Freewrite products come in two different keyboard varieties to accommodate users from all around the world.
Both layouts are based on modified versions defined by two of the world's standards organizations, the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) and the American National Standards Institute (ANSI). You will find the two layouts are quite similar however there are some small but important differences.
Generally speaking, the ANSI layout is used predominantly in the United States and the ISO layout is used in the rest of the world. Look at the layouts below and match one to the keyboard you are currently using.
NOTE: This article is discussing mechanical differences, not how each key is defined in software. To see all available keyboard mappings and languages supported, the full list of supported layouts is here: Freewrite Keyboard Layouts. You will see that most of the alternative layouts are for the ISO keyboard because languages other than English typically require an [Alt Gr] key. Once you receive your Freewrite, you will be able to add these alternative mappings to your device through Postbox. If you only write in English, you can use either ANSI or ISO, however, if you usually write on an ANSI keyboard and you choose ISO for your Freewrite, the shorter left [shift] key and upside-down L [return] key will take some getting used to.
Confused? Don't hesitate to reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will make sure you get the right keyboard for your needs.
New and improved 2nd Generation with 2x real-world battery life of the 1st gen. Say goodbye to writer's block with the world's best distraction-free writing tool.
I bought the Freewrite twice. The first time I returned it because I couldn't get used to it fast enough. But the second time I stuck it with for the long haul. And I am glad that I did. This is a wonderful writing device. I have noticed---and my beta readers agree---that my prose is much better on the Freewrite. The fact that I cannot go back and edit a word five paragraphs up has conditioned my brain to get the words right the first time around. Endless self-editing has always been my writerly Achilles's heel---I tend to go back and self-edit ad infinitum. The Freewrite has solved that problem for me. When you can't go back and self-edit, you HAVE to keep going---and that's the beauty of the Freewrite. It makes you keep going. It blocks any impetus you might have to go back and "correct" what you wrote days ago. The only way to go is forward---and the only way out is FINISH the damn draft you started.
Perfect for fiction writers. My word.
The keyboard and the focus it facilitates is a dream! Just need a nice beatnik case for it! I hope they make one soon!
I want to be absolutely clear that I enjoy working with my Freewrite but there is a lot of room for quality of life improvements:
1. Would love for there to be a file browser that could be accessed per folder. If it looked like the WiFi select menu that’d be perfect. Would make jumping from document to document much simpler.
2. Please let us delete documents directly from the Freewrite. I really, REALLY don’t want to have to log in to Postbox to do something I should be able to do on the device or with my computer over USB.
3. I would love for the dates in file names to be completely numerical. Right now it saves files as “2021-Aug-23” instead of “2021-08-23” which means that your documents won’t be stored chronologically if you sort by filename. Please give us this option!
4. Not something that could be fixed in a firmware update, but I firmly believe that there should be a bi-colour light for the e-ink screen. The cooler blue looks fine in the day time, but once the light goes down I would definitely prefer to have a warmer, tungsten balanced hue.
I love this thing. It does everything it says that it should - provides *most* of what you need and very little you don't. I have two gripes: The lack of an ability to get the draft I've been working on for a year before I got the Freewrite onto the device. I've heard whispers that this is a feature that has been in the works for years, but there is no sign of it in the device as far as I can tell.
I can appreciate the kind of "get it all on the paper first, editing is for later" philosophy that the Freewrite encourages, but it has a VERY steep learning curve for someone like me, that tends to edit in chunks rather than in whole drafts. There are ways to make that kind of style work, but they're a little clunky in my experience so far.
My final note is more of a nitpick than a gripe, but I do think it is worth mentioning: Without the dampening kit, the keyboard is mush and clack city. Being used to Cherry MX Clears on my home computer's keyboard, I was hoping beyond hope that the Cherry Browns on the Freewrite would be hotswappable. No such luck. I would love to see a hotswappable board upgrade in the future, and would absolutely upgrade for such a thing. More switch options would also accomplish some of what I'm looking for here.
Overall, it is a very well-built, premium-feeling device that does most of what I need it to do. With time, I am sure I'll grow used to it and love the device more as it is. But everyone should go into it with the knowledge I had to later go and find - consider this a lesson against assuming what the Freewrite can do, and make sure you know it all going in.
This product has taken my writing to another level, it makes it so much easier to just sit an write with no distractions. All writers should own the Freewrite.