I’ll be up front here: I’ve been a huge fan of Libre Office since its early days in the late 90s when it was called Star Office and then Open Office. Over the versions and years, the application constantly improved, and today is a powerful suite of tools which is amazingly still free.
Nearly everything I’ve written has been in these apps, and I don’t think its usefulness will diminish any time soon. Any time I send something our to try and publish, it first passes through this application.
The platform, however, is showing its age. Without copying the files to dropbox or Google drive, it is quite difficult to access my writing on my phone. I was increasingly limited to my laptop, worrying if the hard drive was about to blow without me doing a frequent backup. Very little could be done on my phone despite the valiant efforts of the Libre Office Mobile App development team.
In addition, I have increasingly finding that version control on these files is key. Folders on my laptop are stuffed with copies of files titled “second draft”, timestamped, or with alternate names when I came up with a better title. Libre Office was increasingly a nice tool, and not an entire platform.
I could easily blame my natural disorganisation for this. I know of many authors who use such a platform to write, and have great success with it. For me, however, I found I was frequently losing ideas and drafts in the increasingly-large folders I was generating for each writing project. In order for it to work, I would need to develop a very consistent and rigorous routine. After years of trying, I finally came to the conclusion that such a thing wasn’t going to happen with me as I’m always drawn to trying different methods, and modifying my approach as I go. The result is that eventually my files become a disorganised mess no matter how much I try.
In the end, LibreOffice is quickly becomming the tool that I use to put the final touches on something before I send it off to a publisher. In that way, LibreOffice is key to my writing process, but not the entire journey.