3 Easy Tasks You Can Do for Your Writing While on a Commute

These tasks can supercharge your writing without wasting your commuting time

Aliff Azhar
Feb 28, 2020 · 5 min read
Photo by Adelin Preda on Unsplash

Whether you commute to work or any other place, commuting can be time-consuming. For many, it can be a tiring journey, especially if they have to deal with the heavy traffic on the road or jam-packed trains or buses. At the same time, the commute can be pretty pleasant too along the way.

What would you do if that‘s the case? If you are doing nothing, then you have been wasting a lot of precious time which otherwise can be used to do some stuff without much effort from your side. Because the fact is, commuting does not have to be dreading and boring!

I have been commuting between my home and my coworking space for about a year now. At times, I would be feeling tired, and I definitely won’t do anything other than taking a nap while on the train or bus. But if I am not tired, I would do something on hand instead of just looking outside the train or bus.

With the advent of the smartphone and the countless number of apps, you can basically do many things on that very device conveniently without having the need to fire up your laptop or computer. This also can improve your writing abilities further, as well as igniting inspirations on what to write next. Of course, this only applies if you don’t know what to do while in the middle of the commute. But anyway, let me list out the three tasks that I always do when you have nothing much to do in your hands.

Connect potential prospects and other writers on social media

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You may be thinking that social media is a huge waste of time. I used to think that way too. But as time passes by, I realized that it is actually a terrific way to connect with potential prospects especially if you hate the idea of networking with people in person.

I personally use LinkedIn to connect potential prospects and other writers. It is technically like Facebook for businesses. Most of what’s being shared there are related to what they do or work. For start, you can simply glance through their profiles, see what they shared, read their articles, like and comment them, and connect from there. Of course, you may want to introduce yourself and personalize your invite to connect so that they can get to know you and build trust between each other further.

If LinkedIn isn’t your jam, you can also connect them on any other social media platforms such as Twitter or Facebook. Retweet their latest posts, follow them, joining the Facebook groups, and participate in the discussions in that particular group. All of these can be done on your smartphone.

I know, social media can be distracting especially if you suddenly encounter a post update that you really attracted. But if you know how to limit yourself on browsing unnecessary stuff on social media and focus on building relationships and connections online, chances are, you never know if anyone within your connections can give you some inspiration on writing, or even land you a writing gig.

Listen to a podcast

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If you are suddenly run out of ideas on what to write, you may want to get some inspiration from other people. Podcast fits this purpose. There are tonnes of podcasts that you can choose from and listen straight away, regardless of your niche and area of expertise. Most importantly, podcasts are free to listen and download.

I tend to listen to podcasts on a variety of topics, including side hustling, passive income, thought-provoking talk shows, and many more. It may not directly be related to writing, but it gives me inspiration on what to write or anything that I never thought of.

If you prefer listening to podcasts on everything related to writing, there are lots of them too on the web. Just fire up your iTunes or your favorite podcast app and search “writing”. It will list out several podcast suggestions there.

Drafting your article or blog post outlines

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Do you have some ideas on what to write for your blog or article next? I am sure you don’t want to let everything you remember evaporated just like that few hours later. It is better to get your inspirations or ideas recorded somewhere so that you can refer back in case you have the urge to write straight away. How can you do that?

In my case, I use an app called Trello to organize such thoughts and what I intend to write. You can create and manage the topics you want to write on multiple cards, then organize them in a single list. In the topic card, you can draft on how you would want to write your article or post in the description box. It is possible to even create checklists so that you follow the process of writing your content in sequence. If your article has a deadline to follow, just tap the “due date” and set the date and time there.

You can also use other note-taking apps if you prefer that way. Apps such as Microsoft OneNote and the Notes app (if you use iOS) would be super handy to jot everything you want to write later on. Whatever apps you are using, my point is you can jot down everything you have in your mind without getting the risk of forgetting them. There are so many note-taking apps on the app store and Play Store which you can download on your smartphone for free.

All the tasks I mentioned above can be simply done with a touch of your phone screen. It is possible to perform them while you are in your car, train, bus or any other transportation modes. Dealing with a commute can be boring at times, but it doesn’t have to be that way.

Especially when you want to figure out the writing matters, you can always use your commuting time to jot down what you want to write directly on your smartphone and save it so you can refer back once you are on your desk and ready to write and hit the “publish” button.

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