Mike's NBC-TV stories

Get it Write: Non-Microsoft Word Writing Tools and Apps

The one thing we all use our computers for is word processing. But don’t think Microsoft has the final Word on this. I’ve been trying out several alternate word processor-like apps and am delighted by what I am finding. You may not want to ditch Word just yet, but if you have some specialized writing needs, I just may have a better solution.

If you thought Word was complicated, wait until you try Scrivener. But then again, despite a steep learning curve, this little $45 writing software is the best I’ve ever seen. Whether white papers, blog posts, poetry, screenwriting or penning the next great American novel, Scrivener is like a writing studio, a one-stop program for Macs or PCs that is also a project management system for your articles and paprs, as well as a research center. You can try it out free for a month, but, from my experience, it will take you that long to learn it. Once you have, though — wow!

Despite the silly name, WorkFlowy is a note taking piece of software that boldly claims to organize your brain. It’s a desktop app and an online app for Apple and Android that collects and organizes notes, shopping lists, and documents. It’s the best note-taker I have ever found. Best of all, it’s free.

Finally, for Apple users, I really like the sheer elegance of Day One, a journaling program that works with photos and your calendar and is a great tool for any writer. It starts up instantly and syncs with all your i-devices, such as iPad, iPhone and Mac computers. Cost is $10.

For the report PC Mike did for NBC-TV on non-Microsoft Word writing apps, please check the video below:

Mike is a veteran journalist whose video "PC Mike" reports have been distributed weekly to all 215 NBC-TV stations since 1994, making him one of the most experienced tech reporters in the country. His tech stories and videos have appeared on MSNBC, CNBC, the Today Show, The New York Times, USA Today and in numerous national newspapers and magazines. In addition to the PC Mike tech blog, he also publishes the Roadtreking.com RV Travel Blog in which he travels North America in an RV reporting about interesting people and places.