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9 Essential Apps for Writers

Mobile Office

by Jennifer on February 7, 2013

This is a guest post from Patricia Schuler

If you hate typing on a touchscreen (and who doesn’t), you might not think of your tablet or smartphone as a particularly helpful writing tool—but with the right apps, you can use your phone to stay organized, get fresh ideas, and even keep in touch with publishers. Of course, wading through the swamp of buggy, redundant apps out there is a pain, so we’ve done the heavy lifting for you.

Here are nine of the very best apps for writers, on both Android and iOS devices.

1. Android Troper

If you love reading and creating fiction, and you haven’t heard of TV Tropes, block a couple hours out of your schedule this weekend and get lost in a bottomless source of archetypes, themes, and creative ideas.

Android Troper provides a clean mobile interface to access the site from your phone, so you can spend your time in waiting rooms or on public transit enriching your worlds and identifying clichés in your writing.

It’s a fairly new app, so there are a few navigational quirks to overcome, but it’s definitely worth a look.

Cost: Free

2. Evernote

With Evernote, writers can snap photos, take notes, and even record videos and voice memos. The content syncs to all of the desktop or mobile devices you have connected via Evernote, so the results of your brainstorming are with you wherever you go. Evernote is the clear choice for writers looking for an easy way to stay organized and keep their thoughts in one place.

Evernote is especially great for when you aren’t able to write things down (like when you’re driving–be sure to wait ’til you stop before you use the app). And if you’re more of a pen-and-paper person, there’s also the new Evernote Smart Notebook, which includes a Moleskine with custom paper for even easier idea transfer and organization.

Cost: Free (the Evernote Smart Notebook ranges from $16 to $40, depending where you buy it)

3. Story Tracker

Story Tracker makes it easy to track what deadlines are looming, where you’ve sent your content, and which royalty checks are pending. There’s a “lite” version of this app that’s free, but it only lets you track 5 things at a time, so if you use it a lot, consider upgrading to the paid version.

Note: this app has no internal security options, so keep your financial and creative information secure with a PIN on your smartphone.

Cost: $7.99 for full version, free to download “lite” version

4. Writer

This app gives writers a smooth, easy-to-use space for content creation. If you need to write within the limitations of a mobile interface (and sometimes that happens), this is the app to do it with. It’s clean, attractive, and free.

The only user gripe with this app is the display is not optimized for retina displays or Table PCs (on large, high-res displays, Writer looks a bit grainy). Still, if you need to crank out content on a mobile device, Writer is hard to beat.

Cost: Free

5. iThoughtsHD

iThoughtsHD is a great way to hash out the structure and particulars of a piece you’re working on. Whether you’re outlining a plot, brainstorming new ideas or compiling thematic elements, this app is a great way for writers to create a visual representation of their brainstorming sessions.

iThoughts has a clean, easy-to-use interface, and is accessible on both Android and iOS devices.

Cost: $9.99

6. Write Chain

For you procrastinating writers who want to get into the habit of writing regularly, this app is perfect for you. It allows you to track your daily writing sessions, including how you felt about it and how many words you wrote. The idea is to not break the chain, which means you have to write every day.

Cost: Free

7. WordPress

You can update your blog on the go with the WordPress app. It gives you access to everything from your posts to your comments to your stats. You can add all of the blogs you own and manage them mobile-ly.

Cost: Free

8. Office Plus

Office Plus is a cool app that lets you write, edit, open, import and export Word documents. It can be a total lifesaver for times when you’re not in front of your computer, but you need to open a Word document.

Cost: Free to download, but you have to pay $9.99 if you want to be able to save your work

9. Dictionary and Thesaurus

This app by Dictionary.com is a must for all writers. You never know when you’ll need to look up the definition for something. Plus it also contains a built-in thesaurus.

Cost: Free

What apps do you use for writing on your phone?

About the Author: Patricia Shuler is a Mobile Moo staff writer from Oakland, California. She’s an admitted tech-junkie who’s quick to share her honest opinion on all things consumer electronic—including up-to-date news, user reviews on smartphones, tablets, Table PCs and laptops, and “no holds barred” opinions on a variety of social media, tech, computer, and mobile accessories topics.

{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Corrie February 7, 2013 at 6:14 pm

Write Chain sounds AWESOME. I just searched for it through the iTunes App Store though…and no dice. Are you sure it is available for iOS? Maybe I’m searching for it incorrectly?

2 Jennifer February 7, 2013 at 6:20 pm

Try searching for WriteChain. It came right up when I searched that on my iPhone. I don’t know why it’s set as one word because in the app itself it’s two words. Enjoy!

3 Corrie February 7, 2013 at 6:52 pm

Yay, found it! It is on the iPhone side (I was searching on IPad).

Thanks for your help!

4 CrzyDJM February 8, 2013 at 3:12 pm

Write Chain DOES sound awesome. Thanks for the article. I have WordPress on my Droid and love the option to save as a “local draft” if I’m outside signal.

5 Thomas A. Marino February 8, 2013 at 5:01 pm

I don’t use my iphone for writing usually a notebook. But what app would be good to use on an iMac?

6 Jennifer February 8, 2013 at 5:21 pm

I’m not familiar with programs available for iMacs because I don’t own one. But I’m sure you can Google it. And these apps for iPhone aren’t just for writing. Some help with accountability and organization too b

7 Dimitri Halkidis February 28, 2013 at 3:22 pm

I use Evernote and the stock notepad app that comes with Android. It’s a handy combination, but I will be checking out some of your suggestions. Thanks for sharing!

8 Jennifer March 1, 2013 at 12:11 pm

I love Evernote! I really need to start using it more. I need to find a hand-written note-taking app for iPad (and then I need to get a stylus!). If you know of any, let me know!

9 Peter May 5, 2013 at 1:56 pm

I love Evernote and Writer!!
I also use iDeas for Writing: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/ideas-for-writing-creative/id529876147?mt=8

Thanks for the post. Really useful 🙂

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