Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Tools of the Trade, Part 2 of 3

Let's continue our discussion of different tools writers can utilize. Today, I will be touching on the next two:
  • Open Office
  • Trello

  1. Open Office (www.openoffice.org) is an Open Source suite of popular business tools, such as spreadsheets, presentations, graphics....and of course a Word Processor. Why would you use this over, say Microsoft Word? OpenOffice can be downloaded and used entirely free of any license fees. This is the tool I use to copy and format chunks of writing for the critique group. It allows me to save files in .doc format (.docx if you prefer) and open them in another location for printing, like from my wife's computer that has Microsoft Word and a really nice laser printer. Likewise you can print from the office, or Kinko's, or church, or wherever. Going back to the carpenter in the first blog post, you may not need this tool every time you sit down to write, but when you need it, it's there. For free!
  2. Trello (trello.com) is an organizing tool that can come in handy for writing with others, or working with a group of beta-readers. Here it is, straight from their website: Trello is a collaboration tool that organizes your projects into boards. In one glance, Trello tells you what's being worked on, who's working on what, and where something is in a process. 

Think of it as an online organizer of post-it notes where you can invite others to review, add, post and edit. Yeah, I think you're starting to see the light. If you are collaborating with another writer (or writers), maintaining communication with beta-readers, or managing a writers group,  Trello makes working together easy. Even if you just want a way to keep track of your notes online, so you can access them from your office to your mobile phone or tablet to your home, Trello is a great way to get that done. 

Next week I conclude this series with two more tools, OmmWriter and Scrivener. Stay tuned!

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