Let Your Smartphone Help You Keep Your Book on Track

I don't have the best memory, so when I'm working on a book, I've learned to use my phone to keep me from forgetting a good idea if I'm not at my desk. My first preference is to use sticky notes, but I don't always have them (not to mention a pen) with me. I almost always have my phone, however. Here are three tricks you can use:


  1. Voice recorder: My smartphone comes with a "voice recorder" app built right in. How cool is that? I just open it, push the button and leave myself a message. Sometimes they're super short (Make protagonist a redhead! Name the brother Rick!), but the beauty of a voice recording is that I can also ramble a bit when I want to. I'm the only one who's going to listen to the messages, so they don't have to be remotely polished.
  2. Evernote: I keep hearing how great Evernote is. With the Evernote app, you can keep all types of content related to your book - including photos you might snap that inspire you - all in one place.
  3. Email/text messages: I text and email myself little reminder notes all the time. They are short and sweet and riddled with typos, but they are filled with useful information I wouldn't otherwise remember. I'm chuckling as I write this because it sounds a bit ridiculous, but it works!

When it comes to writing a book, you never know when inspiration will strike. You're not in front of your computer 24/7, so neither is your imagination. My memory isn't smart enough to keep track of everything on its own, so it's a good thing my phone is.



Maria Murnane is the best-selling author of the romantic comedies Perfect on Paper, It's a Waverly Life, Honey on Your Mind, Chocolate for Two, and Cassidy Lane. She also provides consulting services on book publishing and marketing. Learn more at www.mariamurnane.com.


This blog post originally appeared on CreateSpace.com. Reprinted with permission. © 2014 CreateSpace, a DBA of On-Demand Publishing, LLC. All rights reserved.

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Comment by Jeanne Nicholas on January 10, 2017 at 2:14pm

I got a USB drive that records voice.  So I can use it up to four hours and it stores my recordings.  Its on my key ring.  Never leave home without it.

Comment by Toi Thomas on May 4, 2014 at 8:23am

I use my voice recorder all the time. People are tired of my voice recorder because I pretend I'm on call so I won't be bothered. They can never tell if I'm actually on a call or taking notes for an idea I just had. It's a lot of fun to mess with people like that, but mostly it's a great way not to loose ideas. There have actually been time when specif lines of text or dialog have come to me and I've been able to dictate them to myself. It's a wonderful tool. 

Comment by Penny aka Vampirique Dezire on May 2, 2014 at 11:45pm

I'm interested in knowing how many people use their phone recorder to actually dictate passages for their books?

Quite often I will think of things but by the time I get to my laptop, it's gone completely from my head or comes out incorrectly.

Comment by Roslyn Imrie on May 2, 2014 at 5:49pm
Dropbox coupled with Smart Office is my number one smart phone app! I have Dropbox on all my computers as well as on my phone. All my current work is in Dropbox (they give you 2G free) and when I update, add to, or edit any word document on any computer it is updated on All my computers and is also automatically backed up to the "cloud" (so in case of an epic computer crash I won't loose anything.) I have a app call Picsel Smart Office on my phone that allows me to write on anything in Dropbox as well as add new word documents. It is all pretty amazing!
Comment by Lori Robinson on May 1, 2014 at 1:38pm

I recently used the recorder on my Iphone for an interview for my book. Do you know how much time the phone will allow for a recording? I could not figure it out. 


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