If there’s one thing stay-at-home orders taught us – besides how small our houses feel when you can’t go out or which stores in town are your best bets for flour, yeast, and toilet paper – it’s just how much can be done from the comfort of home thanks to our computers and smartphones. Zoom graduation parties? Livestreamed lectures? Virtual instruction? All possible, thanks to tech-savvy audiences and the power of the internet. If you’re embracing the at-home digital revolution too, here are our favorite resources, tools, apps, and software to improve your writing-from-home life.
Note: We’ve provided prices or price ranges for products that charge a fee; if no price is listed, the resource was free as of press time.
Whether you’re working on a manuscript with an editor, illustrator, or co-author, you might often wish you were in the same room to hash out ideas, plot holes, or marketing strategies. Screen allows multiple users to share screens at the same time, so one of you can be sketching an illustration while the other fleshes out the accompanying prose. It also has drawing and highlighting capabilities, so you can make edits or create brainstorming flowcharts together in real time. And thanks to a partnership with Slack, you can initiate a Screen meeting in any Slack conversation.
Free to join meetings, $10/month to host.
Skip the back-and-forth email communication with your sources about when to set up an interview with Calendly, a scheduling tool that allows you to mark when you’re free and allow your source to select the time that works for them. It’ll sync with both of your calendars and even send a reminder before your interview begins.
Free for basic usage,$8/month for premium,$12/month for pro
Doodle operates similar to Calendly, except it allows larger groups of people to vote on the times that work best for them instead of selecting just one meeting. Say you’re trying to pick a time for your writing group to meet virtually: Personally, you could do an evening session, but afternoon works better with your naptime schedules, and morning meetings are completely out of the equation. One group member has the most free time on Thursdays and Tuesdays, but Wednesdays would work in a pinch. Another group member can only meet after 3 p.m. Doodle allows all members of the group to vote on the times they prefer, the times they’d allow, and the times they just can’t make work, letting groups pick a meeting time that works best for as many users as possible.
$4.49/month for basic usage, $5.99/month for pro