Why Writers Should Carry A Notebook At All Times & The Top 10 Notetaking Apps.

  Do you still take notes with an actual pencil and paper? Do you carry a notepad with you at all times? Or maybe you use one of the many note taking apps on your phone instead. Personally, I use a notebook because I still love that tactile feel of writing on actual paper. I keep one on my nightstand and always have one in my vehicle. If you have not started using an app for taking notes, then you should pick up a 3×5 notepad and a mechanical pencil and start carrying it with you. There are many reasons to do so, and they are given in the article below. There is also a list of the top ten notetaking apps available for 2019. As always, there is a short video on the importance of note taking throughout the day. I hope you enjoy and get that one thought down in your notes that lead to your next great story😉

Writing Tips: Carry a Notebook

by Melissa Donovan

My Post (4) (6)

Do you carry a notebook in your pocket, or have you gone digital?

It’s one of those writing tips that pops up everywhere — on lists of writing advice, in quotes bequeathed to us by the masters of writing, and even from the mouths of our teachers and professors: carry a notebook at all times.

After all, you never know when a great idea will strike. It would be awful to lose an idea just because you couldn’t write it down. As long as you carry a notebook and a pen, you’ll never forget a brilliant idea. You might write the last line of your novel while standing in line at the grocery store!

But let’s be clear: the notebook isn’t actually necessary. Most of us have smart phones and other mobile devices that are in many ways better than pens and paper notebooks.

Let’s examine this much-loved writing tip a little closer. Just how critical is it that we tote notebooks and pens everywhere we go?

Don’t Leave Home Without It

Experience has taught me that keeping a notebook handy, like so many other writing tips, is more of a guideline than a rule. When I go for walks, I don’t bring a notebook but I do carry my iPhone, which is loaded with apps that I can use for writing and taking notes. In fact, I find that my iPhone is a far more versatile writing tool than any paper notebook.

Paper Notebooks and Pens

In my work as a writer, I must have access to notebooks and pens, and lots of them. I keep notebooks in my car, purse, nightstand, and on my desk. There are pens to accompany all of them. When I’m working through an idea, I have to brainstorm, make lists, and draw sketches. And I find that if I jot something down in a notebook or on a piece of scrap paper, I can set it on my desk or pin it to my bulletin board so I don’t forget to execute that idea later or file it in the appropriate folder for future use. For example, if I’m reading the news and come across a name that would be perfect for one of my characters, I jot it down on an index card or sticky note and then I add it to my manuscript later that night during my writing session.

Although the apps on my mobile device are handy, sometimes I prefer the tactile experience of pen and paper, especially when I’m brainstorming and need to scrawl ideas all over the place before I can streamline them into an outline or prose.

On the other hand, paper and pens are not always the best or most reliable way to record thoughts and ideas. I’ve been stuck with a pen that ran out of ink on more than one occasion, and I’ve found that they are of no use whatsoever when I’m hit with inspiration while driving. And it’s not always convenient to carry a notebook and pen around.

Apps and Gadgets

Admittedly, the more technology improves, the less I use paper notebooks and journals. On many occasions, I’ve typed notes into my iPhone instead of writing them on paper. In fact, my iPhone contains a host of apps that make writing and note-taking a breeze. Here are a few examples:

  • Evernote is one of the greatest apps ever invented. I have it installed on my computer, phone, and iPad. If I’m running errands and get a writing idea, I can make a note in the app and it will automatically sync across all my devices, which means later that night, when I’m working on my project, the note is already on my computer and ready to be copied and pasted into my manuscript.
  • I’m a visual person. I may not be much of an artist, but I like to collect images that inspire me, especially images I can use to represent my characters. If I’m away from my desk and I see something that I want to use in my writing, I can snap a picture of it with my phone instead of trying to describe it so that I can remember it later.
  • The voice recorder on my phone has been an enormous convenience. A few years ago, I used voicemail to capture ideas while I was driving. Now, I can just click on the voice recorder. Coupled with voice-to-text software, this practically allows me to write while I’m driving, which is pretty amazing.

