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7 Writing Tools to Make a Writer’s Life Easier

7 Writing Tools to Make a Writer’s Life Easier

Writing isn’t easy.

Especially getting things done. Not only does a writer need discipline and skill, he or she also needs tools to help him hone his craft and to make his life easier.

Times have changed.

Modern writers don’t work with just pens and notepads anymore. We need tools to keep up with the times and readers. That’s why we need tools to help us write AND get in front of readers.

Here are some tools that can help make your life as a writer easier.

1. Your Own Website

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WordPress

    Your website will help you establish your online presence. Use an email catcher to help you connect with your audience.

    There are a lot of email marketing tools that you can use. Aweber, Mailchimp and GetResponse to name a few.

    Most successful authors have a huge email list of subscribers that are waiting for their book. But you don’t have to fret yourself if you have only 12 subscribers at the moment. Act and write like a pro and treat your subscribers with respect. With proper marketing, your email list will eventually grow.

    If you don’t want to spend money on having your own domain and hosting, you can use WordPress.com or IMCreator to start with.

    2. Scrivener

    scrivener2

      Scrivener is a writer’s best friend. There is a learning curve in using Scrivener, but once you get the hang of it, you’ll never go back to Word again.

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      The ability to convert your file in one click into .mobi, .pdf, or .epub to name a few, is one of the best features of Scrivener that makes it worth it.

      You can also set your word count goal and keep track of your progress.

      The ability to edit and insert scenes, chapters and character names with ease is also worth noting.

      3. A Private Blog

      750 words

        Aside from your official website or blog, have something where you can free-write. You can vent out your emotions or thoughts here that you don’t want to publish. How could a private blog make your life easier you ask?

        It will provide writing-practice and stress relief so that you’ll have more confidence in growing your audience. A private blog lets you exercise your writing muscles.  750words.com and Penzu are worth checking out.

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         4. Pomodoro App

        Tomato Timer

          You can time yourself and set a goal for a word count that you need accomplished for a certain period of time. There are a lot of free pomodoro apps out there. For starters, try using Focus Booster or Tomato Timer, also free.

          5. Write or Die

          writeordie

            Write or Die is a cool website where you can kill writer’s block, literally! Or else you die. Ha! Just kidding. It will blast off an annoying sound if you stop writing. You can set your “grace period” or choose the sound that it will play if you’re successful in your target word count. You can also choose which annoying sound will blast off your ears if you don’t reach that goal.

            6. Pen and Notepad or Journal

            Yes, the old fashioned pen and paper is a must. You’re a writer after all. Writing by hand promotes creativity. Just because we’re modern writers doesn’t mean we should forget our good ol’ pen and paper.

            7. Evernote

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            evernote

              If you want convenience and, you can use Evernote to write down your story ideas. The Evernote app automatically syncs to your Evernote.com account so you don’t have to worry about losing files. You can also use Evernote and Scrivener for your writing projects.

              So there you have it: six tools that will make the life of a modern writer easier.

              As writers, we’re no longer expected to just write every day. We need to find our readers, too. So go now, write and start sharing your stories to friends!

              Featured photo credit: jamelah e. via flickr.com

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              Last Updated on November 5, 2019

              How to Use Visual Learning to Work More Effectively

              How to Use Visual Learning to Work More Effectively

              Knowledge is essential to become successful in life, your career and your business. Without learning new concepts and becoming proficient in our craft, we cannot excel in our chosen careers or archive knowledge to pass down to the next generation.

              But content comes in various forms, and because how we learn influences how much we know, we need to talk about learning styles. This article will focus on how to utilize visual learning to boost your career or business.

              The Importance of Knowing Your Learning Style

              Knowing your learning style enables you to process new information to the best of your ability. Not only does it reduce your learning curve, you’re able to communicate these same concepts to others effectively.

              But it all starts when you’re able to first identify the best way you learn.

              As a college student, I soon figured out that taking online courses without visual aids or having an instructor in front of me led to poor retention of concepts.

              Sure, I got good grades and performed excellently in my online exams. However. I discovered that I couldn’t maintain this performance level because I forgot 80 percent of the course content by the end of the semester.

              There are several types of learning styles known to mankind. To give an idea of how visual learning stacks up against other learning styles, here’s a brief mention of some of the different types of learning styles we have.

              The four most popular types of learning styles are:

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              • Visual learning style (what this article talks about).
              • Aural or auditory learning style (learning by listening to information presented).
              • Verbal or linguistic learning style (learning that involves speech and writing).
              • Tactile learning style (learning by touching and doing)

              But for the purposes of this article, we will be focusing on using visual learning to boost your career or business.

