Writing Tools: Zoho Writer

So the kids arrived, turned out to be pretty normal little boys, and we’re still settling in on some kind of routine, but all in all things are looking up for us in this foster care thing. More updates will no doubt follow.

But today that’s not what I want to talk to you about.

What I want to talk about is this: I’m always worried about my house burning down. Okay, maybe “always” is too extreme a word. Let’s just say it’s a frequently recurring fear of mine.

And when my mind flicks over to that image of my house devoured by flames, there is always one vital question that pops into my head. “What about my stories?”

Because it doesn’t matter how many backup hard drives you have if they’re all in the same house burning to the ground. Now I know there are programs like Carbonite that back up everything on your hard drive, and while I’m sure they are an invaluable resource, I’d imagine there are lots of you out there like me who simply can’t swing the cost.

If that’s the case, then I’d like to introduce you to a fantastic program I discovered a few months back called Zoho Writer. Zoho Writer is an online cloud-based word processor that accepts files in a variety of formats in sizes up to ten megabytes, a vast improvement on the ridiculously small upload restrictions imposed by Google Docs.

Now granted we’re not talking about a heavy-duty word processor here. This isn’t going to replace Microsoft Word or Open Office in terms of power, but if you’re just writing stories there’s no need for anything fancy. Give me a spell checker and a word count feature and I’m happy. Zoho Writer has both of them.

And while I started using Zoho simply to back up the work I didn’t want to lose it has become increasingly valuable to me of late, since I’ve started my collaborative project with fellow-writer, mom, and general producer of awesome Ellie Soderstrom. Zoho lets us edit the same document at the same time and see each other’s changes as they happen. If that ain’t awesome I don’t know what is.

I know I sound like I’m giving some kind of sales pitch here, but I really do feel strongly about this program.

Maybe it can help give you a little more piece of mind about the safety of your stories. Maybe you want to let other people edit your documents without worrying about sending attachments back and forth through email.

Maybe you’re sitting there thinking, “This is the stupidest idea I’ve ever heard.” That is totally fine with me. But it’s a great tool that I’ve gotten a lot of value out of and I wanted to share it with you guys. Give it a look and decide for yourself.

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7 responses to “Writing Tools: Zoho Writer

  1. Thanks for posting this – I will definitely check it out! Right now, I tend to rely on emailing my work to myself and, in addition to storing things on 2 different computers I have files stored in my sent mail archives and email folders. But that gets a little nuts as my number of writing projects grows, especially as they become more book-length!

  2. That sounds great . . but will it protect files against being transformed into grey goo? Because that’s MY recurring fantasy. Or shall I say, that’s my recurring concern. Or course, in a grey goo scenario, my house, myself, and pretty much the entire universe would be transformed into grey goo, but as long as my files are safe in a cloud thing somewhere, I’d be satisfied. Actually, I’d be dead, but I’d be satisfied up until the goo transformed my brain . .

  3. I’ll be checking this out as well. Thank you! While I don’t suffer reoccurring nightmares of my home burning down, I do worry that my flash drive/laptop will become lost, damaged, etc, so I do often email my pieces to myself. Glad all is going well with your two boys.

  4. You worry about house fires … I worry about gamma rays and burglars and tornadoes. Thanks for the one-cloud-covers-every-disaster solution!

  5. CMStewart-haha! That was funny.
    Yeah, Zoho’s been really great to work on.

  6. This could be really helpful because I have pretty much the same fear you do, since one day I put my PenDrive (also known as the only place I saved everything I wrote) in my laptop, it started making choking noises and zing! my PenDrive was as empty as my wallet. After half an hour of a fit of rage followed by a panic attack, I retrieved all of the files one by one, tears of joy in my eyes. Since then I’ve started storing my files on various CDs and computers.
    Never really thought of my house burning down, though. So hey, thanks for that image!

  7. Congratulations, with the boys! Good luck.

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