Technology has come a long way, but I think it’s only scratched the surface in terms of what it can do for writers. Scrivener, my favorite program for writing book-length projects, recently launched an app for the iPad, which I think will be a game changer, especially since it syncs across devices (using Dropbox). And although tablets make sketching and brainstorming a lot easier than say, a traditional computer, they still haven’t reached the nuance of working with pen and paper (at least not the mainstream tablets and accessories). I’m looking forward to new technology for writers that is surely coming down the pipeline.

Relying on Memory

I want to say a few words about relying on memory, because there are many writers who don’t carry notebooks and who don’t rush to make a record of every single idea they have. Admittedly, a few years ago, I thought those writers were crazy because they were willing to risk losing some of their best ideas, but lately I’ve found some benefits to forgoing a notebook or writing down every idea that strikes. Last year I filled dozens of pages in a notebook with ideas for a novel, and I ended up scrapping all of them. Those ideas were the seeds for future ideas that I did use, but in retrospect, I didn’t really need to write it all down. Now I work through scenes and ideas in my mind before committing them to the page.

I don’t know if the following story is true or not, but consider it:

Ludovico Buonarrati, Michelangelo’s father. He was a wealthy man. He had no understanding of the divinity in his son, so he beat him. No child of his was going to use his hands for a living. So, Michelangelo learned not to use his hands. Years later a visiting prince came into Michelangelo’s studio and found the master staring at a single 18 foot block of marble. Then he knew that the rumors were true — that Michelangelo had come in everyday for the last four months, stared at the marble, and gone home for his supper. So the prince asked the obvious — what are you doing? And Michelangelo turned around and looked at him, and whispered, “sto lavorando,” (I’m working). Three years later that block of marble was the statue of David. (source)

Original Article:

https://www.writingforward.com/writing-tips/writing-tips-carry-a-notebook

The 10 Best Note-Taking Apps for Your Personal and Professional Life

by Elise Moreau
My Post (5) (5)

Note taking apps are more useful than you might think. Taking notes the traditional way with pen and paper works just fine for some, but if you have a smartphone or tablet, using an app specifically designed for note taking can truly change the way you get things done.

Whether your note taking style demands minimal design and slick gesture-based functions, or advanced organization and cataloging of various forms of media, chances are there’s a notes app out there that’s right for you.

Here are 10 of the absolute best you should consider trying out.

1)      Evernote: Organize All Your Notes Into Categorized Notebooks

What We Like

  • Available for Windows, Mac, Android, and iOS devices.
  • Use on the web; browser extensions available.
  • Excellent search function for notes.

What We Don’t Like

  • Free basic plan is limited in features.
  • Monthly cost for premium plan is pricey.

Practically everyone who has ever looked into trying a note-taking app has almost certainly come across Evernote—the app that comes in right at the top of the note-taking world. This incredibly powerful tool is built for creating notes and organizing them into notebooks, which can be synced across as many as two devices. All free users also get 60 MB of space for uploading files to the cloud.

A few of the most unique features of Evernote include the ability to clip web pages and images, search for text inside images and use it as a collaborative tool to share and work on notes with other users. Plus or Premium subscriptions will get you more storage, the opportunity to use more than two devices and access to more advanced features.

Compatibility:

  • iOS
  • Android
  • Mac
  • Windows
  • Web

Visit Evernote

2) Simplenote: Note Taking for the Minimalist

What We Like

  • Design is minimalist and simple.
  • Syncs to all your devices.
  • Works with most popular platforms and devices.

What We Don’t Like

  • May be too simple for some users.
  • Text notes only; no images or other media.
  • No text formatting.

Evernote is great for note takers who need all the extra storage and fancier features, but if you’re looking for a stripped down notes app with a clean and minimal interface, Simplenote could be the app for you. Built for speed and efficiency, you can create as many notes as you like and keep them all organized with just the basic organizational features you really need–like tags and search.

Simplenote can be used to collaborate with others and all notes are automatically synced across your account whenever changes are made to them. There’s also a nifty slider feature that allows you to go back in time to previous versions of your notes, which are always automatically saved before you make any changes to them.

