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7 Tools For Writing On Your iPhone

7 Tools For Writing On Your iPhone

If you want to be able to do something that you love and also be able to do it well, you need to reduce the friction between thought and action. In other words, if you want to be a writer, you need to have the tools that facilitate writing at your disposal.

Now some will argue that you just need a plain ol’ text editor and the gumption to write every day to make your way as a writer, but finding a handful of tools that can help you along the way can’t hurt.

I write a lot on my iPhone. It seems strange to some people, but I have found that I can type super-fast on the touchscreen keyboard. And because of that I do a lot of outlining, writing, and editing on my iPhone. Below are 10 tools for writing on your iPhone.

    TextExpander Touch

    If you thought that text expansion on your desktop was cool, it makes typing on your mobile device a dream come true. If you don’t know, TextExpander Touch is an app that allows you to program short snippets of text as ways to expand to anything you want.

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    Say you want to program your address. You can make a snippet like “addr” expand to your entire address, even with line breaks. TextExpander can definitely help speed up your writing and it also works with around 50 other iOS apps.

      Elements

      This is a simple plain-text editor for iOS that syncs your text files to Dropbox. Elements has auto-saving, word-count, line-count, a scratchpad, TextExpander Touch support, ability to view, create, and edit Markdown files, and much more.

      This is an excellent app if you are a plain-text file nerd like me and has some great features that will keep you interested in using it.

        Notesy for Dropbox

        Yet another plain-text editor that syncs to Dropbox. Some of the extra things that I like about Notesy is that it has the option to preview Markdown files with your own custom CSS, enhanced search, subfolders, and option to view links, like phone numbers, pages, etc.

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        In general I like the overall look and feel of Notesy as well and feel that this is my favorite plain-text editor on the iPhone as of late.

          Nebulous Notes

          The last of the plain-text editors that I will mention today. Nebulous is nice for theming your writing with different fonts, font-color and backgrounds. Something that is unique to Nebulous is that it has a nifty “scrollable bar” on top of the standard keyboard that you can place different characters and macros on like tabs, asterisks, date functions, etc.

          If you want to type something up fast, coupling the programmable functions of Nebulous and coupling it with TextExpander is an awesome way to go.

            (CarbonFin) Outliner

            You’ve got to have a way to outline your ideas before you start writing and one of the easiest ways to do it on iPhone is with CarbonFin Outliner. Outliner gives you a nice interface to make parent and children items, search your entire outline, move items with drag and drop, gives notes to outline items, and much more.

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            Syncing is sort of a pain as you have to use CarbonFin’s website rather than a simpler Dropbox sync. But, for outlining on your iPhone there isn’t anything better.

              iThoughts

              What kind of writer would you be if you couldn’t carry around your mind maps with you at all times? iThoughts makes it easy to mind-map from you iPhone and has a pretty unique and intuitive interface. Adding items to your maps is easy and also adding children and siblings is as simple as double-tapping the return key or spacebar.

              iThoughts has a ton of features to it and really is a full-fledge mind-mapping suite.

                Day One

                Day One is a neat little “diary or logging application”. We spoke about the benefits of logging your day recently and this app can help you do it with ease. Day One is built to make logging super fast with a click of the “plus” button to add a new entry. I use it almost like my own private Twitter. Anything I am thinking internally I just jot it down.

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                Day One can be synced via Dropbox and it also has a nifty reminder system to help you remember to journal something. Oh, and of course to hide your dear diary entries Day One includes a passcode lock.

                Removing the friction of writing is extremely important if you want to get good at it. These seven apps are what I consider to be the “best of the best” when it comes to planning and writing on your iPhone. Let us know in the comments of any other apps that help you write while you are mobile.

                More by this author

                CM Smith

                A technologist and writer who shares advice on personal productivity, creativity and how to use technology to get things done.

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                Last Updated on September 15, 2020

                7 Helpful Reminders When You Want to Make Big Life Changes

                7 Helpful Reminders When You Want to Make Big Life Changes

                Overcoming fear and making life changes is hard. It’s even harder when it’s a big change—breaking up with someone you love, leaving your old job, starting your own business, or hundreds of other difficult choices.

                Even if it’s obvious that making a big change will be beneficial, it can be tough. Our mind wants to stay where it’s comfortable, which means doing the same things we’ve always done[1].

                We worry: how do we know if we’re making the right decision? We wish we knew more. How do we make a decision without all of the necessary information?

