7 Ways the iPad Can Bring Back Your Writing Mojo

7 Ways the iPad Can Bring Back Your Writing Mojo

Reader Comments (57)

  1. Thank you for providing these great resources/apps for improving copy. I will definitely benefit by using these different puzzle pieces in my blog posts.

    I never thought to download these types of apps from my iPhone (still saving for the iPad!).

    I’m especially excited to check out Zinio!

    Thanks Shane!


    • Riaz,

      You are more than welcome. The Zinio app is pretty nice. It is a gateway to a ton of digital magazines. The copy improves as app developers continue to push the boundaries on the delivery and interaction.

  2. Geez! Instead of helping me with my productivity, you’ve now given me seven new ways to waste time. 🙂

    I just downloaded Popplet lite to check it out, and will be checking out several of the others.

    Do you have a good rec for a simple word processing program? Pages seems to be more than I need…

  3. some of these are great ideas to get that spark going but the pottery thing? I don’t know about this. I think the best way to get creative is to stop hiding in the dark on your iPad and DO SOMETHING IN REAL LIFE! I know it’s a foreign concept these days, but the more you are engaged with actual reality the better your brain is going to work. Just my 2 cents….I sound like an old person but I am not yet 30 but I see more and more people just turning their brains into mush with their electronic do hickeys, the twitter and the interwebs. Have a real life and you will have lots to blog about!

    • I both agree with you that we need to get non-virtual a whole lot more often than we do, and yet at the same time I really want to try the virtual pottery thing. 🙂

      Totally agree, though, as Shane says at the end — the iPad can’t get outside and get fresh air for you. Real life is a good thing.

      • Yes! I agree as well. For me it is a balance actually. As a blogger, I do spend a lot of time “online” and on the iPad, etc., but I do take time to put it all down and go outside or get off the grid.

        With the pottery app in particular, I did find that it was really amazing one day when I was “stuck” writing a particular post and it took my mind off things and did help me get over the hump.

  4. That quotes application is awesome. Never even occurred to me to look for a quotes app (I have used the web directly for this in the past). Thanks!


    • Mark. Yeah I thought this one was just amazing. And the quotes are really good! I also used the web for this a lot because quotes are great for adding into my content and also giving me new ideas.

  5. You’ve offered some great ideas on idea finding. I’ve never used these apps and am now considering the purchase of an iPad so that I can check them out. I can sympathize with Lain when she said that you have just given her more ways to waste time. However, if you limit the time spent on the apps, you could end up with the best of both worlds.
    I recently posted a blog about time=money, but some of that time has to be spent on research. Consider the time spent on the apps as research time. We never know when or where we will find inspiration. It could be while taking a walk, or watching a show on television, the point we need to concentrate on is capturing the inspiration once we find it. If I’m not at my computer, I keep a small note pad with me so that I can jot down ideas no matter where I am.

    • Vik,

      You bring up a great point about time=money. I agree with you there. The thing that is interesting about the iPad is that the hardware is not as “magical” to me as the apps. They are the what I call the “engines of innovation”. As we see more and more developers push the limits of what they can do then we will also see how we can use these devices in our businesses and daily lives. Hopefully we see them as tools and not time wasters 😉

  6. But wait… does iPAD have a connection to a keyboard? Wasn’t it Brian (Clark) arguing during a 3T phone conference some time ago that it may have a writing hindrance because it doesn’t allow one to create?

    Or did I miss speak here?

    • Darren –
      Yes there are keyboards you can use with the iPad. Actually you have 2 great options.

      1. You can use the Apple Keyboard dock.
      2. You can use a bluetooth keyboard and an iPad stand

      I prefer the Apply Keyboard dock myself. I pop in the iPad and start typing. I do get some interesting looks at the coffee shop but that’s the fun of owning the device!

      P.S. I actually composed the draft for this post using the iPad and the keyboard dock.

        • Brian – so have I.

          It’s also so much more convenient to carry the iPad at 1.5 lbs and the keyboard dock, which is light as well.

          Great experience.

          Although I will admit when using this combo – I still reach over to click the mouse which isn’t there 😉

    • LOL! Well, I would not write off the Kindle just yet. It definitely has a place and will have for a long time. With the Kindle, you get the e-Ink that people really appreciate.

      For general reading, the Kindle is a handy device. The iPad is a great reader if you want more interactivity, colors, sounds, video, etc.

      We are now seeing books turned into more of an “experience” with the iPad.

    • I personally prefer the non-backlit Kindle for reading, I think it will end up being a matter of personal taste. Some people like the reading experience of the iPad, some the Kindle. Both great tools imo.

