Okie dokie, folks! Totally have NOT forgotten about the “Fashionable Backpacker” series! In fact, I’m gearing up for my whirlwind trip through Western and Eastern Europe right now, so I’m a bit crazy, MEGA excited, and I am also scared poopless! Hey, I never said backpacking was 100% easy, but that’s a part of the adventure! Know what else is a part of the adventure? WRITER’S TECH. So let me introduce you to some awesome stuff you might want to bring along with you depending on your writing goals for the trip. I’m bringing these same things and I also use them for my own writing (so you know I’m not just blowing sunshine up your nostrils). 😉 Check it out!
1. Ipad Mini
Great googly moogly, the Ipad Mini and her delightful accessories are probably going to be your greatest ally on any trip. For one, 99.999% of hostels have free WiFi, but if you don’t have a computer, you’ll have to pay to use theirs. So bring one! And honestly, I suggest the Ipad Mini. It’s as small as a journal, lightweight, and POWERFUL. It’s one of the most advanced notebooks on the market, and in my opinion, it comes at a VERY reasonable price (starts at $299.00 for 16 GB).
With the Ipad Mini, you can create videos, podcasts, and documents as well as surf the net. It’s super fast and also comes equipped with SIRI, a digital assistant who speaks over 10 languages, talks to you, and also just makes magic for you when you ask it to do research, find locations, and schedule your appointments for you. The Ipad Mini might very well be the first step towards the Singularity, but who cares so long as you can catch my train to Seville while also speaking Mandarin Chinese to your computer?
Most importantly, though, you have a compact way to write your travel journals, blog posts, and yes, your novels and scripts if you so choose! How can you type efficiently with a touch tablet, though? Well luckily, I’ve got some more writer’s tech for you, namely:
2. The Poetic Keybook Bluetooth Keyboard Case (Ipad Accessory)
The Poetic Keybook Bluetooth Keyboard is easy to connect to your Ipad Mini, protects it from damage, and ALSO allows you to actually TYPE (none of this touch-screen tomfoolery)! So if need to write on the road but want to use a more traditional way of getting your thoughts down, buy the Poetic Keybook. I recommend buying the black case because it makes your expensive Ipad look more like a journal than a $300.00 Macbook in hiding, which may discourage folks from taking it on first glance.
As a mini caution, the keyboard DOES need to be charged. The upside? It doesn’t take long to charge, and you can plug it in at the same time you’re charging your Ipad Mini. In fact, the Keybook’s charger is designed to plug into the Ipad Mini’s wall charger with minimum fuss. Another mini caution, typing on the Poetic may take some getting used to as its dimensions are smaller than a regular keyboard. Solution? You’ll get used to it after about a week of typing, promise. Aside from that though, this accessory rocks socks for writers on the go!
3. The Notability App
So basically, the haters at Apple copied off of the genius of the Livescribe Pulse Pen (which I formerly recommended for note taking and still do (especially for PC users!)). They integrated all of Livescribe’s kick-ass features with the iOS interface, and BAM, here’s what you get with the Notability app:
* Fully Featured Handwriting: The ability to take notes RIGHT on your Ipad mini screen without ink marks, and without the notetaking lag (i.e. your notes appear at the same time you write them).
* Editable PDFs: The ability to make notes on PDFs and then send them to yourself via email or a cloud service
* Advanced Word Processing: you can use features like bolding, italics, bullet points, underlining, and more
* Linked Audio Recording: By far the BEST feature and one that was snatched right from Livescribe, wherein you can record audio while taking notes. Furthermore, Notability will LINK the audio recordings to your writing. Don’t remember what your chem teacher said about covalent bonds? Just click on that section of your notes and Notability will play the recording of your teacher’s lecture back to you at THAT particular point in class! BOSS.
* Auto-sync: Your notes are always backed up in the cloud. And you can use whichever cloud service you like, including Dropbox, Google Drive, Box or WebDAV. I’m a huge fan of Google Drive, by the by.
* Media Insertion & Library Organization: You can add pictures, web clips, drawings, figures, and more to enhance your notes! You can also import notes, PDFs, RTFs, .doc, .ppt, and .xls files as PDFs using Google Drive.
So as you can see, Notability kicks up all the features we love into overdrive. But of course, we need an awesome stylus to help us take notes, and some great apps (customized for your needs) wouldn’t hurt either! I won’t dictate to you which stylus or which apps to get, but the Apple Store has tons for you to choose from, all designed for your particular writing needs!
4. Scrivener App for Ipad Mini (COMING SOON!)
MAJOR TECH WATCH: Scrivener is currently developing an app for the Ipad Mini, and when they do, I will officially have hit my Writer Travel Tech Nirvana. Follow Scrivener on Twitter to see their newest updates on the Ipad Mini app! And if you have not been lucky enough to experience the beauty of Scrivener for writing novels, short stories, scripts, and much more, then check out my article on Scrivener to see what you’ve been missing! In the meantime, check out the pic to the left to see a sneak preview of what the Scrivener Ipad Mini app is going to look like! I’m amped, are you? 😉
So what about you? What kinds of writer tech do you prefer to use while you’re on the road, traveling, and backpacking? Did I leave anything out? I’m a Mac girl, but I’d love to hear from you PC users too! Leave your suggestions below, and in the meantime…
Keep it indie & Rock on, Write on,