For many of human historical past, writing instruments had been fairly fundamental. Whereas there have been necessary advances in expertise such because the invention of paper, the printing press, and later the typewriter, it was all simply bodily marks on a bodily medium on the finish of the day.
Phrase processing software program was an enormous leap ahead, without end altering the method of drafting and archiving. The core expertise of phrase processing has remained kind of the identical even into the 21st century, however we have now seen main advances within the organizational and brainstorming instruments obtainable to writers.
The result’s our present panorama, wherein tons of (if not hundreds) of writing apps compete to your consideration, all claiming to revolutionize the way in which you write.
Which apps are price your time? This text will provide help to determine, exploring a wide range of writing apps to enhance the way in which you brainstorm, draft, edit, and publish your work.
Whether or not you’re a pupil, information employee, or skilled author, you’ll discover one thing helpful beneath.
Overview: A digital mind-mapping device that’s nice for brainstorming.
Thoughts-mapping is a strong device for brainstorming writing and drawing connections between concepts. Historically, the approach includes drawing shapes on paper and connecting these shapes with branching traces.
Nowadays, nevertheless, you aren’t confined to creating paper thoughts maps. Coggle helps you to create digital thoughts maps which can be saved to the cloud and accessible throughout gadgets. And in contrast to on paper, you possibly can edit and rearrange the thoughts maps as a lot as you need with out worrying about working out of area.
Should you’re struggling to provide you with writing concepts, then Coggle might be the inventive increase you want.
Value: A free model is accessible with as much as three non-public thoughts maps (and limitless public ones). The paid model begins at $5 / month and consists of limitless non-public thoughts maps, additional shapes, and extra formatting choices.
Overview: An extended-standing writing and note-taking device that’s nonetheless worthwhile in the present day.
Evernote was the primary note-taking and private information administration app I ever used. I recall how mind-blowing it was on the time to create a searchable archive of notes, articles, PDFs, and no matter else I discovered attention-grabbing.
Since then, Evernote has exploded in reputation. Whereas many different apps have emerged that declare to interchange or surpass it, it stays a strong device for writers.
You need to use it to take notes, write outlines, and even produce full drafts of essays or articles. You can even use Evernote’s Net Clipper to rapidly save articles and different net pages to learn later or entry offline.
Should you’re seeking to create a “digital pocket book” to carry your concepts and gas your creativity, Evernote is a superb selection.
Value: Most options are free. Evernote Premium is $7.99 / month and consists of further options for looking out, sharing, and organizing your notes. College students can get 50% off their first yr of Evernote Premium.
Platforms: Android, iOS, Home windows, Mac, Net
On the lookout for extra instruments to take notes? Take a look at our information to the very best note-taking apps.
Overview: The unique collaborative, cloud-based writing app stays a useful a part of many writers’ workflows.
Google Docs wants no introduction. When it was launched, its collaborative, real-time writing and modifying options had been revolutionary. Now, such options are commonplace (even anticipated) in most cloud-based writing and note-taking instruments.
Regardless of this, I’ve continued to make use of Google Docs for all of my skilled writing, and it’s nonetheless the device I like to recommend for on a regular basis writing work.
The interface is clear, it routinely saves your work to the cloud, and the backing of Google means it’s unlikely to vanish (one thing you possibly can’t say concerning the newest and biggest writing apps).
In order for you a writing device that simply works, Google Docs is the app to make use of.
Platforms: Android, iOS, Net
Overview: Should you’re procrastinating on a writing undertaking, Chilly Turkey Author will drive you to focus.
Your pc is a strong device for writing, however it additionally consists of numerous potential distractions reminiscent of social media, video video games, Netflix, and Wikipedia rabbit holes. Chilly Turkey Author eliminates these distractions.
While you launch the app, you inform it your writing purpose. This purpose may be both a lot of phrases or an period of time spent writing. After you’ve carried out that, Chilly Turkey will block each app in your pc (web included) till you’ve met your writing purpose.
This may appear excessive, however that’s why it’s so efficient. While you take away different choices, you’ll be amazed how a lot writing you produce.
Be aware that whereas Chilly Turkey Author is a superb device for producing distraction-free drafts, it doesn’t embrace many formatting choices. So that you’ll want to make use of it along with an app like Google Docs or Microsoft Phrase should you plan to print or publish your writing.
Value: Most options are free. A one-time cost of $9 (CAD) will get you further formatting and theming options.
Platforms: Mac, Home windows
Overview: A preferred device for long-form writing tasks reminiscent of novels, screenplays, and dissertations.
