As mentioned earlier, I don’t usually write at an official-looking desk and you don’t have to either! Using an iPhone to do your writing might look like you are either super popular or super tech obsessive. Either way, it’s no matter because everyone is so busy doing something on their iPhone to even notice. Take a look at these three iPhone apps to get you started as a music journalist on-the-go.
Notes by Apple: Starting Articles // I have tried a number of apps for writing, ranging from Editorial to Google Docs. The problem I had with both was syncing, especially going through non 3G or 4G areas on the train. Fed up, I started using Notes by Apple. No, it’s not the fanciest, but it allows me to get ideas quickly down to then export later. My files have also been cleaner as a result because I directly delete them when transferred or finished. My habit of checking Notes also reminds me of those little projects to work on, if even for a couple of minutes. What if I lose my phone, you ask? Well, I’ll take that risk.
Recordium: Recording Interviews // When I first began recording interviews, I used a formal recorder like they did in 1970’s movies. Time changed - thank God - and a separate device is not needed. There are numerous apps that can be used, including Voice Memos by Apple. This is a basic option, however Recordium has a number of features that I find helpful. You can organize your recordings; bookmark individual recordings with notes and images; and export, email or share your recordings. I would still recommend using a backup of some kind, but just make sure one is Recordium.
Hours: Tracking Progress // Watching how I use my time as efficiently and effectively as possible is a quantifiable interest. Hours is a time tracking app that logs separate projects, exports reports and offers a simple interface. During the process it makes you aware of “work” verse “fiddling” and in the end, you can also see your progress. It does take time, however, to get into the habit of pressing the timer button each instant you start on a project. But it’s worth it. Not all time is used well, and figuring your strong, weak and unnecessary parts in the process is key.
Writing on your iPhone is a completely different experience from typing away at a computer and should be used for its advantages. Like sitting at a café, writing on the go allows for the needed distractions and instant inspiration. Non-desk writers have their own set of tools and each did the same trial-and-error to figure it out what worked for their process and preferences. Try it out, download these apps and get started - or refresh your toolbox - for your next music journalism project.