• Top 5 Apps for Readers and Writers

    Photo credit: wicker_man on Flickr

    I couldn’t live without my iPhone.

    I feel terrible saying that, but I suspect many of you reading this are in the same boat. I use my phone for almost everything. It wakes me up in the morning, reminds me to take my medicine, and allows me to dictate blog posts while driving to work. Technology is incredible.

    My favorite thing about smartphones has to be the apps. There really is an app for whatever you can think of. Even bookworms can benefit from using smartphone apps! Don’t believe me? Check out this list of smartphone apps best-suited for readers and writers.

    1. Goodreads. This social network deserves more praise. Once you create an account, you can announce your reading progress, get custom book recommendations, leave reviews, and so much more. If you join, feel free to send me a friend request!
    2. Kindle, Nook, or other ereader app. I have a Kindle Paperwhite, but this app is great when I don’t have it with me. You can sync books you’ve purchased and download them to your device. It’s fantastic.
    3. Dragon Dictation. Not too long ago, I wrote a post about how Dragon Dictation can help you write. It’s no secret that I love this app. You can write on-the-go, which is great for busy people. Also, it’s free! (Then again, so is everything else on this list.)
    4. Evernote. A lot of writers and bloggers swear by Evernote. I don’t use it much anymore, but it allows to create and sync notes and lists across different platforms. You can use it to keep track of novel ideas, books you want to read, and recipes you hope to try out someday.
    5. iThesaurus. When I’m editing, I often find the same word used over and over again. That’s where this app comes in. All you do is enter a word, and the app gives you several similar words meaning the same thing. How cool is that?
    After reading this post, I hope you feel inspired to rush over to the app store. Although this post was written from an iOS standpoint, most of these apps can also be found for Android and Windows phones.
    What do you think of these apps? What others would you recommend?

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    .@brianawrites shares her app recommendations for readers and writers. (Click to tweet)

  • How Dragon Dictation Can Help You Write

    Photo Credit: Flickr

    Today’s post is going to be about an app that I think all writers should be using. It’s called Dragon Dictation.

    This amazing app takes your words and turns them into text. This is great because if you’re driving, or your hands are busy, or you otherwise can’t write, you can still get your thoughts down somewhere. I like Dragon Dictation because it lets me write while I’m driving. This blog post, for example, was written almost entirely in the car. While I was driving. How cool is that?

    To use Dragon Dictation, all you have to do is open the app, hit Record, and start talking. Just like that, your words are translated into text. Once you’re finished speaking, you can choose to export the text via email, SMS, or by some social channels. I usually choose to email it to myself so I can transfer it to Scrivener right when I get home.

    Another great thing about the app? It’s free. That’s right – it didn’t cost me a cent. You can find it in the app store pretty easily, too. I’m not getting paid to speak about this app. It’s just honestly that good.

    If you’re looking for a great app to help you write while on the go, check out Dragon Dictation, available for iOS and Android.

    Have you used Dragon Dictation or another app like it to get some writing done? What are your other tips for writing on the go?

    Tweet tweet:

    Ever heard of Dragon Dictation? @brianawrites thinks every writer should try it. (Click to tweet)

    Calling all writers! @brianawrites has an app suggestion for you. (Click to tweet)

  • How to Read More with Pocket

    Photo by Jane Cockman on Flickr

    I have an app problem. I spend way too much time browsing the app store in search of the next best thing. I can’t tell you how many apps I’ve downloaded and never used, either. I’m afraid to think about it.

    Anyway, one of the main things I look for in an app is how much it will improve my daily life. Makes sense, right? A lot of time I expand this philosophy so that it includes apps that will help me grow as a writer.

    A fantastic app I discovered recently is Pocket. Like other bookmarking apps, Pocket lets you save articles to read at your convenience. “When you find something you want to view later, put it in Pocket,” says the website. Simple enough. You’d be surprised how useful Pocket can be for writers.

    What I’ve noticed most with Pocket is that it has allowed me to do a lot more reading. Articles I usually skip over online now go into my queue. I read them before bed, in the bathroom, while waiting in line – you name it. Most of the stories aren’t long, but they’re long enough to keep me from jumping it right away. With Pocket, I’m almost guaranteed to read whatever I save. It’s fantastic.

    Another wonderful thing about Pocket is that it syncs across most devices. There are apps, browser extensions, and website integration tools to ensure you have the best experience possible. You can even enable Pocket on Twitter to save the articles that people tweet.

    If you use Pocket, you’ll read more articles. Try it and see.

    What do you think of Pocket? What other apps would you recommend to writers?