10 Phenomenal Tools to Improve Your Writing
Who would have thought that we would need writing tools and apps to help us improve our written word? Imagine writing in a notebook that can autocorrect itself. That’s just silly!
But, on the web, where software is ripe and always advancing — there’s a good reason to employ useful tools which help to improve your overall writing. Technology can spot easily overlooked mistakes, but also, technology paves way for new and exciting ways to write and share.
Even the most experienced writer in the world is prone to making mistakes. Also, that same writer might find himself distracted far too often. And since we are talking about the digital realm, we can’t forget the necessity of professional headlines, a diversified vocabulary, and sometimes a tad bit of visual innovation. This is where our roundup of exceptional writing tools comes into the picture.
Rather than giving you a boatload, we are focusing on a moderate list of ten tools and prominent apps. If you happen to be a regular blogger, essay writer, and perhaps even a journalist, then keep on reading because these are some phenomenal tools to add to your workflow!
Nathan Kontny found himself in a predicament of finding it difficult to manage and tackle his writing workflow. When you write for the web, you open yourself up to new possibilities, but can you say that those possibilities are easy to implement?
In some ways, Draft is almost like GitHub for Writers — it’s more than just an app providing the means to write better. Draft is built to support the best content publishing features utilized in modern web. And all the while, Draft continues to remain aesthetically pleasing and minimalistically appealing.
Draft’s appeal is its beautiful UI, which is powered by features like version control, team collaboration, presentation management, and previous-work comparisons. Also, you can effortlessly push your Draft documents to platforms like WordPress, Ghost, Twitter, and others.
But, long before you are ready to publish, you might find yourself struggling with overall page structure. And if that is the case, you can use Draft’s markdown interface to create simple to-do checklists. Easily follow-up your most important tasks and get the job done every single time.
Check out the docs page for a more detailed review for each feature. Although the target audience seems to be regular writers, Draft would prove extremely helpful for new bloggers to get a grip on professional writing from the getgo.
- Built by someone who loves to write. Every feature is thoughtful and has a distinct purpose for becoming a better writer. Overall, the app is trying to help you make better decisions and achieve sound results!
- Custom structure for team-based writing. Create folders, save multiple document versions, and get the results you desire!
- Custom-built tools for transcribing videos and audio files.
Ulysses is an elaborate writing environment for Apple-device owners. As a writing software, it’s best known for a clean user interface, distraction-less writing spaces, and minimalistic user experience. But, these are features that would hardly warrant the purchase of premium software. And you’re not wrong to think that way.
So, how does Ulysses stand out from other similar apps? And how can it be better than something as versatile (and free!) as the Draft app we discussed? For one, Ulysses can be taken with you anywhere, it’s a standalone working environment that stores, displays, and provides the means to edit your writing. You are able to create complex hierarchies of directories and folders that separate different types of writing from one another.
Also, you can add images, set daily goals, and specify keywords for each individual document. Keywords can then be found through a dynamic filters system, letting you find the exact phrase or word that you have used before. And lastly, Ulysses constantly keep a backup of your writing, helping to archive it in real-time.
An area that this software shines in is writing agencies. As an agency owner, you’re dealing with numerous writers, clients, and deadlines — all happening simultaneously. With Ulysses, you can simplify the process by having quick access to content timelines, author details, and seamless digital publishing tools.
- Create smart lists, import Evernote documents, access Thesaurus, and other dictionaries, and automatically check grammar correction. And so much more!
- Protect your most sensitive and important files using fingerprint (Touch ID) protection! Also supports the use of passwords.
- Custom features for focus and productivity. Specifically, style the editor to match your personality. Use in-built dark-mode or the minimal mode to help you stay in the zone.
Google just loves to create a product in whichever niche there is demand. And Docs has been a definitive success for the company. If you’re an avid Google user already, then adding Docs to your writing toolset is a no-brainer! The smooth, pleasant user interface is a joy to work with and write in. Select from a range of custom fonts, apply effects the likes you can find in software like Word, and enjoy sharing documents with any of your friends instantly.
