I’ll be honest with you. I’m by no means the fastest or most accurate writer, so I rely on several online writing tools to help me out.
I believe these tools will be helpful for you too, so I’m going to share ten of my favourites with you now.
And just in case you’re wondering…
I’m not commercially affiliated with any of the software providers below. The list is simply made up of the tools that I find most valuable when writing.
So, without further ado, let’s get to it!
1. AP Stylebook
AP Stylebook is the ultimate online writing style guide for journalists. It covers everything from spelling, language, punctuation, usage and journalistic style. If you haven’t used a style guide before, then this tool is an excellent place to start. Yearly subscriptions are currently $26.
2. Capitalize My Title
Capitalize My Title is a simple tool that provides a super-helpful service. Type in the title of your blog or article, and watch as it’s instantly capitalized in the correct style format for AP, APA, Chicago and MLA. It’s a very useful tool, which also happens to be free (although it’s heavily loaded with ads).
Coffitivity is a completely unique and addictive tool. In a nutshell, it lets you play ambient sounds from a cafe. By listening to this atmospheric landscape while you write, you’re likely to boost your creativity and improve your work (this is backed by science). I use the free version, but there’s also a premium version which costs just $9 per year.
4. Google Dictionary
Google Dictionary is a tool I wish I’d discovered much earlier (I only started using it this month). It’s a Chrome browser extension that replicates the dictionary experience you may be used to on an e-reader device such as a Kindle. To put it simply, double-click on any word on a webpage, and a basic definition will pop up. It’s particularly helpful when you are doing research. Luckily, it’s also free.
5. Google Docs
Google Docs has been my main writing platform for the last three years. For me, it does everything I need, and has the added benefit of running on my Chromebook. It’s fast, secure, and best of all – it autosaves your writing every few minutes (no more lost work!). Google Docs is available free of charge.
Pixabay is a real gem. It’s an online site that offers over 750,000 free stock photos, vectors and illustrations. Not only are the images free to download – but they are also royalty free (even for commercial use). Until I discovered Pixabay, I was spending a substantial amount of money each month on images. Fortunately, those days are over!
7. Pixlr Express
Pixlr Express is a superb, easy-to-use image editor. It’s so simple, that you can begin editing images immediately. All the usual image editing options are available, including: adjustments, effects and resizing. It also has a nifty feature that enables you to create collages from your images. Pixlr Express is free to use.
Trello is an app and website that lets you create to-do lists, reminders and errands. I use it to capture writing ideas ‘on the fly’. I also find that it boosts my productivity by keeping my goals and tasks on track. Definitely give Trello a try, as it’s perfect for noting down blog ideas and titles etc. For personal use, Trello is completely free.
WhiteSmoke has saved my bacon several times over the last few years! What is WhiteSmoke? It’s an incredibly helpful English language correction tool. Paste your text into the tool, hit ‘Check Text’, and within seconds, a comprehensive proofreading takes place. WhiteSmoke checks the following: spelling, grammar and punctuation. From my experience, it easily outperforms Google Docs and Microsoft Word (in the proofreading department). WhiteSmoke is available from $9.95 per month.
WordPress lets you create a professional-looking website for your blog or business. With over 60 million users, it’s safe to say WordPress is ‘home’ for countless writers around the world. Now to be fair, it’s not the easiest tool to begin using. But once you’ve got up to speed, it really is an invaluable piece of software. WordPress itself is free, but you’ll need to pay for web hosting.
Did some of the above tools catch your eye? I’m sure they did.
Hopefully, you can put them to work in making your writing life easier and more productive.
One more thing before you go…
I’d love to hear about any other writing tools that YOU find especially useful. To do this, please use the comment box below to share your recommendations.
Great article! Another really useful online tool is the chrome add-on ‘DocHub’. It’s a free PDF editor and viewer that just seems to work a lot better than Adobe Acrobat.
Thanks for your comment.
I’ve never tried DocHub before, but I’ve gone ahead and installed it now. It looks to be a VERY useful tool.
I note also, that more than 6,000 people have reviewed DocHub on the Chrome Web Store. They’ve given it an average of 4.5 out of 5. A massive thumbs-up!
Craig, thanks for sharing your favorite tools! Some of them I’m using, but WriteSmoke and Google Dictionary are new to me.
I recommend you to have a look at the Unplag plagiarism checker (they have a free version as well) and Rewordify (it’s useful when you need to simplify complex texts)
if you are accustomed to principles of measuring the text readability (Flesch reading ease, Flesch–Kincaid grade level, Coleman–Liau index), you’ll understand what I mean and why tools like Rewordify are so useful.
Nice to hear from you Helen!
I appreciate your comments and site suggestions.
Based on first look…
I have to say that Rewordify appears to be a very interesting and helpful site.