How the AlphaSmart Neo Changed My Writing

Photo Credit: Gene Wilburn on Flickr A couple weeks ago, I saw that the wonderful Cheyanne Young had posted a photo on Instagram. It was of an old-school word processor, the kind that only holds text and doesn’t connect to the Internet (settle down, now). She went on about how it had improved her writing productivity and was one of the best purchases she’d made in her life. I was thoroughly intrigued. I had to get one for myself.

After minimal searching on eBay, I found an AlphaSmart Neo2 with USB cable for only $29.99 and free shipping. Now, before you go all, “But you can turn off the Internet on your computer or shut off the modem for free”—yes, I’m aware. I know I can do that. I know HOW to do that. And I know that a lot of writers find success with this method, but you know what? I’m weak. Sometimes, I am LAZY. And on those days when I want to do anything but write, it’s too easy for me to toggle the switch back on. I have to make it as hard for me to procrastinate as possible.

Enter the AlphaSmart Neo2. When I’m using it, I can’t do anything on it but write. I’m forced to be productive. No matter where I am (it’s portable and battery-powered), once I get it out, I’ve committed to getting things done. In fact, I wrote all of the blog posts for this week on it in about half an hour’s time, just because I wasn’t distracted. How awesome is that?

For those of you worried about losing text, you’ll be relieved to hear that the Neo2 saves everything locally in individual files. If you want to transfer the writing over to your computer, all you have to do is connect it via the included USB cable. It’s that easy.

I never imagined that something like this could make such a difference in my writing life, but I swear, my productivity has grown in leaps and bounds since purchasing it. Now that it’s almost summer, I especially love that I can take this thing almost anywhere. So far, I’ve written on my back porch, in the waiting room of the dentist’s office, lying in bed, leaning over the edge of the bathtub (I walk on the wild side), in a parked car (not that wild), and under a tree.

All in all, I love this thing, and that’s why I’m sharing it with you guys. I believe in it. It WORKS.

And for less than fifty dollars, I’m ecstatic about that.

What do you think of using an old-school word processor to write? How do you avoid distractions while writing?

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"I never imagined that something like this could make such a difference in my writing life." @brianawrites (Click to tweet)