will improve it, tehe. Thanks for commenting!

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  3. Great lists. I use bloglovin... I am going to go check out story plot generator... thanks for sharing!

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    1. No problem! That story generator is definitely worth a look.
      Thanks for stopping by:)

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