These are a few of my favorite apps

This month’s Writer Wednesday is all about the apps. I have so so many apps, like most peeps, but here are 5 of my faves that I think everyone should have on their phone:

Slack – Think group texting on steroids, but obviously you need to have some slack buddies to converse with in order to make this app useful. I’m a part of three writing/critique groups that use Slack. It takes our conversations off of Facebook or a group text message and puts them in a place where we can easily categorize by channel (aka topic), post documents, and photos. It’s got really great keyword search functionality, which makes it a much better option than Facebook AND it’s not as much as a time suck because you don’t get distracted by checking your FB feed.  If you have a chatty group that needs to stay organized online – give it a try.

Starbucks – Okay – it’s time for me to admit that I have a serious addiction to Starbucks iced coffee. Venti with 4 shots of vanilla, 4 shots of Classic and cream, to be exact. I love that I can order from my driveway and by the time I get to my neighborhood Starbucks, my order is ready and waiting. And I love the rewards and being able to pay with my app. It’s actually far too easy…

OneNote – I use OneNote to keep track of so many things, most notably my writing projects. For instance, the notebook for my latest novel contains lists, outlines, scenes, pictures, ideas, notes from my agent, pretty much anything related to the novel that I need to keep track of. I love how you can search by keyword so if I don’t remember exactly where something is in my notebook, I can easily find it. The beauty of OneNote is that you can sync your notebooks from your hard drive to the cloud and then access the cloud via the app on your phone.  I can see my book notes from phone!!!!  That means if I have an idea when I’m out and about, no need to grab a scrap piece of paper that might get lost. I can type (or dictate) into my phone, draw/write on the screen, and even upload photos and audio files.  OneNote is a phenomenal tool I highly recommend.

SkyGuide – I love stargazing, and this app helps me identify which constellations and celestial objects I’m looking at. You simply aim your phone at the sky and voila, it layers the phone screen on the nighttime sky, indicating what is what. Super cool. If you’re into learning the history behind the celestial objects, you click on the little information icon and up pops a wealth of info, including the pronunciation and ancient legends related to the star. I even use this app for novel writing research.

WordSwag – This is a phenomenal app for adding typography to pictures. Not only can you use photos from your camera roll, they also have images in their library you can use.  There are tons of fonts and font colors to chose from. I love posting quotes on social media, and this is my go to app for making them look fabulous.  I just made this one with a photo I took on Sunday while flying the friendly skies.

Of course, I have tons of other apps that I LOVE, but these are five of my favorites.  I’d love to hear which apps YOU can’t live without, so let me know in the comments. Also — some of my authorly friends are sharing their favorite apps. Check ’em out!

Tamra Baumann      |     Kay Hudson     |      Pamela Kopfler

Carol Post       |       Priscilla Oliveras   |      Sharon Wray

Sporty Girls Matter

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Today we celebrate the 31st National Girls & Women in Sports Day.  How cool is that, huh?! A day for us sporty girls!!  This year’s theme is Empowering Opportunity. My hope is that all girls who want to play sports, will get that chance; because through sports, girls can learn the power of teamwork, leadership skills, and sporty girls grow up to be self-confident women.

Our school district recognizes their female high school athletes with a #NGWSD program. In fact, in 2014, little ‘ole me was honored to be the keynote speaker. It was super cool to share with the auditorium of young athletes what opportunities were opened to me by participation in sports.

Yesterday, I took a super quick poll from a few girls on the track team about this year’s program and here’s what they said were the highlights:


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Isn’t that great? Kudos to our school district for championing their female athletes, recognizing their achievements, empowering opportunity, but above all else, proving that sporty girls matter.

I’d love to hear about what’s going on in your area to recognize #NGWSD.

– TL –