Writing with Technology

I used to like technology.  I had a website back in the day and willingly spent hours learning basic HTML. I like advancements in knowledge and I generally feel that new software and hardware developments are a Good Thing.

Somewhere along the line, I think I can pin the time down to a moment in college, technology began to seem, well, gratuitous to me.  Maybe it was the new IPod releases every 6 months.  Maybe it was the people who use technology badly.  Maybe techno geeks just moved too fast for me to keep up.  At some point, I lost interest in the newest and coolest gizmo and began to retreat into the archive, into a world where people wrote in long hand and scribbled in the margins of unlined paper.

I’m ready to come back.  I’m ready to embrace all the wonders that techno-wonderment holds.

Today I learned through the grapevine about VUE, an open source concept mapping software that lets you make notes, brainstorm, create connections between ideas, you name it.  I played with it for a few minutes this evening but have yet to create anything especially meaningful.  Then I found through the FAQ page that you can link up your Zotero citations and mind-map those as well.

Say wha?

Within a few minutes, I had downloaded three new toys (ones which you probably already have, so bear with me.  This all quite new and exciting) in an effort to help me organize my comps notes and hopefully write my dissertation faster.  Like any technology, there’s a bit of a time investment to get all the data you want into a document.  But given how confused I was about the prospectus draft I turned in last week, I’m ready to embrace anything that makes writing this monster any easier.

So I ask you: do you have a favorite word-management tool?

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4 thoughts on “Writing with Technology

  1. Neurotic Workaholic says:

    I'm always behind on the newest technological devices; I haven't even updated my cell phone in years. But then again I was one of the last people to get an e-mail address, and now I use e-mail all the time. VUE sounds like it could be useful, especially when it comes to writing dissertations. And that's something I could definitely use some help with.

  2. Laura Campbell says:

    I live with one foot in the antiquated world lacking technology and the speeding advanced world of technology. I write story ideas, revision notes, character descriptions, to-do lists down all over the place, including scraps of paper, gum wrappers, mini flip note pads, composition books, my cellphone, and Word documents. I've yet to find a more organized method of keeping everything in one place. Most days I settle with the fact that I'm a scatter brain and luck out that I'm a pack rat. There might be a billion ideas written in a multitude of places, but they're always safely stored away, somewhere. I'll have to check out VUE.

  3. Anna says:

    I think there are other options like Scrivener that are designed to help with keeping track of notes for creative writing projects. It's not free (except for a trial) which is why I'm not investigating it. I wish there was something that would let me type in all my ideas and then would make the connections between them for me. But I guess that would defeat the purpose of a dissertation 😦

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