My Indispensable Tools As A Writer

Ever since I was a small child and used to pour over the Casio watches in the Argos book I have loved gadgets. The more features that something has, the more intriguing I find it. Last week was the release of the new iPhone 5 and I have been obsessed with it.

I don’t have one (yet) but I’ve watched the videos on YouTube and studied the tariffs and networks, coverage maps and accessories. To me, it’s gadget porn. Most features obviously offer solutions to problems that you don’t really face in life but that’s not the point. The classic example of this is my current watch that will still function 2,000 ft underwater. Now, if I’m ever 2,000 ft underwater then I would rather have some kind of homing device because it would mean that someone had put concrete shoes on me. Anyway, there are also worthwhile features that have actually made areas of my life easier, so which gadgets and software do I use in my day-to-day life.


Ever since I bought my iPad (which is actually my disabled daughters iPad for a means of communication – I never said I was good) I have been seduced by Apple. From the moment in the Apple Shop when I bonded in 5 minutes with the nicest employee I have ever seen, to being presented with a receipt from some magical place under a counter, to then going home and unpacking one of the sexiest pieces of glass and metal in history; I have been under Apple’s spell.

But, forget the dark magic they have over me, the iPad is incredible. Turn it on and write. Simple as that. You want to check something – check it – and then carry on and write. I can write this blog anywhere, painlessly. If I want to write parts of my book I can, anywhere. The on-screen keyboard is ok. People whinge but that’s what people do, what do you want from a keyboard that just appears.

I could not exist without the iPad now.

iMac and Scrivener Software

I love my iMac, you’ll have worked that out from above so I won’t carry on, but what makes any computer a cherished friend is what you have on it. Scrivener is a piece of writing software that must be indispensable for any writer. You can write in scenes and then move those scenes around in the story. Make notes and hold them by the relevant scenes. Character notes, place notes, and other research can all be stored within the same manuscript so that they’re all there immediately at your finger tips.

It thens provide a facility that can convert your manuscript into all common eBook formats. An absolute must for the modern writer as explained on any previous posts on self-publishing. Scrivener is fantastic and I use it everyday.

Bluetooth Keyboard

When I don’t have my iPad with me I use a bluetooth keyboard that I connect to my iPhone. Again I can write whatever I want. Usually only good for small bits of writing because of the screen size but the keyboard is bang on. It just folds out from something the size of a wallet and becomes a full size keyboard. I bought it years ago for about £20 and it’s probably the best thing I’ve ever bought in terms of value for money.


Obvious. I have the iPhone 4 at the moment but that will soon change. Don’t need to tell you the revolutionary impact of one of these. Just bear in mind, those who have them rarely ever change, and those that don’t, spend their time comparing their own inferior model to it. The iPhone has transcended gadgetry and has become more a way of life, a religion if you like. I use mine every day for every aspect of my life.


I did warn you that I’ve been seduced by Apple but I feel confident that I’m not on my own, given that we’re talking about the worlds wealthiest ever company. Other tools exist, but for me these four are essential, and my writing habits have developed from owning them. I’m now looking at adding a Kindle Fire HD to the stable as primarily an eReader so this may join the list soon.

What about your favourites? I’m always open to other shiny things but you’ll never persuade me to turn my back on Apple completely. 🙂



5 responses to “My Indispensable Tools As A Writer

  1. I mention to my brother just The other day who was bragging about his pre ordered iPhone 5, ” what is it about Apple that makes you want and use everything they put out. I have bought so many gadgets over the years that except for phones would sit for days without use. I use my iPhone, iPad, Mac Air and iPod every day. Scrivner is my saving grace as well.
    After years of using apple products, my boss was seduced by a Samsung sales guy and bought a galaxy. Three dys later she took it back. It didn’t work like her iPhone, did. Haha.

    • Exactly. Apple not only produce beautiful things that aesthetically you want in your life but, when you do, they work like they’re meant to. Perfect. Unless you’re some kind of programmer that can’t tinker in Apple stuff, there’s no one else that comes close.

  2. Apples also make great cider!
    On the subject of e-readers…they’re supposed to be better for you than iPads or laptop screens, as the light produced from these ‘favourite’ toys affects the production of melatonin, thereby increasing the incidence of insomnia with a concomitant effect on learning and memory! (So the Times says anyway!) This could mean, if true, that one day you’ll forget that you’re a writer and you won’t know what your iToys are for, let alone where you left them!
    I’ve not yet bought an iPad, call me slow but one of my sons tells me that their “just toys”……….obviously HE hasn’t got one either! It’s just a matter of time for me, though. Tell me, will I be able to use an iPad with my non-Apple PC?
    I’m off for some orange juice, if there’s any left!

    • Fantastic Mrs RC. You’re sense of humour is the same as mine. By the way, you don’t need an apple PC to run an iPad. Just get one. And also if the son you’re talking about is the one that I know very well then it’s because he’s jealous. Simple as that.

  3. Pingback: Writing in an iOS7 Wonderland | Michael J Holley - Writer

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