              How to Know If You’re a Visual Learner?

              When it comes to boosting your career, business (or education), a visual learner is one who would most definitely choose shapes, images, symbols, or reading over auditory messages.

              I’m talking about preferring to read an actual map when navigating to a new place over listening to verbal directions. I’m talking about discovering that you actually have trouble remembering what your manager said at the meeting because there were no graphs or illustrations to support the points raised.

              Most people who struggle with learning probably aren’t leveraging their best learning styles. The earlier you identify how your learning style can boost your success, the less struggle you will encounter with processing new information throughout your career.

              However, visual learning in particular CAN 10x your career or business whether it is your preferred learning style or not. And here’s why:

              Several studies have arrived at the conclusion that the brain retains more information with the help of visual aids. In other words, images are directly processed by our long-term memory which helps us store information for longer periods of time.[1]

              While some lessons can be performed orally, several concepts can only make sense if you have an image with an explanation of sequences (i.e learning about the human DNA).

              Visual learning does use a different part of the brain and visual cues are processed by the part of the brain known as the occipital lobe.

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              By engaging more parts of the brain during learning, you’re able to have a fuller understanding of concepts and facilitate better interaction with your immediate environment.

              How to Use Visual Learning for Success

              Here’re 4 ways to use visual learning to boost your career or business:

              1. Bring back the to-do list. Then add shapes and colors to boost productivity.

              We live in an age where computers have taken over virtually every aspect of productivity and most human functions. But written lists are making a comeback, and with an endless number of important tasks to complete, having a to-do list of tasks in order of importance can improve your productivity.

              While coming up with a list is initially challenging, adding colors and shapes to written lists that you personally write and manage gives you an extra layer of assurance and boosts aids recall so that you actually get stuff done.

              I have tried this technique in my work as a registered nurse and discovered that adding shapes and colors to to-do lists helps me delegate tasks, recognize where more work is needed, and makes it easy to cross off completed tasks at the end of the day.

              2. Add graphs, charts and symbols to your reports.

              Yes, it seems like more work cut out for you. However, graphs enable you monitor the heartbeat of your business.

              Graphs and charts help you trend your finances, budget, and pretty much any data overtime. With the help of free and premium software available on the market, it has become easier to take plain data and in a matter of seconds, have relevant information displayed in different shapes and images.

              As an entrepreneur, you can make predictions and allocate funds wisely when you’re able to see whether your efforts are rewarded. You can use colors and charts to delegate actions to members of your team and track performance at the same time.

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              And when broken down into monthly, quarterly, bi-annual or annual goals, graphs and charts communicate what ordinary text cannot.

              3. Effectively brainstorm with mind-mapping.

              Mind-mapping is not new but I don’t think it’s been talked about as often as we do to-do lists.

              With mind mapping, you’re organizing information accurately and drawing relationships between concepts and pieces from a whole.

              Think of a mind map as a tree with several branches. For example, the tree can symbolize healthcare while each branch stands for nursing, medicine, laboratory science, and so on. When you look at nursing, you can further branch out into types of nursing; pediatric, women’s health, critical care, and so on.

              It’s an interesting relationship; the more ideas you’re able to come up with for your chosen subject, the deeper you get and the stronger the association.

              Mind maps really show you relationships between subjects and topics, and simplifies processes that might seem complicated at first glance. In a way, it is like a graphical representation of facts presented in a simple, visual format.

              Mind mapping isn’t only limited to career professionals; business owners can benefit from mind mapping by organizing their online learning activities and breaking down complex tasks into simple actions so that you can accurately measure productivity.

              4. Add video streaming to meetings.

              What if you could double the productivity of your team members by video streaming your meetings or adding flash animation to your presentation at the same time?

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              When you offer video as an alternative method of processing information to colleagues, there is a greater chance of retaining information because we recreate these stories into images in our minds.

              For organizations that hold virtual meetings, it can also be an effective way to enhance performance during if people can see their colleagues in addition to flash animation or whatever form of video is provided during the meeting.

              Is Visual Learning Better Than Other Learning Styles?

              No, that is not the point. The goal here is to supplement your existing dominant learning style with visual learning so that you can experience a significant boost in how you process and use everyday information.

              You might discover that understanding scientific concepts are much easier after incorporating visual learning or that you’re able to understand your organization’s value when projected on a visual screen with charts and graphs.

              The overall goal is to always be learning and to continue to leverage visual learning style in your career and business.

              More About Learning Styles

              Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

              Reference

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