I am well aware how long it’s been since this thread was last bumped. However, the info remains relevant.
I’ve jumped around from program to program, over the years, for several reasons. One of them being my method of writing and how it’s changed. (it’s not just madness, I promise) And the other being my choice of operating system. Apart from a few games, I almost exclusively use Linux as my OS of choice. Also, my phone is Android, and that’s relevant too.
Right off the bat. Scrivener.
If you’ve not heard of it, check it out. It’s probably not gonna make a lot of difference if you write everything in one go and don’t keep any notes. My first few stories were like that, a couple afternoon’s effort at most. But once you start putting together a plot longer than and-suddenly-there-were-diapers, it becomes a royal pain to keep everything organized. LibreOffice used to be my go-to, and it still is pretty good. But for organizing, keeping notes, pics, separating scenes, etc, Scrivener is great. The UI is friendly, I think, and allows me to jot down as many random notes as I please while still keeping the actual scenes clean of red ink. Oh, and it’s ability to export directly to various formats is super useful. I actually put most of my stuff on my Kindle for proof-reading. Just seeing things on a different screen or in a different font works wonders for spotting errors that I’ve been staring at for weeks without noticing.
Please note. Scrivener is only officially supported for Windows, Mac, and iOS. It can be made to run on Linux via Wine. (which is what I do) The process can be a pain though.
Oh, and it costs money. But honestly, it’s a very well put together program and worth every penny.
Now, if you’re not interested in paying for a program, but still want Scrivener-like features.
Yup. It’s cross-platform, Linux friendly, and free too. (And open source, if that’s important to you)
It’s still young, and as such, not amazingly polished. It does, however, seem to work just fine–even if it lacks a few features that I like in Scrivener. It too, can compile and export projects into other file formats such as pdf or ebooks. Again, it’s not as full-featured as Scrivener, but it’s nice. Overall a good alternative if Scrivener isn’t an option.
Dictionaries, thesaurus, etc. It’s easy enough to look stuff up on the internet, but I also tend to like having something that doesn’t require constant connectivity. I’m sure and actual book would also work, but nah…
An offline dictionary program compatible with a number of different formats and file types. I have… a… lot… of dictionaries and other sources installed. Very convenient. It’s also free and also open source.
And at the complete opposite end of the spectrum: notes.
I tend to jot down an exorbitant amount of notes. Heck, I’ve come close to writing entire stories on my phone itself. However, getting all those notes off my phone and onto my PC can be a hassle. Not with Joplin. Joplin, of course, is free and open source. In this case I find this a bit more important as it’s come to light that a number of note-taking apps–specifically those with cloud or syncing capabilities–are less than trustworthy.
Anyway, Joplin is cross-platform for like, everything. Setting up syncing between the desktop and mobile apps is a breeze. In short, it just works. Honestly, it has enough features (such as markdown formatting, note folder hierarchy for organization, and even a web clipper function) you could probably just put together a whole story with only Joplin, nonsensical notes and all. The important part for me is that it syncs seamlessly between Linux and Android.
And that’s about it for the major stuff.
Other stuff includes.
Another good, free, multi-platform word processor. It’s lightweight, so it’s quick even on an older device. Mostly designed around having an unintrusive UI which doesn’t distract you while you write.
If you mess around with ebooks at all, this is good stuff. As I said, I like putting stuff on my Kindle–it’s just so much easier on the eyes. Calibre is great for transferring stuff to e-readers (at least for me, since they don’t always just show up as a storage device when using Linux). And this also has the capability to convert files and/or make tweaks. I’ve not used any of the editing capabilities though.
I have done a lot of looking around for programs I like, or alternatives to programs I can’t use. This is what I’ve come up with.
Hopefully someone will find this useful.