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

Have you ever longing for the days of manual typewriters? We do. We love a disposable product here, like a Kindle. It’s an e-reader, and it is. You can not scroll through TikTok, check work Slack or be pinged by chat messages. That’s why we loved Freewrite in 2016. It’s a typewriter, but unlike a real typewriter, you can carry it to a coffee shop and put your pages in a Google document later.

So we decided to try Freewrite Traveler, which is a slightly more capable device. Unlike the original Freewrite, this version is hinged for easier transport and comes with arrow keys to edit your errors. It’s simply a place to write anywhere without focusing too much on editing. And its e-ink screen is a joy to look at and does not hurt your eyes.

Writing buddy

Photo: Astrohaus

I dream of writing novels from a house in a coastal town in New England (I am DOES NOT looking at you, Provincetown), and I can feel all the stories just bubbling up in me. But when it’s time to actually get it all out on the page, it’s so much easier to just check Twitter instead. After a full day of 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 actually made me put the damn words on the page. I did not finish a book, but by God I started it!

I said above that Freewrite products are made for writing, not editing. It’s best to just let you write and edit later. The older model achieved this by not having arrow keys at all, which was a deliberate design choice to prevent you from choosing your text or reordering paragraphs, but the traveler has loosened up a bit since then.

This time, there is arrow keys, but you have to use the WASD keys plus the “new” and shift keys to move the cursor through each character to go back. Skip the shift key if you want to skip between whole words. This makes it possible, but not easy, and it is on purpose.

The screen size also keeps you typing. As I type on my large computer screen, I can see many of my previous episodes. It’s hard not to go back and edit while I work. On the traveler, I only see a few lines of text at a time. You can not fix on your lead when you can not see it. The traveler will also not check your spelling for you, but you can do so later after submitting your draft Google Document.

Photo: Astrohaus

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