Technical Tools for Writers

Technical Tools for Writers

By Tracey Arial

What in the world do I mean by “technical tools” for writers?

There are many possible tools a writer might use, including a dictionary, a thesaurus and a desk (either standing or sitting) and chair or large ball, but that’s not what I’m talking about here.

Technical tools include: a typewriter or one or many computers with text editing or word processing software installed, a digital tape recorder, a mobile or land-line telephone, a camera, an e-reader, digital pens and transcription software.

Typewriter or one or many computers

I suppose you could write with a pencil or pen and a piece of paper, but you wouldn’t be able to distribute your work very easily.

Some writers still use only typewriters and then secretaries scan or retype their work into a typewriter. That’s particularly old school, but it works.

Most of us have one or more computers with text editing or word processing software installed. I have a desktop computer, because I prefer typing on a Microsoft Natural Ergonomic keyboard.

Check out the one I have here:

It hurts my wrists and elbows less than other keyboards.

I also still use my first laptop computer, which at this point is more of a luggable. It still works well, so I even replaced the battery on it recently, even though my husband said it was a waste of time and I should have invested in something new instead. I hate change, so I’m resisting a bit longer.

Just for interest sake, it’s a Toshiba Satellite A40 in a “cool blue design.”

Check it out at:

Wordprocessing Software

I use Word, Open Office Writer and Wordpad frequently.


I used to have a separate scanner and printer, but now I have a Lexmark all-in-one that includes a fax and copy machine too. I didn’t think I’d use those features, but they both came in handy once when a client didn’t have email. (Who doesn’t have email these days?)

Digital tape recorder

I used to use a Sony digital recorder, but it was a pain to transfer interviews so I switched to a Roland Edirol R-09, which I absolutely adore. If you need a tape-recorder, this one works great. Note: some people have broken the door for the battery and SIM card compartment, but I’ve had mine for years now and that hasn’t happened yet. (Crossing my fingers as I type this, which is quite a trick.)

Here’s a link to the product:

(I have the red one.)

SIM Cards

I forgot to mention SIM Cards. I need them for my tape recorder and my camera. It’s good to stock up.

Mobile or land-line telephone

My mobile phone is a Samsung Galaxy that runs on Android. Love it—although I had to invest in software to transfer tasks and meetings from Outlook. It was worth it.

My home phone is an Uniden. It’s fine.

Headset for computer and telephone

Again, I have three. Haven’t found one I like yet.


I have a Sony digital handheld camera model DSC-H5 and a video camera too, but these days I tend to just use the camera and video functions on my phone. (My photography and video skills suck though, so don’t copy me.)


I adore my Kobo. It became even more useful after I downloaded Adobe Digital Editions onto my desktop so that I could read PDFs on the little thing.

Digital pen

People rave about these, but I haven’t tried them yet.

Transcription software


What tools do you rely on?

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