As life become more and more fast-paced, mobility has become a key element in the life of most professionals. Editors, who often work in non-traditional offices (like your home or Starbucks), need to find a balance between mobility and productivity that allows us to complete projects on-deadline.
In my life as a writer and editor, I find myself working in interesting places because I spend much of my time working at home, juggling responsibilities at the keyboard with responsibilities as a mom. My laptop comes with me so I can work at the table during my son’s breakfast. My iPad comes with me to “toddler time” at the local Y. When the day is done, I haul my entire “mobile work station” to the deck so I can soak in the evening and (hopefully) get some in-depth editing done.
The result is that I’m always looking for the best and fastest way to get my editing done efficiently with the devices I always have nearby. These are my mobile wordsmithing tools:
Billed as the way to “remember everything,” Evernote archives everything for easy searching. Whether it be a photo, a website, or a snippet of text, you can keep any information you could possible need at your fingertips on your iPad. Editing for a medical journal? Keep the raw data for the latest studies you’re reporting on and reference it quickly. Working on a memoir? Have easy, tagged references to a transcription of the subject’s dictation. Finally, if you’re working on a project that requires any research, Evernote is for you.
2.) Style Guides
Even the best copyeditors have to reference the style guide they’re working with regularly. I couldn’t do my job without the Chicago Manual online subscription. I use it daily and often keep it open on my iPad next to my laptop for speedy lookups. I know most copyeditors will say that they prefer their dog-eared copies of the hardbound books, but when you’re not working at your desk, a digital reference guide is a copyeditor’s best friend.
This might seem a little silly, but when I’m calculating word count and figure out the page signatures, the Calculator HD for iPad is essential. I can do all my calculations and take notes using the same app. It’s also incredibly useful for completing profit and loss spreadsheets!
4.) Virtual Paper
Sometimes I need to do some intense developmental editing. And that requires a pen and paper, but I don’t always have paper that hasn’t been drawn on by pre-school hands. And that’s when I’m glad that I have Paper for the iPad. Combine it with my Bamboo Stylus and I can handwrite sentences, sketch outlines, and take notes to store virtually. Sometimes it’s exactly what I to keep on wordsmithing.
Most of the major pizza chains have mobile apps that are handy when it’s late and you’re in the zone. Keep one at the ready. Personally, the fastest way for me to halt my progress is to navigate away from the .doc I’m working on, so I use my favorite local pizza joint’s mobile site via my iPad for fast ordering (it even saves my favorites!).
What are your editorial essentials for your mobile devices?
Photo credit: Sean MacEntee