I sometimes write on my tablet PC. It’s an Acer a200 with 10.1″ screen. I pair it with a little bluetooth keyboard and a case that turns into a stand for my own mini computer that I can easily take with me wherever I go.
Tablets (at least this one) can’t yet fully replace my laptop, but it’s coming pretty close. Thanks to apps, tablet PCs are much more adaptable than the standard computers. Specific apps can be written for all sorts of tasks that can help a writer be more productive, and thanks to “cloud” technology, (wait, is that trademarked?) work can easily be backed up and shared or snyced across devices.
I know, this sounds incredibly complicated, and it can be, but it doesn’t have to be. It’s only as complicated as you make it. So here’s my listing of apps that I use regularly for productivity. Note that I am on an Android device, so the following apps may only be available in that format. Don’t worry though, this is just to see the possibilities. Anything Android has, the iStore will probably have as well.
1. OfficeSuite Pro 6. This is my writing app for the tablet. It can do all of the standard file extentions including .pdf and .rtf (the .rtf actually being my file format of choice). In addition, it saves remotely with Dropbox, Box.com, and other sites. So I can always easily access my files from my tablet or my phone (or my computer). This app is constantly being upgraded. Pay once, and you get all future updates plus you can install it to any of your devices. It is actually better than the free word program that came on my laptop in many ways.
2. Evernote. If you haven’t checked this out, I’d suggest giving it a look. I’ve linked to the main website, but it also has apps for Androids and iOS. It’s a web clipper/note taker/even more. It can do audio notes, text to audio, save pictures, and do just plain text. I took all the notes I had stored on my laptop and transfered them over to Evernote, including a character bibliography, a timeline, notes on ages, notes on the world, and inspirational pictures. I got tired of forgetting minor details or order of events when I was working away from home. (Which is most of the time as I write and plot while sitting at my office.) I also use this to save blogging ideas, to notate clever marketing or writing tips, and to gather inspirational stuff that’s just for me.
3. Astrid To-do. All right, so I most often use this one for the shopping lists. I also happen to use it to make writing to-do lists and to set reminders. It’ll bug me until I get it done and it’s easier to use than setting a reminder on my computer’s calendar. This is another program that can sync with other devices.
Those are my top three apps for productivity. Here are some just for fun (and maybe a little productivity):
1. Songza. I just discovered this one. I’m not exactly a sound hound, but I do like music when I’m doing stuff. This app sorts music based on activities and then offers up playlists. I haven’t found any new musicians that I love while using it, but for background working noise, it’s been great.
2. Delver. Excuse me while I get nerdy. This is a first person rogue-like game. It looks like Minecraft, but you have a dungeon to explore (always randomly generated). At the bottom is a lich guarding an orb that you need to return to the surface. It’s always being updated. Most recently the developer added bows and arrows.
3. Any old system emulator and the Wiimote controller. (Plus ROMs, but I’m not going to tell you where to get those.) Did you know that the Wiimote and the Xbox controllers use bluetooth? If you have an Xbox wireless controller or a Wiimote, you can use an app to turn them into controllers for your tablet/phone. This works best with emulators where you can map the buttons. Once you’ve done that, you then have a controller you can use to play your old-school games. Make sure to limit yourself to only playing them as a reward for hard work though. Or don’t play anything too engrossing. (I suggest something aggravting like Dino-Riki or something.)