A Writer's Toolkit
2 min read

A Writer's Toolkit

Every author enjoys his own private toolkit. Here's mine.
A Writer's Toolkit

Every author enjoys his or her own private toolkit.

Here’s what I use:



  • Adobe InCopy—part of the Adobe Creative Suite, InCopy is the text-editing component designed to interface with InDesign
  • Adobe InDesign—one of the foremost document-design platforms on the planet; I use it as a publisher but it gets surprisingly frequent workouts for my personal projects, too
  • JabRef—a bibliography/citation manager (multi-platform)
  • KDiff3—compares or merges files and directories; useful for checking differences with plain-text files like my short stories
  • LaTeX—a document-preparation system; I write in LaTeX almost exclusively nowadays, even for short stories
  • Notion—this all-in-one note-taking and light database platform lets me track notes, submissions, and related information
  • Pandoc—a Swiss-army-knife converter platform for different document formats that runs from a shell prompt
  • PhraseExpress—a freemium software (I bought a license) that’s like the Windows version of the Mac’s Text Expander, but on steroids; I use it for repetitive phrases or templates
  • Scapple—a delightfully curious hybrid between mind-mapping and note-taking software, released by the people who produce Scrivener
  • Sigil—a powerful ebook editor, for when I give up trying to make the CSS work and I just tweak it in the GUI
  • Visual Studio Code—an all-purpose text editor, optimized for computer coding but quite useful for complicated projects like a novel; it's my primary drafting environment for all projects these days

Credit’s also due to the tools that aren’t directly part of the writing process but nevertheless support it, including Spotify for the tunes, Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop for the art, and Bing for the research lift.

And, of course, much love to my typewriter, which I actually sometimes use: the venerable Royal KMM.

What's in your toolkit?

Enjoying these posts? Subscribe for more

The Grand River Writing Tribe is brought to you by the Lakeshore Literary Foundation. All rights reserved.