In the recent edition of the Roleplaying Tips Weekly E-Zine (#456 Stress-Free Gaming and Time and Character Advancement in PbEM) there was a reader tip submitted title Creating While Commuting which discussed using a 3G enabled phone to create the shell information for encounters and such while traveling instead of trying to lug your laptop everywhere.
It’s a great tip as many of us spend a fair amount of time in locations where you can’t boot up a laptop when the inspiration strikes – I don’t know about you but it’s a bit hard for me to balance a laptop while trying to push a cart through the store or walk the dog. So, as someone who recently drunk the Iphone fruit punch it got me to thinking about tools could be used for creating on the run.
1. GMail – As Ben, the author of the tip mentioned above, stated Gmail is great but it goes beyond just emailing ideas to my home computer, now I can stay in touch with my gaming group as well as keep up on the various gaming mailing lists I’m on.
2. Google Docs – With the Google Application installed I have access to the entire suite of Google Apps that I typically use, so word processing and spreadsheets are available to me.
3. Evernote – this is the big boy on the block when it comes to note taking on the run. Once you create an account, and install the application on your phone (available for most platforms) you can take a picture (like that fantastic church steeple you’re walking by) and store it online tagging for a game idea (possible location picture for next session). In addition you can store other text notes and picture of white boards (which are converted to searchable images).
Now I will be upfront, Evernote has a free account but if you’re a heavy user you’ll need to upgrade to a premium account – for me personally, I’m cheap and am looking at other options. Ubernote is one which doesn’t have the ability to search images and currently only allows posting images while on the full web interface. The other more spartan and recently started 3banana, is also worth looking at.
4. Reqall – This is one that will most likely be missed but a lot of folks as you don’t need a smartphone to use it. Once you sign up you can dial their toll free number and dictate up to 30 seconds and they will transcribe the recording and email it to you (they also store a copy online). This is of particular use when your driving so you don’t have that great idea lost because you shouldn’t text and drive (you don’t right) – 30 seconds is usually enough time to create the memory jogger you need for when you get home.
5. Pen and Paper – Don’t laugh, with all the technology available to us there is also still the chance that the network you use isn’t available or you’re sitting in an office where they don’t want cell phones turned on. In which case having a low-tech solution like small notebook or stack of index cards and a pen can come in handy.
Do you create on the run? What tools do you use?