I’ve shared it a few times on Instagram, but now it’s time for me to tell you everything you need to know about how I use my Traveler from Freewrite. BUCKLE UP.

A hand holds a Freewrite Traveler covered in colorful stickers in front of a bookshelf with the text "How I Use My Traveler from Freewrite" at the top.

For the record, this post isn’t sponsored. Astrohaus, the company that makes Freewrite devices, doesn’t know about me.

(I mean, maybe they do? In which case I do feel like I owe them an apology. I don’t know what I did to get put on your radar, but I’m sorry. I hope you don’t lose sleep thinking about what an absolute weirdo I am.)

What follows is my honest review and how I’ve integrated the Traveler from Freewrite into my daily writing routine.

Traveler from Freewrite Review

Please know that before I became the owner of a Freewrite Traveler, I had an immense amount of ambivalence toward the product.

On the one hand, I desperately wanted one. I knew how my brain worked and I knew that a tool like that would help me because it wouldn’t give me access to distractions.

On the other hand, it’s a pretty hefty price for something that only does one thing. And when my 2012 MacBook Pro started to give up the ghost last year, I knew that I had to get another actual computer anyway. So it just didn’t make financial sense to purchase a Freewrite too. At least, not at the same time.

I’m positive anyone who has googled “traveler from freewrite for sale” has done the same sort of mental math in their head.

But then, my amazing and perfect husband with a glorious red beard and an insane amount of tolerance for my drunken antics got me a Freewrite Traveler for Christmas.

(Please know he wrapped the box it was shipped in, and when I looked at the the address label I was all like “Astrohaus Traveler from Freewrite!” before I even opened it.)

Set up was quick and easy, and I started using it pretty much immediately.

Thus far, the only issue I’ve had with it is the keyboard lag. I would type maybe two to three sentences before they would show up on the screen. But a quick Google search showed that this issue was fixed with a firmware update. The Freewrite Traveler I had was running 1.6, and I just needed to update it to the 2.0. Since then, it’s been smooth sailing and the lag is pretty normal for a keyboard.

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(If you’re a fast drafting machine, you know what I’m talking about.)

How I Use My Traveler from Freewrite

I mean, honestly, like a boss. But let’s get a little more detailed here.

I don’t have to leave my home if I don’t want to, so maybe my Traveler is more of a Homebody. (Astrohaus, you can have that name free of charge if you want to manufacture another product for folks like me.)

Regardless, it’s still my go-to tool for fiction writing.

Every morning, I go into my office with a cup of coffee and sit on my office couch. (Screw ergonomics.) I put the Traveler on my lap and I get to writing.

My fiction writing process is pretty solidified since I started using the Traveler. Usually I’ll hit the page up button a couple of times on the Freewrite Traveler to read where I left off the day before, but I try not to go too far back. Then, I take a look at my outline I have in a notebook, and I start typing.

I will say that the first few words I write aren’t super fast and it does take a minute to get into a state of flow. (Plus, I gotta hit two to two-and-a-half cups of coffee before my brain starts backfiring, which is the stage before firing on all cylinders.)

But I have noticed that using the Traveler from Freewrite helps me get into the state of flow a lot faster than my laptop. It’s just easier to think about the story when there is only one thing the tool can do. And I find I don’t even look at the screen as I type–something I can’t seem to help while using my laptop.

I will usually sit in my office from 7:30 AM to 10:30 or 11 AM writing on the Traveler. Please note, I don’t write that whole time. I get up and refill my coffee and cater to the dog’s demands. (At least once a morning, Rosie leads me to a window and we have to look outside. When she’s satisfied that I’m aware of how many dangers she perceives in the leaves blowing across the porch, she goes back to sleep and I get back to work.)

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My words per day has been pretty consistent since I started using the Freewrite Traveler too. I’m usually hitting between 2,000-3,000 words on my writing days, which has been great. It’s kept me focused and it’s been crucial for me when it comes to how to stay motivated while writing a book.

Freewrite Traveler Alternative?

While I do love my Traveler from Freewrite, I can completely understand if anyone isn’t ready to pull the trigger on one. In fact, if my husband hadn’t gotten me one for Christmas, I’m not sure if I would own one. Yes, I do love it and I’ve drafted an entire novella on it since receiving it about two months ago. But the price tag is steep, and there isn’t a Freewrite that can replace your computer, which you’ll still need for everything else.

So, is there a Freewrite alternative?

Well, there is the Freewrite Traveler Ghost, which is the same thing as the Freewrite Traveler, only it has a clear plastic body. But it’s still the same thing and has the same price tag.

So, what else is out there?

Digital Typewriters Worth Looking Into

Freewrite isn’t the only digital typewriter in town. Here are some other options to check out:

Alphasmart

I have owned two of these bad boys in my life and have no complaints about them. They were really cost effective word processors at a time when laptops were expensive and heavy.

If you’re a Gen Z kid, you probably remember using these in your school classroom. (I am not, and I remember Microsoft DOS on a big, beige machine in my classrooms.)

You can still find the Alphasmart Neo and Alphasmart 3000 around, but only used. There are tons of blog posts and Reddit threads dedicated to the care and maintenance of these bad boys, so you could, ostensibly, take care of yours for years to come. But they are getting harder to find on eBay since writers have been buying them up for the past 20 years.

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iPad with Keyboard

Okay. Hear me out.

I know iPads are distraction machines. But you can install apps like Freedom or other distraction blockers, and use a keyboard with the iPad to type.

This is a great option if you already have an iPad. But, if you don’t, it’s definitely a steep price to pay to use something that can do so much for just one task. At that point, buying a Freewrite would be cheaper.

Pomera

I have heard tell of these things, but never have I seen one in the wild.

Pomeras are Japanese word processors, so you won’t be able to find them in U.S. stores. And some folks say they aren’t as user friendly when used for English. (I can neither confirm nor deny these allegations. I’m just reporting what I’ve read.)

But the cool thing about these is the way they fold up, so definitely look for some YouTube videos that show them off.

ReMarkable Tablet with Keyboard

I know so many folks that swear by the ReMarkable tablet. If you prefer writing by hand, the ReMarkable is an out-of-the-box solution for you.

But if you want to use a keyboard, the ReMarkable can be modified to work with a keyboard. (Again, just reporting what I’ve heard. If this is something you want to try, definitely do some research.)

Thoughts on Distraction-Free Writing

To conclude, distraction-free writing is great. I’m more productive with tools that keep me on task. If I had something like this in grad school, it would’ve been a game changer. And as a blogger, I’ll probably start using it for drafting. I imagine it will be a game changer when it comes to how to write articles faster.

Do I recommend these for everyone? No.

Will a Freewrite Traveler make you a writer? Not even.

At the end of the day, you’re a writer if you write. And if you want to write more with less distractions, a digital typewriter is a great investment.

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