(Heh, I said “tools.”)
If you’re a writer, technically all you need is your laptop/other computer-type device and a word processor– or a paper and pen if you’re old school. But you and I both know that writers like gadgets. Here are three of my favorite writer gadgets:
Dropbox isn’t necessarily a writer gadget, but I use it heavily. Basically, it gives you a folder on any computer you use that syncs with a corresponding folder on any other computer you use. No more carrying around USB sticks, no more wondering which version of your manuscript is most up-to-date, and no more wacky back-up systems. Just save everything writing-related to your Dropbox folder! The free version has a size limit, but it will be enough for your Word documents.
I used to keep a spreadsheet of all my submissions and responses, and a spreadsheet of my wordcounts, and a spreadsheet of contests I entered. Now I don’t have to do any of that because I can put all the info in Writer’s Database. I even keep track of my royalty records in the notes section.
This one’s only for Mac users, and not free in the long run– so I kinda lied in the title. (Sorry PC people. And people who only buy stuff if it’s free.) If you like to use bulletin boards/white boards/notecards to plot, but you don’t like to carry around a giant bulletin board with you if you feel like writing at Starbucks, Scrivener may just be the solution. There is a free trial (see, I didn’t leave you cheap people completely out in the cold), so give it a go and see what you think!
Hit me in the comments with your favorite tools for writers! (Heh, tools.)