I’ve written a few posts before about how I’ve found a few Apps particularly useful to my writing arsenal. Lately, I’ve noticed people sending me inquiries about the use of some of these Apps, so I’m going to go over them here today, and tell you why Blasty, Dropbox and Evernote are some of my best picks.
Dropbox is a cloud based App that allows you to store copies of anything from documents to photos in a folder for safe keeping and easy access. Sure you may be backing up and/or saving your work on a flash drive or a hard drive, but extra back up with a handy retrieval system is crucial for me. With Dropbox you can access your stored files from anywhere, anytime, even if you aren’t on your own computer. You can pick up a file on your mobile devices as well, all by just signing in to access to access them.
Evernote has become my best pal of all. Evernote is similar to a virtual library where you can add anything to it to be saved in a cloud file. For example, when I come across an article I’ve found in a newsletter pertaining to something I want to have on hand for future use ie: publishing matter, editing tips, etc., I clip it with the Evernote clipper installed on my computer toolbar and the box will open up asking me which file I want to save it to, or give me the option to create a new file. You can also download it to your mobile devices, again, to have handy access to refer to your notes on the go.
Blasty is starting to garner more attention lately, and I’ve previously written 2 posts on how the process works. Blasty is still in beta stages which offers a FREE subscription while still new. I recommend every author sign up for Blasty if you’re concerned about your books being pirated. So far, I’ve ‘Blasted’ almost 300 sites that were pirating free downloads of my books. Don’t ask me how they get there, but Google sure knows how to search out these crafty criminals. And by letting Google do the work of finding these sites, it saves me hours on end of searching myself.
HOW DO THESE SITES WORK?
Dropbox is FREE to sign up to. They will start you off with 2 gigs of free space. If you go over this limit, there are 2 options to obtain more storage. One method is to upgrade to their Pro version and pay a few dollars a month, which I’ve managed to avoid doing. The second option has been working great for me, and here’s the deal. Dropbox will allow you 500 mbs (half a gig) extra space for every person you get to sign up with your invitation link. And not only 500 for the person whose link you join from, but 500 mbs EXTRA for YOU too! It’s a win, win by sharing. I can tell you that I have thousands of files, photos, and even all my book’s manuscripts filed there for safekeeping and easy access. I joined Dropbox 3 years ago at a most opportune time, only weeks before I published my first book and my computer CRASHED! If I hadn’t put everything I write in those files, all my work would have been lost! Flash drives are great, but they can get lost, and you may not always have them handy when you’re somewhere and need to have access to your files or photos. Get Dropbox today by going through My Invitational Link here, and help me add more storage to mine as you build extra storage space for yourself!
Evernote is a FREE App to sign up to. It will give you up to 60 MB of space to save articles per month. Believe me, that’s a lot, and enough for me, and I’m an avid clipper. But for those looking to store mega volumes of files, notes, photos, etc., they also offer a low annual cost to purchase. They’ve recently changed their usage from the ability to sync across all your devices to syncing to up to 2 devices for the free usage, but this hasn’t hindered my ability at all as I can clip articles or photos to save from my desktop and laptop, as that’s where I chose to have access to clip to. You can virtually sign in from anywhere on any device and log in to your account to find things if you’re not on one of your 2 devices you signed up to the App where you’re able to use the Clipper. Now, when you sign up, you’ll also download their WebClipper, which gives you the little elephant icon that represents their site, on your top tool bar. This is where you’ll click when you come across an article you want to save to a folder, which ‘clips’ the article and files it for you. I use this App as my bookmarking system. It’s like a virtual filing cabinet with easy access. Visit Evernote Here and start building your own file finding system.
Blasty is FREE while in beta stages now. It works with Google to search your content on the web that flags suspicious postings. When you sign up and become accepted, Blasty will offer you a place to add your content to be flagged. You can add each of your books, and you can also add your website. When your membership becomes accepted you will be notified and a little ‘B; icon will be available on your toolbar for easy access to their site to check on updates of your work found that seeks approval to be blasted or not. The site explains the procedure well with numerous short videos. Because this App is still in beta, their sign up procedure goes as follows: Once you sign up, your information has to be verified through them and Google, to make sure you’re legitimate copyright holder of your own materials (makes good sense!) The process can take from 3 days up to 2 weeks until your accepted OR if you can share your join up link with others, and once you get 3 others to sign up, you will be approved the same day! When I joined, I wrote 2 posts about this site and had many sign up immediately, so my books were listed the same day once approved. I’m still getting people signing up through my link, and although I’m already a member, I’ve been getting frequent correspondence from the CEO of Blasty, asking my opinion on certain features. It’s a great tool and time saver for authors to check up on their book’s piracy activity as often as you like. Just visit the site and you will have notifications of suspicious activity and be given the opportunity to ‘blast’ the site off Google completely, or to approve that a site is okay to promote your work.
Here are my invitational links again. Join through using these links to get your extra storage space on Dropbox and your quick approval on Blasty.