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5 Apps That Can Improve Your Writing Skills

5 Apps That Can Improve Your Writing Skills

As a writer, if you want to get better, the biggest thing you can do is to keep writing. The more you write, the more consistent you become, and the better a writer you’ll be. Having a great writing environment is a huge part of that, but the biggest thing is to keep writing. Here are 5 apps that can help you do just that, and improve your writing skills.

Scrivener

Scrivener

    Writing a book, e-book or even a screenplay? If you’ve got words for a project that you need to get organized, Scrivener lets you do just that. Built with a notecard system, Scrivener makes it easy to rearrange sections and chapters and still see everything at once.

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    It’s built by writers for writers and is the simplest thing in the world if you want to get words on paper, get them organized and get them published. Once you use Scrivener, you won’t go back!

    OmmWriter

    Omm Writer

      OmmWriter is for when you want to go into zen writing mode and just put words on paper (er, screen). No formatting, no distractions, all writing. The program goes full screen so the only thing you can focus on is writing. In addition to that, it has a series of calming backgrounds and hypnotic soundtracks that put you in the mood to write. The right writing environment can make all the difference sometimes and OmmWriter provides just that.

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      WordPress

      Wordpress

        One of the best ways to keep writing is to start a blog. There’s a lot of blogging options out there, but the best long-term option is WordPress. WordPress powers almost 20% of the internet (including LifeHack!) Getting your words out there and posting on a regular basis is a simple way to ensure that you’ll be publishing — over and over and over again — which is really the only difference between writers and people who want to be writers!

        iaWriter

        iaWriter
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          If you’re writing online (using WordPress or something else), you’ll have to deal with formatting. You can do it manually or you can do it via html — both of which are a little time-consuming. iaWriter bypasses this by using a markup language called “markdown” to format the posts for html. With a few specific formatting markups while writing, iaWriter will automatically format your posts for html, which saves tons of time down the road.

          While there’s a bit of a learning curve to start with the markdown language, once you get the hang of it, it can speed up your overall writing, editing, formatting and publishing process. Keep in mind that this is mostly useful for sites where you’re writing online. If you’re focused on offline projects, then the other apps in this list will be more useful.

          Google Docs

          Docs
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            If you write, you need an editor. There are lots of collaboration tools out there, but none simpler than Google Docs. You can share and collaborate with countless others, track changes and see updates in real time. If you need to work with a few people remotely and don’t want to deal with tracking 20 different versions of documents scattered around your hard drive — get Google Docs, start collaborating there, and be done with it.

            What apps help you become a better writer?

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            Last Updated on February 15, 2019

            7 Tools to Help Keep Track of Goals and Habits Effectively

            7 Tools to Help Keep Track of Goals and Habits Effectively

            Now that 2011 is well underway and most people have fallen off the bandwagon when it comes to their New Year’s resolutions (myself included), it’s a good time to step back and take an honest look at our habits and the goals that we want to achieve.

            Something that I have learned over the past few years is that if you track something, be it your eating habits, exercise, writing time, work time, etc. you become aware of the reality of the situation. This is why most diet gurus tell you to track what you eat for a week so you have an awareness of the of how you really eat before you start your diet and exercise regimen.

            Tracking daily habits and progress towards goals is another way to see reality and create a way for you clearly review what you have accomplished over a set period of time. Tracking helps motivate you too; if I can make a change in my life and do it once a day for a period of time it makes me more apt to keep doing it.

            So, if you have some goals and habits in mind that need tracked, all you need is a tracking tool. Today we’ll look at 7 different tools to help you keep track of your habits and goals.

            Joe’s Goals

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              Joe’s Goals is a web-based tool that allows users to track their habits and goals in an easy to use interface. Users can add as many goals/habits as they want and also check multiple times per day for those “extra productive days”. Something that is unique about Joe’s Goals is the way that you can keep track of negative habits such as eating out, smoking, etc. This can help you visualize the good things that you are doing as well as the negative things that you are doing in your life.

              Joe’s Goals is free with a subscription version giving you no ads and the “latest version” for $12 a year.

              Daytum

                Daytum

                is an in depth way of counting things that you do during the day and then presenting them to you in many different reports and groups. With Daytum you can add several different items to different custom categories such as work, school, home, etc. to keep track of your habits in each focus area of your life.

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                Daytum is extremely in depth and there are a ton of settings for users to tweak. There is a free version that is pretty standard, but if you want more features and unlimited items and categories you’ll need Daytum Plus which is $4 a month.

                Excel or Numbers

                  If you are the spreadsheet number cruncher type and the thought of using someone else’s idea of how you should track your habits turns you off, then creating your own Excel/Numbers/Google spreadsheet is the way to go. Not only do you have pretty much limitless ways to view, enter, and manipulate your goal and habit data, but you have complete control over your stuff and can make it private.

                  What’s nice about spreadsheets is you can create reports and can customize your views in any way you see fit. Also, by using Dropbox, you can keep your tracker sheets anywhere you have a connection.

                  Evernote

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                    I must admit, I am an Evernote junky, mostly because this tool is so ubiquitous. There are several ways you can implement habit/goal tracking with Evernote. You won’t be able to get nifty reports and graphs and such, but you will be able to access your goal tracking anywhere your are, be it iPhone, Android, Mac, PC, or web. With Evernote you pretty much have no excuse for not entering your daily habit and goal information as it is available anywhere.

                    Evernote is free with a premium version available.

                    Access or Bento

                      If you like the idea of creating your own tracker via Excel or Numbers, you may be compelled to get even more creative with database tools like Access for Windows or Bento for Mac. These tools allow you to set up relational databases and even give you the option of setting up custom interfaces to interact with your data. Access is pretty powerful for personal database applications, and using it with other MS products, you can come up with some pretty awesome, in depth analysis and tracking of your habits and goals.

                      Bento is extremely powerful and user friendly. Also with Bento you can get the iPhone and iPad app to keep your data anywhere you go.

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                      You can check out Access and the Office Suite here and Bento here.

                      Analog Bonus: Pen and Paper

                      All these digital tools are pretty nifty and have all sorts of bells and whistles, but there are some people out there that still swear by a notebook and pen. Just like using spreadsheets or personal databases, pen and paper gives you ultimate freedom and control when it comes to your set up. It also doesn’t lock you into anyone else’s idea of just how you should track your habits.

                      Conclusion

                      I can’t necessarily recommend which tool is the best for tracking your personal habits and goals, as all of them have their quirks. What I can do however (yes, it’s a bit of a cop-out) is tell you that the tool to use is whatever works best for you. I personally keep track of my daily habits and personal goals with a combo Evernote for input and then a Google spreadsheet for long-term tracking.

                      What this all comes down to is not how or what tool you use, but finding what you are comfortable with and then getting busy with creating lasting habits and accomplishing short- and long-term goals.

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