Monday, October 8, 2012

There's An App for That

Photo/Brian Lary

Whether you’re writing blog posts, magazine articles, books or something else, you know the amount of research, information and ideas you have can be massive. I know I’m continually running across a useful blog or article or brainstorming some great blog post ideas. 

So how do you manage the volume of words and ideas you have?

Charleston blogger Andra Watkins (and a recent guest at Voices Third Thursday) recommended a program called Scrivener. She’s used it to keep her book projects organized. I’ve not used this program myself but it looks great for keeping track of information and seems useful for a variety of writing projects. 

A favorite tool of mine is Dropbox. Sign up for free and use this program to share files with others or among devices. If I’m working on something on my laptop, I can pop it into Dropbox and, thanks to the Dropbox app for the iPad, keep working on it on my tablet. If you collaborate with others or need to share files with clients, this program works great for that. I finally had to upgrade to a paid subscription of $60 a year, but that's pretty reasonable considering how much I use it.

If you’re like me, you probably have a zillion projects going on at the same time so you need to make sure you’re being efficient with your time. And if you’re working on a billable project, you’ll need a way to keep track of your hours. I use a free time management program called ClockingIt. In the year I’ve used this program, it’s only been down once. But, hey, it’s free, so I really can’t complain.

Don't let a computer meltdown or hard drive crash wipe out all your work. I use Carbonite, which starts at $59 a year. I consider that a bargain compared to the time it would take to recreate all my files. I also recently got a new laptop and just let Carbonite upload all my files to my new computer.

Here’s a good post from 10,000 Words on the 25 Most Popular Apps for Freelancers

I’d love to hear what tools, apps and programs you use to keep yourself organized and on track. 

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