Writing has been a part of human culture from the days of petroglyphs, and as we have evolved, so have our writing tools. Today’s writers and storytellers have countless choices when it comes to deciding which tools to use.
Here are some of today’s best writing tools and resources for taking any idea through to its written fruition.
Everyone knows about Google Docs and Microsoft Word, so we’re not going to waste your time giving those two a run-down in our list. Below are other word processors you might not know about, that are worth checking out.
Reedsy Book Editor
The Reedsy Book Editor is a free, online word processor that formats your book as you write. You can see your drafts automatically turn into a professional-looking, ready-to-publish manuscript, and allow a glimpse of your work as the final product spur your motivation to write.
One of the Reedsy Book Editor’s best functions is that it lets you instantly typeset your manuscript to EPUB and print-ready PDF files. This writing tool is great if you want a writing tool that takes care of formatting and conversion for you.
If you like small helpful reminders, telling you what you need to do, you’ll likely enjoy Draft. This book writing software not only keeps track of how many words you write per day, but it can also email you daily reminders about your daily word count goals. Don’t worry, you can always turn the reminder functions off.
Draft functions a lot like Google Docs: allowing you to track changes, collaborate via suggested edits, and make comments on the doc. This tool is great if you like Google Docs, but want an even simpler interface.
LibreOffice is the open-source answer for people who want to try Microsoft without paying the price tag. (Open source means that the software is built on code that anyone can inspect and enhance). Plus it’s compatible with all of the regular file types people are used to, such as .doc, .docx, .xls, .xlsx, .ppt, and .pptx files. Try this tool if you like a classic word processor, and even more so, a free one.
Cost: $50 (or try a 30-day free trial)
Mellel isn’t just about word processing, it’s also about memorable marketing. Their description of why writers should choose Mellel reads: “Mellel is a writer’s dream come true. To start, it is exceedingly boring: it just works, day in and day out, reliably. An enormous number of people used Mellel to write and they all report that their journey with Mellel was boring and uneventful. As well it should. In other words, it does all the mundane bits, and leaves the creative stuff to you.”
Mellel is not free (and note that it’s only for Mac). In return for the price tag, you’ll get more book-specific tools than other, more traditional word processors such as outlining and bibliography-making functions. This is a useful writing tool if you’re a Mac user who wants more than the Pages app offers.
The following resources will help you keep your thoughts organized so that any moments of writer’s block won’t slow you down.
Cost: Free for a basic plan or $12.50/month for premium.
Milanote is an easy-to-use creative writing app to help organize your research, ideas, characters, and outline in one place.
The vast majority of novelist writing software is organized around the idea of a linear document. Yet for most people, writing isn’t linear, because thinking isn’t exactly linear. Writing is about gradually getting a jumble of ideas into shape, and Milanote’s writing app matches the way most writers think; especially if you’re a plotter who likes a flexible workspace to organize ideas in.
Cost: Free for a basic plan or $9.99/month for premium.
Evernote is a great and easy-to-use option for writers who could do with a little more organization in their lives. The app lets you quickly jot down thoughts, record audio notes, save online articles you’re hoping to reference, and it will sync all of this information across all of your Evernote-installed devices.
What’s also neat about the app is its collaboration features. You can create shared accounts so that multiple people can access saved documents at once. Try Evernote if you’re prone to getting great ideas while on the go, and need somewhere to make sure you don’t forget them by the time you get home.
Scrivener and Ulysses
Cost: $45 (or a 30-use free trial)
Literature and Latte’s word processor is a popular writing tool thanks to its organizational capabilities that allow writers to turn fragmented ideas into a fully realized book/script/research paper/or whatever else you’re writing.
Scrivener vs Ulysses
Apart from the price, the two platforms offer many of the same features, but here’s what makes the two programs different.
- Scrivener’s corkboard function is an absolute favourite for writers who rely on visual aid to help with outlining. The function looks like an actual corkboard, and lets writers pin notes to the board in chronological order.
- Scrivener offers templates for works such as fiction, essays, recipe collections, screenplays, comic books — which gives Scrivener another point for versatility.
- Ulysses boasts an interface that is slightly more clean and simple — so if ease-of-use is high on your priority list, it might be the better option for you.
- Ulysses offers a very helpful WordPress and Medium integration, which bloggers who publish on either of these platforms will love.
Overall, Scrivener is great if you’re working on a longer piece of content and want one comprehensive place to manage all your work.
These writing tools will not only help you get the job done but kickstart your process and help you to be proficient while doing so.
Cost: free web version or $7 for the full program
Ommwriter creates a perfect place to think and write. With soothing background noises, customizable keyboard noises, and peaceful backgrounds to choose from, Ommwriter could just be the moment away from everything else going on around you that you need to write.
Cost: Free or $4/month for a premium plan
The To Doist app is the ultimate app for creating, you guessed it — to-do lists. It lets you get a daily or weekly overview of your tasks, prioritize the most important tasks, and even lets you assign tasks to other people if you’re working on a specific goal with other collaborators.
Cost: $7/month or $29/year (or a 7-use free trial)
Do you ever get distracted while you’re supposed to be writing? Do you wish someone would make sure that you didn’t jump on your social media accounts while you’re supposed to be working? If you too lack self-control when it comes to internet distractions, try the unique function of Freedom. Freedom gives you the ability to sync your distraction-free periods across all your devices. So if you know that on Tuesdays, you want your computer, phone, and tablet to all block access to Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook, you can.
Whether you’re writing a book, a newspaper article, or a professional blog post, your work should be thoroughly edited. Here are a few editing tools that can help you out along the way.
These editing tools will ensure a typo-free draft, so by the time you do work with an editor, they can spend less time fixing small typos. And if you decide to forego a professional edit, you’ll have the tools to do the best editing job you can.
Grammarly essentially functions as the spell checker tool from Microsoft Word or Google Docs, but here’s the great part: it’s a plug-in that will work wherever you write. That means Twitter, Gmail, Google Docs, Facebook; anywhere. It also offers vocabulary or alternate word suggestions.
The Hemingway app claims to make your writing bold and clear. It has several handy features like a word counter and an automatic readability score, however, its best use lies in the features that make suggestions to your prose.
Cost: Free browser extension or $79/year for the full software
ProWritingAid is a tool you can install that will proofread and spell check your material for you, no matter where you’re writing. It will also offer suggestions to improve your overall language outside of just grammatical technicalities.
If you’re a writer, and you work with long texts that you’re planning on publishing, then ProWritingAid might be a great option.
You can also find some best author tools here: https://cravebooks.com/tools