With a kitted-up iPad, I can write content, plan & outline, enter competitions, research, organise notes, draft, blog, and more. Not bad, but what I couldn’t do really bothered me.
Not being able to work directly on Word documents was an issue I could work around. Not being able to access Word’s review functions (comments, tracking changes, etc.) was a huge setback.
The CloudOn app was a sorta-kinda solution, but its clunkiness was off-putting, and it didn’t include Review functions. With all the critiquing and beta reading I’m involved in these days, I can’t ignore the problem any more.
I also longed to get my hands on the specialised writing software Scrivener. Its sexy features are perfect for managing writing projects from conception to the first draft. A cluster of apps could do the same things, but it meant reproducing my materials to multiple places. More work, less convenience. Forget it.
Just as I was abandoning hope that the iPad could be my main writing tool, I discovered two essential apps for writers. These, my friends, are game changers.
Two Game-Changing Apps
Long before I became enamoured to my iPad, I was seriously in love with Microsoft Office’s OneNote. Moving to the tablet meant parting with my beloved software. At first, I pined for it, but eventually Evernote filled the void and I all but forgot about it. When the OneNote app was first launched, I got all excited. But, sadly, it just didn’t do what I wanted and deleted it.
Well, things have changed for the better. The free OneNote app is full of features, but the best thing is it can be synced in the Cloud, so everything on your laptop’s OneNote can be on your iPad and phone. It is perfect for the kind of anywhere project management that writers require.
It’s wonderfully intuitive. It “thinks” the way I do. Notebooks with moveable sections, subsections, colour-coding, a web-clipper, and so much more! Oh, geez, I’m head-over-heels all over again. This is software that makes me feel smart–tech-savvy even! [Read this article to get a technical overview of what OneNote can do on your PC.]
I like it BETTER than the Scrivener software I lusted after for so long. When I finally decided to shell out the money to buy the Scrivener for my laptop, I found it so complicated that I was dislodging great hanks of hair. I had to waste precious writing time watching videos to learn how to do basic things. Errgh. I hate it when technology makes me feel dense. [This article tells you how to use OneNote to write a novel.]
So, OneNote is one of two essential apps for writers; the other is WPS Office. It is completely compatible with Word–INCLUDING the Review functions. This little fact made me giggle with glee. Now, when my beta readers return my MS to me with comments and corrections, I read them on my iPad.
WPS is free, which amazes me. Not only can I create, edit, and send Word documents, I can do the same with PowerPoint presentations and Excel spreadsheets. Free!
Does the iPad cut it as a serious writer’s tool? With WPS Office, OneNote, a good BlueTooth keypad and a couple other apps–Yes.