Freelance writers need more than just business savvy and marketing to succeed in their business. Investing in the right tools to complement their skills will definitely help them do their work more efficiently. Here are some writing tools that they can use in their freelancing lives.
Wireless Internet access lets you connect online without attaching cables onto your computer. Whether you rely on free hotspots or pay for your Internet service, WiFi enables you to connect to anyone in any place you want. Many countries around the world have WiFi hotspots so you don’t have to worry about losing online connection.
Tired of using separate windows to go between two separate documents on Microsoft Word? Having difficulty organizing your scribbles on a sheet of paper? Then try Scrivener. It’s a word processor and project management tool rolled into one. Collect research materials in one location. Work on a paragraph in isolation or combine it with the rest of the story. Use the corkboard to rearrange your ideas. Compare the first draft with the edited draft in one screen. If all you need is a word processor, buying Scrivener is cheaper than buying the entire Microsoft Office package.
Desktop computers can be limiting. You’re bound to your home desk, and you cannot work in your favorite neighborhood coffee shop. Sometimes you need to be away from home to do your writing assignment. With a laptop, you can work anywhere you want. Check emails and do your writing while taking vacations with your family or sipping milk tea at a tea shop.
Instead of typing your ideas all the time, why not try out VRS (voice recognition software)? Just dictate your thoughts aloud and let the software capture what you want to say. This saves you the hassle of suffering from tendonitis or carpal tunnel syndrome, especially if you type too much.
Tape recorders are so last century. Pressing the rewind and forward buttons is a dreary task for journalists who need to transcribe interviews. The bulky extra tapes and the tape recorder itself take up space in your heavy bag. With digital technology, you can now find tape recorders in your gadgets. Whether it’s on your mobile phone, point-and-shoot camera, or iPad, you can record your interview, transfer the audio file to your computer, and replay it in your computer. Remember to charge your digital tape recorder before using it in your interview.
Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) phone service(s) allows you to save phone bills by letting you make calls online. VoIP calls are cheap, crystal clear, and consistent. With a VoIP phone, you can communicate efficiently with your clients without worrying about missing calls or not being able to make calls.
In the past, backing up files was grueling. You had to insert lots of floppy disks and burn lots of CDs to store files. Now, you can use portable hard drives like USB flash drives to store extra copies of your most important files. You can fit USBs into your pockets so they’ve very handy to use. To avoid losing your tiny USBs, attach a cellphone keychain on it or buy quirky USB figurines that come in different shapes and cartoon characters.
It doesn’t matter whether you use a fountain pen or a plain ballpen. Nor does it matter if you use acid-free Moleskine notebooks or ordinary thrift store notepads. What matters is that you have writing tools at your disposal. Having a pen and paper handy means that you can write down your ideas in an instant without waiting for your laptop to turn on or finding a WiFi hotspot to access your online writing program.