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July 15, 2010

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I edit an online magazine and also books -- ebooks as well as conventional printed ones. I began the process of moving away from editing on paper in 1995, and now do everything on the desktop/laptop/cloud. I use Word's track changes. Acrobat's tools are fussy (to me) and I can't always count on other editors or the authors to have them. I live in the middle of the country (in the flyover zone), far away from authors, editors, and reviewers. Fax is totally impractical, and so is walking documents around. I use a combination of email, Google Docs, and Dropbox to get the job done.

I'm a little surprised to hear that (apparently large numbers of) professional editors are still working with physical documents and pencil markups. Phoo! Phoo, I say!

I also write. I use Evernote on the computer or the iPhone to collect research notes and jot down ideas (nothing gets lost in Evernote, unlike paper notes and notebooks, and I can always get to my files). For most writing, I draft directly in Word to save time. However, because I'm not always at my desk, near a power supply, or indoors, or not always writing on a deadline, I rough draft some things longhand on paper, using pencils or fountain pens (ballpoints are an invention of the devil). I like to do sketches, doodles, and mindmaps on paper or the whiteboard next to my desk when I'm working out a problem.

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