As a marketer—and especially as a writer—your job often boils down to the daily moving of words,ideas, and content from your brain onto your screen. Unless you have a courtroom stenographer followingyou around all day every day, that can be a time-consuming process. We decided to share our collectivefavorites gadgets, applications, and software to help you put words on the page more efficiently. Some ofthem will even help keep that pesky nuisance called procrastination at bay. And writer’s block?Well,that’s up to you!
The days of stacking all your notebooks in one place in case you need to consult them later—and then trying to remember which one holds that note you are looking for—could be finished. Rocketbook makes reusable note-taking and writing products that connect your handwriting with your digital world so you can write like you would on paper (in a notebook), scan your notes, and save them to any cloud app you desire. The Rocketbook Pro, one of their newest notebook models, features reusable pages made from a polyester composite, making it look and feel like paper when you use it. To write, just use any pen from Pilot’s FriXion range (our giveaway includes a set of these pens). Set up the NFC option that is available with the new Rocketbook Pro, and when you want to save what you wrote (or when you run out of pages), whip out your phone. With a quick tap, you can open the Rocketbook app, snap a photo, and scan the pages to your preferred online location: Google Drive, Evernote, Dropbox, OneNote, Box, Slack, iCloud, email—you name it. You can designate the destination folder and save the files as PDFs or JPEGs, and in some cases you can even transcribe your writing into digital text! Then, grab a moist cloth, wipe your writing off the Rocketbook pages, and start again with a fresh notebook. You’ll never have to buy another paper notebook again. The Rocketbook app works for both iOS and Android.
Samsers Multidevice Foldable Bluetooth Keyboard with Touchpad
Like to pack light? Enjoy giving yourself the freedom to think and write from different locations? The Samsers foldable Bluetooth keyboard might be your new best travel buddy. The trifold Bluetooth QWERTY keyboard folds to a size so small that you could tuck it snugly in your back pocket, making it perfect for roaming writers who find themselves in cramped spaces such as airplanes, trains, or even cafés with tiny tables. It’s also ideal for people who are tired of typing notes on their phones with their thumbs (sound familiar?). The keyboard can connect to and support up to three devices simultaneously, allowing you to seamlessly switch between them. Connecting your phone or tablet (or both) means there’s no need to drag your laptop around with you everywhere you go! Boasting an extra-long battery life after only two to three hours of charging, you’ll love the portability of this ultra-slim folding keyboard for iOS, Android, and Windows devices.
CMTECK USB Computer Microphone
Like the idea of dictating your next blog or the outline for your next newsletter cover story? Want your computer (or video call participants) to hear you clearly? The simple but effective CMTECK USB computer microphone can be used for dictation, voice-overs, video chats, and more. A plug-and-play device with a gooseneck design, its setup procedure takes
basically zero effort. Simply take the mic out of the box, connect it in your computer settings (if your computer doesn’t automatically detect it), and start talking. A switch on the side turns it on, and a mute button under the neck will keep you on silent. An LED offers an added visual effect. It’s not meant for making award-winning podcasts, but the price is right, and the mic is compatible with both Windows and Mac.
Hunt-and-peck typers who should have signed up for that high school typing class will love Microsoft Word’s Dictate feature, which allows you to say into your computer what you used to have to type. Available in Microsoft 365, Dictate lets you use speech to text for content creation, and all you need is the internet and a microphone. Just open an existing document and click on Home, then Dictate. When the red dot appears on the Dictate button, start speaking, and your text will appear on screen. You can even give punctuation commands as well as hit Return by saying, “New line.” To turn off the feature, click Dictate a second time, or tell the computer to “turn the Dictate feature off.” Dictate is available in multiple languages and allows you to dictate your documents in Word for Windows and MacOS, Word for the web, and Word Mobile. You can also dictate your emails in Outlook and Outlook Mobile, your notes in OneNote, and your presentations and slide notes in PowerPoint. But Microsoft is far from the only dictation tool available; Apple and Google offer similar free tools.
Feeling like you’re working at a hurried pace? Nowadays, the internet is often the enemy of writing progress. Whether it’s social media accounts, YouTube rabbit holes, or instant messages from faraway friends, anything that takes your focus from your writing is costing you time—and probably money. Enter Freedom, the app that allows you to block whatever distractions you choose, regardless of the operating system or device at fault. The app allows you to select distraction-free blocks of time on the spur of the moment or build interruption-free blocks into your weekly and daily schedule. Just choose your device, then choose the apps and websites you don’t want to hear from for a while, and then set the schedule you desire. You can even block the whole internet! Freedom says its users report gaining an average of 2.5 hours of productive time each day. Our writers who use it concur! Join more than 2.5 million users and cover all your devices for as low as $3.33 per month, or get the Freedom app forever for $79.99. (Watch for promotional codes to get the best pricing.)