As a creative individual (and as a human being), I’m constantly searching for ways to improve myself. I want to do more while being faster, smarter, and way more productive — all at the same time — which is why I love relying on apps for writers to help me along the way.
We all want to make shit happen, which is why it’s important to work smarter not just harder. Expanding on the traditional writers’ toolkit of pen + paper (or typing device of choice), a trusty thesaurus, and a whole lot of creativity, here are five of my favorite apps for writers and creatives.
Staying organized can be difficult when you’re juggling projects, deadlines, work schedules, and a personal life. Wunderlist makes it all a breeze. It’s the perfect tool for building to-do lists, yes, but also for setting reminders and even as a place to save your on-the-fly brainstorming sessions.
I keep lists separated into different folders for Home, Work, and Personal. It’s nice to be able to keep track of every piece of my life in one easy-to-use app, and I kinda like being able to segment things out.
I still use paper to-do lists on a daily basis, but Wunderlist is perfect for keeping those slightly more important tasks on your radar — especially since you can schedule a due date + reminder to keep you on your toes. Plus they have a desktop, online, and mobile app.
PRO TIP: Collaborate with others on Wunderlist by inviting them to join a list. Then, you can each add + complete tasks as you go, as well as assign who is responsible for what item!
Think Wunderlist on steroids. Trello is a planners dream where you can create ‘boards’ that organize all of your great ideas whilst embracing functionalities that allow you to take them a step further.
I use Trello to track my workflow, organize my storylines, and give my creative juices just enough structure to avoid potentially disastrous roadblocks.
PRO TIP: There’s a Trello board dedicated to tips + tricks. For example: you can organize boards with labels + flag important items with stickers!
Managing social media on top of…everything else…can be exhausting, and Preview is one of my favorite apps for writers trying to do it all. There are a lot of social media planner apps (if you’re using Facebook and Twitter, Hootsuite is a great free version), but Preview is my favorite Instagram-specific app.
It’s an Instagram planner, which allows you to schedule out your Instagram feed in advance, do basic edits and filters, and schedule reminders to post. Even better? The app also features a great hashtag finder, which is *super* helpful when you’re trying to grow your Instagram audience organically.
Not all writers use Instagram, but — for those of us who do — Preview makes Instagram insanely easy.
PRO TIP: Batch your photos in advance. Next time you go to a trendy part of town, on vacation, or just outside to take photos — take as many as possible. Then, instead of uploading them all at once, add your favorites to Preview. You can drag-and-drop them to organize them into the aesthetic you prefer, add filters, etc. You can add new photos as you take them, organizing them however they fit in your “theme”, or rely on your batched content to get you through until you can get out to take photos again.
2) Google Docs
Pen + paper are great…except when it’s time to format, edit, and send your work. (I may or may not be the expert on this one, considering I wrote my first novel in pencil.)
You might use something like Microsoft Word or Pages to type everything — or perhaps you use a tool like Scribd — but nothing tops Google Docs for me.
The cloud functionality allows me to access my work anywhere, at any time, and on any device.
PRO TIP: You can setup specific documents for offline access, meaning you can still work on them (and they’ll save) even when you aren’t connected to the internet. Next time you connect? The document will update to the cloud. I use this on flights when I want to write without paying for internet access!
I know what you’re thinking. A graphic design tool is one of your favorite apps for writers?
Abso-freaking-lutely. Here’s why.
Canva is hands-down the easiest tool you will ever encounter for making awesome graphics for the web and print. Need a presentation? They’ve got a template for that. Want to update your resume? Canva can help you create a gorgeous new resume that stands out from the pack. A quick Wattpad book cover that doesn’t skimp on quality? Done.
Not only that, Canva has the dimensions saved for every major type of social media image you could imagine. Create killer graphics that highlight your work and share them on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest — without having to worry about whether your Facebook image is sized right for Twitter. (Hint: It’s not.)
PRO TIP: Canva has an entire library of FREE stock photography for your use, as well as their extensive template list. It completely changed my social media + online presence, and I use it in my day job to create blog titles, infographics, and even brochures + info sheets that look like we hired a professional graphic designer to throw ’em together. (Which we didn’t.)
Go forth and download, my fellow writers. If you have any favorite apps for writers that aren’t mentioned here (or if you have suggestions for me to check out), please leave ’em in the comments below! I’d love to hear from you!