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Typewriters may not make a return, but keyboards that imitate them are desired products

2018-07-25

There must be something magical in those loud and clunky keys that old typewriters have. Several keyboard products have been created during recent years that imitate the design and mechanical features of typewriters. One of the most stylish and most wanted (as indicated by the number of investors) keyboards is the KnewKey Rymek.

KnewKey Rymek keyboard
Rymek keyboard is connected to a computer with a USB cable, and to a tablet or phone via Bluetooth. Then, it can be used like an ordinary keyboard, but the big differences are long movement of the keys, proper sound when typing, and it looks absolutely gorgeous.

If you use a tablet or a smartphone as your word processing application, you can drop the device into a holder that is located in the same place where paper used to be in old typewriters. Rymek keyboard must be charged once in a while because the battery lasts about 50 hours.

Rymek comes with a few special effects that some writers may find very attractive. It is possible to switch on lights in the keyboard, allowing the lights to blink while typing. The keyboard even has a large carriage return handle, but it is used for switching between Bluetooth and USB connections. A knob for turning the carriage is there as well, but its function is volume control.
Rymek keyboard for writers who want a typewriter
The Next Web had an opportunity to test the Rymek keyboard, and they were convinced that its most important feature – typing – was convenient and fun.

The production process for the keyboard started in July 2018, after investors at Indiegogo had poured in money to the product over 10 times more than the target was.

KnewKey delivers the product anywhere in the world, but it only comes with a US keyboard. The caps can be removed and their places changed. The retail price is set at 199 dollars.

Another keyboard that has borrowed its design and some features from old typewriters is Penna.

Here is a video that demonstrates Rymek’s features:

Rymek keyboard

Free writing applications that let you focus on typing on a computer, tablet and smartphone

2017-11-15

The popular word processing software package Microsoft Word was originally designed for drafting documents required in an office environment. Word has, however, so many features that it is commonly used for writing book manuscripts and pretty much anything. There are very good alternatives for Word, and many of these applications are free to download and use. Here are the most popular free writing apps.

The Writing Cooperative collected the following list of free distraction-free writing apps.

WriteMonkey, writing application, screen shot
Before diving into the applications make sure to take notice where the app saves your text: locally on your device, or onto the cloud (on a server computer on the Internet). This is important to understand because it affects your choice. Some writers live in the cloud, whereas others want to have everything locally under their own control. Especially, if you travel and write, you should carefully choose your strategy.

Here is a collection of popular distraction-free writing applications.

FocusWriter
A distraction-free word processor with only a few formatting features. Timers, themes, statistics, and a spell-checker are included.

WriteMonkey
An application for distraction-free writing. Not even a menu bar is visible before you push the right button. This is for writers who want to quickly access all menu commands from the keyboard. Fast typists will like this because they don’t have to raise their fingers from the keyboard. WriteMonkey can also be run from a USB stick.

Q10
Q10 is small and fast writing app that is tuned to timed writing sessions.

Write!
A simple writing app for Windows and Mac.

yWriter
A distraction-free writing application that was designed for drafting novels.

Cold Turkey
An app that turns your computer into a typewriter until you reach your writing goal.

Calmly Writer
The application’s special focus mode only shows you the paragraph you’re writing, but it can used in a normal manner as well.
Simplenote on an iPhone
Simplenote
Simplenote has stolen our hearts for writing notes, ideas, lists, plans, book proposals, or anything that we are processing in our minds. The application is available for computers, tablets and phones, so it can be accessed anywhere. The texts are saved into the cloud so elegantly that you don’t have to worry about it at all. If you are using one of the Simplenote mobile apps, it remembers what you have written and saves everything on your account even if the connection was broken down while writing or the device happened to shut down because of battery problems. The text is instantly available on all your devices that are logged in to the Simplenote account.

It is worth noting that the publishing industry’s standard manuscript file format is the Word .doc (or .docx). If you are going to submit your book proposal or manuscript to a publisher (or an agent) you should import (or copy and paste) the text into the Word and save the document as a Word document.

An excellent alternative to the Word – that does exactly the same things as Word does – is the free LibreOffice software package. You have to download the entire LibreOffice suite, but for writing you only need the Writer app.

The Writing Cooperative lists even more tools that can be handy and helpful for writers.
Simplenote in  a web browser