Anyone working in a specific field can take advantage of Google Docs templates. A template is a pre-made document that you can use as a framework for a specific task. Further, you can take your files with you anywhere using the Google Docs mobile-app! The app works in offline mode, too!
And because it’s a Google-built product, expect some neat features and native integrations with other Google products. And there’s good news for all of you who didn’t find Gutenberg to be an absolute tragedy. Meaning, Google Docs users can export their entire documents directly inside the Gutenberg Editor — with no strings attached! The process even converts images and hosts them on your local WordPress site; neat!
- High-quality writing environment that happens in the browser. Great collaboration features, on top of a smooth workflow for editorial editing needs.
- Master the keyboard shortcuts and reduce the amount of time it takes to write a single document. Lots of ways to personalize shortcuts and their actions.
- Automated functionality for tasks like generating a table of contents.
You can be a good writer, like really good, and get away with single-written drafts most of the time. But everyone knows that true writing happens during the editorial process. Editing is where you get to work on structure, fix grammar, and organize better-thought forms.
Yet, having to do every little thing manually can be quite time-consuming. In fact, you can end up spending more time editing than you do writing. It’s great if you have an external editor to do all the hard work for you, but what if you don’t?
This is where Grammarly comes in. Grammarly is a well-recognized and modern software for automated writing optimization. In other words, this app is going to supercharge your writing efforts and make you a better writer at the end of it.
Grammarly works in the browser and is available as a desktop package for premium users. But most use the browser extension. The extension can detect a live writing environment, and start reporting actionable guidance on the spot.
Forget about having to spell-check things or check references on word usage. This amazing tool does it all by itself.
Premium users can extend Grammarly to check grammar and writing style for specific purposes. For example, if you have to write a business paper — tell Grammarly to check for business jargon. The app detects your writing style and suggests improvements.
- A seamless browser extension that you can activate and forget about! All suggestions happen directly from the page interface that you’re writing in.
- Advanced checks for punctuation, grammar, context, and sentence structure.
- Mistakes and other issues are provided with thorough explanations so that you can improve as a writer rather than just being given freebies every time.
The Hemingway Editor has been around for longer than most similar writing tools. And it’s not uncommon to see this editor as one of the most popular writing apps ever.
Hemingway’s goal is to simplify and optimize the writing process. Write inside the browser app (or get the desktop version!) and get instant feedback. This app can analyze for sentence difficulty, common phrases, and passive voice.
If something doesn’t look good, Hemingway will highlight the word or sentence. Different colors apply to different reasons, but with the simple goal to provide optimization.
And while it’s easy to get hung up with perfectionism, the goal is to write for readability — which Hemingway also reports inside the app. Also, there are details for avg. reading time, word count, and how many sentences in total you have written.
- Simple and accessible. Does require an internet connection if you use it from the browser though!
- Comes in desktop version as a premium alternative. Desktop includes featured like offline-writing, publishing to WordPress or Medium, and exporting to different file formats.
You can never say there are too many tools to help you improve your writing! GradeProof is based on modern AI (artificial intelligence) algorithm to provide succinct and concise writing optimization. When you don’t have access to an editor, and simply wish to make a full audit for your writing — GradeProof is a godsend! You don’t have to go and spend enormous amounts of money either, as anyone can use the app for free! But, should you like to boost your capabilities, a premium plan at $10 per month is waiting for you anytime.
For example, agencies can use GradeProof to check submitted content against plagiarism. Are you writers using too many external snippets and quotes? Things like overusing 3rd-party content can greatly affect your SEO rankings. It’s a new and growing platform, so keep an eye on their progress and you might just find yourself liking the app!
- Cross-platform support for mobile devices, tablets, and Chromebooks computers.
- Custom rephrasing suggestions to help you eliminate bloat or add more substance.
