Over the past few weeks, the writers here at Windows.AppStorm have been sharing the apps that they have found to be essential while writing. It’s been very interesting to see how my fellow writers work as well as the diverse range of apps that they use. Now it’s time for me to share my list of apps that I couldn’t write without.
Before I get to the apps, I’d like to tell you a little bit about myself. My name is Stephen Hobson and I live in central Virginia, U.S.A. I’ve been writing for Windows.AppStorm since it first launched in 2011 and have been loving every minute of it. I’ve been working with Windows machines since I was twelve and remain motivated to analyze and critique every aspect of the Windows world. Aside from writing, I like to think of myself as a decent photographer. I particularly enjoy taking pictures of landscapes and sharing them on my Flickr page for others to enjoy and/or critique.
My line of work at Windows.AppStorm requires me to work with an abundance of apps. Out of the thousands of applications that I’ve used, only a select few have been implemented into my writing routine. Without these applications, writing would certainly become more difficult and potentially impossible.
Google Chrome is my preferred portal to the web. The speed and simplicity of Google’s web browser is, at the moment, unmatched by the competition. Due to the fact that the majority of the writing that I do is via WordPress, being comfortable and familiar with my browser is of utmost importance.
In addition to being an extremely fast web browser, Google Chrome hosts an assortment of useful extensions. While I could certainly write without them, they make my web browsing experience far more enjoyable.
I believe that organization is one of the most important aspects of writing quality content. The famous note-taking app, Evernote, has proven itself useful to millions. I am certainly not excluded from the list of amazed and spoiled Evernote users. I use Evernote to convert the mess of ideas inside of my head into clean, well-organized lists.
As opposed to the majority of other note-taking apps, I find Evernote to be particularly useful in the event that I find myself away from my desk and with a lot of free time. When I’m in class and don’t have much to do, I can easily grab my tablet, review any notes I may have for an article I’m working on, and continue writing just as if I were at home. When a great idea comes to mind while I’m out and about, I stop everything I’m doing and quickly add the idea to my Evernote account using my phone. I can’t even begin to comprehend the number of times that Evernote has prevented me from forgetting important details and useful ideas.
I find working in silence to be absolutely unbearable. Listening to music while I work is a necessity. Whether I’m listening to Coldplay, Deadmau5, or Daft Punk, music always helps me accomplish tasks more efficiently. Foobar2000 is my music player of choice and has been my work companion for the past few years.
I prefer Foobar over other music players such as Winamp and iTunes due to its support for a wide variety of file formats as well as its simplistic, configurable interface. Before I begin working, I open Foobar, select a playlist that matches my mood, and get to work. This is an unbreakable habit of mine.
Here on AppStorm, screenshots are vital in order to illustrate a point or demonstrate a feature. Due to the fact that I often find myself writing on many different machines and in many different locations, it’s important for me to upload my screenshots to the cloud so that I can access them regardless of where I am or what computer I’m using.
FluffyApp is my favorite tool for capturing screenshots. Rather than taking a screenshot, uploading it to the web, and sending myself a link via an email, all I have to do is press Print Screen and my screenshot will automatically be uploaded to my CloudApp account. From there, I can download the screenshot to the computer I’m using, make any necessary modifications, and add it to the article I’m working on.
Social media is a fantastic resource for any writer. It serves as a source for information, inspiration, and an easy way to keep in touch with others. If it were not for social media networks such as Twitter, keeping up with the latest news would be significantly more difficult.
I use TweetDeck to help sort out the mess of information that is constantly flowing through my Twitter feed. This multi-column Twitter client helps me simplify the process of staying informed which prevents me from basing observations or speculations off of outdated information.
Staying up late into the night is not an abnormal occurrence for me. As a result, I tend to spend a lot of time in front of a monitor while in the dark. Unfortunately, doing such a thing strains the eyes and could ultimately damage them. This is where F.lux comes in. F.lux is a tool that is specifically designed to modify the tone of the computer monitor in order to minimize eye fatigue. For example, the tone of my display appears warm at night and resembles sunlight during the day.
After using F.lux for several years, working in a dark environment without the assistance of F.lux seems nearly intolerable. Out of all the applications that I have listed above, I consider F.lux to be among the most valuable.
What are some apps that you use that help you get your work done? Let me know by posting a comment below!