Compatibility:

  • iOS
  • Android
  • Mac
  • Windows
  • Linux
  • Web

Visit Simplenote

3) Google Keep: Use Cards to Make Note Taking Fun and Colorful

What We Like

  • Organize with customizable labels.
  • Set time and location-based reminders.
  • Free and well-integrated with the Google tech ecosystem.

What We Don’t Like

  • No desktop app; notes are available on the web.
  • Maximum of 50 labels; no hierarchical label organization.
  • Web clipper only saves URLs.
  • No text formatting.

For a note-taking app that takes a more visual approach, Google Keep’s card-based notes are perfect for people who want to see all their ideas, lists, images and audio clips in one place. You can color-code your notes or add other attributes to them so that they’re easy to find and share your notes with others who need to access and edit them. Like Evernote and Simplenote, any changes made by you or other users you share your notes are automatically synced across all platforms.

To help you remember when you need to refer to your notes, you can set up time-based or location-based reminders so that you remember to do something at a specific place or at a specific time. And as an added bonus for when typing is too inconvenient, the app’s voice memo feature lets you record yourself a message for a quick note in audio format.

Compatibility:

  • iOS
  • Android
  • Google Chrome Web Browser
  • Web

Visit Google Keep

4) OneNote: Combine the Power of Microsoft With Your Notes

What We Like

  • Compatible with Google Chrome, Apple Watch, and web browsers.
  • Syncs well across all your devices.
  • Lots of options for note formatting and design.

What We Don’t Like

  • No quick customizable tagging for simple organization.
  • Notebook, section, and page structure is inefficient to navigate.
  • Search functionality isn’t as slick as Evernote or Google Keep.

Owned by Microsoft, OneNote is a note-taking app you’ll definitely want to consider diving into if you regularly use the suite of Microsoft Office apps like Word, Excel and PowerPoint since the app is fully integrated with them. You can type, write, or draw using the free form of a pen and use powerful organization tools like pinning to easily find what you’re looking for later.

Use OneNote to collaborate with others and access your most updated versions of your notes from any device. Perhaps two of its most unique features is the ability to capture an image of a whiteboard or slideshow presentation with automatic cropping and built-in audio recording so you don’t have use an entirely different recording app.

Compatibility:

  • iOS
  • Apple Watch
  • Mac
  • Android
  • Windows Phone
  • Windows
  • Google Chrome Web Browser
  • Web

Visit OneNote

5) Notebook: A Stunningly Visual Note Taking Experience

What We Like

  • Design is bright and appealing.
  • Text, checklist, photo, audio, sketch, and file cards.
  • Supports Mac, Windows, iOS, Android, and web access.
  • Customize notebook covers, use your own images.

What We Don’t Like

  • Needs more art for notebook covers.
  • Not geared toward collaborative note-taking.

If you like the idea of Google Keep’s card-like interface, then maybe you’ll like Zoho’s Notebook app too. Create a checklist card for your grocery items, a card for a story you’re working on with inline images included throughout the text, a sketch card for some doodling or even an audio card of your voice.

Featuring some of the smoothest and most intuitive gesture-based functions, you can organize your notes into notebooks, reorder them, copy them, group them together or flick through them to easily find what you’re looking for. Notebook is totally free and syncs everything across your account automatically so you always have your notes no matter which device you’re using.

Compatibility:

  • iOS
  • Mac
  • Android
  • Windows
  • Web

Visit Zoho’s Notebook

6) Dropbox Paper: A Collaborate Note Taking App for Your Whole Team

What We Like

  • Strong features for collaboration.
  • Clean and uncluttered look.
  • Add a variety of media; not just links.

What We Don’t Like

  • More complex than a simple note-taking app.
  • Paper documents are separate from Dropbox folders.
  • Takes time to get used to.

If you already use Dropbox to store files in the cloud, you’ll probably want to check out Dropbox Paper. It’s a note-taking app that acts as a “flexible workspace” built to prevent distraction while helping people work together. This app was built for collaboration, allowing users to chat with each other in real time while editing any document.

Don’t be fooled by its minimal design–Dropbox Paper has lots of advanced features tucked away that are easy to access and intuitive to use once you’re familiar with the app. Use it to create new documents, edit existing ones, see all your team activity in one organized list, post and reply to comments, prioritize documents and so much more.

