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  • Writer's pictureJohn Lim

MF 231 : Book writing hardware

Updated: Jun 22, 2022

On this bonus episode, I share the equipment (hardware) I use to write. More at

Moving Forward is also available on Apple Podcasts, Stitcher Radio, Google Podcasts, Spotify, and Amazon Music.

My three writing devices

[NOTE: the books mentioned in this episode are out of print. For more, check out episode 388.]

Macbook Pro

I do the bulk of my writing on my Macbook, which I also use for daily work, podcasting and more. It’s where I wrote the first draft of my book and did the final compilation for publication on KDP using Scrivener.

Microsoft Surface Go with Keyboard case

Recently, I got a Surface Go so I could interface with my dad’s shop and keep track of the in-store inventory to update his Poshmark listings as needed. Since his CRM system runs on Windows, I needed a Windows-based device. I’ve had the Surface for about a month and really like it. It’s super slim, portable and has great battery life. I’ve started doing more writing with it and since it’s a Microsoft product, getting onto OneDrive and Word is seamless.

Neo 2

This is the least expensive and feature-laden device of the three and by far my favorite when it comes to writing first drafts. The Neo 2 is a word processor – a keyboard plus a small LCD screen with 4-5 lines of text display. It runs on three AA batteries, which I have yet to change, and provides a comfortable typing experience with a roomy keyboard. It’s ideal for writing first drafts since it’s hard to edit documents. Unlike a laptop or Tablet where you can point, click, copy, paste, delete, this device only has arrow keys and a delete button for editing, making it a real pain. That means, I don’t edit. I just write. Finally, the device does not have WiFi which means no distractions. When I take this to the coffee shop or write with it at home all I can do is write. I later transfer the document to my Macbook and edit there. Note: since they’re not making these anymore, you can only find them used or refurbished on marketplaces like eBay.


Try out different writing tools. There are many out there. Find one (or several) that work well for you and stick with it.

  • For writing software check out MF 230

[NOTE: the books mentioned in this episode and in the book writing series are out of print. I am leaving these episodes mostly as is and strictly for informational and instructional purposes only. I have retracted my story from the book discussed in this episode and its sequel with full reservation of my copyright. For more, check out episode 388.]


Scrivener (available for Mac, Win, IOS) is a book writing program that auto formats for self-publishing on Amazon’s KDP and other platforms. It’s a great tool with rich features that allow co-writers to collaborate through Dropbox. Scrivener has a bit of a learning curve but I’ve been a fan since 2017 and have talked to many authors who use it as their go-to. If you’re interested in Scrivener, you can use the coupon code MOVINGFORWARD to get 20% off your purchase (for Mac or Win). It’s a one-time license fee and available for Mac, Win, IOS.

Note: this section contains affiliate links and coupon codes for which the author may receive some compensation.

Books by John

  1. Check out my Amazon author profile.

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