Thursday, September 13, 2012

Thursday 13: Essential Computer Programs

We could not live without our computers. Here are the 13 programs that make our writing--and our writer's block time--more bearable! What programs do you need to function?
  1. Cloud Storage: Carbonite is a subscription service that automatically backs up your files. (Kinsey) Also see Dropbox--it doesn't auto backup, but it's also free! (PG Forte and Skylar Kade). Finally, we have a recommendation for Skydrive (Kate Davies)
  2. MS Word: Need I say more? (Meg Bennjamin)
  3. Avast's Sandbox: part of this anti-virus software, the Sandbox allows you to open or run suspicious files while isolating the whole thing from the rest of your computer. If the file's benign, it gets incorporated into the main part of your computer. If not, your computer isn't harmed! (PG Forte)
  4. Adobe Reader: view PDF files without shelling out for the Adobe suite. (PG Forte)
  5. Spotify: stream music--without monthly limits--using this program. For $9.99 a month, you can also get it on your smartphone. (Skylar Kade)
  6. PicMonkey: Manipulate pictures by cropping, adding filters/text/frames/shapes--perfect for blog and Facebook uploads. You can also make collages! (PG Forte)
  7. OpenOffice: For those of us who don't want to pay for the Microsoft Office suite, OpenOffice has program equivalents for Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and more! (Skylar Kade)
  8. Solitaire 3D: Writer's Block's best friend (Meg Benjamin)
  9. Firefox: because IE kind of sucks (Kinsey Holley)
  10. Explain Everything: It's an iPad app--you can turn a PowerPoint presentation into a vodcast in seconds. Great for flipping the classroom, creating quick videos, and lots of other cool tech-y options. (Kate Davies)
  11. Excel: I use spreadsheets to track submissions, to track sales and royalties (with formulae to add things up) and I also use a spreadsheet to plot my story as I write it to keep track of POV and how long scenes/chapters are, scene goals, subplots etc. (Kelly Jamieson, AKA the most organized writer of the NNN)
  12. Ywriter: A free writing program that allows you to break down chapter + scene as you write. Grammar and spelling check don't exist, and it's really minimal, so I find there are fewer distractions. This is an awesome, awesome program. 
  13. Skype: It's just awesome (PG Forte)


PG Forte said...

Jeez, do I talk a lot, or what?

Kelly Jamieson said...


Skylar Kade said...

PG, are you kidding? I was taking notes on your suggestions!