Lengthy-form writing presents distinctive challenges in comparison with writing essays, weblog posts, or different brief items. One of many primary challenges is group. How do you retain monitor of what you’ve written? And the way do you organize your writing right into a cohesive complete?
Scrivener goals to unravel these issues. It consists of all the usual phrase processing options you’d discover in an app like Phrase or Docs, however it additionally consists of options for organizing, navigating, and modifying your writing tasks.
You possibly can rapidly see all of your undertaking’s chapters, sections, or scenes at a look. And you’ll rapidly rearrange these things that can assist you put collectively your ultimate manuscript.
Different helpful options embrace:
- A digital “corkboard” that can assist you plan your writing construction
- The flexibility to separate paperwork into smaller chapters or sections
- Instruments for displaying reference materials reminiscent of pictures, PDFs, or net pages (with out having to depart the Scrivener app).
- Choices for exporting your work as a PDF, Phrase Doc, or perhaps a Kindle book.
Value: One-time buy of $49 for a single desktop license (Mac or Home windows). College students and teachers can obtain a discounted license for $41.65. The iOS app requires a separate buy of $19.99. A 30-day free trial can be obtainable.
Platforms: Mac, Home windows, iOS
Overview: Geared toward novel writers, Novlr consists of in depth instruments to prepare and monitor your long-form writing tasks.
At first look, Novlr appears much like Scrivener. And whereas the 2 apps do share numerous options in widespread, Novlr is totally different sufficient that it’s additionally price contemplating.
To begin, there’s the Novlr interface. In comparison with Scrivener, it’s way more minimalist. Nevertheless, don’t mistake this minimalism for an absence of options and energy.
Novlr helps you to see an summary of your writing sections and chapters as you’re employed, and it continuously saves your writing (very like Google Docs). There’s additionally a “Focus Mode” that hides the interface so you possibly can think about the present chapter or part.
A lot of the above options can be found in Scrivener. The place Novlr actually stands out is in its fashion and grammar checking options.
As you write, Novlr will present you recommendations for fixing grammar, spelling, and even making your writing extra concise. And in contrast to numerous writing apps that solely mark errors or recommend corrections, Novlr consists of explanations for every of its recommendations. This manner, you possibly can study to be a greater author as you employ the app.
Total, I believe Novlr is a greater device should you’re targeted on novel or fiction writing, whereas Scrivener is healthier should you plan to write down nonfiction. Scrivener’s instruments for group and analysis materials are superior to Novlr’s, whereas Novlr is hyper-focused on being the very best device for novelists (and nobody else).
Finally, each apps have free trials, so I encourage you to check out every and see which is healthier to your long-form writing wants.
Value: $100 per yr or $10 month-to-month. A 2-week free trial can be obtainable.
Platforms: Net (additionally works offline and on cellular gadgets)
Overview: A easy Markdown writing app.
Byword is a Markdown textual content editor that goals that can assist you write quicker. Should you’re not conversant in Markdown, right here’s a good clarification. Mainly, it’s a solution to write plain textual content that you could then rapidly convert into HTML (saving you the trouble of manually writing HTML).
If that final paragraph made your eyes glaze over, don’t fear; there are many different apps on this article to your wants. However should you frequently write for the net, studying Markdown (and utilizing a Markdown editor reminiscent of Byword) can prevent numerous time.
Byword helps you to write paperwork in Markdown after which export them as HTML, Wealthy Textual content, or a PDF. You can even export your writing on to a publishing platform reminiscent of WordPress, Medium, Blogger, or Tumblr. Should you already use Markdown (or need to study it), then Byword is a device you need to look into.
Value: One-time buy of $10.99 (Mac app) or $5.99 (iPhone and iPad app)
Platforms: Mac, iOS
Overview: Get some additional writing motivation with footage of kittens, puppies, or bunnies.
Writing the primary draft is at all times the toughest half. Should you want some motivation to get these phrases onto the web page, then try Written? Kitten!
This net app reveals you an image of a cute animal of your selection (kitten, pet, or bunny) each time you write a sure variety of phrases.
It’s an ideal device if it’s good to write an essay of a sure size or if in case you have a purpose to write down a set variety of phrases every day.
Overview: A personal, on-line journal that helps you construct a every day writing behavior.
“Write each day” is a typical New 12 months’s Decision, however it may be difficult to stay to. Should you’re searching for an app to assist inspire you, try 750 Phrases.