Compatibility:

  • iOS
  • Android
  • Web

Visit Dropbox Paper

7) Squid: The Best App for Taking Digital Handwritten Notes

What We Like

  • Designed for handwritten notes; use your finger or a stylus.
  • PDF markup is easy.

What We Don’t Like

  • Not available for Mac or iOS devices.
  • Not easy to sync with other devices.

Squid takes the old-fashioned pen and paper and modernizes it with digital features designed to enhance the note-taking experience. Just use your finger or stylus to handwrite notes just like you would on paper. Similar to Google Keep and Notebook, all your most recent notes will be displayed in a card-like interface for easy access.

Every note will have a toolbar at the top, which allows you to customize your ink, duplicate what you’ve written, resize it, erase mistakes, zoom in or out and so much more. The notes app also allows you to insert PDF files for markup so you can highlight text and insert new pages wherever you want.

Compatibility:

  • Android
  • Chromebook
  • Kindle Fire
  • Windows
  • Windows Phone

Visit Squid

8) Bear: The Most Flexible Note Taking App

What We Like

  • Import notes from other apps.
  • Simple, easy-to-use design.
  • Export to a variety of formats, including PDF and JPEG.
  • Supports Markdown.

What We Don’t Like

  • Only available for Mac and iOS devices.
  • Requires a paid plan to sync devices.

Bear is one of the most beautifully designed and flexible note taking apps currently available for Apple devices. Made for both quick notes and in-depth essays with advanced markup for options to insert images, links and more, you can enable the app’s “focus mode” to help you concentrate during longer periods of writing or note taking.

You can customize the theme and typography to fit your style, use a wide variety of editing tools to optimize your notes, quickly add to-dos to any individual note, tag any note with a specific hashtag and so much more. The core version of this notes app is free, but pro subscriptions are available if you’d like to take your writing or note taking to the next level with Bear.

Compatibility:

  • iOS
  • Mac

Visit Bear

9) Notability: Creative Note Taking for the Apple Fan

What We Like

  • Good text formatting options.
  • Text wrapping with images.
  • Works well with Apple Pencil.

What We Don’t Like

  • Only for iOS devices.
  • No free version available.

For the Apple fanboy or fangirl who loves to write by hand, draw, sketch or doodle, Notability is a must-have notes app for its incredible suite of advanced note taking tools. Combine your handwritten or drawn work with typed text, photos and videos and zoom in anywhere on your note when you need a closer look.

Notability also lets you do some pretty amazing things with PDF files, allowing you to add annotations on them anywhere, fill them out, sign them and send them off. Unlike many of the other apps in this list, Notability isn’t free, but it’s at least affordable.

Compatibility:

  • iOS

Visit Notability

10) Notes: Basic, Minimal and Possibly All You Need As an Apple User

 

What We Like

  • Handwrite notes and sketch with Apple Pencil.
  • Organize notes with folders.
  • Pin notes to the top of the list.
  • Scan documents using device camera.

What We Don’t Like

  • Only on iOS devices and Macs.
  • Basic note-taking features.
  • Only simple text formatting.

Apple’s very own Notes app is uncomplicated and super intuitive to use, yet still just as powerful as you need it to be for all your note-taking needs. The app’s features include just the minimum essentials and all the notes you create within the app are neatly organized in the left sidebar. Although you can’t organize your notes with hashtags, notebooks or categories, you can easily search through them by using the handy search field at the top to help you quickly find whatever you need.

Create a checklist, insert photos, customize your text’s formatting or even add another Notes user to share your list with so they can view and add information to it. Although it doesn’t have all the bells and whistles that many other competing note-taking apps bring to the table, Notes is one of the few that really stands out for getting the job done in the simplest and quickest way possible.

Compatibility:

  • iOS
  • Mac

Visit Apple

Original Article:

https://www.lifewire.com/best-note-taking-apps-4136590

Write Fearlessly

About G.Edward Smith

A stranger in a strange land...
This entry was posted in Thursday Thoughts and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.