The State of My Writing Tools

Since this is November and Nanowrimo, I feel like sharing my writing tools because with the recent Apple announcement bugging me, I’m still evaluating what I use to write.

I work on Macs for writing, and within my MacBook is Scrivener. I can’t be without that app to do my job. Just the best document organizer and word processor I could ever find.

I still use Microsoft Word and Pages for story editing, but never draft them, except résumés and cover letters. It’s Track Changes. I love it. Honestly, if anything I want it is to make Track Changes open source and fuse it with Scrivener, but this is not a perfect world and I must live with it. I also use Evernote for story ideas, notes, and articles to reference by, maybe draft a blog entry if I feel like it.

Outside the laptop I have my collection of notebooks. A couple pocket size ones for quick jots during the day, a couple full journals, and some notebooks I haven’t touched yet, like the blank sketchbook covered wrapped in leather from Oberon Designs.

I carry a Lamy Safari fountain pen—with an extra fine steel nib and filled with Noodler’s Black—a G2 gel pen, and a mechanical pencil.

I do have an iPad but it showed its age this year. Sitting on the shelf, collecting dust, and wiped of all my data and apps, I’m still figuring out what to do with it. Selling it is fruitless; it’s engraved with my name and website.

So back to Apple. They released the new MacBook Pros after being ignored from significant updates for years that with the new models, some things I like and some just…unsettle me. I still like the design, the software, surprisingly like the keys after seeing one at an Apple Store, and somewhat yay or nay on the Touch Bar band wagon, but the big pros and cons I have about them is the USB-C ports. Nothing wrong with USB-C; I like it. My phone is USB-C. MacBook Pros were loaded with ports to satisfy professionals, but now it’s a adapter nightmare. It’s smart Apple realized the issue and cut the prices in half but a headache is still a headache. It’s just too early to call it.

As a person that grew up using Macs, I’m torn. It bothers me. The software is great, but the hardware premium is getting higher.

In the future I would love to move to full-time Linux. In my notes I have a conversion chart for alternative apps, most are now web based. But the two big reasons I can’t move just yet is Scrivener and iTunes.

Scrivener for Mac has all the features I need the unofficial Linux version has, not even Revisions. iTunes—oh boy—I still have shows still on DRM, which only work on iTunes or iOS. I did try building a Raspberry Pi iTunes server one time but it never worked. I can find an app to remove the DRM, but not right now.

Or instead of Linux, I go rogue and build a hackintosh, the Frankenstein of Apple users. My brother built his for work and he’s, literally, happy as a clam still. The budget is slowly growing, just nowhere near where I want it.

I don’t know what direction to take right now, but that choice will come. And if USB-C gets into pop culture, I’ll reconsider my opinions. But right now, I’ll stick with my MacBook for my work.