- A unique ‘eloquence engine’ that provides AI-based suggestions on how to become a better writer.
When we talk about becoming a better writer, it’s not always the strictly-writers tools that will get you the farthest. In fact, the best writing happens during our most productive times. But whether we can maintain being productive on a consistent basis is a question of its own. Fortunately, there’s a million different tools and apps to help you track time, and tasks, amongst other things.
Our recommendation for this specific post is going to be Todoist. A lightweight productivity app built to help you stay on top of all your tasks. The app has amazing multi-platform support, and you can even add tasks to your list from an Apple Watch if you have one! This way, you’re never clogging your mind with too many thoughts and ideas. But most importantly, Todoist helps you create a consistent framework within which you can accomplish and complete objectives.
- Create specific deadlines on reoccuring tasks that can turn into habits.
- Clear overview of daily and weekly task list. See where you stand and mark-off tasks as you complete them. Everything’s archived, too!
- Don’t let yourself slip away in the non-productive zone by tracking your progress. Todoist provides a karma-based system to increase your self-reputation but also provides dynamic visualizations that showcase your progress over time.
Sometimes, it’s hard to get out of that day-to-day flow of writing. And when this happens, you find yourself reusing the same words and sentence structures. It might feel okay to you as the writer, but as far as the reader goes — it quickly becomes boring and uninteresting.
This is where apps like OneLook come in handy! Although similar tools can be found elsewhere, OneLook has the advantage of a simple and always-accessible browser interface. Simply put, OneLook is a digital Thesaurus dictionary, helping you find new words and concepts based on a single input.
It’s not only for words that OneLook can make suggestions. You can generate a list of words by specifying a specific group, such as ‘blue color birds’ or ‘green flowers’. Also, OneLook can answer basic identification-based questions, such as providing the answer to ‘what is the capital of this country’ and such. Overall, a wonderful writing tool to have by your hand. When you get lost in using the same words and phrases over and over — OneLook can be the source of something fresh and inspiring.
Now that you have so many amazing writing tools at your disposal, it’s time to analyze your headlines and their individual performance. Are you using enough keywords or emotionally-based phrases to encourage clickthroughs? Are your headlines too long or too short?
The headline analyzer by CoSchedule provides a detailed report for each headline you scan. The analysis includes structure balance, grammar, and overall readability. Are you including a sentiment in your post titles? Research shows that positive and/or negative sentiments can greatly increase content engagement.
- Always-accessible browser tool to help you check headline performance and strength.
- Includes previews for how your headline appears in Google Search and Email platforms.
- Shows percentage values for using common, uncommon, emotional, and power words.
In the modern era of content publication, writing cannot co-exist without proper visual imagery. Visuals help to add a sense of aliveness, inspiration, and oftentimes clarity to the written word. It’s no secret that we are visual learners, and having beautiful visuals to include in your articles and posts can make all the difference.
Canva specializes in various formats of visual presentation. There are ways to create graphs(!), banners, book covers, design newsletters, or design mood boards. And the best part of it all, you don’t need any prior design experience. Everything’s almost exclusively plugged-in, so you can save a great deal of time when designing a quote or a cover for your social media posts.
- With Canva, you can design your own professional-quality graphs without the need to hire a graphic designer.
- Edit photos and give them an entirely new life! Change contrast, add special vectors and overlay text. All with endless design possibilities!
- Built by people with passion for attention to detail! As a result, every photo comes out looking and feeling professional.
Words make for stories
Writing has always been about expression, the ability to share ideas and stories using words. Becoming a better writer is all about persistence, practice, and clear-sighted goals.
After all, the only reason for us to improve is so that we can live to tell better stories. Hopefully, out of all these amazing writing tools — you’ll take home with you at least one or two.
Tell us about your writing experience. What tools helped you the most? And what tools do you find yourself using the most on a daily basis? We welcome any tips, tricks, and insightful suggestions you might have — in the comment section below.