I actually use mobile apps a lot in my writing arsenal. And there are a few that are now necessities for finishing my novels. There are some that have worked really well for me, and then there were some that I had high expectations for but really ended up not working well at all. So I’ve composed a list of apps that I recommend and some that, at least for me, just didn’t meet up to expectations.
I decided to divide the apps I use into categories: Note taking apps, writing apps, and inspiration. For me, all are equally important, but you may have your own priorities, so feel free to skip to the section that most applies to you. I’ll be rating them on a scale of 💛 to 💛💛💛💛💛
Note taking apps
I have a million things passing through my mind at a time, and the closest thing to me is usually my phone, not to mention I’m usually working on several projects at once, so a good note keeping app is a must for me.
Keep My Notes 💛 💛 💛 💛 💛
This is a very simple, straight forward app. As I’ve recently found a need for voice recording, this app works for me perfectly. It include voice recordings, crude drawing capabilities, saving pictures, and, of course, writing plain text notes. The colors of the app are customizable, which I always love in any app.
If privacy is a concern, you can lock certain notes with a password or your fingerprint.
Like I said, this is an app for taking notes, not for anything extensive or long. But I find that the simpler the better for notes that are meant to just be jotted down and stored somewhere. Plus the app is only 3 MB big, so there’s not much room for error.
Google Keep 💛 💛 💛
This app comes automatically for all android devices, so if you have an android, chances are you already have it. As with the above app, it’s a very basic app taking tool, does the job fine. My complaint about it, though, is completely vain, haha. I don’t like the way that short notes are turned into big letters, and being forced to use the grid format gets confusing when I have a bunch of notes. I’d rather just have a list when I start accumulating a bunch.
Evernotes 💛 💛
I’m sorry. I know a lot of people like this app, it’s recommended all over the place, but. I just can’t get into it. It saves notes just fine and all, but I keep having weird glitches with it with almost every device I’ve used it on. The biggest problem I’ve faced is an error with using spell check and the app not letting me delete words properly. Evernotes has just never worked the way I wanted, especially with just the basic functionality of writing down words.
If you encounter no such technical difficulties, it might be a good contender! What the app is supposed to do can be very useful when it’s working properly.
One of my favorite solutions to writer’s block is writing someplace new. Whether it be at a cafe, or a park, the library, wherever I can rediscover my writing zone and type away. So here are my favorite apps for getting writing done when I don’t feel like bringing my laptop.
Jotterpad 💛 💛 💛 💛 💛
Jotterpad is an app that’s downloadable on Android. It’s totally free, and though they have a premium version, it’s not very expensive and you have the option to only pay once to have it. I personally use the free version. Jotterpad allows you to write, create folders, and share your documents to your Google Drive or other cloud services when you’re done. The free version doesn’t allow for formatting like italics or bold, but I really don’t mind because I’m more concerned with just getting quick scenes out while I’m out and not have to think about the file getting too long like I would in a notes app. It also works offline, which is a huge plus. I wouldn’t download the app with the intentions of writing the whole novel on it, but writing scenes, even entire chapters is fine. Especially with the sharing feature so you can keep it all synced up and safe.
My favorite feature is how easy it is to share everything I write to Drive, the transfer happens very smoothly. And the aesthetics of the app look very pleasing to the eye. Also organizing and finding things is a breeze.
(Pro tip: Even if you use the free version, if you use ## right before a piece of text, it creates a header when you share the document to Drive. Likewise, putting * before and after a word or sentence will create italics, and ** before and after a word or sentence will create bold. A good work around to quick formatting, but it will only work once you’ve transferred it to another program. The changes will not appear in Jotterpad)
Word 💛 💛 💛 💛
I’m actually a very recent user of Word. Writing DB with my editor finally pushed me to get it, haha. But I’m actually very satisfied with the program, especially the mobile app. As long as I store my documents in OneDrive, I can access the entire novel from anywhere. It has all of the formatting tools you’d expect, italics, bold, even headers and such. My only small complaint is that it can take a long time to load the entire document, and the nice little button that you have on the computer program that takes you to your last location isn’t on mobile either. So you have to scroll. And as far as I’ve seen, you can’t use an outline to skip to certain chapters.
That’s why I sometimes prefer to reach for Jotterpad instead, especially if I just want to write without worrying about what comes before or after my scene. Then I just paste it into Word and edit it if need be to make sense with the rest.
I love re-inspiring myself for whatever I’m writing with, and there are apps that I switch to all the time to give me a boost.
HabitBull 💛 💛 💛 💛 💛
This is a fabulous app. If you’re having trouble with keeping up with a writing routine you want to create for yourself, this one helps you set the days you want to do that habit, or how often. As the title implies, it’s an app that helps you form habits by challenging you to keep a streak of 66 days doing a particular task, which is how long it takes to form a habit. And it actually works!
I actually use the app for the opposite purpose, I use it to help me time manage better and give myself specific days for the other things I have to do, so I have more time to write. Either way is great to me. Like I said, the app is fabulous.
Pinterest 💛 💛 💛 💛 💛
I’m sure everyone knows how much I depend on Pinterest for imagery to inspire all my new projects. Whenever I need a refresher on the visuals for my story, or a particular description, I turn to Pinterest. I save images on my phone for quick reference, or create special pin boards so I can see all the images together in one place. This another must for me, and I really have no complaints as far as functionality is concerned.
Spotify 💛 💛 💛 💛 💛
I listen to Spotify most every day. Putting on the playlists specified for my current project helps me stay in the mindset of my story when I’m not able to work on it. The only issue is the ads if you don’t want to pay for the premium version. I, as a notorious cheapskate, will just have to suffer the occasional horror movie advert and random screaming until the music comes back.
(In case you’re wondering, I don’t pay for the premium versions of any of these apps, if they offer it. As I said, notorious cheapskate)
Anyway, happy downloading. If you’re storage conscious, don’t worry, so am I. Most of these apps are pretty small, so go nuts.