If you think of the awesome gear a writer would have rocked about forty years ago, the list would include:
- An IBM Selectric II typewriter that made that cool clackity-clack sound
- Several bottles of Liquid Paper
- Reams of real paper
- A large Hifi stereo or turntable for mood music
A writer in this millennium doesn’t have the inspirational sounds of the Selectric to inspire them, but there are some great tech gadgets to add innovation and enjoyment to the writing experience.
Here are five tech tool groups you can invest in to enhance your writing experience. They won’t make you a better writer, but that’s what AtomicWriter is for.
1. Keyboards For Writers
Whether you are a travel blogger hopping from country to country, looking to increase content engagement, or a SEO freelancer that writes tonnes of webcopy on the go, portability will be a high priority. Logitech and Microsoft have some great lightweight, even foldable keyboards which are small but resilient.
For that retro fiction or business writer vibe, the Qwerkywriter sounds, feels and likely weighs a lot like a manual typewriter of old. Since it works with a Mac, or tablets including iOS or Android, it’s a bit of a time machine option.
You can check out these keyboards and more on TechRadar here.
2. Great Laptops for Writers
As I write this, I know there will be Macbook Pro or Air users who will already have their mind made up. If that’s the case, I wish you the best in using your feather light, beautifully designed Apple device.
I’m personally a PC user, and partial to HP or ASUS. Microsoft is a big part of my life, so I tend to be a Windows guy.
There are some great Windows laptops for writers including the Surface Book, Lenovo Yoga or one of many HP laptops on the market. Windows 10 is a far cry from the Windows 8 devices, and works well with touchscreen or keyboard and mouse navigation.
Convertible laptops which can become tablets are great. Windows PC’s are often less expensive than Macs but you can get refurbished Macs which are as good as new too.
3. Display Monitor Options for the Frequent Writer
If you are a laptop or desktop user, having a crisp display is very helpful even if you are just writing in Word or Google Docs. A second display can assist with research, curating images, or writing an article or whitepaper from a set of interview notes.
An LED monitor with good resolution can help to ease eye fatigue for when you need to pull an all-nighter to meet a deadline. I’ve had good luck with LG and ASUS displays, though there are lots of great products on the market.
If you aren’t doing a lot of graphical design work, video editing or gaming, dropping thousands of dollars on a display like those offered in the PCMag link above is likely not necessary. Better to have two really good displays than one great one.
4. Planner/Journal for Evernote
I’m a fan of Evernote, and there are many blogs which credit it for being a “best of” tool for organization for freelancers and entrepreneurs. For new or existing Evernote app users, if you miss the tactile feel of a journal or Moleskine planner, there are affordable Moleskin sketchbooks and planners which offer the best of both worlds.
The Moleskins themselves run less than $50, though the stylus/pen is just a shade under a hundred.
5. Chairs for the Desk-Bound
If there is one workplace hazard to being a writer, it’s sitting too much. If you need to park your butt for hours on end, investing in a good chair is critical. Look for one with good lumbar and arm support.
Humanscale is a company which offers some cool looking chairs, desk accessories to facilitate standing while writing, and even yoga-ball/dumbell like seating which has to be seen to be believed.
If these chairs and desk ergonomics price ranges are out of your price range, there are others at stores like IKEA, JYSK or office furniture stores which are worth consideration. Getting a chair which will protect your back is worth investing in as much as you are able.
There are other gadgets which are common for writers, like
- Laptop bags
- Ergonomic desks
You can spend a boatload of money on tools and gadgets, though in the end, the best equipment for writing great content is between your ears. Get lots of exercise and rest to maintain your most valuable assets - your mind, body and creativity. Write well, and often to improve your skills.
What sorts of gear have you acquired which you rely on for sustaining your craft? Are you a writer on the go, a home office, or coworking space? Are there any gadgets which you think would make the writing profession more innovative? Tell us about it in the comments section below.
About The Author:
Mark Burdon is a technology professional based in Barrie, Ontario. He has worked in sales and marketing for companies including IBM, Open Text and most recently The Portal Connector for Microsoft Dynamics CRM .Mark has provided B2B content marketing services to companies including Intuit, HireVue, and gShift . He is a freelance writer with Cloudworker Solutions. Follow him on Twitter: @mark_burdon