My Offline Writing Setup
AKA my alternative to Scrivener. However since I'm a Linux user, Scrivener is not an option for me anyways.
Recently I've made more of an effort to make my writing process more offline friendly. Although I am a huge fan of using Workflowy, its offline options aren't robust enough for me.
I say this because this past week while I was working on my writing projects, I had some internet issues and could not access Workflowy in the browser. I also have the desktop app installed, but since I mainly use the web app, trying to use the desktop app was pointless because it wasn't synced with the latest version of my work.
As a side note, I rarely use the desktop app because I prefer my custom visual styling in the browser. After a frustrating morning of attempting to write, I shared my feelings with my husband who said, "Well that's the risk of writing in the cloud."
I sighed. He was right. No matter how great the online service, this is the risk of writing in the cloud. Plus, I also find opening my browser to write to be an invitation to distraction. I tend to check my emails, Pinterest, and so on before I start writing.
The idea of just getting on my computer and writing became really appealing.
With all of this in mind, I decided to make my projects more offline friendly.
So here is my current setup.
Store my four current writing projects in an Active Files folder on my computer.
Write and edit my projects using Left by Rekka & Devine.
When my writing session is over, I copy my edited files to Ice Drive, by simply dragging and dropping. I have folders dedicated to each project.
Why do I like Left so much?
- Simplicity. I don't have to waste much time creating a writing environment I like.
- File extension flexibility.
- Simple word count.
- Quick insert for date.
- Built-in thesaurus.
- Intuitive handling of tabs & indentations.
- Allows working on multiple files at once.
- Adding notes to projects is easy.
- Allows easy viewing of project structure.
I don't use Google Drive or Dropbox on my computer because of privacy concerns.
So that's the basics of it. But what if I want to add to my work while on the go?
I find that most writing apps are either great on the desktop and suck on mobile or vice-versa. The only services that have got this right is Google Docs and Evernote. If you are a writer who likes those services, you are totally set. However, I dislike both.
So here is my current set up for writing on my phone.
- Have Ice Drive installed on my phone.
- Within each project folder have another folder called, "Add to Draft."
- Have Pure Writer installed on my phone.
- Within Pure Writer create a book for each of my works in progress.
- Then when I'm on the go, I can write in Pure Writer and upload the changes I want to make to the "Add to Draft" folder in Ice Drive.
Since my project files in Ice Drive are always up to date, I can read where I left off working on my computer and then continue writing in Pure Writer.
Then when I get back to my computer I can use Ice Drive to copy what I wrote on my phone to the main document on my computer.
As a side note, I've also started using Cosmic Everyday to organize my projects. It's like a desktop version of Trello, but better because of how it integrates into the desktop. Development on it looks slow going right now, but the program is very stable, flexible, and well designed, so I feel comfortable using it.
All of this stuff is mainly for my writing projects. Workflowy is still my number one app to use as a todo list, calendar, and personal knowledge base.