2 Apps to Keep Writers and Readers Productive

My two big resolutions for this year were 1. to read more books, and 2. to write more creatively. While I've been on break from school it's been easy to carve out some time for reading and writing, but I know once classes start up again next semester I will have to be more diligent with my time. So I’ve been on the hunt for apps that will make both endeavors easier. Here are the two I found to be most exciting and helpful. 

Goodreads App (free) 

the Goodreads website has been a nice resource for me as a book reviewer over the years—it’s an easy format for sharing reviews with other readers and finding great recommendations. What I didn’t realize was the app's easy-to-use functions meant it had more to offer than the website. The first function that sparked my interest was the scanning option. You scan the barcode of the book you are reading and it takes you right to the book within the Goodreads system. From there you can post your review or look up other reviews. This would especially come in handy while browsing at a bookstore to get honest reader reviews of books by one swipe of a barcode. The app's other unique function is the eBook downloader which allows you to download books directly onto your iPhone or iPad. The social connectivity on the app is a great way to interact not only with your friends (as it connects you automatically via Facebook or Twitter) but also with authors who are trying to spread the word about their work. 

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A Novel Idea (free, advanced $2.99) 

One of my biggest challenges as a creative writer is keeping track of my random ideas and character developments while writing. In search of a new way to stay on task and organized, I found the app A Novel Idea which allows you to input scenes, characters, locations, and ideas for your novel. the app then organizes and connects the dots for you. Once you finish outlining events and settings with heavy character detail provided by the app, you can export all of the information via email or iTunes. I find this to be extremely useful when I come up with an idea in while away from my computer or if I think of something in the middle of the night. My phone and the app are always nearby and that makes the whole process much more organized. I recommend purchasing the full version in order to export your information once you are finished. 

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Maggie is a sophomore journalism student at the University of Iowa who is obsessed with finding the latest websites and apps first. She created the college review website <a href="http://www.collegepopculture.com/#!home/mainPage">collegepopculture.com</a> where she and college students across the US share their opinions and ideas related to pop culture and general college life.