For our tenth anniversary last month, my lovely husband surprised me with an iPad. (I’ve mentioned that he’s a hard-core Mac Geek, right?)
I’m not exactly an early adapter when it comes to technology, and I have to admit, it took me a little while to come around. I have a laptop that I’m very happy with, and a hand-me-down iPhone, so what was the use of this in-the-middle size? But the thing I love most about Macs is their customizability. So, with a few new Apps and wallpapers and a little time, the nameless, out-of-the-box iPad became ‘Zoe’, my purse-sized, indispensable writing buddy.
Which is exactly what my husband knew would happen. Except, possibly, for the name part.
I’m not going to turn this into an iPad commercial. Suffice it to say, Zoe has come in handy — I am slowly coming around to e-books, and I love all the educational Apps available for my six-year-old daughter. (Math games! Yay!) The part that other writers want to know, though, is how it works for writing.
Here’s what I’m using:
1. iAWriter: I love the minimal screen display and the expanded keyboard. And because it uses text files and works with DropBox, it’s not hard to get my current draft from my computer to my iPad and back again. It does take some juggling, though, so I’m still waiting for Scrivener, my beloved writing software, to get in the ring. (According to this post, it’s in the works, but breath-holding is not advised.) My wish list: the ability to use iA Writer with rich text files
2. Evernote: The key for me, again, is the ability to share files with my Mac. With Evernote, I can jot down a story idea while I’m out and have it sync with my Mac when I’m home again.
3. Penultimate: Because sometimes it’s just fun to write with your finger. Also, this one is useful for getting my daughter to practice her spelling words.
4. Index Card: Well, to be honest, I haven’t used this one yet, just because I’m not at the shuffling-index-cards stage with any of my current projects. And one of the things that I love about Scrivener on my Mac is that the index cards are built in and work seamlessly with the rest of the application. Still, I like the look of this one, and I’m sure that it’ll come in handy, at least until an iPad version of Scrivener comes along.
That’s what I’m using right now. I’ll add more as I discover them! In fact, I’ve just noticed on the Scrivener blog page that apparently Scrivener 2.0 will sync with SimpleNote, so I’ll have to check that out when the time comes.
For a more thorough listing of writer-friendly Apps available for the iPad, please see this round-up by the incomparable InkyGirl.