Tag Archives: apps

iPhone Apps For Writers

Dragon Dictationby Catherine L. Tully

Most of you know how crazy I am about my iPhone by now. Love it. Love it!

Today’s post is a sharing post. I’m going to give up the goods about which iPhone apps I use all the time. If you have an iPhone, I’d highly recommend the following for greater productivity and general awesomeness:

Dragon Dictation – this is sooooo handy! If you need to remind yourself of something or take a quick note about a subject for an article, just pull this app up and speak into it. It will text or e-mail it to you. They say it’s up to 5 times faster than typing. I believe it.

Hootsuite – if you haven’t been using Hootsuite, now’s the time to jump in. This handy app will let you post to Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook from your phone. Sure, you can get the mobile app for each – but why? Do it all in one swoop – on the go.

Snaptell – find info about books with this easy-to-use app. Just “snap” a picture of the cover and get information such as where you can buy it, how much it costs and more. After all, most of us writers are pretty heavy readers..

Days Until – want to keep track of how many days you have until a check comes? Or how about keeping tabs on when you will be published in a particular magazine? Days Until will count down for you.

Lose It – let’s face it – writers sit a lot. Keep track of calories in and calories burned with this app. You can even program in a target weight and it will tell you how many calories you can consume per day in order to reach your goal. Love this one.

These are a handful of my faves. If you have an iPhone (or other smart phone) and can share an application or two that has made your life easier–please do!

Using Social Media To Listen

Joe Wallace freelance social media.jpgby Joe Wallace

One tactic some businesses use with social media is to cultivate Twitter and Facebook followers to crowd-source ideas. This happens in some non-traditional ways when the web savvy business types get to it, and these techniques can be used be smart freelancers to get ahead in their own work.

If you use Twitter and Facebook to monitor trends in your area of expertise, you’re off to a great start. What’s the biggest complaint from users about some iPad apps? In my own particular case, I’m fascinated by what’s going on at the Times in London, where the entire newspaper has gone up behind a pay wall, and by the failures of Rupert Murdoch’s Daily to deliver a user-friendly reading experience to mobile users.

Those trends inform the decisions I have to make about issues like mobile versions of Freelance-Zone.com, the mobile needs of my clients, and due consideration for any future clients I take on who might want to hop on the iPad bandwagon.

Because I pay attention to the complaints on Twitter, Facebook and elsewhere, I feel better equipped to answer someone who might ask “Why can’t we deliver Content X as an app for the iPad?” I don’t know jack about designing iPad apps, and I’m sure my clients don’t, otherwise they’d be developing them instead of asking about them.

So the first question for them is, “How much can you spend?”. The next question is “Will the end result help or hurt based on all these user complaints I’m showing you about similar bright ideas that were poorly executed?” Sadly the execution factor and the budgetary factor can be linked together in ways that don’t help the client’s blood pressure.

In a lot of cases, staying out of the early adopter game is a smarter move than rushing something into an app store that delivers poorly and fails to live up to user expectations. And that’s exactly what I can tell people based on keeping my ear to the ground, so to speak, on social media.

There are plenty of other examples of how using social media to listen and not just talk can help you get ahead. Feel free to share your own strategies in the comments section–I’d love to read how others are paying attention to the trends in their freelance spaces.

The Two Apps I Can’t Live Without

By Amanda Smyth Connor312226_multitasking

I can multitask as well as anyone. I am neither more nor less gifted in this realm than the average person. However, once I have met and exceeded my limit for “activities in progress,” things get decidedly ugly.

Multiple embarrassing and messy situations begin to arise. My quality of work suffers. I tend toward general hysteria. And instead of approaching this situation with a level head, I continue to swirl within this ugly vortex of multitasking until everything blows up and I become a Looney Tunes character in the midst of one of those black splatters of ash post-explosion. Continue reading The Two Apps I Can’t Live Without

iPhone Apps For Writers

iphoneby Catherine L. Tully

By now most FZ readers know I am a rabid fan of the iPhone and all its wonders. Today I’d like to share some appps that are especially great for writers. Here goes…take your pick:

+ CNET did a piece on apps for writers which gives five good ones to try, including the SAT vocabulary builder and “name shake,” which can generate some names when needed.

+ The Pen and Muse also has some good suggestions. Here you’ll find apps such as BlogPress, which allows you to blog on the go.

+ Also, don’t miss this great post from the Writer’s Technology Companion on apps. (And by the way, visit this site often–it has consistantly great information for writers and other freelancers.)