Tools of the Trade Part I: Hardware

Read through most writer’s blogs and you’ll invariably find posts about various aspects of the craft. The how to’s, they why’s, the wherefore’s are a dime a dozen (even I have some).What I haven’t seen however, are what tools writers use.  While the typewriter is all but extinct, I know writers who still use one-the same goes for a pad and paper. The overwhelming majority however use computers (either a desktop or laptop) and since most submission guidelines ask for an .rtf or .doc format, it makes sense. There are three tools I use for all aspects of my writing (and my burgeoning writing career).



The first is of course my laptop. I use an HP G62 running Windows 7.  This is where I do all my heavy lifting. I use MS Office 2007 for all my writing, editing, formatting and everything else related to the work in progress. I’ve had this particular laptop for about 2 and half years now and love it. It may not be fastest, or run the latest games, but for the software I use, it works very well. I did have the hard drive replaced about a year after getting it, but everyting was able to be saved before it had actually died.  I also use Skype, to talk with other writers, editors and publishers, Much more efficient that way and cuts down on the minutes I use on my phone.



The second tool, is relatively new to me, it’s the 7″ Nexus 7 tablet, which I got for Christmas. Prior to getting it, I never thought I would have much use for one. They seemed more like a toy than anything else. However now that I have one, it’s become the one thing I use more than anything else. Most of my web surfing, social media and postings are done from here. I can lay on the couch and send an email, read an ebook in the loo or play a game on the bus. There are several apps, including Skype again) that  I use for work as well. I can do some editing if I need to, or use a notepad app, jot down some ideas, or even write for short periods of time.  The ability to save to Google Drive and have access to all my files from anywhere is a boon for me. Gone are the days of having to bring a thumbdrive with files, or lugging my laptop around. All my work is in the cloud (and an external hard drive because, well I’m not stupid).  Could I survive without it? Sure I could, but it has certainly made my life much easier.



The final tool is my phone. 90% of what I use it for is social media, texting, and some limited web surfing. I have an Optimus Elite, and while it’s definitely at the very low end of smart phones, it does what I need it to. I get notifications for my emails, tweets, facebook, and my blog. It’s a great way to keep in touch with others, and I would be lost without this. I keep on my sales and and reviews from my phone, and while I could install Skype on it, my 3G connection is pretty poor, so I avoid that.

I mentioned some apps I use but not all. In the next part I’ll go over some of the essential apps I use, and think you’ll like them as well.