For many people, writing is as much of a ‘dream job’ as becoming a professional baseball player or actor. Those of us who do this for a living understand that it’s not so glamorous. We writers keep a lot of plates spinning. We pitch ideas to editors, interview subjects, conduct exhaustive research, take and organize notes, and track multiple projects at any given time.
Fortunately, there is help available. Thanks to the beautiful combination of technology and demand, there are plenty of apps for writers. Each, in its own way, helps to make our lives easier. Here are 10 of them that we really like.
Top 10 Apps For Modern Writers
It’s free. It’s portable. It’s popular, and it’s exceedingly easy to use. What isn’t there to like about Google Docs, or the entire G-Suite for that matter? Google docs has all of the features you would want in a word processor with lots of extra features on top of that.
Even if you don’t choose this as your primary word processor, it’s always a good idea to download it and learn the ins and outs. You’re going to run into at least a few projects where it’s required.
Distractions are the worst. Unfortunately, many of them are our own doing. We take phone calls when we shouldn’t. Our minds wander. We watch television a little longer than we should. Well, there’s not an app to fix all of these, but there is one to help with internet based distractions.
Cold Turkey is an app that temporarily blocks tempting, time wasters on your computer and other devices. You can block specific websites, apps, even the entire internet. Do you need to disconnect entirely for a bit? Cold Turkey can even lock you out of your computer temporarily.
The interface here is a bit rough, but the results are absolutely worthwhile. The Hemingway app analyzes your writing for elements that make it less readable. If you’ve picked up some bad writing habits, this is the app to train them right out of you. Use if for a while, and you’ll stop:
- Using long complicated sentences
- Choosing complex words and jargon over simple ones
- Choosing simpering adverbs over strong verbs
It’s a bit like having a wise, seasoned editor at your fingertips. If you’d like a bit more help along these lines, you might consider a third party service that offers editing and proofreading services or another editing tool. Here are some honorable mentions:
- Hot Essay Service – Comprehensive proofreading and editing services are available here for all types of content writing.
- Polish my Writing – This tool goes beyond simple grammar and spell checking. Use it to eliminate bad habits like writing in the passive voice.
- Get Good Grade – Sometimes, all you need is a great example. There are plenty of writing samples to peruse here.
- Grammarly – This quick and efficient grammar checker should be a part of every writer’s tool kit.
- Supreme Dissertations – More editing and proofreading from highly qualified staff members.
Of course, many of us writers have clients with a global presence. That means a lot of our writing must be edited and proofread with multiple languages in mind. To help with that, IS Accurate has curated lists of the best translation services online.
To at least some extent, you must be able to produce visual content. It’s simply too challenging to remain marketable otherwise. The good news is that you don’t need to be a graphic designer or even particularly artistic to create infographics and other visual content. Canva has photo editors, fonts, color palettes, and more. Use these to create infographics, collages, banners, and much more.
This is a workhorse of a tool. With Evernote you can take and organize notes, collaborate with others, and track multiple projects at once. It’s even got a web clipper tool that lets you capture and save screenshots from the internet. Add these to your research notes rather than taking the time to write down the details you might need.
There are few things worse than the feeling of regret that creeps up when you realize you’ve forgotten to do something important. Todoist is a simple to do list and task reminder app that you can use to stay on top of things. Not only can you enter in what to do, but also when, where, and who!
How do you write trustworthy, authoritative pieces when you aren’t a subject matter expert? That’s easy. You find people who are subject matter experts. Quora is full of them. This Q&A website covers nearly every topic you can imagine. You can use the site to pose your own questions, or to explore questions and answers relevant to you.
Not only can you find the answers you are seeking, you can double check your sources. With Quora, you can check out a contributor’s reputation, number of answers, and qualifications.
AP Style Guide
Once upon a time, the AP style guide was on the desk of every self-respecting writer or journalist. It’s still as useful today. Thankfully, it’s available online. If you write for publication in newspapers and magazines, this is well worth the investment. You’ll find yourself referencing the guide frequently.
There are other reference materials that writers can benefit from as well. These include specialized style guides from news organizations, writer’s dictionaries, samples, and writing services reviews and site aggregators.
- Make Use Of Best Style Guides – 5 More writing style guides from a variety of publishers and news organizations.
- Top Writers Review – :Lists of online writing sources with professional insights included.
- Rewarded Essays – A quick reference source for samples, testimonials, and advice
- New Oxford Dictionary For Writers And Editors – Available as a premium tool or accessible with your library card.
Clippings.me is a writing portfolio website. Writers can use it to host their writing so that potential clients can see their work. As more and more people want to be able to access your writing samples online, this is a great option.Not only can you upload your writing, you can also include videos and audio samples as well. Each Clippings.me portfolio is can be customized with your writer’s biography and photo.
Would you like to send out a Tweet each time you publish a blog post? What about sending email addresses from your work emails to a Google sheets document? With IFTTT you can create nearly limitless automated tasks.
That’s Not All
This list is just a sampling of the tools available to writers. There are many more. Chances are, if there’s a task you find to be frustrating or time consuming you can find an app to make your life just a bit easier!
Author Bio: Steve Mehler is a freelancer blogger at Rated by Students and a frequent content contributor at Citatior. He has a master’s degree in interpersonal communications and more than five years experience as a writer and editor. Steve is passionate about technology. In his spare time he builds gaming computers and creates vintage gaming setups. He also enjoys magnet fishing and visiting national parks.