Geek Stuff for Writers

It’s been months since I last posted something techie. I found a few things which might be of interest or use to other writers.

THERE’S AN APP FOR THAT. First up are two apps from the Apple App Store: Library List (99 cents), and Local Books (free). Library List keeps records of books you have by author, or you could just enter the books on your wish list. You’ll always have a list of what you own/want to read with you. Local Books is different in that it uses your device’s GPS to locate book stores and book events near you. It’s an app put out by the LibraryThing website. I confess, I haven’t downloaded either of these yet, although I’m seriously eyeing the free Local Books app.

COUPONS! Sign up for emails over at B&N and receive weekly coupons for both in-store and on-line. Okay, so this one isn’t really geeky, unless you consider email geeky.

DROPBOX. I downloaded this free app right before the holidays to share a Christmas video with friends and family that was too large to email. I didn’t want to put it on YouTube because I’m just a bit more private than that. But, I also discovered it’s a great place to store other documents as well. Consider it off-site storage, a backup, or a place to put documents from one computer that you want to share with another computer (yes, even cross-platform). You can share a folder with a crit partner, too. It’s realtime, so whatever you put in your Dropbox folder on your desktop is instantly updated on-line. Now, the disclaimer: you’re storing things in the cloud, and while we may not be a NYT best selling author, some would argue that anything stored in the cloud has risks. I did my homework and found that Dropbox uses best security practices. Besides, if you email your MS to anyone, then it’s really the same thing. How much space do you get for free? 2GB. If you need more space, it’ll cost you a monthly fee. OR, use this URL to get the 2GB free, plus an extra 250MB free: by using my referral link. I get 250MB free, too.

DELICIOUS LIBRARY: Last, but not least (for those that can afford to shell out the $40), is Delicious Library. While it could be said this app is more for readers than writers, we all love books, right? What is Delicious Library? It’s a visual database that uses the UPC label to keep track of all your books, DVDs, etc. If it has a UPC, you can track it. For this example, I’m going to use books as the example. Just hold up the UPC label to your Mac’s built-in camera and viola! It uses the UPC to tell you the current going price of the book, and puts it in a visual bookshelf. You can access it away from your computer, or by your iTouch/iPhone to see what you have or for the insurance company should something happen to your collection. And, sorry PC users: I couldn’t find a like app for the PC. Visit the website for more information.

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5 thoughts on “Geek Stuff for Writers

  1. I love my IPod touch and any new app suggestions are greatly welcomed!

    I use delicious – the free version to keep track of the blogs I follow that don’t have an RSS feed. Although at the moment it doesn’t work very well with the ipod, and Yahoo sign in, I’m sure they will fix the problems soon.

    I love my IPod so much that I’m really thinking about getting a Macbook…maybe if I get a book deal ; )

    • I love my iPhone – it’s more than an MP3 player, an audio book player, a device to play podcasts I subscribe to. It handles my tasks, voice recordings for writing ideas & thoughts, even my grocery list, LOL!
      I have a MacBook Pro that I use everyday.

  2. I don’t know if I should get the Iphone…my current cell contract is up in the summer…so I’ll be shopping around. I don’t see the need to have an ipod and an iphone…and I’m not too keen on the typing…it’s hard to do without making mistakes. I might have to get a blackberry.

    • It’s actually easy to type on it – it does landscape mode as well as portrait mode. And, there are a couple apps that let you type in tiny snippets of words and automatically expand them out for you. Then, there’s the video camera in the iPhone… But, Blackberries are nice, too. I have some friends which like them very much. Why not go to an AT&T store/Apple store and try them both out?

  3. Delicious Library sounds interesting! The thing that always keeps me from using library software is the initial database build … all that entry typing. But with a UPC scanner … voila! Fantastic!

    And booooo that it’s not available for PCs! 😦

    DBR

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