A Writer's Toolkit
Every author enjoys his or her own private toolkit.
Here’s what I use:
- A German-nibbed chrome-and-rosewood fountain pen filled with Polar Green 19210 archival-quality ink from Noodler’s Ink—it’s my go-to device for editing content on paper
- Moleskine classic notebooks, black, XL, either plain or squared rules—these I use for notes when I’m away from my electronic devices (often, while hiking or on airplanes)
- Pilot G2 7mm mechanical pencils—I take notes in pencil inside my notebooks
- Adobe InCopy—part of the Adobe Creative Suite, InCopy is the text-editing component designed to interface with InDesign
- Adobe InDesign—one of the foremost document-design platforms on the planet; I use it as a publisher but it gets surprisingly frequent workouts for my personal projects, too
- JabRef—a bibliography/citation manager (multi-platform)
- KDiff3—compares or merges files and directories; useful for checking differences with plain-text files like my short stories
- LaTeX—a document-preparation system; I write in LaTeX almost exclusively nowadays, even for short stories
- Notion—this all-in-one note-taking and light database platform lets me track notes, submissions, and related information
- Pandoc—converts between file formats; especially useful for taking Markdown and making it something else (like Word, PDF, HTML or … wait for it … Adobe InCopy)
- PhraseExpress—a freemium software (I bought a license) that’s like the Windows version of the Mac’s Text Expander, but on steroids; I use it for repetitive phrases or templates
- Scapple—a delightfully curious hybrid between mind-mapping and note-taking software, released by the people who produce Scrivener
- Sigil—a powerful ebook editor, for when I give up trying to make the CSS work and I just tweak it in the GUI
- Visual Studio Code—an all-purpose text editor, optimized for computer coding but quite useful for complicated projects like a novel; it’s my primary drafting environment for all projects these days
Credit’s also due to the tools that aren’t directly part of the writing process but nevertheless support it, including Spotify for the tunes, Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop for the art, and Bing for the research lift.
And, of course, much love to my typewriter, which I actually sometimes use: the venerable Royal KMM.
What’s in your toolkit?
[Cross-posted to the GRWT blog.]
Announcements regarding our community — plus FAQs, policies & essential info to help you get started.
Where the various communities within GRWT conduct their business. Each writing group enjoys a private group contained within the Green. You must be logged in, with appropriate permissions, to see content.
Open forum, including for people who aren’t yet a member of a writing group.
Blog posts from individual members — a great way to network your platform!