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I do fine with just Microsoft Word, although I know a lot of people love Scrivener.


I would really like to purchase Campfire, though, to keep my fantasy worldbuilding and characters organized. It's somewhat pricey though. 

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For websites, I love One Stop For Writers. I've also recently started using Plottr for my outlining and it's very promising so far. My most-used writing software is Scrivener and Microsoft Word, and I've got the Snowflake Method app. One Note is also very useful when I get an idea late at night and need to jot it down.


I've looked at Novel Factory. It's good, but by the time I heard of it I already had tools that did the same thing it does.


Another interesting one that I dip in now and again is 4theWords. It uses gamification to encourage you to hit word counts. I don't use it all the time but if I have a deadline, I'll pay $4 for a month's access.


I also use the Forest app on my phone when I'm doing outlining, writing, or editing sprints. It's a fancy timer that lets you grow a "tree" every 15, 20 or however many minutes you allocated to your sprint. Of course a regular timer works the same way, but I find it fun and satisfying to watch my "forest" grow.


After hearing encouragement on this forum, I've recently got ProWritingAid, although I'm yet to use it. I'll try it out when I start drafting my WIP later this month.

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1. Pages. My first few drafts are in iPad Pages, which last year finally added an automatic table of contents feature (which Word has had forever).

2. Index Card. I do my outlining and store reseach notes in the iPad Index Card app. The app has simulated index cards. You can add an image to the card, arrange cards in named stacks, and sort the cards by drag and drop. Every time I get a new source that I will need to cite, I add it to a Sources stack that I will consult when I make my Bibliography. I copy and paste part or all of Web Articles on the card, along with hyperlink. I have outlined three books using this app: one novel and two nonfiction books. Using this app has helped me write books about twice as fast, and with higher quality. I create one stack for characters, with a card for each. Another stack for key settings. Another for chapter outline, with one card per chapter. etc.

3. Excel. For organizing lots of data. In my current book, I am doing lots of historical analysis. I have tabs for different categories and list events, year of occurrance, categories, etc. I have copies on my iPad and Windows 10 machine.

4. Gimp. For illustrations (because I can't afford a human illustrator or Adobe Illustrator). I have copies on my iMac and Windows 10 machine.

5. MindNode. iPad App. I use this for mind mapping. It helped me discover a key insight into the meaning of Ecclesiastes 3 that unlocked Ecclesiastes to me as well as helped me structure my current book.

6. Books. The generic iPad Books app for viewing eBooks and PDFs. I export my Pages drafts to PDFs and proofread them in this, even though Pages recently added a "Reading" option so you don't accidentally edit the text. I could use Adobe Reader, but Books has fewer features and a simpler interface.

7. LiquidText. iPad App. You can annotate PDFs with this. When editing someone else's book I use it for proofreading. It was easy to use, then they added features and I have trouble! I think I need to get an Apple Pen to use it effectively now.

8. MS Word. For final edits, pagination and applying the Kindle Template. I have to use Word because of the KDP template and because Word can save the "right" kind of PDF for them to publish.

9. NeuBible. Awesome Bible reading App. If you copy passages, it includes the citation. Very easy to navigate compared to other Bible Apps. I paid extra so I could have more translations: NIV, HCSB, KJV, NKJV, ESV, ASV, and a few more. Since my nonfiction quotes lots of Scripture, this is very handy.

10. MyScript Calculator. iPad App. You can draw simple equations with your fingers and get the answer.


As an example of the synergy between apps, I can:


a. Create a Mind Map in MindNode...

b. and Paste it onto a card in Index Card

c. Copy each chapter of the Bible Book I am researching, one at a time...

d. and create an index card for each chapter in Index Card, that I can bold, reformat, record notes about, etc. So for my Book on Job, I created a whole Stack for all the Job chapters.

e. Make an illustration in Gimp...

f. and post it in Index Card, and later into Pages if it is good enough.


Edited by paulchernoch
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  • Scrivener for Windows 3 (Beta): my favorite creative writing app. It's powerful, fun to use, and allows me to drag and drop pages or chapters with ease.
  • NotePad ++: for quick-and-dirty notetaking.
  • iOS Notes: it syncs everywhere and is pretty powerful.
  • Microsoft Word 365: it's the industry-standard and I have to have it. I especially like Track Changes for collaboration.
  • Microsoft Excel 365: the industry-standard spreadsheet. You should see my Story Grid spreadsheet - it's... intense.
  • Google Docs: also great for collaboration.
  • Notion: I use this for general story structure and To-Do lists.
  • FrameMaker: this is best for long, text-based documents, and the book features are rock-solid.
  • Snag-It 8.something: this version is fast, low-profile, and just works. It's powerful enough for taking screenshots and I can invoke it with a well-practiced key sequence. This is the last version before TechSmith transitioned to the ribbon motif. I keep coming back to it because it's powerful and just works.
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I use Microsoft Word, and I also utilize my free OneDrive service that comes with signing up with a Microsoft account.  This way I can pass documents back and forth between my tablet and my PC.


I tried Google Docs at some point.  It works great on the PC.  It's good with collaboration.  It's awful on a tablet.

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In the main I write using MS Word for the MS and plot outline. I have a master MS template with the margins, spacing etc already done.


I use excel to create my scene by scene breakdown.


I have a Character Sheet to use when developing new characters, again in Word.


For grammer, I use ProWrite AId.


I am going to try out fictionary storyteller trial offer when I am ready to see how it shapes up as tool.

I tried scrivener and it did my head in. 


Oh, and a red pen when editing hard copies. 😀

Everything gets backed on a USB after each session and once a week upload on to my google drive and external hard drive. 


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I'm pretty boring (and thrifty) by comparison.


I use LibreOffice Writer for writing. I've found it to be as functional as MS Word, particularly for formatting print books. Best part? It's free.


I use Calibre 64 bit eBook Management to create epub files (for ebooks). Another free resource.


I use GIMP to create book covers. While free, it's rather comprehensive to learn. But there are numerous Youtube instructional videos.


I'll post new book covers to Cover Critics for constructive feedback. I also get a lot of inspiration from Lousy Book Covers on what NOT to do.


I use Merriam-Webster on-line thesaurus. 


I use online GrammarCheckme. It's good to analyze a couple of paragraphs at a time, and picks up basic errors so my real editor has less work to do.


I use BISG(Book Industry Study Group) to help correctly categorize my books (BISAC subject heading list) when publishing.






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