Tech Guide: A better way to write

Plain text editors or word processors are good, general-purpose tools. But some kinds of writing demand specialised apps.

Tech Guide: A better way to write
Plain text editors or word processors are good, general-purpose tools. But some kinds of writing demand specialised apps. Here are three writing tools to help get you going.

For me, one of the best things about laptops is that they let me write when and where I want. Sometimes I like the crowded anonymity of a cafe, other times I prefer quieter retreats in which to conjure the muse. Wherever I go, though, my laptop is great for any type of writing expedition.

But different sorts of writing require different software tools. While a plain-old text editor or word processor can get most jobs done, I like to use more specialized programs for other types of scribbling, such as journals or books. Here are three programs that I use when I take my laptop out for some quality writing time.

The Journal has a great interface for recording your thoughts and reflections, but it comes at a hefty price (US$40). Included templates help you get started writing a journal using a convenient tabbed interface. (Shareware/Windows)

Book Writer is aimed at serious writers, but it offers some great features that anyone can use. This app allows you to quickly switch between chapters or entries and offers several useful features to search for past entries even if you've misspelled words. (Shareware/Windows)

Pocket Diary isn't as serious as the others, but it's great for a journal; it can also be used to take school or business notes. This program has both laptop and PDA versions for a completely synced-up journal that's ready to go when you are. (Shareware/Windows)

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