My Rebooted External Silicon Brains

I posted about a year ago the technology I’ve been using to write.  Things have changed, so I thought it was time to revisit it.

Nothing has changed hardware-wise.  I’m still using my trusty MacBook Pro and iPad.  The internet connections on them have been both a blessing and a curse.  They are a blessing because when synced with Dropbox, I always have access to my files and can squeeze in a little writing when waiting for an appointment or on my breaks at work.  They are the curse because I get easily sucked into “research” on TV Tropes or Wikipedia.  I have been known to close a browser window, check the clock, and ask, “Where did those three hours go?”

What has changed is the software side of things.  Previously I was using Scrivener.  I love Scrivener for Mac.  It allows me to keep notes, pictures, and oddball scraps of information with no good place to file.  What I don’t like was the there was no iPad version of Scrivener.  I understand Literature and Latte is a small company and they are working on developing one.  They have been for the last two years. They have announced, and missed, at least two release dates I am aware of.  Their most recent announcement has them targeting the first half of 2015.  There are programs for the iPad that will sync using Dropbox with Scrivener after a fashion.  I have to export the file I am working on to Dropbox, import it into the iPad, and then reverse the process.  Several times I have gone on break at work and found out that I forgot to sync files, making it difficult to remember where exactly I left off.

I decided to give Storyist a try when I heard they reached version 2.0.  I tried it at version 1.0 and didn’t like how it responded.  They feel like Scrivener’s younger sisters.  The 2.0 version doesn’t have all the options that Scrivener does as far as notes or items you can store in the file.  I haven’t figured out if I can easily convert a Story Section into a Notebook Entry or vice versa.  I’m not sure how forgiving it will be when I start writing chapters out-of-order. But they do have an iPad and iPhone app that syncs with Dropbox automatically.  The iPad app is able to read Storyist’s file without the need for any exporting.  As long as I save the file in Dropbox, I am good to go.

I am also using Circus Ponies NoteBook for character notes, pictures, and research storage.  It allows me to set up tabs for characters, settings, and world-buiding research I am tracking.  It also has an iPad app that requires a manual sync to Dropbox, so I can jot down notes on the go and have them in my computer when I get home.

Where does that leave me now?  Because I am doing more of my writing on-the-go, I’m sticking with Storyist/NoteBook combination.  When Scrivener announces their released iPad app, I may give it a try.