Graphics designers use any number of drawing and graphic manipulation tools to create attractive images, programmers need a slew of different devices and tools to create new programs, but, as a writer, do you really need any tools besides a word processing program? Actually, there are a number of cloud-based programs that make web content writing a breeze. Check out these nine tools and you’ll be floating on “cloud nine” as a writer!
- Google Drive – I believed that Microsoft Word was a necessity until I picked up a cheap Chromebook to use for writing on the go and had to find a new go-to program. Google Drive is a simple word processing tool, yes—but it is so much more! I can store my docs on the Google cloud and easily collaborate with others on big projects. If you haven’t used it yet, it is worth the time to figure it out.
- Byword – This is one of the few cloud services that was created with writers in mind. Byword allows you to write something on one device and share it with others. If you are like me and use multiple devices, you will find this is extremely useful.
- Evernote – Download this simple, clean program on your phone, tablet and computer and easily share notes and pictures across all devices. It is insanely simple, which is perfect for a program such as this.
- Ginger – Every writer wants to improve his or her craft. Ginger is a cloud-based spell checker and grammar tool that helps you improve every document you create.
- Dropbox – Need to get a file to a client quick? Dropbox allows you to “drop” a file where he or she can pick it up when its convenient. Dropbox is a simple cloud sharing application that is accessible from any number of devices.
- Spotify – Spotify, Pandora and Last.fm are all cloud-based music services. Create the ultimate writing environment for yourself by playing the type of music that helps you focus—be that Mozart or T-Pain.
- Yarny – Working on a book or other large project? Yarny is a great solution. It automatically saves your work to the cloud and has a number of options to help you share your work with the world (if that’s what you want!).
- Lastpass – As a writer you probably have dozens of accounts across the internet. If you follow the common advice to keep a different password on each site, it can be a bit overwhelming. Lastpass securely stores your passwords in the cloud and helps you keep track of them when needed.
- Microsoft Skydrive – Just need some extra storage? Microsoft Skydrive gives you 25 gigs of storage free and allows you to purchase more at an affordable price.
As you can see, having your head “in the clouds” isn’t necessarily a bad thing! As a writer you spend more time online than most, so taking advantage of the (often free) cloud services is important. Try out these options and find the combination that makes it easy for you to get things done!
Tracy S is a freelance writer available on WriterAccess, a marketplace where clients and expert writers connect for assignments.