5 Essential Apps for Writers: The Business Side of Writing

StoryTracker makes submissions a breeze.


The great thing about the iPad is it can be the writer’s omni-device, serving as everything from the writer’s notebook, file cabinet, Personal Assistant, and e-reader to her camera, wallet, and so much more.

We writers should be guarding our writing time, especially making sure we don’t fritter it away on tedious stuff, like filing and form-filling. Today, I’m showing you some apps that help writers manage the business of writing.

Take Care of Business with 5 Essential Apps

Here, in part 2 of the Essential iPad Apps for Writers series, are 5 apps I rely on to keep me organised behind the scenes so I can focus on creativity and pound out prose.


Once you get to the stage where you’re regularly submitting work, this app is dead-set essential. With its help, you can avoid the embarrassment of sending duplicates, accidentally haranguing an editor, or forgetting about a submission. It will help you keep a record of the dates that you send out your submissions, how many times you submit, and how much money you make! (Oh YEAH!)

Create lists of your works–freelance articles, stories, poems, manuscripts–and the markets you submit to–magazines, blogs, publishers, and agents. Each time you send off a piece, you enter the recipient and the date into StoryTracker.

It’s a great tool for cataloguing industry contacts and for tracking your success. When you make a sale, you can enter a very satisfying SOLD and the amount of payment–right before belting out an ecstatic chorus of The Battle Hymn of the Republic.

Be sure to back up periodically. The information in there is gold!

GoodReader [A Spilling Ink Must-Have]

GoodReader lets you annotate PDFs

GoodReader is a PDF reader extraordinaire. It’s great for editing–just save the piece of writing as a PDF, load it, and go at it with a digital red pen! You can mark all over the work and send it off by email.

Remember the days (maybe not) when we used to use a typewriter to fill in forms? They looked great–slick, neat, and professional.

A really cool writerly use for GoodReader is filling in course applications and contest entry forms. When entering writing competitions, fill in the accompanying PDF form on GoodReader. Your entry will look extra schmicko and super-professional. You can even sign it in blue “ink”! All you need is a stylus.

Stash your digital magazines in GoodReader, too. I store my copies of Writers’ Digest in my GoodReader app. It allows me to annotate all those important points. Goodreader lets me circle, highlight, cross out, or comment.


1Password Password Manager & Secure Wallet [A Spilling Ink Must-Have]

So many passwords! Errgh!

Ramp up your cyber-security by using a password manager. 1Password requires that you create and remember only code to open the app; the rest you store inside. You can even log on to websites in the app’s built-in browser.

This is one of my most used apps because I am pretty conscious of online security. I am one of those people who have unique, hard-to-guess passwords for all of my online activities, and since I’m a pretty heavy user of technology, it means I have nearly 120 passwords! There’s no way I could ever remember even a handful of them! (I have trouble with my own mobile number!)

1Password provides room to safely store other sensitive information, such as banking details and important personal information.

Is it safe? 1Password comes with AES 256-bit encryption–so it’s way safer than that notebook in your desk drawer or that random file “buried” in your laptop. It comes with a random password generator to save you the hard work of generating tricky passwords. Make sure you do regular backups. That way if calamity strikes and you lose your device, you can restore the data. What a relief!

I change my passwords a few times a year. 1Password helps me know when I made the last update (I make a note in each log-on.)

I LOVE this app and use it every day.

Tax Receipt Log

Be your tax agent’s fave!


What a great app. This one is on my smart phone, and it allows me to snap a photo of receipts. (I’ve even done it right at the point of sale, to avoid losing the critical slip of paper!)

I categorise the expense (travel, stationery, professional membership, etc.) and it saves the documents all together. My tax agent was very happy not to have to deal with a shoebox for once.

It even emails you a periodic reminder to back it up.

Trello – Facilitating Collaboration!

This is a new horse in my app stable, but I’m excited by its ability to manage collaborative projects. Sometimes in small work groups, I’ve found it hard to know how the others are progressing. Email can be next to useless when group has more than two people!

Enter Trello, a free productivity app, that, according to the website, allows you to “Never again ask, ‘Who’s doing what?'”

Trello features neato, movable cards. For example, start a list of To Dos. As you begin them, drag the card to the “Doing” list. When it’s finished, just pull the card to the “Done” list. Nice–especially for a group project, so you can keep track of what’s happening with the other team members. Bands, classes, sporting teams–CRITIQUE GROUPS–could make some serious use of Trello.

Like Evernote, if you pay for a subscription (or invite new members), you can access Gold Membership, which gives you access to stickers, backgrounds, emoji and more. Trello offers a Business Class version for organisations.

Stay tuned for the next in this series–iPad Apps to Enhance Creativity.

Over to You!

Have any favourite apps to help you manage the business side of writing? Please leave a comment. I’d love to hear about it!

As always, if you’ve found this useful, please share it around on social media!


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