Essential Apps for Writers: 2 Game-Changers

A Pug is an essential writing accessory.
A Pug is an essential writing accessory.

Many moons have passed since I first posed the question, “Does the iPad Cut It as a Serious Writer’s Tool?” My conclusion? With a good BlueTooth keyboard and a few apps, it suffices.

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.

 Creative Commons Image by zoomar

8 Thoughts

  1. No. Why? Because, for me, drawing sparks imagination and the iPad is a rubbish drawing tool :-/
    And anyway I can’t keep my mind focussed long enough to write ANYTHING….apart from songs, cos they have a rhythm 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Thx 🙂 But they’re short stories…..I couldn’t stay focussed long enough to finish an entire BOOK or anything, though ideas keep circling around my head 🙂 I’ll just read and edit 😀


      2. You have amazing editing talents. And you’re a reading super-hero! Don’t knock short stories either–it’s an artform in itself, and it’s currently pretty trendy.


  2. I’m using my iPad as a laptop now too, but I still prefer Scrivener over all other applications. I also don’t like not being able to work on design elements for flyers etc (InDesign), but I have the fancy iMac at home for that.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Charmaine, Maybe one day Scrivener will come out with an app. That will sort everything out! I’m still wondering if my next home computer should be a Mac. Thanks for commenting!


Leave a Comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.