My Writing Spot vs. My Notebook and Biro

by limebirdster

I know that LimebirdKaiser has already taken us all through the pros and cons of several different writing apps in this wonderful post, but one that he didn’t mention which I’ve just started using is My Writing Spot.

My Writing Spot is basic to the extreme. Just type and save. And as much as I’m impressed by all of DropBox’s shiny special features, my phone isn’t quite up to being able to open the documents that I’ve saved from my computer. Which means that I either have to download more apps that can wrangle text out of a Works document, or I can only use it between computers.

But the actual app isn’t really what I wanted to talk about. I think I’d encounter these issues with any writing application out there, on either android or iphone. The problem that I’m finding, is that my ability to type on a smartphone keyboard is severely limited. Limited to the point where every other word is either spelt incorrectly or autocorrected to something completely different.

Every time I pull up a document on my computer that’s been saved from my phone I have to slowly scroll through it correcting the hundreds of mistakes that it somehow took me half an hour to write. (I was genuinely late for work last week because it took me about 20 minutes to write 300 words.)

Now I do love this application, it means that if I want to write something down when I wake up, I can, without needing to get up and sit at my computer to do it. I know, I know, ultimate laziness, but when the weather’s this cold in the mornings I want to stay under my duvet for as long as possible! It syncs to an online account that can be opened from any computer and while it doesn’t do anything fancy, it does everything that it needs to.

It can also be password protected, which can sound like a feature too far, but I’m sure anyone with a writer‘s notebook will understand that some things just aren‘t ready to be read yet!

But, even though I think it’s the best writing app out there, whenever I start up a new document, or try to edit an old one, I can’t help thinking that I was far better off just carrying around a notebook and pen wherever I went. More of a hassle I know, but then I never had to worry about having to go through the document later and change my main character’s name back to Imogen from inoffensive at every instance!

So what do you think? Writing app or good old pen and paper? I know that Limebirdlizzie has been extolling the virtues of having folders of notes instead of using programmes like Scrivener, and for pages and pages of writing I definitely agree with her, but what about for the odd sentence that needs jotting down on the go?

Is it easy to record and then extract notes to our phones or were we better off with a plain old piece of paper in our pockets?

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17 Comments to “My Writing Spot vs. My Notebook and Biro”

  1. I can’t type on my phone, nor want to. Paper and pen is my motto or straight onto word. If I’m not near my computer paper and pen. All this time wasted on apps and trying to type on a tiny screen is too stressful and my eyes can’t take the pain. I need to see my words in motion! Nice write.

  2. Personally I wouldn’t ever use a mobile app for serious writing. I think it might make a decent alternative to a notebook and a pen for jotting down quick ideas that you don’t want to forget. In the end, it’s what’s more comfortable for you. Try one, then the other.

    Another alternative that might work just slightly better would be to carry around a tablet. That would probably be just as cumbersome as pen and paper, and you could keep so much more on it, not to mention all the other things you could do with it.

  3. It could be a good option when travelling to work on the train. Maybe one could send a feedback to the software creators to include the option to switch off the AutoCorrect functionality. Thanks for the post. Cheers!

  4. “Limebirdlizzie has been extolling the virtues of having folders of notes instead of using programmes like Scrivener”.

    Surely Scrivener can easily be used in the form of ‘folders of notes’? To my relatively limited experience of Scrivener, been using it for about 2 months, while they aren’t called folders there is a feature that amounts to the same thing.

    • There is a similar feature, but I think the main difference was having folders of pages that you can physically flick through rather than having it all on your computer. If you don’t mind not being able to hold it in your hand though, I’m pretty sure programmes like scrivnor can do anything that a piece of paper does!

  5. While technology such as this is certainly becoming more and more popular, I am definitely still a ‘pad and pencil’ sorta guy. I don’t know, I just think there’s something a bit more ‘natural’ about it — especially when jotting down notes and ideas 🙂

  6. Cheap little notebooks aren’t that onerous to lug around. And they never need charging.

    • That’s a good point, my phone battery life is terrible! I used to use the mini moleskine notebooks, they’re small enough to slip into my back pocket but I always lost my pen!

  7. Hmmm. For jotting down little notes, I keep one of those tiny notebooks in my car, in my locker at work, and in my carry on luggage. I keep a large tablet in the back of the car, for those times I’m stuck at a train or waiting for my daughter.

    I have on occasion, used my phone to record things that I couldn’t write while driving, and at work have used the phone to text message myself notes that I want to keep on this or that. It’s 2012, I say use it all!

    • Use it all – I like that idea! I’ve never thought of texting myself though, I think I’d be too worried that someone would find my barely legible notes and ask me to interpret them!

  8. Nope, can’t do the phone thing and that’s because I learned how to type on a standard keyboard without needing to look at the keys. I hate slowing down and that’s what happens on a phone (for me). I also rely heavily on pen/pencil and fun writing journals/notebooks to jot down ideas when I’m not near my laptop.

    • I hate not having a proper keyboard too. I bought my last phone purely because it had a mini qwerty keyboard that flipped out so I could type more quickly. Still isn’t as good as the real thing though!

  9. I’ve given up on taking notes electronically. I use a moleskine and a pen or pull out my filofax when I’m with my writing groups. Paper is faster and easier and I don’t have to worry that it will get lost.

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