Home » The Writing Habit » Making Time to Write: Becoming Portable

Making Time to Write: Becoming Portable

Making Time to WriteFor you in the younger demographic, I’m certain this is old hat for you. Those of us with a little more “experience” might find a few nuggets here.

Becoming portable is a boon for writers, and these days there are so many options. Portability not only gives you the advantage of using time that would otherwise be lost (waiting rooms, soccer practice), but also helps eliminate your dependence on a certain place in which to write. I’m including the portability tools I know personally. Please feel free to add to the list in the comments.

Samsung S Note Smart Phone

My phone has a stylus and allows me to write, either in the S Note app or in Polaris (MS Office for Android) and upload to my computer later. It’s slower than typing since the last software update, but reasonably accurate and useful. You don’t have to use the stylus, either. If you are faster tapping on the virtual keyboard, you can generate some decent speed.

Tablets with keyboards or stylus

I have an android tablet with a case that includes a small keyboard. What it’s not as comfortable to type on as a regular size keyboard, it’s doable and I can get quite a bit down on paper with more speed than my phone. Again, I upload to my computer later since I work primarily in Scrivener. It’s a simple copy/paste to move it over.


My old laptop was heavy and didn’t have Word on it, so I only took it if I were going to a coffee shop or some place I could use a table. The new laptop (gift from Hubs a couple months ago) is lighter, has a larger keyboard, and is much easier to tote around, sit on my lap, and use in a variety of settings. The new laptop is connected to Dropbox, has Scrivener and MS Office installed, and has made a nice difference both to portability and to working in other parts of the house.

Paper and Pen

Despite my portable devices, I still carry a notebook and pen in my purse and use them often. Sometimes I just need to physically write something by hand in order to work it into my memory. Sometimes I play with words or jot down story ideas. When caught unexpectedly in a waiting room, I wrote whole scenes in a little 4 x 6 inch notebook. I also carry my regular spiral notebook any time I know I’ll end up waiting.

Anne Lamott carries index cards in her back pocket while she’s walking. So does Jeff VanderMeer, using them to jot notes when he’s away from his computer.

You can write whole scenes on the go or just sketch out what you want to write next. Jot down new ideas if that’s all you want to do. Having the means to capture these ideas in a convenient and habitual way gives you a lot of freedom and positively affects your productivity.

What is your favorite way to write when out of the house?


Making Time to Write

Not-So-Obvious Time Wasters

Finding Hidden Time

Becoming Portable

Forming the Write Habits

The Job vs No Job Myth

12 Tips for Making the Most of Your Writing Time

17 thoughts on “Making Time to Write: Becoming Portable

  1. I am realizing the unlimited potential of note cards these days. I began using these tiny pieces of pure delight about 3 weeks ago, and can’t wait to explore how to use them more efficiently! 😉

    Thanks Robyn


    PS: Congratulations on your new laptop! #HUGSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS

    • I have to say those cards are pretty convenient. 🙂 I should take a photo of the writing stuff I carry in my purse or pocket just to give everyone a laugh, lol.

  2. I’m old school and use paper and pen. I keep a small notebook in my purse and use my smart phone to jot things down if I’m just out on a walk. I’m in the over-50 group and don’t trust technology enough to use a computer exclusively.

    • I’ve been really obsessive about memory sticks and making sure there are multiple copies until I finally broke down and got cloud storage. I’ve had my share of hardware crashes and they scare me silly lol.

  3. There’s certainly nothing more portable than paper and pen 😉 But, I prefer to type – on my laptop. It’s funny, because a lot of time people tend to buy more expensive equipment thinking that it will serve them better. I have done the opposite with surprising results. I bought a laptop for under $200 and it turned out to be perfect. Why? Because it only has flash memory in it. It can only hold 32 GB of data – less than some smartphones! But, because it has flash memory, it boots up in under ten seconds. Now that is essential when you have a thought screaming through your head that you need to get down ASAP 🙂

  4. My #1 favorite way to be portable is my laptop. However, if I’m really needed to connect with my feelings or write a new scene for my novel, I do that first with pen and paper.

    • Pen and paper is key to working out story and characters (for me). I can draft story on a keyboard, but often need to hand write the elements, mood, feeling, etc on paper first. Glad to know I’m not alone. 🙂

  5. Yes, there’s just something about a pen in my hand writing that CONNECTS more to my heart. My writing is deeper, richer and more satisfying. XO- m3

  6. I use my Kindle Fire a lot when I’m out and about. It’s not as easy as typing on a laptop, but definitely easier to carry around.

    Also, if your Samsung is like my friend’s (I still haven’t upgraded to a smart phone), you can “swipe” the keyboard–instead of having to tap each letter, you just hold your finger down and slide to each letter, then lift up at the end of the word. WAY faster than trying to type on a little screen keyboard.

    • the S Note has a stylus and a screen to write on. Much easier on my bad fingers. 🙂 Do you know if you can use those little plug in keyboards on the Fire? Have one for my tablet but don’t always use it.

  7. Pingback: Making Time: The Job vs No Job Myth | The Sarcastic Muse

  8. Pingback: Making Time to Write: Forming the Write Habits | The Sarcastic Muse

  9. Pingback: Making Time to Write: Finding Hidden Time | The Sarcastic Muse

  10. Pingback: Making Time to Write: Not-So-Obvious Time Wasters | The Sarcastic Muse

  11. Pingback: Making Time to Write | The Sarcastic Muse

  12. Pingback: 12 Tips for Making the Most of Your Writing Time | The Sarcastic Muse

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