Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Blogworld and Writing Software

As usual, 2014 will start off with a conference called the New Media Expo (NMX). This was formerly known as Blogworld and many people still refer to it as such. The conference lasts from January 4 to the 6th.

This is a conference in Vegas about social media, especially blogging, and its uses for businesses. There are panels from bloggers, photographers and basically anyone who’s involved in social media. There’s also panels from businesses who use social media. Sometimes the businesses do the keynote speeches too and those are more like case studies on how social media helped their business in advertising and/or connecting with customers. There’s also an Expo where the latest services and tools for and about social media are showcased.

Speaking about tools for social media, let’s take a look at some minimalist writing software.
If you’re like me and get distracted by the rest of your computer when you sit down to write something like a blog article, perhaps you should look into minimalist writing software. MS Word, Open Office and other various heavy duty word processing software is great, but sometimes you want a full screen window to type in. The software below is simple and functional, which makes it easy to get the job done.

  •          Ommwriter is one of the most popular minimalist writing programs out there. It’s for the Mac, PC and iPad. It offers a variety of backgrounds, music and typing sounds to help you focus on the words you’re trying to write. I, unfortunately, don’t have any experience with this program as it is a “pay however much you want software.” The website says they offer a basic version of Dana for free, but I can’t seem to find that version on their website.  Price determined by user
  •          Q10 is a program for windows only. It is a black fullscreen window with orange text. It comes with a spell checker and word count built it. It also allows you to do timed writing exercises, so if you want to set a mini deadline for yourself with how many words you’re going to finish and x amount time, it’s great. I’m using it right now and although I couldn’t get the installable version, the website has a portable version that I’m using. It’s also nice because the portable version comes with the spell check and I can stick it on a USB and take it with me where ever I go.  Free
  •          Writemonkey is also a windows only program. It also offers a fullscreen mode and it is also customizable. It may not be the best option for people like me who get distracted by customization capability. It offers CSS support and much more.  Free
  •          WriteRoom is a Mac only software. Like all of the other programs on this list, it’s fullscreen. However, unlike many of the other programs, it autosaves your work. WriteRoom also uses Dropbox to sync your work across all your Apple devices. Free
  •          Byword is a Mac only program. It offers many of the same features as WriteRoom. Free
  •          FocusWriter is available for all the major platforms. The program has a hidden interface that you access by moving your mouse to the edge of the screen. Kinda like if you select the “hide taskbar” option in Windows.  It’s been translated into 20 languages so far, so if English isn’t your native language or you’d prefer working in a different one, this may be a good program for you.  Free, but there is a tip with download option
  •          Writer is a browser based app that lets you write directly in your browser. No download necessary. It also has a fullscreen mode. It autosaves, but it uses cookies, so there is no sync feature available for the basic version. Free, Pro: $5 monthly, $45 yearly
  •          DarkRoom is a windows version of WriteRoom. It runs on the .NET framework. Free

Do you have any writing programs you want to add to the list? Which ones work the best for you? Which ones don’t? Let’s discuss in the comments below. J

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