Distraction-Free Writing Tech

Looking into portable, distraction-free writing tools (preferably digital) and I like the look of the Freewrite but the price is an absolute killer. I’m considering an Alphasmart Neo 2, which is waaay more affordable, but the lack of formatting options doesn’t work with my writing style. I guess for the cheap price it’s worth giving a try, though.

Anyone have experience with non-laptop writing tech like these? Even writing apps made to kill distraction still end up not being enough to kill my need to research and edit. :pensive:

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I used to use a Neo and have to say it was very convenient. Much lighter weight than a laptop. But in the end, I didn’t really like the tiny screen (though it is GREAT for not editing – but I don’t really have that issue), and then one of the keys popped off and I never got a replacement because I got a laptop shortly after that.

What formatting issues do you have? I have been saving in plain text lately, so I just use MarkDown or html marks.

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I like to italicize! I don’t think the Neo has that function. It’d also be a pain to read through and emphasize later, but I suppose that’s a necessary part of the editing process anyway. [grumble grumble]

I have a gaming laptop, which I really love, but the keys are definitely spaced out for gaming. After all the months I’ve had this thing, I haven’t quite gotten the hang of the keyboard for writing. I’m also very easily distracted, so it’d be great to try something single-purpose. They’re cheap online, so I may just give it a go. Nothing much lost if it doesn’t work out.

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Nitrotype is a typing game that helps me get used to new keyboards. I like to italicize too. I love using it for my characters thoughts a lot, I enjoy peeking into their brains. Well- I made them up so my brain I guess, lol.

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This is such a cute site! I just gave it a try! I’ll definitely give it a go to get used to typing on my laptop. It’ll definitely help me out at my new job, too, which is going to be dependent on quick typing.

I love my Alphasmart Neo 2. I can bring it anywhere and prefer it over my computer keyboard (which is wireless and frequently messes up). When sending the file to my computer via cable, I usually wash dishes or cook. And it’s so inexpensive!! My two kids (5 and 6) drop it all of the time, and it’s still in great condition.

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I just gave in and ordered one! Excited to give it a try. It looks durable, for sure. Something I definitely miss about older tech.

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Awesome! Hope you like it! If you don’t get a cable with it, its the same one as a printer cable.

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Thanks for the heads-up! I believe the seller said it does come with all the cords, but if not, now I know.

(Also, I love your profile pic! :beetle: )

You’re welcome. There’s an alphasmart board on Facebook and on Flickr that are active if you don’t hear back from anyone on here.
And thanks! My daughter and I binged for a while today because Netflix released Season 3 part 1 today.

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For italics, what I meant is that you can indicate it with html or MarkDown – that’s what I do (I use html because it’s more familiar to me, so for something I want italicized, I would write < i >italicized text< / i > without the spaces (can’t do that here because it will actually italicize it instead of showing the code)). The benefit of doing it that way is that if it’s in plain text when you go to format it for publishers or for self-publishing, you don’t have to UNDO any formatting, which makes the whole process a lot easier. And you can definitely do that on a Neo!

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I’ve had to do that before in programs, and it’s not something I enjoy doing, especially when the program I use counts each tag as a word. Makes me feel like a cheater, especially during NaNo. :upside_down_face: I usually use BBcode when I RP), so I may just use that when I write on the Neo. I’ll experiment!

Good I’m glad it’ll help. It got me going at over 100 WPM so I highly recommended that if you want to get faster at typing.

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I love doing NaNo with my Alphasmart. It helps keep me from obsessing over what I’ve already written. Otherwise, I’d spend a lot of time going back to edit. Instead, I get words on the page and only edit after I upload it to my computer at the end of the day. Also, it’s light to carry around and I can’t distract myself by surfing the web - I mean, doing research - rather than writing.

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Ah, the “research.” It always starts out with good, true intentions.

And then you fall into a Wikipedia link-jump cycle, or get distracted by Pinterest.