Tools of the Trade II: The Software

In my last post I talked about the hardware I use for my writing, and this time I’ll talk about the software I use, what I use it for, and the reason why I use it. I’ll also provide links to where you can download/purchase them as well. Please note: I’m an Android fan, and both my phone and tablet run it (though my phone runs an older version). I’m sure there are equal applications for iOS (the same ones in most cases) but I haven’t listed them as I try to avoid iTunes as much as possible.

Laptop Software

MS Office 2007: While there are many Office equivalents at a fraction of the price that MS charges, indeed a couple are free, none of them seem to be able to convert to a .doc format with all the formatting. There always seems to be something off when I use a word processor other than MS Word. There are also newer versions of Office as well, but I really prefer the 2007 version, and since it still works I don’t see the need to upgrade yet.

Google Drive: Because I’m so tied into the Google ecosystem at this point, it’s much easier for me to use Google Drive for any of my cloud storage needs. There are others that may offer more storage (dropbox being one) but it’s far easier to use Drive. It comes with 15 gigs of storage for free, and since I really only upload documents and some pics, that’s more than enough. There are versions available for Windows and Android.

Skype: My default go to for chatting and voice on my laptop. Since most people use this, it’s what I also use, though I would really love people to start migrating over to Hangouts on Google+. Much easier to use, less processor intensive, and also looks better.

Tablet and Phone

I’m putting tablet and phone together as all of these apps can be used on either, none of them are tablet/phone specific.

Office Suite Pro: While you can do some editing on Google Drive, it’s not something that I would suggest except for very minor work. Office Suite Pro is about as close as you can get to a full featured Word cruncher. You can save files in virtually every file type, and is compatible with all the standard cloud services. I like it because it’s fast, easy to use, has an attractive interface, and it just works. There’s a free version to try, and a full version will set you back $14.95

Whatsapp: While I do use Skype on my phone/tablet I really prefer Whatsapp. The only drawback is it has no video chat, but that’s fine with me. It’s fast, smooth, and uses contact information to add people to your chat list regardless of where in the world they are. The first year is free and then it’s .99 cents every year after that.

Tweetcaster Pro: For all your tweeting needs, you can’t beat Tweetcaster Pro. Sure there are others that look better, or have certain features, but everytime I try a different client (and I’ve tried all of them), I keep coming back to TWP. It’s quick, stable, and I can mute those I’m following who tweet nonsense too much. There’s an ad supported free version, as well as a paid version for 4.99