Writing on the Road

Working Feb 07, 2012 No Comments

Travel bloggers have to be consistently good at one thing: writing on the road.  It’s a skill that could come in handy for other folks, too – here are some ideas that might make you a more effective mobile writer/blogger:

Stay productive and writing on the road.  Keep your inbox clean, and stay on top of your reading list if possible.  These two time sinks are the primary culprits that keep me from focusing on my writing, so keeping them in check helps me to focus on writing when I really need to.

Make note of anything and everything.  Don’t try to “remember” something for later, just get in the habit of writing it down now so that it’s available for you later.  Some of the best ideas on current stories will come to you when you’re not even thinking about writing.  By saving all of these ideas, you save yourself time and anguish when you actually sit down to compose your piece.

Learn to use a good note-taking and note-organizing program.  I’m a real fan of Simplenote to keep me organized.  Using Simplenote, I can keep a set of notes synchronized across all of my devices – several laptop and desktop computers, my phone, and my Kindle Fire.  So no matter where I am or what I’m doing, I can jot down a note and it all gets saved to one place.  On the desktop, you’ll find a number of excellent and free Simplenote-compatible apps, including ResophNotes for Windows and Notational Velocity for Mac OS.  On my Android phone, I use mNote, and find it well-suited to the task.

Keep a handy-dandy notebook.  This sounds obvious, but it isn’t trivial; there will be times when you’ll have an idea, or will see something you need to note, and you won’t have any of your writing gadgets handy.  I still don’t have a good solution for the shower, which seems to be when my BEST ideas usually come.

Record voice notes to your phone instead of writing them.  Or do one better, and use your phone’s speech-to-text feature to send yourself a text message or an email from your spoken notes.

If you’re following these steps, you’ll find that you’ve always got plenty of ideas, and sometimes even half of your story written, just by aggregating and fleshing out your notes.

What tips or tricks could you add?  How do you stay productive and keep writing on the road?


Bret Shroyer lives in Minnesota, where he enjoys outdoor activities and road trips in all seasons. He and his wife Tracie raise their three teenage children to be honest, independent, financially savvy and well-traveled. Together with their giant poodle, the Shroyer family strives to find excitement in whatever life has in store today. Bret's day job as a reinsurance actuary provides the resources and the flexibility to lead his family in their common pursuit of adventure.

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