Monday, June 6, 2016

Mobile working setup

So it goes without saying that I write anywhere I can, whenever I can find a spare minute.  In my case, that's recently expanded when I bought a tablet a few months ago.  At first it was mostly for fun, as I slowly acquired the apps I needed for maximum productivity  Now, I've got it configured to work almost--almost seamlessly with my desktop setup.

See, most of the time if I want to do any writing outside of the apartment that means packing up my laptop.  Which isn't so bad if kidlet's in peuterspeelzaal for a few hours and I'm chilling at Starbucks (yes, Nijmegen has one).  But having to lug a laptop around the playground with me so that I can make sure that kidlet's not being an insufferable twit as he hops-skips-jumps from one thing to another is a lot less convenient.

Enter the tablet: it's a small one, with a 7-inch screen.  I'd debated getting a bigger one but in the end decided that portability was what mattered more to me--after all, what's the point of getting a tablet if you're just going to sit at home?  If you're going to stay home and surf the web and all, then that's what the Chromebook is for (these days my husband uses it more often than I do).  Also, because it's tiny, it has the added advantage of me being able to type on an intact QWERTY keyboard with my thumbs, and thanks to Google's ever-smarter autocorrect feature, it even manages to make my life a little easier.

My setup is still a bit of a mess; in a perfect world Scrivener would come out with a mobile app for Android and I would be able save my stuff in Google Drive and access it wherever I have WiFi.  But mostly, what I do is this:

1) Export, out of Scrivener, the current chapter I'm working on as an *.rtf file (the file type is largely irrelevant at this point for me, but I find that RTF files open faster), into OneDrive.
2) In my tablet, download the file off of OneDrive onto the tablet's internal memory. This step isn't strictly necessary, but I've found that sometimes places that are said to offer free WiFi, don't, and sometimes when they do, it doesn't work. Granted, Android systems are notorious for not always getting connected and/or staying connected to WiFi systems. But the point is, it's a precaution.
3) Go to place
4) Open the file using OfficeSuite.  I suppose at some point I might actually download Word and all those other Office apps, but at this point OfficeSuite does a good job and one word processor is the same as any other.
5) Write. Save.
6) Come home (or if the WiFi is actually working as promised...)
7) Move the file back to OneDrive.
8) Open my laptop.  In Scrivener, import the file and replace the one that was there.

I know, I know, it's clunky and horrible, but this comes about mostly because a) Scrivener files can only be opened in Scrivener and b) there is no app that can open Scrivener files.  If I worked in Word it would be a lot easier to streamline. Right now, though, the advantages of working in Scrivener outweigh the disadvantages faced when I need to go mobile.