                We feel stuck. How do we get past fear and move forward with that thing we want to do?

                Well, I certainly don’t have all the answers, but here are 7 things to remember when you want to move forward and make positive life changes.

                1. You’ll Never Have All the Information

                We often avoid making important decisions because we want more information before we make a tough call.

                Yes, it’s certainly true that you need to do your research, but if you’re waiting for the crystal clear answer to come to you, then you’re going to be waiting a long time. As humans, we are curious creatures, and our need for information can be paralyzing.

                Life is a series of guesses, mistakes, and revisions. Make the best decision you can at the time and continue to move forward. This also means learning to listen to and trust your intuition. Here’s how.

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                2. Have the Courage to Trust Yourself

                We make all sorts of excuses for not making important life changes, but the limiting belief that often underlies many of them is that we don’t trust ourselves to do the right thing.

                We think that if we get into a new situation, we won’t know what to do or how to react. We’re worried that the uncharted territory of the future will be too much for us to handle.

                Give yourself more credit than that.

                You’ve dealt with unexpected changes before, right? And when your car got a flat tire on the way to work, how did that end up? Or when you were unexpectedly dumped?

                In the end, you were fine.

                Humans are amazingly adaptable, and your whole life has been helping you develop skills to face unexpected challenges.

                Have enough courage to trust yourself. No matter what happens, you’ll figure out a way to make it work.

                3. What’s the Worst That Could Happen?

                Like jealousy, most of your fears are created in your own head.

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                When you actually sit down and think about the worst case scenario, you’ll realize that there are actually very few risks that you can’t recover from.

                Ask yourself, “What’s the worst that could happen?” Once you realize the worst isn’t that bad, you’ll be ready to crush it.

                When you’re preparing to make a big life change, write down all of the things you’re afraid of. Are you afraid of failing? Of looking silly? Of losing money? Of being unhappy?

                Then, address each fear by writing down ways you can overcome them. For example, if you’re afraid of losing money, can you take a few months to save up a safety net?

                4. It’s Just as Much About the Process as It Is About the Result

                We’re so wrapped up in results when we think about major life changes. We worry that if we start out towards a big goal, then we might not make it to the finish line.

                However, you’re allowed to change your mind. And failing will only help you learn what not to do next time.

                Furthermore, just because you don’t reach the final goal doesn’t mean you failed. You chose the goal in the first place, but you’re allowed to alter it if you find that the goal isn’t working out the way you hoped. Failure is not a destination, and neither is success.

                Enjoy the process of moving forward[2].

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                5. Continue to Pursue Opportunity

                If you’re on the fence about a big decision, then you might be worried about getting locked into a position that you can’t escape from.

                Think about it a different way. New choices rarely limit your options.

                In fact, new pursuits often open up even more opportunities. One of the best things about going after important goals with passion is that they open up chances and options that you never could have expected in the beginning.

                If you pursue the interesting opportunities that arise along the path to your goal, then you can be sure that you’ll always have choices.

                6. Effort Matters, So Use It

                It sounds simple, but one of the big reasons we don’t make life changes is because we don’t try. And we don’t try because then it’s easy to make excuses for why we don’t get what we want.

                Flunked that test? Are you stupid? “Of course I’m not stupid. I just didn’t study. I would have gotten an A if I actually studied.”

                Stuck in a job you hate? Why haven’t you found a new job yet? “Well, I haven’t really tried to get a new job. I could totally ace that interview if I wanted.”

                Why do we make excuses like these to ourselves? It’s because if we try and fail, then we just failed. But if we don’t try, we can chalk it up to laziness.

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                Get over it. Failure happens to everyone.

                And the funny thing is, if you actually try—because it’s pretty clear that most people aren’t trying—then you’ll win a lot more than you think.

                7. Start With Something Manageable

                You can’t climb Everest if you don’t try hiking beforehand.

                Maybe applying for your dream job seems intimidating right now. What can you start with today?

                Can you talk to someone who already has that position and see what they think makes them successful? Can you improve your skills so you meet one of the qualifications? Can you take a free online course to expand your resume?

                Maybe you’re not quite ready for a long-term relationship, but you know you want to start dating. Could you try asking out a mutual friend? Can you go out more with friends to practice your communication skills and meet new people?

                You don’t need to be a world changer today; you just need to make small life changes in your own world.

                More Tips to Help You Make Life Changes

                Featured photo credit: Victor Rodriguez via unsplash.com

                Reference

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