As a journalist, I have a weakness for programs that help writers, whether by profession or for pleasure, write better. Luckily, there are plenty of programs that journalists, novelists, playwrights, and poets can use to organize their ideas and turn them into text.
But it’s not just about text editing; it’s also about applications that help you take notes, organize your work, read, and record. Writing, in fact, is one of the last stages of the writing process.
Here is a series of apps for Android phones and tablets that’ll help writers throughout the entire process, from brainstorming to writing to editing.
Taking and organizing notes
This app is a must for anyone who writes for a living. It manages notes, PDF files, voice notes, photos, and even handwritten text.
One of Evernote’s most useful functions is creating notebooks. If you’re working on a novel, for example, you can create a notebook for characters (or one for each character), another for notes about the plot, and another for historical and geographical research. The possible uses are endless.
If you don’t have time to write, you have the option to record audio notes. The audio recording function is great for noting ideas freely, letting you go with the flow without having to stop to write things down.
And if you’re a journalist, Evernote is a godsend. You can create a notebook for each news piece and fill it with notes, photos, recordings, interviews and even write drafts pieces, which you can send to your editor if required.
You can also create shared notebooks so that if you’re working on an article in the field, your colleagues in the newsroom will have access to it as you add material.
This app is similar to Evernote and has enjoyed great success among professionals in the writing world. You can create notes of any kind, save notes in the app directly from the browser (just use the Save to Springpad option), and create checklists, among other things.
Just as the developers intended, it’s a really useful application for organizing both your work and private life, and the tools it offers are perfect for doing this.
Thanks to the collaboration options, you can share your notes with other people, something reporters and writers will appreciate. Add to this some colorful and attractive graphics, and you’ve got a great product.
Being able to create the bones of a novel is an invaluable tool. Mindjet Maps helps you do this by creating concept maps with as many “joints” as you’d like; your maps can become as big as you want without any extra effort to manage them.
This means that by adding ideas on a day-to-day basis, you’ll gradually build up every detail of your story without ever missing a piece of the puzzle.
Thanks to the colored arrows, you can connect notes that don’t belong under the same heading. This is critical if you write novels because it eliminates the risk of inconsistency between stories, laying the foundation for a solid narrative fabric.
The maps you create can be shared on Picasa.
This is a simple app for recording voice notes and interviews.
It doesn’t manage tags, so if you use it to take notes for writing stories or articles, it’s good practice to give the files carefully chosen names. When you get to the stage of having a ton of recordings, you’ll be thankful that you were diligent.
The app is easy to use and can be launched from the widget so that when inspiration strikes, you’re off and running in a matter of seconds.
Writing stories and novels
My Writing Spot
This is an app for writers created by a fan of writing.
If you’re struggling with a novel, you can create a document for each chapter, add another file with character profiles, and keep everything in sync with the My Writing Spot webapp.
You can also protect documents with passwords. The word count is always active, and in the My Documents directory, you can see how many words each file contains. The app has direct access to an online dictionary and thesaurus too.
A simple but effective writing app for vagabond novelists.
This app is sort of a Swiss army knife for writers. In addition to being able to write and organize a book, you can keep a journal, take notes by hand and create PDFs.
The pages of documents are automatically indexed, and you can also add written notes and photos. BookWriter is a great multi-tasker and although it’s not perfect at any single function, it’s still an option worth considering.
This is the Android version of software that’s well known and popular among professional screenwriters. There are templates for writing scripts for film and theater, but also for video clips, radio scripts, and comics.
The many automated functions make the job a breeze and ensure standard screenplay format. Celtx Script has an excellent collaboration tool, thanks to which participants in the project can comment on scripts.
The program is multiplatform, and files will synchronize with each other so that you’ll always have the latest version on all your devices. Celtx Script is a true gem for those who are serious about writing for film and theater.
This is an app for non-linear movie scripts that lets you access any part of your work easily.
There are lots of automatic options during writing, including a really interesting one that recognizes dialogue between two characters and automatically adds their names to the top of the script. This lets you quickly achieve a real flow to the script without wasting time on formatting and technical issues.
MyScreenplays Free lets you export to industry-standard formats, including LaTeX, Celtx and Final Draft. The options and tools it offers are numerous, so it might be a good idea to try the app for yourself. It’s also available in Pro version.
This is an app that’s specifically for creating storyboards. It’s not directed at the writer, but it can be of great help to those who want to go beyond script to set design and cinematography.
It’s easy to use even for those who are more artistically challenged; it supports layers and has a large number of storyboard art tools for creating maximum impact. It’s good on smartphones but even better on tablets.
Technology clearly offers writers some helping hands for writing, giving far more freedom to focus on creativity, and if these tools also come pocket sized, all the better!
Which progams do you use to help you during the writing process?