Source: www.techrepublic.com – By Jack Wallen
Takeaway: Writing projects can be daunting — which often leads to procrastination and sub-par work. Here are some tools that can improve the process (and the results).
Let’s see what we have.
Note: This list is also available as a photo gallery.
1: Writer’s Cafe
Writer’s Cafe (Figure A) is a sort of Swiss Army Knife for writers. It contains storyline planning tools (with drag & drop cards), formatting, screenplay auto formatting, text and screenplay import, instant reports, outline view, tag-based searching, customizable structure, file export, character profiles, story locations, spell check, undo/redo, keyboard shortcuts, and more. With this tool, not only can you write your brilliant work, you can plan it and manage it as you go along.
Often considered the best-in-breed, Scrivener (Figure B) is a complete writing studio that allows you to collect research, order your ideas, outline and structure your document, and view your research alongside your work, among other things. Imagine the archetypal writer, with notes and books scattered about on a desk — Scrivener takes all of that clutter and manages it within a single application.
Labyrinth (Figure C) is one of the easiest-to-use mind-mapping apps you will ever find. There are times when you simply need to flesh out a line of plot or diagram a character’s growth — or map out a class or design a piece of code. For those instances, mind-mapping software can’t be beat. Labyrinth features a scaling and scrollable canvas, text attributes (bold, italics, etc.), arrow navigation of thoughts, foreground/background colors, import/export, save state across instances, and much more.
If you are the DIY-type author, you need to do yourself a favor and look into Scribus (Figure D). Scribus is an open source program for desktop publishing and page layout in the truest sense of the word. This tool will help you get your book professionally laid out with features like color separations, CMYK and Spot Color support, ICC color management, and versatile PDF creation. If you plan to write and lay out your own book, you won’t find a better, more cost-effective solution than Scribus.
If your writing involves a lot of citations, you’ll want a piece of software to help you manage them. Bibus (Figure E) is one app that can help. It allows you to search and sort your bibliographical records as well as do live and online queries and insert references and formatting of bibliographies into Microsoft Office, LibreOffice, and OpenOffice. Bibus is free (open source) and easy to use.