Software Medley

Writing doesn’t require all that much in terms of software. Realistically, Notepad isn’t going to cut it if you want an industry-standard manuscript, but you really don’t need anything beyond a word processor to become a wannabe novelist.

Except I’m the kind of guy who really likes to use tools to improve his lot. So, just in case you were wondering what kind of software to get, here are some of my picks:

1-OpenOffice:

It’s an open source alternative to Microsoft Office, and it works just as well as long as you don’t need Powerpoint. As a bonus, it uses the old menus-and-toolbars instead of the ribbon interface. And with a price tag of “Free”, it’s ideal for the starving writer.

Obviously, the main draw for me is Writer, the word processor. But Calc does a pretty good Excel impression too, and Draw can do a decent job at graphical planning if you’re so inclined.

2-WikidPad:

My newest toy. It’s a tool to organise information in wiki form. It’s local-system based, not online, which is obviously a plus for a laptop user like me. But the real reason I like it is because it’s simple yet powerful enough for my needs. It took me about three minutes and five lines of tutorial text to figure out the basics I needed, and four more minutes to master the rest of the options I needed.

If your writing projects requires a tech bible, you’re probably going to love this little gem.

3-F.lux:

As I may have mentionned once or twice, I have a young son. Which means writing time is at night, and it competes with sleep time.

Which is a problem, because computer screens are great at emitting sleep-impeding blue light. So I lose maybe half an hour every day because it takes me a while to go to sleep after I stop writing.

Aparently, F.lux can help with that. It adjust the colors of my monitor at night to reduce the amount of blue light it emits. Which should help me go to sleep faster (and hopefully improve my sleep quality.)

I’ve just started using it, so we’ll see how well it works.

Well, that’s the basic tools I use. I also rely a lot on Google and on a few online ressources, which I’ll share the next time I’m looking for a post subject.

 

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