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How To Make The Most Of Your Daily Commute

Last week, I walked the whipping amount of 80,000 steps {thank you Fitbit for all the badges} and a lot of public transports, managing to get down on paper one short story, two articles, and one proposal. I strategically worked on the short story on the train ride and kept my walks across town and the canal for articles.

When I am sitting down in front of my laptop, I am more likely to be replying to emails and liaising with the team, or working on email funnels.

I see writing as an indulgence, and for a writer that is pretty disgraceful. Especially because once I do get to write, man, the creativity flows.

I always thought I would never get the writer’s block – as whenever I was writing a short story/novel another brilliant idea would come my way. As a blogger, blogposts would just keep on flowing. As a journalist, I would write 7/10 articles per week.

However, once you stop for a while, it’s like having to drag yourself to the gym. And I am a very prolific writer, dear reader.

This is why I had to get creative.

I have two ways I currently get it all down: are you ready to take notes? Good, dear Reader, because I am ready to spill the beans.

Quick aside: can we get real just for a second? Why would you spill beans? Seriously, British language, you need to give me full etymology on this one.

Where were we? Yeah, spilling legumes and writing on the go.

Evernote and typing mastery

You know those rude people always on their phone, the ones walking in the middle of the pavement face down on Whatsapp, Facebook, or Instagram? Well, Fab the wizard (it used to be my nickname at my old job) is writing articles…just undercover.

I open my Evernote app and get down writing, listening to some of my writing mixes or a neat album {today is the turn of Joy Formidable}.

I am currently on my way to Shoreditch, typing like a MOFO, already pinging down another genius article idea on my way back. Actually, two. See, once you get the muse out, you will come back for more.

The pros of Evernote + typing is that it’s an easy way to sync your writing from phone to laptop, being able to make the most of your long walks, saving on transports and smash your Fitbit PBs.

Cons include draining your battery, getting achy thumbs and almost falling as you are not looking where you are going and almost slip on some food on the pavement (true story).

Before you ask, I do not write at crossings, traffic lights and such.

Google docs and dictation

One of the best tips from a copywriter. Use google docs and the dictation tool on your iPhone. Seriously. The voice recorder can go on for about one to two minutes, and it is bloody accurate. However, this is a tool I use strictly when in a quiet space.

This for two reasons: yes, I still feel a doofus talking on my phone and having to double spell words, and yes, a noisy environment can affect the quality of the transcription.

The pros are that you can dictate in your car, house, park and create a true stream of consciousness. Most of my best blogs come from dictating. It is quicker and gets you away from the desk.

The cons are quite obvious: you will have to correct a lot of errors and misspelling, as well as proofreading your work fairly quickly as sometimes you’ll struggle to remember what you meant to say when your Google Docs thought you were having an existential crisis about your kettle.

Feeling lazy? Dictate and let others transcribe for you. This is great for boss ladies who heavily rely on blogging but don’t have enough time and want to optimise their car journeys – check out Fiverr for some good options.

Bonus option

Are you still a fan of writing at your desko?

Your computer is packed with distractions: blinking icons in the system tray, chiming reminders, endless social media possibilities.

Distraction-free text editors are useful if you want to write in a relaxed environment without interruption from graphical toolbars, reminder beeps, distracting interfaces and so on. Every successive release of Microsoft Word comes with even more bells and whistles and you often find yourself spending more time with the menus than actually writing.

As I mentioned a few times, I easily find myself writing on the go. Winter will add an added layer of trickiness, as fingers are practically frozen and most phone-touch gloves are a joke.

See Also

Many of us have some kind of writing to do during the course of the workday, but how do you get down to some serious typing with so many distractions around?

These mobile and desktop apps tackle the problem head-on, stripping down the old word processor concept to its essential parts and enabling you to focus on the words.

As walking gets my creative brain spin round, I quite efficiently manage to line up a blogpost or two thanks to ‘Ulysses App

Ulysses is not a new app, but it has surely improved since its early days. Ulysses works with my beloved WordPress, as well as Medium For a practical minimalist like yours truly, minimising the number of steps that need to be taken to write, edit and schedule a post can be longer than expected.

Here’s where Ulysses comes in handy.

From writing to formatting and editing, Ulysses combines pretty cool features (such as featured images, GIFS and excerpts) with a simple interface. Most times when I am in WordPress I tend to get stuck into extra tasks, such as selecting images and formatting.

The distraction-free environment really helps me focus – extra brownie points for the option to see a real, live preview.

I also believe that Ulysses can help writers to get better acquainted with the different functionalities of their blog.  I currently use Ulysses on my Mac and iPhone to keep my blog in sync – unfortunately, I am yet to hack the offline mode when I hit the underground, but I am hoping that’ll be sorted soon.

Typed is another great Mac option – it has all the basics you’ll need like word count and auto-save, but you can fade out everything but the current paragraph for that focus-power mode. There’s even a special Zen Mode complete with sound effects and inspirational quotes for the hardcore writers.

Calmly Writer is another browser app that’s available both free and paid-for.  It includes focus mode just like Typed, and you get some basic image import options, as well as a choice of two fonts to do your writing in.

Et voila, I shall end this article here.

I reached my destination, and my Fitbit is gladly buzzing, letting me know I smashed my ten thousand steps once again.

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