TECHNOLOGY

Freewriting Traveler Review (2021): A Distracted Writer’s Friend


Have you ever Long for the days of manual typewriters? We do. We love here a single use product, like A Kindle. It’s an e-reader, and that’s it. You can’t scroll through TikTok, check Slack at work, or get chat notifications. That’s why we loved Free writing in 2016. It’s a typewriter, but unlike a real typewriter, you can carry it to the coffee shop and put your pages into a Google Doc later.

So we decided to try free traveler writing, which is a slightly more capable device. Unlike the original free typing, this version is hinged for easy portability and comes with arrow keys to edit your mistakes. It is simply a place to write anywhere, without focusing too much on editing. And the e-ink screen is fun to look at and doesn’t hurt your eyes.

Writing Companion

Photography: Astrohouse

I dream of writing novels from a house in a seaside town in New England (I Not look at you, Provincetown), and I can feel all the stories spring up inside me. But when it’s time to post it all on the page, it’s a lot easier to just check out Twitter instead. After a full day working on my computer, the last thing I want to do is stare at my computer for a few more hours at night. This little traveler made me put those damn words on the page. I did not finish a book, but by God I started with it!

I said above that Freewrite products are designed for writing, not editing. It’s best to let yourself write and edit later. The older model achieved this by having no arrow keys at all, which was a deliberate design choice to prevent you from picking text or rearranging paragraphs, but Traveler has watered down a bit since then.

This time, there be Arrow keys, but you have to use the WASD keys, as well as the “New” keys and the shift keys, to move the cursor across each character for a backspace. Skip the shift key if you want to jump between entire words. This makes it possible, but not easy, and that’s on purpose.

Screen size also makes you type. As I type on my big computer screen, I can see many of my previous paragraphs. It’s hard not to go back and edit while I’m working. On Traveler, I only see a few lines of text at a time. You can’t focus on your LED when you can’t see it. Traveler won’t check the spelling for you, but you can do it later once you’ve submitted your draft to a Google Doc.

Photography: Astrohouse



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