Saturday, December 26, 2009

Four Free Tools for Writers: Part One

Part One, Part Two

The Internet has changed the face of writing and publishing more than even the most visionary science fictions writers themselves could have even predicted. With the advent of ebooks, self-publishing, print of demand, advanced word processors, and the latest innovation; The Kindle and other ebook readers. But the one thing that has not changed in all this time is the need of the writer to follow their passion, that is to write.

Several things have changed the way writers deal with writing, and publishing. The amount of resources and tools available to us online can be overwhelming. With this in mind I am going to use these two posts to explain some of my favorite free tools and resources that have served me well over the past few years.

Open Office: Several thing have been said for and against this versatile program. Once I started using it three years ago, I have not used anything else. There are several benefits to this program and I will cover what I think are most important here; The first and most important factor to most users is that Open Office is free. Most of the commercial programs available charge a hefty fee for there use.

Open Office also includes a one button PDF conversion right on the main toolbar. This feature is very important for Internet Marketers and those that write and sell ebooks. Also Open Office has very customizable tool bars and more options than some commercial programs. The one disadvantage to Open Office is the lack of any sort of grammar check. This is a big problem during the editing phase of writing but just forces the writer to pay more attention to his own work. Hopefully the crew responsible for Open Office hears out cries and gives us a grammar check sooner or later.

Jdarkroom: One of the main problem that all this new technology presents to the writer is the shear amount of distraction available with modern portable computing. I know this can be the plague of some writers. I recently read a post on Problogger on how to increase productivity in your daily blogging that included such things as shitting down all your social media and messaging programs.

This program takes care of all that. It provides you a full screen distraction free writing program to work with. The screen is all black with old school green lettering. The only functions the writing program has is word count and save. It allows you to type totally distraction free and then when you are done you can easily cut and paste the text into your favorite word processing program for editing and formatting.

I hope you enjoy these tools and they help you in your future endeavors. In my next post I will bring you two more free tools I use on a daily basis.


Four Free Tools for Writers; Part One, Part Two

2 comments:

Brandon Eden on December 26, 2009 at 10:19 PM said...

Thank you! I didn't know about JDarkRoom. That really could come in handy.

Brandon Eden on December 26, 2009 at 10:57 PM said...

Also, I play music and OpenOffice is a wonderful tool for that too! As a musician, I need to have a press kit that includes a Bio, a photo, music, video, website addresses, etc.
You can put hyperlinks, add photos and music, then export it as a PDF and have a DIGITAL press kit. In our digital and green world, a digital press kit helps save on resources and gets the product to everyone you send it to MUCH faster.

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