  7. Along the same lines as the pottery app, there’s also an artsy one that’s a lot like finger painting – great for letting your inner child out to play and coming up with some wild and innovative “outside the box” ideas. Can’t recall the name of it, but I do remember that it’s free.

    • Sherice,

      Thanks for the comment. Yes, there are about a dozen or so Free finger painting apps that are great for adults as well as kids.

      A lot of the time, these apps which cost money have a “lite” version that is free. I use these a lot to test them out before jumping in and buying the “pro” version.

    • Darren –

      Absolutely. e-Ink is the technology that Amazon uses. It is a form of electronic paper that started from development in the MIT research labs. It uses various negative and positively charged pigments to present crisp, clean text.

      A lot of people love it because you can see it so much better in the sunlight. With the iPad, which does not use e-ink technology, reading in the direct light is a lot harder.

    • The non-backlit screen is also easier on insomniacs like me — the screen doesn’t keep me awake the way a lit screen would. But the flip side of that is that I do need a reading light to read in bed.

    • Oh…they did actually…it’s not “viral” but it’s definitely a poke at the iPad – it’s a commercial showing how you can read the Kindle in the Sun and not the iPad – it’s not as subtle as the Get a Mac ads. It’s more direct and right to the point 🙂

  8. I *really* like how easy it is to excerpt when reading. I love using obscure quotes, and appropriating allusions for my own writing, iPad makes it really simple. Just a few taps of the fingers, email the note to myself later.

    • Dave –

      You bring up a great point. One thing with the iPad is that you *can* take notes while reading and then email those off. Also, you can use apps like Evernote which allow you to capture thoughts or images.

      So, in effect, it’s more an interactive type of reading session which I am enjoying. As opposed to reading, writing on a sticky note, then figuring out what to do with that note! Most of the time I lose it 😉

  9. I am not buying an iPad anytime soon, but I am glad to know that there are many use to this technology that can help me become more creative and productive.

    Thank you.

  10. Wow – those suggestions sound like FUN! How cool! I’ve been reading a lot about the Mac lately on their site. I love how they make things so easy and simple especially since Macs can run Windows on their computers too.

  11. This post, while awesome for those who have Ipads, was a fail for me because I don’t and probably won’t for a very long time. I think it is too audience specific; not all copywriters and bloggers have Ipads.

    • Agreed! I don’t have one either and sure it would be great for those that use one, but this post and comments are just coming across as a giant ad for one which I am not a fan of. I love copyblogger but there is a slight ‘boooooo’ feeling I can’t shake with this one.

      • Hi Candi,

        Thanks for the comment. The iPad is certainly getting a lot of attention at the moment but the reason is not because it’s just shiny and new. Rather, it is having a positive impact on the publishing and writing industry as well. Major publishers, writers, and content marketers are finding new ways to use it on a daily basis.

        The future for these types of devices is extremely bright as we will begin to see them challenge the traditional ways in which we interact with the web and content.

        It’s certainly easy to get excited over the technology but it’s even more important to try and present views on how copywriters, bloggers, and content marketers can use it for their success.

  12. I’m loving my iPad, Shane, so much that I’ve been blogging a little bit about it myself.

    I’m also loving your blog — I access it in Reeder (my RSS reader of choice) plus I’ve been reading your threads in Third Tribe.

    You’ve really found a great niche, and I know you’ll be hugely successful with the rate you’re going.

    • Charles,

      Thank You! I love doing the blog. The goal has always been to be useful and helpful for all iPad owners. We are still at the tipping point of where these devices will take us, so I’m glad you are coming along for the adventure.


  13. Those are some great apps I’ll have to check out, but that means it will probably alter my next fictitious blog post… 1,007 Ways your iPad Can Make You Even More of an Insomniac, haha.

  14. Shane,

    Great job, you really picked some good apps both here and on your site. I snatched several of them and now when I go out to do inperson training, I no longer lug my 10 pound desktop replacement notebook for tweaks, but my iPad. Great job!

  15. Love the post and the suggestions – might be an excuse to GET an ipad, but my problem is that I’d want to use it to write on, and it doesn’t have a keyboard. I tried the touch keyboard on the iphone and I can’t use it with any speed at all.

    Is the Ipad keyboard useable?

    I love my kindle, but my husband keeps borrowing it and using the voice facility to listen to books on his way to work.

    • Hi Lesley,

      It does have an on-screen keyboard, and I have to say that it took me a little while to type moderately fast on it.

      My solution is the Apple Keyboard Dock. It is far easier to use and it’s a real keyboard. Some others prefer a bluetooth keyboard but I like the Keyboard dock because it also is a stand for the iPad!

  16. why the switch from Thesis theme? i am trying to decide on a theme, was going to go with Thesis – curious why you switched.

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