Most writers have essential apps like Evernote, Dropbox, and a dictionary loaded onto their devices. But when it comes to outlining, mind mapping, and editing, some great apps are often overlooked. Prezi, WorkFlowy, and NoteAnytime are some of the apps I use the most.
My outlines absolutely have to be accessible on my iPad, my iPhone, and my PC. Fortunately, WorkFlowy is available for all those platforms, and Android devices too. It automatically syncs so you can put down your iPhone and sit down at your computer and continue working.
It comes with a minimalist, distraction free interface that is simple and easy to use. But the best thing about WorkFlowy is how accessible your outlines are. You can search for specific terms or you can add hashtags to your items, and then view only the items with a specific tag. I tag scenes by character, so I can see how frequently a given character shows up, and in what parts of the story.
I’d highly recommend WorkFlowy for any writing project.
Prezi is like PowerPoint, except awesome. If that doesn’t make it sound like a mind-mapping tool, trust me, it actually works pretty well. In addition, you can use it for presentations, outlines, and whatever else you can come up with. It’s pretty open ended.
Prezi is cloud based and automatically syncs between platforms. You can get it for iOS, Android, or your PC. Call me shallow, but one of my favorite things about Prezi is how cool your mind maps will look. There are plenty of backgrounds and layouts to choose from, or you can make your own. You can add images, which is an important feature for me when it comes to mind-mapping. As a bonus, you can make a presentation, and watch your mind map or outline unfold.
The downside to Prezi is probably the learning curve. Because it has so many features, it can take a while to learn them all. However, it’s well worth the time investment. Prezi doesn’t autosave your work like WorkFlowy, either, so be sure to save frequently!
3. Editing – Note Anytime/MetaMoji Note
Although Note Anytime is available for iOS, Android, and Windows, I find it’s best suited to a tablet. I use it primarily to display PDFs of my drafts so I can get out my trusty red stylus and mark them up. Note Anytime comes with free cloud storage, and will sync across all your devices. It’s also simple to import and export files from Google Drive and Dropbox. Note Anytime can also be a useful platform for taking notes, whether handwritten or typed.
Well, those are three apps I think are pretty nifty, but I’m sure there are quite a few others out there. Are there any apps you use that deserve to make this list? Let me know and I’ll give them a try.
10 thoughts on “3 Little Known but Awesome Writing Apps”
Hey, Sarah, great post! I’m eager to try out all of them, but especially Note Anytime. I was just thinking about trying to find something like this a few days ago. I love the idea of Workflowy’s hashtags to balance out characters, and Prezi’s addition of images might come in handy.
I do have Scapple, but have only toyed with it, as it also has a learning curve.
Thanks! I love Scapple for its simplicity, but I’ve been trying to find a free substitute. So far, I haven’t had the greatest of luck. Prezi doesn’t quite fill the same need.
Oh I’m going to have to try some of these out. Thanks.
Thanks for reading!
Thanks for the ideas I hadn’t really thought of any of these apps, especially using prezi for mind mapping
Glad you found it helpful! I’ve had a lot of fun with Prezi.
Reblogged this on Romance Done Write and commented:
Writing can sometimes be overwhelming, all those ‘genius’ ideas swirling around in your head. But one of the upsides is fancy writer apps. And the best part they’re free! (Sorry, Android users I only checked out these babies for the Apple users).
Check out Sarah’s post at https://sarahkaymoll.wordpress.com on some of the apps she recommends for outlining, mapping and editing. I haven’t tried them out yet, but if you have or want to, do it and give me your pros and cons. Space on the iPhone is always limited, so is it worth it to clear out one of my 4-yr-old’s toddler apps?
Thanks for the mention! Glad you liked the article.
Thanks for that Sarah. I have a Mac and no PC except for when I use a VPS. Its good see what you are using and a tool that works on all devices.