Tools of the Trade: Alphasmart Neo 2

A writer’s tools go far beyond the classic pen and paper. In an age of computers and high speed word processors, sometimes it is essential to go back to basics.

The internet is a useful tool, but it is also full of distractions. From social media to general browsing pitfalls, there is no denying that it is easy to wander away from the pages of a prospective story when notifications pop up on one’s desktop.

Introducing the Alphasmart Neo 2–a keyboard with a tony screen whose purpose is simply to type and type without any distraction. In fact this very blog post is being constructed on the aforementioned machine. It is simple, holds a total of 8mb of memory, and requires a cable to upload the content.

In short I love it.

Rather than a quick file transfer, connection to the computer turns the device into a wired keyboard and transfer of the text is done via pre-recorded keystrokes, in summary, you can watch the machine type your story into a blank document.

This is my cue for a writing break. Sometimes the upload can take a while depending on the word count, but it is pretty satisfying to watch.

Before there were fancy computers and speech to text programs, there was pen, paper, and typewriters. Perhaps there is something to be said about going back to base tools of writing. With more complexity comes more distraction. I don’t know about you, but I find something super satisfying about simplicity.

Do you have your own distraction free writing tool/method? Let us know what it is in the comments below.