How To Use Your Phone to Increase Writing Productivity

Sometimes "simple" ideas escape our notice. It might be from having too many distractions, it might be from not being presented with the right circumstances, or it might be due to one of countless other reasons. These are the ideas that prompt us to ask ourselves, "Why didn't I think of that before?" Often it's so simple — after finally realizing it — that we assume everyone else already knows and we're just late to the party. This blog post is about a simple idea like that. Maybe you've already discovered it and will think "no kidding, that's obvious." But I'm writing this for everyone else. ;)

Even if writing is your full-time career, there are parts of your life that are not writing. Family, friends, participation in things like church or volunteering for charity... as a regular part of your life, they all take time in various ways. That's not a bad thing, but sometimes you may find yourself "wasting" time that you would rather spend being productive. An easy example is taking a family member to the doctor and sitting in the waiting room. There are countless other scenarios where you have time on your hands, but perhaps nothing to write with, especially if you weren't thinking ahead.

Even if you weren't planning on writing, however, you can probably get some work done as long as you have your mobile phone. (How often do you not have it?!) The "simple idea" is to use SMS text messaging to compose notes or drafts and send them to your regular email address. Later, you can open your email and copy-and-paste the material you composed away from your computer into your word processing software or other tool. This works best if you have unlimited text messages (or at least a high quota) and also if your phone can send "picture" messages with text that is longer than 160 characters (you don't need to attach a photo). However, even a few 160-character messages can help you draft some notes or story structure.

Some ideas for ways to use this composition-on-the-road idea include:

  • Write drafts of blog content (I've done that for some posts on this blog)
  • Compose character bios and back stories
  • Draft the outline of a book you've been thinking about
  • Create a to-do list of edits you want to make in a current work in progress
  • Write a draft of an email that you need to send (whether related to writing or not)

As you can see, this is a basic idea, but it can turn boring and unproductive time into useful time. When I'm waiting to pick up my wife from the train, I'm rarely prepared with useful writing tools, but I can — and often do — pull out my phone and start writing. Give it a try, and if it works for you, make it a habit!

About the Author
Stuart J. Whitmore is an author of fiction and nonfiction, as well as a photographer, technology developer, and more. If you enjoy reading his blog posts, you might also enjoy reading his books. Take a look at the books by Stuart J. Whitmore today, and download your copy of one that looks interesting to you!