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iPhone Apps for NaNoWriMo

by Florian Klauer, via Unsplash
There's an app that lets you match up a picture of a belly button to its owner's voice. There's an app for kissing practice (accompanied by post screen cleaning instructions). There's an app that plays a rimshot after you crack a joke (and crickets when it falls flat). And the less said about apps that use the iPhone's vibrating feature, the better. (Oh yes, they exist.)

That being said, it should come as no surprise that there's apps to help out all the NaNoWriMoers out there too. (No not the vibrating ones! Geez.) Unless you have one of those super-cool mini-keyboards for your iPhone, writing on one isn't exactly ideal. But anyone who's attempted NaNo knows that every little bit helps, even if it's just 100 words while you stand in line at the grocery.

I have an estimated 1.3 gazillion apps*, and while I've never participated in this November madness, I've found these three to be the most useful when it comes to working on new projects. Hopefully they can help you iPhone users reach your NaNo goals.**

My Writing Nook

This is pure brilliance for anyone who uses Google Docs. Go to My Writing Nook and log in with your Google account info. MWN uses Google's App Engine infrastructure to store all of your writing so you can access your novel from any computer or device with Internet connection. It also features autosave, a word count tool, a dictionary/thesaurus, and you can download or email your novel. (This is all free, just like Google Docs.)

And as for the app? For $2.99, you get all the same features and layout on your iPhone (Android users, there's one for you too!). What this means is that when the perfect dialogue for that one tough scene hits you, you can grab your phone and type it directly into the manuscript. Like I said – you won't get 3k a day in on this thing, but having access to your novel and the ability to add a little bit here and adds up.


Of all the word count apps and tools out there, this is the one I've found holds me most accountable. It's simple (and free); enter a word count goal, then enter your total word count each day, creating a "chain." Miss a day, you break the chain. You can also add notes about that day's word count if you want.


Writers have a tendency to go slightly crazy during NaNo. (Or really just anytime we're making progress on a WIP.) Everything we see, hear, smell, touch, taste...oh my god it just gave us the most PERFECT idea for a scene ever and we must get it down NAOW.

So capture it immediately. Evernote (another freebie) isn't just another note-taking app. Use it to create text, photo and audio notes, all linked together and organized for you by the app. And all this good stuff is synced automatically for both Mac and Windows. This is the productivity tool that makes disorganized people seem organized, seriously.

*I may have rounded up.
**If anyone has any suggestions on apps for other platforms, please share in the comments!
Michelle Schusterman

Michelle writes books for kids, screenplays for a tv/film production company, and music for anyone who'd buy a "groove matters" bumper sticker. She lives in New York City with her husband (and band mate) and their chocolate lab (who is more of a vocalist). She is the author of middle grade series I Heart Band - 2014, and The Kat Sinclair Files - 2015 (both from Grosset).

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  1. I use Evernote when there's something I absolutely have to get down, and I LOVE Write Chain. To keep track of my Nano wc, I use WriMoDemon (also free). I haven't tried MWN yet.

  2. sometimes I'm a bit afraid of how obscure (obscene, scary, etc) a concept would have to be NOT to have an app. lol.

  3. I've got Evernote coming down the pipe at this very moment. I was just thinking about how I would seriously benefit from having a place to put all of my random ideas! Thanks for the suggestions!


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Item Reviewed: iPhone Apps for NaNoWriMo Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Michelle Schusterman