The last decade has seen an increase in programs to help writers plot, write and read their books — but there are also plenty of non-writing tools that writers can use to help them create their masterpieces.
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If you’re working on a Microsoft Word file or similar, regularly save your file to Dropbox. That will keep an archive of all previous saves (just in case the worst happens and you accidentally delete the whole thing! It sounds silly, but it’s guaranteed to happen to every writer at some point in their careers). It’s free to download and easy to use.
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4. STICKY NOTES
Most computers come with sticky notes in some form or another. They look and work a lot like Post-it notes that you can stick to your desktop to remind you to do something. They’re also great if you need to quickly jot something down in a rush, like a new scene or story idea.
Link to the rest at PBS
Passive Guy is a big Dropbox fan. All current projects are saved in Dropbox by default. It’s not just a backup solution, however. It also allows you to automatically replicate files across computers. If PG sits down at Mrs. PG’s computer, with Dropbox, he can pull up any file on his own computer. Ditto for the notebook, the netbook and the tablet and the smart phone.
Dropbox is highly useful in its free form, but if you want to store gobs of files there, you’ll need to buy a subscription (reasonably priced).
One tool that should have been on the list is Evernote. It’s the simplest way of remembering everything. Send something to Evernote – web page, document, email, pdf, photo, and it’s there forever. You can create lots of different notebooks – one for each project, for example. You can add one or more tags any note to make things easier to find or search on the contents of a note.
Like Dropbox, all your Evernote stuff is on the notebook, tablet, smart phone, etc. There’s a huge online community of Evernote users you can tap for ideas.
One of PG’s most recent daily-use tools is DoIt. Basically, it’s an easy-to-use to-do list that lets you easily schedule and categorize reminders, then check them off.
PG isn’t a heavy-duty Getting Things Done person, but DoIt is perfect for that level of organization if you are.
UPDATE: Some commenters warned against using Dropbox as the sole backup system for your computer. PG absolutely agrees. Some time ago, he described his backup system. You can read about it in all its OCD glory here.