iPads are prolific in the United States, but it seems that most people just use them for playing Angry Birds and checking Facebook. To me this is a huge waste of potential. A search on Google for “write a novel on iPad” turns up very little besides app suggestions and arguments against using the device for such an ambitious project. “iPads are meant for content consumption, not creation” seems to be the popular opinion on the subject.
I’d like to share how I’m doing that very thing, complete with the apps that I’ve had success with. But before we get to that, it’s important to stress that if you want to do any kind of lengthy writing projects you must invest in a keyboard. Any bluetooth keyboard will work, but I use a Logitech keyboard that doubles as a stand and case.
- iThoughtsHD ($9.99) – This mind mapping app is easy to learn and attractive.
- Outline Pro ($9.99) – It converts the maps from iThoughts into an outline. I use it to order scenes.
- Outline+ ($14.99) – This note taking app is a OneNote clone. It allows you to access ON notebooks and provides a bridge between working on a Windows machine and an iPad.
- Storyist ($9.99) – This is the only app that I use for my writing. I’ve tried several others, but I like the integration of notecards within the app.
- GoodReader ($4.99) – I export all my work as a PDF and open it with GoodReader. I use a stylus to handwrite all my annotations and corrections directly on the PDF. It mimics reading through a manuscript, but is far better on the environment.
Using an iPad as your primary tool for writing makes a lot of sense. iPads are more portable than even the smallest laptop. The battery lasts for hours. But my favorite advantage is that an iPad is always ready to go within seconds.
Having a computer that boots up instantly makes it practical to pull it out and work on your current WIP any time you have a few free minutes. Those stolen moments of productivity add up over time.
I would love to inspire anyone who is sitting on the fence about writing a novel because they don’t think they can afford all the fancy writing programs out there. With only $40 and an iPad you will have everything you need to be successful.