March 25, 2008
10 Writing and Creative Tools I Can't Live Without
I write a lot. I create a lot. I do freelance writing and design, and I work as a communications coordinator for a church. There are lots of tools that I could not live without...now that I have them. Melissa Donovan over at Writing Forward started me thinking about these things. Here is my list.
My favorite, as of late, is the Moleskine. It has a nice size, weight, and simplicity about it. I will admit that I have a thing for journals of all shapes and sizes. I have even made my own leather cover before. But there is something about the Moleskin that makes me want to journal. I have a few other notebooks, but the Moleskin is my primary journal.
I use the Uni-Ball Elite with black ink or the Pilot G2. It is difficult for me to consider writing with anything else. I like the thick, dark black lines. I have to wait for the ink to dry or it smears, but it is worth it to have a dark ink stay dark after it dries.
I love my Sony Vaio. It has been the only technology purchase I haven't regretted a few months down the road. Usually I make a technology purchase, and, within a few weeks the price drops or something better comes along. At least with the Vaio it was almost a year before something better came along.
Google is king. I use it for blogging, e-mail, docs, searching, homepage, and for its Notebook feature. The Notebook has been invaluable for collecting articles, pictures, etc from various places across the web and compiling them in different "notebooks." Add on the NoteThis feature in Firefox and you have an invaluable tool for researching.
I came to graphic design, layout, and editing by accident. I have a master's degree in theology! not graphic design or English. Therefore I didn't learn Photoshop and I didn't have the money to buy it. I wanted it, but GIMP is an open source version that does the job that I need it to do. I like it and it is at least comparable to Photoshop as far as I am concerned.
6. The Internet
Where else can you find almost any image, any product, any time you want it. The research is limitless (though flawed sometimes), but there is an unlimited supply of reading material.
7. Pixie from Nattyware
I was introduced to Pixie a few weeks ago. It is a simple color grabber that gives the color code for anything you mouse over. I also like the palette grabber tool on Firefox.
A few years ago I ditched Internet Explorer for Firefox and have never looked back. There are countless add-ons, tools, and a lot less spyware problems than with Internet Explorer.
9. A Good Atmosphere
I am an atmosphere person. I am inspired by cases of books, my antique table desk, and a good cup of coffee. But I have also done quit a lot of work at Panera. Where else can you get free internet, a good cup of coffee and a bagel. I also like old libraries with lots of wood trim and table desks, and nature often inspires me to sit and soak as I write.
10. Books and Reading
I couldn't write without a continual stream of inspiration found in reading good books and good blog posts. I use Google Reader to keep track of all the rss feeds, and Amazon to order all my books. I have been a bibliophile since I was a kid...it hasn't stopped.
Here are a few extras:
Vacation and rest! I need time away from the craft to come back at it with freshness.
I also like StumbleUpon for just random creative ideas.
I would also add Morguefile and Stock Exchange.
Here are two things I wish were an inspiration: Kindle and iPod
So what are some things that inspire you? What are some tools you can't live without.