Writing in the Cloud: Harness Thoughts on the Go
Give yourself some freedom away from your desk, and guess what? Some sparkling Junebug will fly by, creating a flood of creative expression that is just the perfect lead, conclusion, character or piece of dialog for your writing. And guess what else? You don’t have a notepad and pen. What a shame since you will undoubtedly forget the details by the time you return to your desk. Thankfully this is the 21st century, and no doubt you are toting a smartphone or tablet with access to the Internet. As a blog writer for hire, cloud-based writing programs are the lollipop you need so to keep your ideas well organized and accessible.
Top 5 Cloud-based Writing Programs
What you should look for in a cloud-based writing program is affordability, security and accessibility. Several companies have programs and apps on the market that fill these needs quite nicely.
Yarny is more for writers who want to create chapters or separate scenes. Writebox and 750 Words are basic text writing programs that are free of distracting format junk. Simply get your idea out there and onto the screen with these two programs. If you are looking for a more orderly manner of keeping your thoughts, clips, photos, videos and audio blips organized, opt for Evernote or Wunderlist.
Pay the Piper
As for affordability, Yarny, Evernote, Writebox and Wunderlist are free for the basic program. If you want to upgrade for fancier features, then expect to pay around $40 per year or $5 per month. 750 Words has recently implemented a charge for their service, which is $5 for members who have signed up since May 1, 2013. If you were a member before that, then you are a free-for-life member.
If you plan to use a mobile device, such as an Android or iPad, then consider which of these programs offer the right mobility for you. Writebox is an app that works with Chrome or iPad/iPhone. 750 Words does not have a mobile app, but you can access the site from a tablet, such as an iPad or Kindle Fire, that has a web browser. To go mobile with Yarny, you can get the iPhone app when you upgrade to a premium account. Evernote and Wunderlist are available for most mobile devices including iPhone, iPad, Android, Blackberry and Windows Phone.
Benefits of Computing in the Clouds
The priority for a cloud-based writing program is to be able to access your files from anywhere that has Internet access. For example, maybe you are working in the library, computer lab, or a friend’s house. You can access your files from such a computer and use the cloud to store new information, without leaving a trace of evidence on the computer itself. You don’t need a jump drive or floppy disc—who uses those anymore?—and you don’t have to email everything in a jumbled mess to yourself. As for security, the use of the cloud is still relatively new, and therefore seemingly dangerous due to hackers or glitches. However, as long as you transfer your content to your personal computer or external hard drive once you’ve returned to your desktop, you should be golden.
Miranda B is a freelance writer available on WriterAccess, a marketplace where clients and expert writers connect for assignments.