I recently bought a touchscreen Android smartphone. I wanted to do some writing-on-the-go and this seemed like the best option for my needs. I chose this over an iPad and iPhone for a couple of reasons.
Mac products are selfish. You can only use them within the Apple environment. (Yes I know there are a couple of hacks and workarounds for this but it’s just a time hassle.) Multimedia is coursed through iTunes and you can forget easy file-sharing. Now don’t get me in the Mac vs. PC vs. the world debate. I’m typing this article on a Macbook Pro and use a PC for my day job. But I can’t say Apple products are better mobile-wise especially if you’re the type who does a lot of file transfers.
I have basically organized my workflow through several apps. I usually try 10 apps before choosing the best one for my lifestyle. So here are my Top 5 Android Apps for Writing:
1. King’s Office
It has practically all the basic functions of Microsoft Office and is free. It has a very uncluttered interface perfect for the smartphone screen. On a big Android tablet, this looks amazing.
2. Pomodoro Soup Timer Free
If you haven’t heard of the Pomodoro Technique, I suggest you skip to their website and check it out. It’s a nifty way of measuring productivity by giving you a time limit to finish tasks. The standard is 25 minutes to finish a task with a 5 minute break in between. Try getting 6-8 “pomodoros” in a day and you can accomplish a lot!
If you haven’t tried cloud storage, then you’re missing a lot. First, back-ups are necessary. Text doesn’t take much space so Dropbox’s initial 2GB of storage is more than enough to store your documents and other research materials. Second, you can install Dropbox on your PC, Mac or smartphone and you can edit your file whatever you’re using and wherever you are. Dropbox will simply sync the last file you edited.
I would have chosen Google Drive but then discovered one big deal-breaker: you can’t edit files on Google Drive unless you’re online. Boo.
4. Merriam-Webster Dictionary
But of course. This should be in every writer’s arsenal. Not all free dictionaries are available offline. Thankfully, this one is. If you’re connected to the net, you can also access its other features such as voice pronunciation. I’m still looking for a better thesaurus, though.
5. SketchBook Mobile Express
Here’s a writing secret. I write better after I’ve sketched the scenes on paper. It’s like drawing a storyboard for a movie (my course in college was broadcasting). SketchBook allows me to draw images before I turn them into words.
Most of these apps are available in the Mac App Store too for free. I’ll be updating this list eventually. Do you have any favorite writing apps? Do share and comment below.