Tech tools for 'small practice' writers. #1: Listhings

If you’re working in 15-minute sessions, as many of us are, it’s easy to wind up with writing scattered through various notebooks and computer files. Organization helps, and tech tools can make it easy. I'll run through a few in the coming weeks. Here's one that helps make writing feel more like play. * Listhings. The basic metaphor behind this very simple app is “notes on a cork board.” Sign in and you’re taken to the board, where clicking on a plus-sign icon gives you the option of creating a note, adding an image or making a list. Notes, which can be resized, look like Post-its.

You can cover a board with notes and images, rearrange them, or just visit them to keep them in your mind. If your daily practice involves writing a couple of lines or short bits at a time, it can be fun to put them on notes, move them around like refrigerator poetry magnets and watch them begin to talk to each other.

If you’re clenching up around your writing and long to relax and experiment again, Listhings could help. Moving colored rectangles around seems to use a different part of the brain than the one that makes lists in Word.

You can create as many cork boards as you like, and share them should you feel like playing word games, collaborating or trading lines with a friend.

Listhings is free and web-based, with Mac and Android versions for phones, tablets and desktops. (It looks great on a phone, and its pint-sized notes seem well suited to the space.) The usual cautions apply: Use a smart password. Back up your work. And if you write something you love, copy it to a place you know is secure.