Because I work in the IT field I am often asked by a variety of people from various backgrounds and career fields what I think is the best option in terms of technology whether it is a choice of laptops, desktops, mobile devices or even if you need one of each. For me the most important question to answer, or assessment to make, is what is your work flow process?
As writers that can vary from those who still use paper and pen to those who will only use technology, even if they don’t always remember to backup their work. You know who those “I don’t backup anything” people are because when their hard drive crashes and that was the only place where their work “lived” their screams can be heard by everyone they know. They have that panicked look in their eyes, tone in their voice or email because for them the world just ended.
So, choosing the best technology for your writing needs should result in technology choices that provide what you need that technology to do even if you don’t always remember to do what you need it to do – backups are a great example. Recent advances in technology have made it easier to get your digital needs met but these advances have also made it easier for unethical and criminal elements to take advantage of us, so choose wisely.
In order to properly asses your technology needs as a writer it helps to understand the difference between hardware, software, online tools and the cloud. These days all these components interface with each other and sometimes the decision in one of these areas will dictate your decision in another area.
If you’re looking at making some new technology purchases here are some resources to help your cull through some options:
I realize the focus of this next link is college students but hey, when you think about how college students behave – lots of writing, working multiple jobs, getting very little sleep – there is some common ground between them and us:
I also recommend going to brick and mortar locations if you’re lucky enough to have them nearby because sometimes it helps to physically touch and see what you’re considering to purchase, especially laptops.
So, get your geek on and get touchy feely in an appropriate and legal way before making those technology decisions.