All of us at one point have been tasked with the challenging prospect of writing an essay: whether as part of a coursework project, dissertation or as a homework assignment. As you’ll know, writing ideas down, as they come to you in those moments of inspired thought, is what makes the difference between a good piece of work and something you’re proud and excited to hand in.
For many of us, brought up in the dark ages before the iPhone and the commercial use of tablets, writing on the go meant scribbling a few notes on a scrunched-up napkin or on the back of an envelope at best.
Today is very different − writers now have access to a host of options to help them capture those moments of creative thought: organising their writing, prioritising each key point succinctly and offering them an experience comparable to that of working from a desktop.
We thought we’d round up our favourite five apps that will help writers at any level add structure to their writing and support authors on the go.
Writers App - from £1.99
While Writers App may not have the most innovative of names, it has been a valuable tool for many of my friends and colleagues who are budding self-published authors. The app, reasonably priced, is an easy-to-use tool that supports a wide variety of users from short-story authors to full-blown novelists.
Writers App helps users to scribe their ideas and key points on a plain text notepad without being held up or distracted by formatting options and settings. The app features a number of simple and intuitive templates that help writers to drill down and ‘flesh out’ basic ideas.
While this app is not a full processor, it allows you to develop and structure your writing: formatting a coherent synopsis, premise, narrative and accompanying or supportive notes. The use of the app’s templates also helps develop stronger characters, places, and environments.
It’s easy to assume that this app would be most suited to novel writing but it does have a wider application, particularly for essay and dissertation writing.
Plus the autosave feature can be a lifesaver at times!
My Writing Spot App- from £1.99
My Writing Spot, available on iPhone and iPad, helps users to access their novel or manuscript from a single document, regardless of the device. The useful syncing option not only save time by converting file types between iOS and Windows operating systems, it also removes the hassle of version control.
While all of the five apps listed support writing on the go, My Writing Spot provides you with an unlimited paper stack to create and update to-do lists, notes, check lists, and any other documents you’ll need; plus the word count feature helps you meet those daily word quotas.
Pages App - from £6.99
Before you start getting concerned that we’re focusing too much on the author-writer types, Pages, an app developed exclusively for Apple devices, consists of 16 templates that let you instantly create, edit and view scripted letters, reports, flyers, cards, posters and much more. Pages has quickly become one of the most popular writing apps on iPad as a result of its template range, and its easy iCloud syncing and file transfer functionality also lets users drag and drop between devices.
The Pages app has much greater depth in terms of formatting options, media browsing and insertion of images, font styles, and dynamic text wrapping than some of the alternatives we’ve listed.
Clean Writer App - from $0.99
Got a case of writer’s block? Or getting frustrated with the formatting requests on your current writing app?
Clean Writer is the essence of simplicity, helping you to focus on being creative and documenting those inspired ideas when they happen, without any distractions.
The simplistic functionality is somewhat refreshing and useful when you’re out and about and urgently need a pad to write on. However, the limitations on file conversion can be a little frustrating when compared to some of our other favourites. Nevertheless, a no-frills alternative that has already been noticed by the likes of PCWorld, MacWorld, and CopyBlogger.
Paper Helper App - from $1.99
Paper Helper is specifically designed to support students’ research and writing of essays. The innovative app seamlessly splits the screen into two browsers: one to enable the student to surf online resources and the second a plain text document writer that enables the quick and easy transfer of text and ideas. While I would never encourage plagiarism or the paraphrasing of IP, as Isaac Newton famously said
‘If I have seen further than others, it is by standing on the shoulders of giants.’
As a blogger, this app has also been ideal for helping me to research a topic and etch out my ideas at the same time. I used Paper Helper to create this article and it’s definitely an app I’d recommend from my own personal experience.
Author Bio - Chris Solieri
LearnersCloud is an easy-to-integrate e-learning system that helps GCSE students get to grips with all of the key topics and concepts, at their own pace.
Covering GCSE Maths, English, Chemistry, Physics and Biology, students can learn, revise and test themselves on their PC, tablet and smart phone device anywhere and at any time.
Our GCSE tutorials are quality assured and proven to accelerate learning for students of all abilities, and offer an ideal resource for GCSE revision.