From the Cheapskate: This top-rated tool, a favorite among novelists and screenwriters alike, normally runs $45. Plus: three seriously good bonus deals.
Rick BroidaSenior Editor
Rick Broida is the author of numerous books and thousands of reviews, features and blog posts. He writes CNET's popular Cheapskate blog and co-hosts Protocol 1: A Travelers Podcast (about the TV show Travelers). He lives in Michigan, where he previously owned two escape rooms (chronicled in the ebook "I Was a Middle-Aged Zombie").
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Calling all writers, would-be and otherwise!
If you've ever tried using a word processor to compose a lengthy document -- novel, screenplay, dissertation or what have you -- you know that it's pretty ill-suited to the task. Just navigating it can be a hassle, to say nothing of managing research, ideas and other elements.
That's why Literature & Latte developed Scrivener, which is widely regarded as one of the top software tools for writers. It's very reasonably priced at $40 and $45 (for the Windows and Mac versions, respectively), but for a limited time, you can get it for a steal.
The software was expressly designed for novelists, screenwriters, journalists, students, academics and others who plan, organize and compose long-form works. To that end, it offers tools like an outliner, a virtual corkboard with index cards and a full-screen, distraction-free editing mode.
Having struggled with Microsoft Word for my self-published book (which, fair warning, has a few out-of-date chapters), I can say without question that something like Scrivener would have made things a lot easier. Well worth $18.
That said, because I know not everybody needs such software, I now present you with three pretty awesome bonus deals:
Bonus deal: In recent weeks I've seen refurbished Pebble Time smartwatches dip below $100. But not everyone is comfortable with refurbs, especially when it comes to warranty. Seeing as you're already at StackSocial anyway, check this out: They've got the Pebble Time (in black) for $119.99 shipped -- new, not refurbished. That's the lowest price I've seen for a new one; it's $149.99 everywhere else. Just take note that shipping may take 2-3 weeks. This is an excellent watch for Android users; the iPhone crowd may want to look elsewhere.
Bonus deal No. 2: One of my all-time favorite mobile chargers is on sale for the lowest price to date! The Solove Titan 20,000mAh Power Bank can be yours for $24.99 shipped (with Prime) when you apply coupon code SLOVSKAT at checkout. Choose either the gold or silver color. Slim and cool, the Titan features dual USB outputs and an LCD power meter. My only complaint is it doesn't come with a wall adapter for charging the charger. Even so: tremendous deal.
Bonus deal No. 3: When it comes to Microsoft Office alternatives, most people are familiar with the likes of OpenOffice and LibreOffice (the latter my pick for best free office suite). But Ability Office? Never heard of it until today: SharewareOnSale has Ability Office 6 for free. Regular price: $39.99. Fully file-compatible with Microsoft's suite, and offering a choice of traditional or ribbon-style interface, Ability Office looks like a pretty comprehensive product. The giveaway nets you a single-user license, with no free updates or tech support. I haven't had a chance to try it yet -- let me know if you have! Update:The standard version is free, not Professional as I originally indicated. My apologies for the error!