1. Metus
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    Metus Senior Member

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    Portable Writing Tools

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Metus, Aug 2, 2011.

    I'm not sure if this belongs in this section, but I don't know where else to put it.

    Writing is a very involved process, but it can be difficult for a traveling person with a job and family to find the desired time to pursue their art.

    Portable devices allow writers to write whenever, wherever. They're fast to use and start up, and can be easily afforded on most budgets. So, I decided to start a list for the benefit of the community.

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    Yesterday, I bought an Alpha-Smart 2000. Alpha-smarts are devices designed for academic purposes, but they're available and useful to almost anyone. There are multiple models. They look a bit retro, and you won't be slipping it into your pocket. On the other hand, they have an attached keyboard almost identical to that of most computers, making typing feel natural and quick. Their battery life is from about 300 hours, and the 2000 model only costs $25 dollars (used, purchased online). For better or worse, they aren't back-lit, meaning you can write outside, but not at night. They are useful only for writing, meaning it won't replace any other portable device in any other category.

    Other suitable devices are netbooks (shorter battery life, but more stylish and with more functions, backlit.)

    If anyone knows anything about any other devices, please add them to the list.
     
  2. Patrick94
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    Patrick94 Active Member

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    Half of the bestsellers in Japan last year were written on phones
     
  3. Rassidan
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    Rassidan Senior Member

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    I prefer a small pocket sized notepad and pen myself.
     
  4. thewordsmith
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    thewordsmith Contributing Member Contributor

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    Yay for old school. Whenever and wherever you are, even on an airplane, pen and paper are the ideal backup writing tech. I always keep a notebook and two pens as well as (my nod to 'high' tech on the road) a mechanical pencil. Sure I don't have the luxury of downloading it to my computer later but I also have the opportunity to hammer out rough spots when I do transfer.

    Can't be beat.
     
  5. minstrel
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    minstrel Leader of the Insquirrelgency Staff Supporter Contributor

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    Pen and paper. Usually, for me, a small Moleskine notebook with the elastic closure. Firm enough back to write on without having a backboard. It gets all your ideas down.

    But, as someone said above, it affords you the opportunity to revise when you get back home and type everything into your word processor. So you feel freer to experiment.

    Notebook and pen can't be beat.
     
  6. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    A digital voice recorder. Mine is about the size of a pack of chewing gum, and is good for a few hours of storage. It's also compatible with my voice-to-text software on my laptop. making it relatively easy to enter dictated passages directly into manuscripts.
     
  7. Pea
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    Pea super pea!

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    Notepad and pen as well for me. There's something about writing that just makes the words flow as opposed to typing it out on a screen. Hmm.
     
  8. Steerpike
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    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

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    There's nothing that's really superior to another set of tools, in my view. It's all down to subjective preference. I will still write longhand when the mood takes me, because sometimes I'm more productive that way. Other times I'm better off with a screen and keyboard, and then I use a distraction-free text editor.
     
  9. AceTachyon
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    AceTachyon New Member

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    Pen and paper.

    Usually a Pilot G2 gel pen and a pad of lined 8.5 x 11 paper from Staples/OfficeMax/other store.

    Or the large 5" x 8" Moleskine notebook.
     
  10. Leah
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    Leah Member

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    I find I alternate. I really do like the physical act of writing with pen (or pencil) to paper, but I also find other times, like late at night, my netbook by my bedside works quite well.

    I now have an iPhone and iPad and they both have great note taking apps as well - they have come in handy when in the middle of a store I have a moment of clarity and need it written down and saved NOW! (Much to the chagrin of my fellow shoppers, but hey, inspiration strikes at will....)
     
  11. EMSchell2009
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    EMSchell2009 Member

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    My initial information goes on a legal pad that is attached to a red plastic clipboard with a carrying case in it for a spare pen and a spare legal pad and my portable memory card which my book is backed up on...I am not losing this one! That way I cna load it anywhere. I prefer initial ideas on paper. Then when I enter it into the computer it goes in in the order that makes sense to the reader and not me. LOL
     
  12. Mikeyface
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    Mikeyface Member

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    Macbook Pro, though I have anywhere from one to three journals with me at all times on the road.
     
  13. AfterBroadway
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    AfterBroadway Senior Member

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    Haha, I tried this with mine once and it was hilarious. I couldn't stop laughing at how much of a douche bag I sounded like when I said it out loud.

    "Uh...hello voice recorder...record this. The sun rose like a MILLION BURSTING STARS!"
     
  14. Islander
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    Islander Contributing Member Contributor

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    I bought the cheapest portable computer I could find, which happened to be a Compaq netbook. You get a decent screen and a real keyboard, which you probably want if you're going to type in a lot of text, and it's cheaper than a smartphone.
     
  15. skeloboy_97
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    skeloboy_97 Senior Member

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    Usually use my laptop at home, but at school i will either write on notepad or use phone or iPod notepad
     
  16. SeverinR
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    SeverinR Contributing Member

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    Do you use stone spears too?
    Pen and paper? archaic.

    Pen and paper on a plane, but don't bring a pencil, its sharp, and you might poke the pilots eye out and then they would have to scramble the jets.
     
  17. EMSchell2009
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    EMSchell2009 Member

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    There is irony to that because this is a good friend and when I met him he told me that he likes to "spear fish". LOL Now I recognize the unique sense of humor involved. I tend to prefer pen and paper too.
     
  18. Steerpike
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    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

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    I use my laptop more than my desktop (though I still also use pen and paper from time to time).

    Thinking of getting a tablet though. Android, preferably. I don't really want a Windows tablet and Apple would have to pay me to use another of their computer products (which I admit is unlikely). The Asus tablet looks nice, and so does the price. I like the fact that it docks to a keyboard, but I could also use a stylus I suppose. I expect this will eventually take the place of the laptop writing I do.
     
  19. Saffron
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    Saffron Member

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    I've just bought an HP Mini 210 netbook and love it - it's nice and light so I can carry it around in my handbag and write 'on the go'. I do also have a laptop but it's quite a powerful one and pretty heavy, best suited to sitting on my desk I think.
     

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