You know, there’s been a lot of software I’ve used and loved over the years.
My first PC I shared with my dad. He bought a spreadsheet program, and I actually used it as a word processor for a while, until we got one. I also had a Commodore 64, with all the peripherals. I even had the plotter! And I had some kind of inexpensive word processor for it, I don’t remember what kind. When I’d written my first star trek novel on it, I took in a sample chapter to New England Tech, to see if I could challenge out of the English classes. It worked.
Fast forward to the 90’s. I got a demo of Sidekick, which I wanted, but I didn’t have the money to buy it. Apparently, you can get it for free now, but it’s so outdated and probably won’t run on a 64 bit system. There was Oil Change, which I thought was the coolest program. That one was like $10, but we got it, and all it did was find updates as they came out for your programs, and install them.
Tell you what, they should come out with it again.
I guess I’m a gearhead. I like cool programs, and I can find myself getting fascinated by them. So, what am I using right now?
Evernote. Evernote was one of those things I thought, “Naah…” but gave myself a week to try. I was convinced by day two. One of the first things I’m going to do when I start making more money by writing is to get the next level of service in Evernote. It’s $3 a month, but as I recently wrote about all these pay to upgrade programs and services, you can find yourself paying hundreds a month for all these upgrades and services! Evernote is your brain on the internet, literally. It is amazing. I use it for everything – far more than I did with One-Note. Many diehards are switching to One-Note, but I’m staying put. I went the other way. I use it to clip articles I want to read later. I can write snippets in it I’ll use over and over again. One thing I keep in Evernote is the code I use for the photo credits on this website! Copy, paste. I brainstorm in it for movie scripts and novels. I often write out my beat sheets in Evernote as well. House hunting – I clip screen captures into Evernote of particular houses for sale. I’ve stored all my license numbers and serial numbers of every program I’ve purchased into Evernote. I store passwords and login names to websites in Evernote. And I can set up reminders to myself that I need to re-read an article at a later time so I don’t forget about it!
Thunderbird. I prefer having my email on my computer – that way my ISP can’t eliminate my emails. Some of them I’m even moving over to Evernote, so that way I’ll always have them. And you can even set up Senditlater, which… sends emails out later on, at a specified time. I don’t know why that’s important, but I have that capability.
Scrivener. I almost don’t even use any other word processor any more. Scrivener was $40, and I thought at first that I could write better using Ywriter. Once I began poking at Scrivener, I realized how amazing it was. If you want to change the way you write forever for the better, here’s your answer. I write all my blog posts and social media tweets/posts on it as well. Trust me on this one. People who make the plunge and buy it all say the same thing – you can’t go back to any other word processor.
Dropbox. I recently had my Windows 8.1 get corrupted, and that took an entire night of redoing and reconfiguring everything. I’d gotten Dropbox recenly before that, and everything I had in Dropbox was untouched by the disaster. I finally set up Scrivener to back up automatically to Dropbox. Every program I use that makes automated backups all goes into Dropbox. And the great news is, when I upgrade my laptop and install dropbox, once I sign in, all my files will download again!
Final Draft. I’ve got the latest version, and very glad to have it. They got with Blake Snyder and added his “save the Cat” beat board to it, and I actually use it to death! I won’t write in the script until I’ve used the beat board part of Final Draft. I actually find myself wondering how FD users ever managed to live without it! I save all my files to Dropbox, and this way my producer knows when I’m working on the script – he gets little popups that tell him when I’m modifying the script.
These are five programs I can’t live without. I also use a Bible program because I’m a man of faith, but in respect of those who may not be, I’ll avoid discussing that one as well
What programs do you use instead of these? What program can you just not live without?