Alternote - My New Favorite Writing App

As some of you who have been following me know, I like to do some writing here and there. I have done Nanowrimo twice in the past few years and both times I successfully completed the 50,000 word goal on both attempts. I won't be competing this year, because I would like to actually finish the two previous novels that I wrote for it. 

So for my writing I have been using Evernote. Many people use Google Docs, Word or even some specialized writing apps like Scrivener. I have liked using Evernote. It is a super clean and simple interface and I was able to keep my writing notes and the writing itself all together in one location. Evernote has some basic text formatting, but that is really all I need for writing. All of the bells and whistles that Word has just aren't necessary. Evernote's desktop application presented two major issues for me when writing. The first, it did not have a "night mode" in the app. Everything is white and it made working on a document in the evening really stressful on the eyes. Second, was that the management of the text size was a bit cumbersome. I like to work in a minimized interface and at times having the text nice and "big" on the screen helps to keep me focused. 

Over the past month or so I have been doing some testing on an alternative. I settled on an app called Ulysses, which I had demo'd for a few weeks. It had just about everything I wanted, including the customizable night mode and some other features. It wasn't perfect though as the text was justified to the left in the minimal interface and it was also $35. Not crazy expensive, but not cheap either. 

Just when I was about to pull the trigger on Ulysses though I found an app called Alternote. It is basically an alternative app for Evernote which happens to have all of the features I was looking for. Even better was that I was able to sync just the notebooks I wanted to (my writing notebooks) to keep the workflow efficient. 

A couple of other nice touches are that it shows me the word count right on the bottom right of the screen, and the text size can be adjusted with a slider if needed. Best of all. It was $7 on the app store. 

If anyone is looking for a nice writing app, and you are using Evernote, or if you just are looking for an alternative Evernote client on Mac, give this app a look. 

2016 Pumpkin Pie Ride

Fall is here and it is time for the Pumpkin Pie ride out in Ottawa Illinois. This is the second year that we have done the ride, but this year Megan had a true road bike. The weather could not have been better. It was about 65 degrees and overcast and we did the 45 mile ride. Megan did great and we had a really fun time. This is definitely going to be a regular ride for us. 

September 2016 - Reading List

The year is coming to a close. We are now in the last quarter with fall quickly coming up upon us. For the past couple of years I have really enjoyed reading one of the Harry Potter books during the late fall, early holiday season. I have read the first four books, so I am just starting to now make the turn into the darker side of the series. That also means that the series starts to get a bit longer as we move on. 

I have had an opportunity to read a lot of books this year, especially since I have taken advantage of my library's audiobooks. I can't say though that anything has really captured me with the exception of Ancillary Justice. The collection of Nebula Award short stories was extremely good and I truly enjoyed the Last Wish, which I just finished a few weeks ago. 

I am currently reading an indie book called Render. It is the follow up with Shatter, which caught me by surprised a few years ago. I am hoping to wrap up some series that I have had hanging out there for a while now before diving deep into any new long standing series. I really want to get the Malayan series wrapped up soon as well, since that one only has a couple of books left in the main series. 

I am struggling so far with Render since I cannot remember pretty much who any of the characters are. One of the troubles of reading a follow up series so many months later. Since it is an indie book, I have also been unable to fins a synopsis online to refresh my memory. It has been a struggle thus far to get into the book. 

I am hoping I might be able to knock out two more books before the end of the year.