Ep. 10 – 3 Tools to Help You During NaNoWriMo

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In this episode, I dive into three writing tools that will help you achieve success for NaNoWriMo. We’re just over a week out from the end of the writing month, so I’m a little late to the party. But if writing productivity is your aim these tools will always come in handy!

Here are the tools and relevant links:

 

Scrivener – the Swiss army knife of word processor programs. This is seriously essential to all writers. Ditch Word and start using Scrivener to write, organize, and compile your books. It’s a quarter of the price of Microsoft Word and better in every regard. There is a downside: it has a steep learning curve. You’ll be able to get writing without a hitch, but navigating all of the program’s features will cause a bit of confusion and frustration. For that reason I **highly recommend** that you invest in Joseph Michael’s Learn Scrivener Fast course. I’ve used Joseph’s course to really master the Scrivener program and he shows you how to get started very quickly with short, focused tutorial videos. He’s got three tiered plans with different pricing which you can check out right here. Full disclosure, I am an affiliate of Joseph’s course, but I wouldn’t recommend it if I didn’t stand by it as an excellent (and necessary) product to go along with Scrivener.

 

scrivener photo

A view of Scrivener’s interface, which might look daunting to some. Photo by ChrisL_AK

 

Freedom App – this is an awesome app that basically blocks your internet access and helps you be more productive. Writers have lots of distractions, but two stick out the most for me–namely social media and Google! Jane Friedman told me the best way to be more productive is to just shut off the internet. And I completely agree with her. The app is free, but there are premium plans that offer many varied features. Personally, I stick to the free one for my purposes, but you might find the premium plans helpful to your writing goals. In addition to Freedom, in the podcast I also mentioned the pomodoro technique which is a system of being more productive by dividing out your work in timed chunks. Simon Whistler uses a neat Chrome extension that will also shut off your internet and time your work time. It’s highly effective and it’s helped me up my word count!

Freedom's interface is very easy to navigate, allowing you to create sessions for blocking internet access.

Freedom’s interface is very easy to navigate, allowing you to create sessions for blocking internet access.

 

 

Pro Writing Aid – once you’ve completed that rough draft, you’ll need to start digging into the editing phase. This can be an overwhelming task for many writers, but never fear! Pro Writing Aid (PWA) will help you find all those comma splices, sentence fragments, and overused words that are plaguing your story. PWA is a free tool that allows you to copy-paste up to 3,000 words of your draft into its editor. It’ll run several reports ranging from grammar, spelling, cliche phrases, etc. and give you suggestions for polishing your work. The premium version allows you to drop your entire manuscript into the editor and edit it on the fly. Cost is reasonable at $35 per year, but you may find the free version is sufficient for your work.

 

Various editing reports

 

 

So there you have it, 3 tools that can make your writing life more productive and efficient!

Have you used any of the tools on the list and increased your productivity? What other tools would you recommend for writing productivity?