This is a list of the software and resources I use.

For Writing

Scrivener

It’s hard to think of a better tool for writers than Scrivener. Among its extensive features are:

  • the ability to break your work into small interrelated units, a great feature for planning, writing and editing. You can work on one unit, move it around in the text, refer to other units all within the same Scrivener window.
  • the ability to store all of your work, including background notes, character descriptions, images in one place
  • the separation of formatting from the text itself. You can concentrate fully on the text, then worry later about formatting it for a particular document format.
  • the ability to compile a completed work into PDF, Word, EPUB or MOBI. The easy compile into ebook format is great for daily review of your work.

Scrivener is not free software, but it does come with a free 30 day trial. Download from http://www.literatureandlatte.com/

Microsoft Word

I’ve been using Word on and off since version 1.0 and have fallen in and out of love with it several times. I’m now using the Word 2016 version and have gradually moved to it from LibreOffice.

https://www.office.com/

LibreOffice

An excellent open-source free alternative to Microsoft Office. If you can’t, or don’t want to, use Microsoft products, then try this. Download from https://www.libreoffice.org/

Windows Speech Recognition

Speech recognition has been built into Windows since Vista and is therefore available free to all Windows users. It can be surprisingly useful as an alternative to typing text into a document. But it’s usefulness depends on a number of factors:

  • The quality of the microphone you are using can affect the accuracy. (It can work with a built-in laptop microphone, but I found that the accuracy improved when I used a headset microphone.)
  • You need to spend a little time training the software, and yourself. Over time it learns your voice and it does learn from the corrections you make.
  • It works for Word, Outlook, Wordpad and Notepad. But not with non-Microsoft software such as Scrivener. It does work with dictation into a browser. I was able to successfully dictate an Evernote note using the browser.
  • The dictation rate can be very quick, but the overall word per minute rate will depend on the number of errors in your text and how long it takes to correct them.

http://windows.microsoft.com/en-gb/windows/set-speech-recognition#1TC=windows-7

Sigil

Sigil is a free, open-source editor for EPUB ebooks. The tool allows you to edit an epub file to add additonal formatting.

https://sigil-ebook.com/

 

Notetaking

Evernote

An excellent note taking and information storage tool. https://evernote.com/

Planning

Wunderlist

An excellent all-round to do list with apps for Windows, Apple and Android devices. The free account allows syncing across all devices.

https://www.wunderlist.com/

Xmind

An excellent Mind Mapping software app. Free version is available for Windows, Linux and Mac. Download from http://www.xmind.net/

 

Graphics

Canva

Canva is an online tool for creating web graphics. It’s free and it’s easy to use. You can pay for prebuilt templates or choose from their stock of non-free images if you want. Or you can upload your own images, or create your own designs. https://www.canva.com/

GIMP

GIMP is a free and open source image editor. It does just about anything with images. Because it’s so powerful it can be a little complicated to work with, but there is a lot of tutorial information available. https://www.gimp.org/