Archive for the ‘Writing Tools’ Category

Why I’m abandoning MasterWriter

Sunday, August 26th, 2007

Last week, a song opportunity came up (I’ll say more about it when/if there’s more to say), and it required digging through our catalog for songs of a particular style and mood. I thought I’d done a relatively decent job of setting MasterWriter up to be able to do this, but in this case when I attempted to find suitable songs, I found myself at a loss as to how to whittle down my 600+ song library in an efficient way.

See, MasterWriter is antiquated by software standards (the copyright in the web site’s footer says 2001, and yet the FAQ page still says “Coming Soon!”), and its search capabilities still require the user to select a field in which to search. Ugh. More to the point, not all fields are searchable. So where I’ve set up a rough approximation of keywords (such as male, female, or neutral, loss, breakup, happy, etc), I now realize that I have no search capability.

But I knew this, sort of. I had recognized a while back that there was every possibility that MasterWriter would never produce another software release (even though I provided them with feedback so specific it was practically a requirements document, which no one at MasterWriter ever acknowledged to me, so I shortened it and posted it as a review on Amazon, thinking maybe someone would get ambitious and use that feedback to build a better tool). At that point I started investigating other possibilities, such as Journler or Yojimbo. But now I see that I need to speed that process up and get everything moved over from MasterWriter to another app with a quickness so I don’t run into more situations like this.

But MasterWriter has no real export facility. So it seems to come down to a manual, one-by-one copy and paste process. No kidding. I’m not thrilled.

What's on your PDA?

Tuesday, July 20th, 2004

soaring_phoenix wrote about PIMs. I replied:

I love love love my Clie NZ-90. I’ve previously owned a Palm VIIx and a PalmPilot Pro. I’m a diehard Palm OS user. It would take a lot to convince me to go with anything else.

I’ll admit I’ve had a major challenge to overcome with PIM software because up until a few months ago, I was living and dying by ACT! at home and Outlook at work, wanting to keep my songwriting biz and my day job separate, not to mention take advantage of the great functionality ACT! offers for tracking leads and opportunities. The synchronization between two very different desktop PIMs was daunting at best. I tried the Palm ACT! client, but I found it too limiting (and didn’t really like having ACT! data live in a separate database from the original Address and Date Book app). Since then, I’ve basically abandoned ACT! and now use Outlook for everything at work and just use Palm Desktop at home more or less as a backup. I’m still not thrilled with the arrangement, but it’s getting easier to live with.

Anyway, here are the productivity apps I use most on my Clie:

Date Book and To Do List. Both original, sync’ed through Intellisync with Outlook at work and Palm Desktop at home.
CLIE Memo. Came with the Clie. Not as good, in my opinion, as BugMe! but the latter costs $20 and I’m getting by with the free one for now.
PocketQuicken. Absolutely indispensable. I love Quicken. See previous post. :-)
TealDoc. Handy for editing text files directly on the Memory Stick, but I’ve found occasional file corruption as a result. Very disappointing.
Address. The original. Not thrilled with it compared to what I used to be able to store in ACT!, but it is what it is, and it’s fine for a lightweight address book.
AvantGo. Such a cool app. I’ve been using it for years, and I’m still impressed with it.