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

You really are is it long for the days of the manual typewriter? We did. We like a used product here, like a Kindle. It’s an e-reader, and that’s it. You can’t scroll TikTok, check Slack work, or ping through chat notifications. That’s why we love the Freewrite in 2016. It’s a typewriter, but unlike a real typewriter, you can take it to a coffee shop and put your pages in a Google doc later.

So we decided to try the Traveler Freewrite, which is a slightly more capable device. Unlike the original Freewrite, this version is hinged for quick handling and has arrow keys to edit your mistakes. It’s a place to write anywhere, with less focus on editing. And its e-ink screen is a pleasure to look at and won’t hurt your eyes.

Writing Companion

Photo: Astrohaus

I dreamed of writing novels from a house in a coastal town in New England (I not looking at you, Provincetown), and I can feel all the stories bursting inside me. But when it’s time to really get everything on the page, it’s much easier to just check out Twitter instead. After a full day of working on my computer, the last thing I want to do is focus on my computer for a few more hours at night. This little Traveler actually got me to put those damn words on the page. I didn’t finish the book, but God, I started it!

I said at length that Freewrite products are made for writing, not editing. It’s best to just allow yourself to type and edit later. The oldest model did this with absolutely no arrow keys, which was a deliberate choice of plot so you couldn’t select your text or rearrange paragraphs, but Traveler released a little from the past.

This time, there is arrow keys, but you need to use the WASD keys, add “new” and shift keys, to move the cursor on each character to get backspace. Skip the shift key if you want to jump between whole words. It’s made possible, but not easy, and that’s the purpose.

The screen size keeps you writing as well. While typing on my large computer monitor, I saw most of my previous paragraphs. It’s hard not to go back and edit while I’m working. In Traveler, I see very few lines of text at a time. You can’t perfect your lede if you can’t see it. Traveler also won’t check your spelling for you, though you can do that later if you’ve already submitted your draft to a Google doc.

Photo: Astrohaus

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