Friday, August 19, 2011

Alphasmart – Less is More

My Alphasmart 3000 is a life saver, or a word saver to get technical. It’s a focused word producing muse master. If I had to choose between my computer or my Alphasmart for raw text production, I would take the Alphasmart, hands down. It’s low tech machine that helps to generate high volume. It’s great for writers on the go. When you have a few space minutes, you can instantly start writing – no wait.

The alphasmart is essentially a keyboard with a small display. It saves keystrokes that can be downloaded to the computer when finished. It has 8 different files storage areas and saves as you go.

I bought my Alphasmart on Ebay for $30. Yes, it is an older technology – at least 10 years, but I love it.

Why the Alphasmart is great for writers:
-4 AA batteries last well over 700 hours
-Great portability
-8 file storage areas
-No distraction from Internet
-No distraction from computer games
-Instant on/off – no waiting for a boot up
-The do not get hot on your lap
-Great to carry around to get in a few extra pages per day
-Easy to download files to computer

I just have to write the story without worrying about word count, formatting, how it looks on the page. I just need to write. I can worry about the little things later. Since I bought mine, my word output has increased and the words just seem to flow better. It was a small investment for the convenience of another way to get the words down.

There are updated versions that have email capability, but I prefer to be disconnected when I am writing. If you are looking for a way to get more writing done, think about going low tech.


Melanie said...

I've got an Alphasmart. Dropped it on the floor and watched in horror as the top fell off. Breathed deeply as I pushed it back on, turned it on, and watched with relief as everything went back to normal. Whew!

I think, if I was packing for a mini writing retreat I would take my kindle and my Alpha, a mini notebook, and a pen. The only thing missing is a backlight on the display but since I needed one for the Kindle also, that is solved.

James Scott Bell on using the Alphasmart as a way to snatch writing time.

Stacie Carver said...

I'm so glad I found out about it. It has really allowed me to write during those little breaks.

EW Gibson said...


I love this low-tech gizmo! I have to get me one. Thanks for sharing.


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