Why Settle For Standard? Too many writers accept the standard tools available to them without ever seeking something better. Can you imagine any other craftsmen happily working with the most basic tools on the market when producing the art that mattered to them most?

As writers, it can be tempting to buy into the romantic myth that great art will be created by great artists no matter what tools they use, and therefore anything will do. This mindset is a mistake.

While it’s true that great people will always be capable of producing great work, there’s no point in adding to the challenge. Professional athletes, in spite of their immense talent, still use the best equipment available to them. Why handicap yourself as a writer by using substandard tools?

The following three ideas are a great way to turbocharge the creative process and produce better writing.

 

Upgrade Your Writing Software

If you’ve ever tried to produce a complex written project, such as a novel, using basic word processors, you know it gets difficult. Different files for different chapters, edited content, scenes moved out of sequence… it gets confusing quickly.

Thankfully, better solutions exist.

Scrivener is a specialist writing tool which is favored by many successful authors. It allows for complex writing projects to be managed, created and completed within a single software environment. It also allows writers to tune out distractions and focus entirely on meeting their word count for the day. This Scrivener review provides an in-depth exploration and comparison with Word.

Never change your writing software just for the sake of doing so. If you’re going to make a change, make sure that there are clear benefits to doing so, rather than just chasing shiny new software.

Equally, don’t stick with standard options for the sake of familiarity. If something better exists, that’s an opportunity well worth embracing.

 

Collaborate In The Cloud

It’s rare for a writer to produce a project, from start to finish, entirely on their own.

If you take your work seriously, it’s likely you’ll work with others at some point in the process. This could be the case with an editor, proofreader, formatter or someone else with a valuable role to play.

As everyone uses email, it can be tempting to simply mail files back and forth. This often leads to confusion due to multiple versions of files and different collaborators being unaware of what is happening at any given time.

Google’s free cloud capabilities are an excellent solution to this problem.

By working through Google Drive, projects can be collaborated on directly in the cloud without the need to mail anything back and forth. Everyone is aware of what is happening, in real time, and it’s easy to roll back any changes and revert to an earlier version of the project.

Working in the cloud also protects against problems such as lost or stolen devices. Everything is stored securely and remotely so valuable work is never lost, no matter what.

 

Manage Your Projects

Writing projects are often complex with multiple phases broken down into a great number of tasks.

To work in the most efficient way possible, it’s smart to have a project management system in place.

Some writers find Google Calendar to be an effective solution for straightforward projects. For more complex work, however, Trello is a better option.

Trello allows for projects to be broken down into easy to use, drag and drop cards. These cards can be customized with checklists, due dates and can be assigned to specific team members. Trello also integrates with Google’s cloud services which makes it a great option for teams collaborating via Docs.

 

Test And Improve

There is no magic bullet when it comes to writing.

As writers, it’s vital to test out new tools for ourselves and see if they improve our creative process.

Never put your faith in a new technology without trying it out and seeing if it makes sense for your own individual aims and objectives.

Don’t accept the standard tools available. Don’t blindly trust new tools either.

Instead, test, evaluate, and find the best overall system for your needs.