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The Writer's Life:

Sam's QUESTION of the Week

When I'm writing, I LOVE to snack. Not gonna lie. Although tonight was a buffalo wing kinda night, cheese, wine, fruit, veggies & coffee are my usual favs. What's yours? 

Romancing The Muse

When We Have To Fight: Freeing The NOW To Save TOMORROW. 

10 Tips To Help Every Writer Showcase Their Best Right Now.

10 Virtual Office Tools That'll Make Every Writer's Life Easier pt 1

People Won't Share What's Not There.

Top Five from SamTheWriter...

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Tiny Tips For Writers

Part 1: First Fab Five
1. Cloud Drive:

Making SURE Your Documents Secure. While getting coffee this morning I overheard a couple guys talking about a new cloud drive called File Cloud ( ,) I checked it out and the website had a great countdown till it’s launch—totally has me curious too, marketing brilliance. In the writer’s toolkit, having your works backed up—into that magical, invisible, safe lock cabinet somewhere in the sky—is possibly the most important tool in your virtual office. I’ve lost over 200,000 words due to computer crash.

Safeguarding your work by having the most current copy saved somewhere other than your computer is a must. Below, I’ve included a list of popular cloud drives; However, if you’re not quite sure about a free cloud service or a ‘nearly’ free one (as average cloud services cost a monthly subscription of $9.00 -- for unlimited storage) you have other great options which would include creating something specifically for you or a hybrid cloud through companies like Calitso.

  • OneDrive
  • Google Drive
  • SugarSync
  • BOX
  • iCloud
  • DropBox
  • JustCloud
  • CrashPlan
  • My PC Back Up
  • Carbonite

2. The Browser. 

I love my office, but I think of my browser as my virtual office. Like a room open to the world, with unlimited filing space, and all my contacts at my fingertips. Picking a browser that works for you can be the difference between being efficient or super efficient. Your browser can be the next biggest tool or resource in your toolbox. Here’s a few options you have, and I’ve put them in the order of my top favorite at the top and my least favorite at the bottom.

  • Google Chrome
  • Opera
  • Firefox
  • Bing
  • Safari
  • Explorer

3. Online writing software with complete sync.

I use to use Microsoft Word for my desktop or laptop all the time but when my computer crashed the last time I decided I was done with it. I made the decision to take advantage of cloud docs programs for writing and I’ve loved know that all my work is being saved as I write it, and if my computer crashes mid-sentence, I have the security of knowing that everything I wrote is safe, even if I have to buy a brand new computer. These services free me to write without fear of losing all my hard work.

  • Google Drive
  • Microsoft 360: Though I stopped using Microsoft Word on my desktop, Microsoft 360 is a cloud-based, sync software that has caused Word to come back strong.
  • Pages: Apple's Apps and Docs 

4. Contacts, Tasks, Calendars, emails.

For me, I scratch that...I need everything that CAN be synced together TO be synced together. I also need to be able to have my emails, todo lists, special tasks, reminders, contacts, calendars, notes, and documents working together and always available at any time on all my devices.

  • Google Calendar, tasks, with alerts
  • Apple calendar
  • Microsoft Office
  • - A great Tasks app that syncs with your Google, Apple smart devices, and  Andriod smart devices. is free and works with its 'other half, really well. These guys have some beautiful applications. Unlike Tempo, can be used online with your desktop as well as you smart device.
  • Tempo: This is also an app that's available in the iTunes and Android app stores for free. Tempo does what Google and Apple should be doing.  Add Tasks, Sync all Email Accounts, Sync Calendars.  The real beauty of Tempo is in this: Not only is everything synced together but they all work together the way they should have from the beginning. Example: Let's say that I've forgotten everything about an important meeting today (its happened). Because I set an alarm for the meeting it reminds me that I have a meeting. Looking at the reminder, not only do I get the notes about the meeting but I get the name of the person I'm meeting with, the time and place; In addition, with Tempo, I see any emails or texts concerning the meeting; I get the contacts email, phone number, social medias, and any other type of contact information.

Then it gets more impressive by asking you if you need to send a confirmation message or an "I'm running a few minutes late" message; it also not only shows the location of the meeting but allows you to press on the location and it opens navigation to get you there. AMAZING

5. Quick Payment Option

  • Venmo: This is my personal favorite. Pros:  It's free! 100% Free. No charges ever.  You can send and receive payments to and from anyone, even if they don't haveVenmo. It connects to FaceBook so you're able to see any of your friends who use it. You can even see who they sent payments to, without seeing how much of a payment or any other details.  Cons: Since PayPal kinda rules the e-commerce corner of the internet, there's not many companies, organizations, publishers, etc., that make the service available. Over time...I hope. Venmo (at this time) doesn't offer a debit card for easy spending, as Paypal and PayQuicker do.
  • Paypal: Holding a steady #2 in my list, because of its availability, worldwide acceptance, and merchant tools it offers.  Pros:  Accepted everywhere. Great merchant tools including Ebay, Internet stores, 'Pay Now' Buttons for websites, blogs, or even to send by email or text. Also Paypal Here, which allows you to swipe credit cards on your cell phone. Offers a Mastercard Debit for quick cash and debit payment. The ability to instantly pay or receive payment by mobile text. Cons: It's not free. I hate that I have to pay anything at all when a client, publisher or editor is paying me for my work. I hate that I have to pay anything at all when I'm sending money to someone.
    (I've seen other complaints that people have with Paypal, but I haven't really had any -- accept about 4 years ago whenIpayed at McD's and ended up getting charged 3 times. After a month, I finally got my reimbursement. That was the only time I was irritated and left unsatisfied.)  

  • PayQuicker:  Pros: Comes with a Visa Debit card. It's free and there's no extra charges or fees at all. Cons:  You have to be invited to use PayQuicker . LikeVenmo it's still new enough that too few people use it.
  • Square: Pros:  Very simple to use app.  Customers get receipts sent to them, or you can print them out on a wireless mobile printer.  An easy to use and navigate website with a lot of resources and tools for merchants.  Cons:  The most expensive of to use. Charges and fees. I used Square for a couple months and decided to go back to PayPal.

    What tools, resources, apps, etc., do you find as a ‘Must-Have’ in your virtual


    What’s your favorite resource websites?


    Let me know, I’d love to share it here.
    Cheers to you Writers!


March 11, 2015

 SippingOn Literary Espresso

by: Samuel Connelly

10 Virtual Office Tools That Would Make Your Writing Life Easier.