April 1, 2009

Freeware Is My Fave Ware

Dictionaries come in handy, as do the thesauruses ... thesauri ... however you spell the danged plurality for it. But, leafing through the Funk & Wagnell's deer-stunner edition can take up time. That's time I could be wasting thinking up ways to procrastinate. My time is important to me.

That's why, last year, I downloaded a couple of dictionaries for quick reference on my desktop: Word Web and The Sage. They both work fine, though I haven't a clue how well their online components perform. What I do know is that I have Word Web as a permanent fixture in my system tray for almost a year, and I haven't looked back.

Spellchecker is it's own little godsend when I'm working in Open Office
(another invaluable piece of freeware), but sometimes I need to find the meaning to a word on top of simply knowing how it's spelled. I've caught myself more times than I care to count using words improperly—how capricious of me.

The best part: They're free.

Another piece of freeware I use from time to time includes WriteItNow, "novel writing software" that helps you organize everything you're working on. Character sketches, event charts, submission spreadsheets, chapter outlines, etc. I didn't use the word processor part of the program while writing my novel, but the organizational stuff did come in handy by keeping it all in one place, rather than spread throughout my My Documents folder in various files. I wouldn't call it an indispensable program, but you get what you pay for.

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