5 Applications Every Writer Should Checkout for Increased Productivity – A Guest Post

by Anne Wayman

writing prodcutivityAs writers, productivity is what we live and die by.

Our writing is very powerful, but of what use is it when we can’t write?

Of course, the problem isn’t usually with not wanting to write; we want to write, but we keep going through the same cycle of doing the same thing that gets in the way of our writing, over and over again every single day.

I know this, because it happens to me too.

I know you can resonate with me on that moment when you want to write and find yourself checking Twitter, Facebook, and your inbox at every two minutes interval, thereby leading to lack of concentration. You know deep inside that what you’re doing is wrong, but you just can’t prevent yourself.

Well, it’s time for all that to change!

I have been able to achieve some significant changes in my productivity lately by installing some special software applications, and I’ll be sharing 5 of them with you below.

1. Time Doctor


Time Doctor is a very sophisticated productivity boosting application very few writers are aware of.

The main idea of the software is to help you monitor how much time you spend on each task daily; I know you might be wondering how that can be effective, but you will be surprised to discover activities that end up wasting your time without your knowledge.

For example, by installing Time Doctor on my computer I have noticed I only spend around 3 hours on my actual writing, and around 7 hours playing and on social media sites; I know that’s stunning, especially since I used to think I’m very productive.

Time Doctor also immediately alerts you when you’re on a social media network or email when you’re supposed to be working on an important task.

2. Freedom

We all know it; it is the internet that always gets in the way.

The question is does it have to?

Freedom is a sophisticated software application that allows you to block access to the internet on your computer for a specified number of hours; no matter what you do to access the internet within the specified time frame, you can’t use the internet. The only solution will be to restart your computer.

You can specify a time frame of 30 seconds, or even 5 hours; it depends on you and what you want to get done, but you can’t use the internet unless that timeframe has been exceeded.

3. Darkroom


Darkroom is a distraction-free writing software application for Windows. When installed on your computer, it immediately takes over the whole screen once it is launched, and the only option you have is to start writing right away.

The good news about using the darkroom software is that it doesn’t have any fancy editing and formatting option, and the only option you have is to write in plain old plain-text or HTML; nothing else to waste your time or keep you busy. Just write!

If you’re using Mac, a good alternative to Darkroom is the Writeroom software.

4. iDrive Backup SoftwareHTMH

Do you know what the biggest productivity challenge any writer can experience is?

It isn’t finding it difficult to write, but losing all your files and documents almost overnight; these include your software applications, writing tools, and all those hundreds of thousands of words you’ve had saved up on your computer over the years.

Backup is the only solution in this case, and it doesn’t have to be fancy or expensive. The iDrive backup software is the best backup software out there, with free 5 GB storage space for starters, a chance to get up to 50 GB free data storage, and also an option to automatically sync your folders and files with your online account.

5. Free Mind

A good writer is a great planner.

To succeed as a writer, you need to plan ahead. You need to plan not just a month or two, but a whole year. This is where the Free Mind software application comes to mind.

Free Mind is a free mind mapping software that helps you outline and plan your article ideas for as long as you want. You can create separate files if you want, and each file is easily accessible for future use.

This guest article is written by Paul T, a freelance writer that helps people find the cheapest SIM only deals.

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{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

Terri Forehand June 12, 2012 at 5:31 pm

Great post, I still use paper and pen lists and still have a time keeping the desktop organized. I find social networking and marketing tends to take too much of my time and I find myself writing less especially after a rejection or two. A constant struggle to keep at it some days.

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annew June 13, 2012 at 11:26 am

I find that by late Thursday afternoon and early Friday I struggle a lot.

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Clara Freeman June 11, 2012 at 6:09 am

A bit scary and intimidating that I might not be able to procrastinate anymore:) liking all, except maybe Darkroom?
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annew June 11, 2012 at 12:50 pm

geeze, we can’t give up procrastinating completely, can we? ;)

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Dean June 10, 2012 at 10:01 pm

I’m a great fan of Free Mind. I tend to write a lot of ideas and reminders and “to do” items on post it notes. They pile up on my desk. I don’t want to store them in a file on my computer because then I’ll look at them even less and have no chance of acting on these hastily scribbled thoughts. With the physical sticky notes, I do glance at them from time to time and occasionally take action on them and cross things off. Now I’ve transferred them all to a single map that I keep open all the time, and it seems more effective than a flat text file for keeping all the threads spread out in front of me. My mind does much better with spatial hints.
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annew June 11, 2012 at 12:48 pm

I recognize the need for physical notes although I have gotten so I can count on looking at a task list every morning. I’ll have to look at free mind.

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HP van Duuren June 9, 2012 at 1:08 am

‘Mmmm, I don’t know about such firm planning,’

Indeed you need to watch out for to many distractions, only I do think that you also need to be able to be a little flexible also. I do think that when you have a Vision for your writing you will alway’s have a guide to be able to move forward. Talking about - Vision - (and I didn’t Plan this) I actually wrote a tiny little eBook about Vision.
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