6 Productivity Tips for Writers, Students, & Self-Employed Misfits

Here’s to having more time – that slippery thing you can never get back. 

  This fantastic app changes your computer’s (or phone’s) screen tone and color depending on the time of day. It regulates the blue light that penetrates your eyeballs and screws up your sleep patterns.

Twilight – Same thing as Flux, only for your phone.

Scrivener – Every writer could be using Scrivener, and then we’d have world peace. But really, Scrivener changed my entire life. It’s where my novel, poetry, and client work live. Phenomenal features include the ability to change between lots and lots of drafts within seconds, a “notecard” system for filing and a hawks-eye-view of your work, and the option to view external files like PDFs and images for swift reference. My favorite little bit of bliss is the automatic word count feature. I’m not an affiliate, I’m just in love.

Evernote – I get inspired. A lot. Evernote lets me keep track of the bits and pieces of poetry I dream of when I’m traveling, photos of things I’d like to blog about later, and conversations overheard that make for great story-fodder later on. Another bonus — it syncs with my computer so that I never lose anything.

Keeping Time – During work hours, I keep track of what I’m doing for every half hour. I jot it down by hand in a special notebook solely for that purpose. It’s helped me tremendously, and really keeps me in line. Rescue Time is a back-up, it helps me keep track of where I’ve been hanging out online — to make sure I’m not being out-of-line with my time (ha). Rescue Time’s neat features like color-coded graphs and charts give me a quick view of designated “distracting time” (like social media) or “productive time” (like Scrivener).

I set my clock – My computer announces the time at every half hour, at which point I get up and stretch or get water or chase a gecko. Because sitting for so long sucks the life from my bones. There are apps for this, most notably BreakTaker.

Got any other tips for creatives? Give them a shout-out in the comments below!