Writing Tools

Oct 15 2021

Software #

Disclaimer: I don’t personally use all of the software on this page. I’m pretty disorganized and just have a Google Drive along with rigourous folder housekeeping.

Notes & Productivity #

  • Simple Note | This is what I use because Evernote is a laggy piece of sh*t
  • Obsidian | Venture-capital funded and open-source
  • Nulis Tree Editor | Make lists, categories and flashcards

Blogging and Web publishing #

Content Management Systems #

A CMS is used to provide a pleasant UI for authoring and publishing content. They can handle multiple authors, comments, themeing, etc.

  • Publii | Open-source static site CMS with WYSIWYG editor
  • Draft | Cloud-based; offers version control and reviewer service

Wikis #

Some people use personal wikis to keep track of worldbuilding, for running a writing group, a D&D campaign, or anything that involves collaboration. Unlike a CMS, the theme and design aren’t flexible.

  • Bookstack | Self-hosted wiki with a modern UI, PHP backend
  • Wiki.js | Similar to Bookstack but uses Node.js instead
  • You Need a Wiki | Turns a Google Drive into a wiki-like format

Static Site Generators #

SSGs convert plaintext to HTML. Authoring is typically done with Markdown, although you can use AsciiDoc for some. You can find a lot in the web development field. These are specifically meant for bookish texts.

  • Bookdown | Create textbooks from Markdown. Popular for academia and R users

Novel Writing #

Scrivener is considered the commerical industry leader, but these free tools are capable for most needs.

Interactive Multimedia #

  • Twine | Create nonlinear CYOA stories.

Film #

  • Kdenlive | Open-source, free video editor.
  • Olive | An up-and-coming video editor aimed at the professional market. Still in beta but usable.
  • Davinci Resolve | Professional-grade video editor made by Blackmagic Design with a free and pro version.

Fun & Experimental #

  • Cut-ups | Scramble words in a sentence
  • TextSynth | AI generates text from a prompt. Uses the outdated GPT-2 model.

Hardware #

Keyboards #

AlphaSmart keyboard | Distraction free “dumbboard” with a low-tech screen and no internet connectivity

E-ink #

Tablets and devices with e-ink screens instead of traditional LEDs.

Got any tools? Feel free to make suggestions in the comments.