Everyone loves free tools. But most of all, we love free tools that are actually helpful. If you're looking for a way to stay on task, organized, and push past the roadblocks of the writing occupation, then you will find at least one of these to lend you a hand. Enjoy:
-Ping Me “Ping Me” is a great way to send yourself reminders, keep yourself on task, and cut down on procrastination. Set a time, date, and message, and pick your choice of a message sent to your email or cell (via text). Can be used for anniversary, birthday reminders, wake-up calls. BUT MOST IMPORTANTLY FOR WRITERS: pestering reminders and pre-set deadlines that guilt you and motivate you into writing, very useful.
-Toodle do A “to-do” list organizer similar to Ping Me in that it sets tasks (deadlines or reminders) but instead of the emphasis being put on the reminding side of the tasks, toodledo places it on the organizing. It arranges tasks and deadlines into categories, tags them, has the option assigning priorities, time estimates, goals, notes, and contexts, even subtasks. It has an easy-to-use format that does a great job of secretarial work in the form of personal organization and time management.
-Team Viewer Access files on your computer remotely over the internet. Helpful when you’re out and about somewhere writing (such as a coffee shop or friend’s house) and need access to files on your home computer.
-Slim Timer Ooooh…timer. A writing log can be a helpful source of motivation for writers, it brings a sense of accomplishment, as well as an accurate record of your toils. Though the program is intended for freelancers tracking their hours on jobs for clients, the uses don’t stop there. It is a good way to see if you’re meeting your goals for writing, and a possible tool for better time management. Other ideas for the program include a reading log to track your time refurbishing your creative juices, and a time record of the entire day, just to see where it all goes.
-Y Writer Y Writer is a program that saves and organizes your writing into different chapters, books, and even paragraphs. Also provides tools for outlining and an ease of finding sections to edit (and separating the finished from the unfinished). Again, provides a sense of accomplishment because you actually see the results of your labor stacking up. Reviews of the free software linked to from the page.
-The Story Starter Generates story-starting sentences, which can be helpful for blocked writers and generating ideas. Even though it is obviously it uses a formula with subjects, verbs, objects, etc. sometimes the most random and senseless start-up sentence contains a creativity-sparking gem.
Visit http://emilycaseysmusings.blogspot.com/2009/06/helpful-writing-software.html for another list of tools. I also highly recommend Dark Room, but I would like to do a review on it with pictures, so just wait a bit for that post.