Because the identify implies, 750 Phrases is an app that helps you construct a behavior of writing no less than 750 phrases (about three pages) per day. While you log in to the app, you’ll see nothing however a spot to write down. As you kind, the app retains monitor of your progress and allows you to know once you’ve handed 750 phrases. The app additionally saves your work so you possibly can evaluate it later, and every part is totally non-public.
Along with the writing options, 750 Phrases reveals you insights about your writing reminiscent of what number of days in a row you’ve written, your common phrases per minute, and the temper you had been in (primarily based on the phrases you employ).
Whether or not you’re seeking to write as a inventive train, to study extra about your self, or as a result of some stranger on the web like me advised you to, 750 Phrases is a good way to get your ideas onto the web page.
Value: Free for 30 days, then $5 / month.
Overview: Each day Web page sends you a brand new writing immediate every day and offers you a distraction-free area to write down.
Don’t know what to write down about? Each day Web page gives an answer.
Every day, the app emails you a distinct inventive writing immediate. Simply click on the hyperlink within the electronic mail, check in to the app, and write your entry. Should you choose free writing, the app provides you the choice to try this as properly.
Along with the writing prompts and motivation, a subscription to Each day Web page additionally provides you entry to a number of writing programs on matters reminiscent of screenwriting, running a blog, and storytelling. Whereas I can’t vouch for the standard of the programs, it’s an attention-grabbing characteristic that you just don’t see in numerous different writing apps.
Value: $4.99 month-to-month or $47.88 / yr.
Overview: An app that checks (and routinely corrects) your grammar, spelling, and extra.
The college system usually does a horrible job of educating grammar. Mix that with the truth that English spelling is an illogical catastrophe, and it’s no marvel that all of us wrestle with writing “mechanics” to at least one diploma or one other.
The grammar and spell verify instruments in your phrase processor might help, however they nonetheless miss numerous errors. That is the place Grammarly is available in.
Grammarly checks your writing for errors in spelling, grammar, and utilization. When it finds a mistake, it’ll spotlight it and clarify what’s mistaken. You possibly can then select to just accept the correction or ignore it.
To get probably the most out of Grammarly, I like to recommend putting in the browser extension. With this, Grammarly will routinely verify your writing in every single place out of your electronic mail to Google Docs to on-line varieties. Desire to write down offline? Grammarly additionally has standalone apps that you could paste your writing into, in addition to extensions for Microsoft Phrase.
At the same time as knowledgeable author and editor with a level in English, I exploit Grammarly each day. It accelerates the modifying course of and finds errors that spell verify tends to overlook. Whereas its recommendations aren’t appropriate 100% of the time, it’s nonetheless a worthwhile device for any form of writing (besides possibly poetry).
Value: All of the options I described above are free. You possibly can improve to Premium for $29.95 / month to get further options reminiscent of vocabulary recommendations, plagiarism checks, and readability recommendations.
Platforms: Android, iOS, Mac, Home windows, Net. Browser extensions can be found for Chrome, Safari, Firefox, and Edge. A Microsoft Phrase extension can be obtainable.
Overview: A free, web-based plagiarism checker.
Plagiarism is a critical offense each at school and the skilled world. Not solely is it mistaken, however it might harm your grade (and even get you expelled or fired in excessive circumstances).
Fortunately, plagiarism is straightforward to keep away from should you correctly cite your sources and use a plagiarism checking device like Quetext. Quetext makes use of superior pure language processing to check your writing to billions of paperwork throughout the web. If the app detects any potential plagiarism, it’ll spotlight it in your doc.
Even should you don’t suppose your doc accommodates plagiarism, it will possibly’t harm to verify (significantly when there’s an app to make it really easy).
Value: The Free plan consists of 5 plagiarism checks per 30 days (sufficient for many college students). For limitless plagiarism checks, quotation recommendations, and precedence help, you possibly can improve to the Professional plan for $9.99 / month.
Overview: Recreate the sounds of a espresso store within the consolation of your private home.
Should you take pleasure in writing in espresso outlets, then you need to give Coffitivity a glance. The app recreates the sounds of a espresso store inside your net browser. This lets you really feel such as you’re in a espresso store (and probably focus higher) with out leaving your own home.
In a time when many espresso outlets are closed to the general public, that is an particularly worthwhile service. I like to combine the app’s sounds with instrumental music to create a extra immersive expertise, however that’s as much as you.
And, in fact, you’ll want to offer your personal espresso.
Value: Free. For $9 / yr you may get entry to further espresso store sounds.
Overview: An app that makes use of specifically designed music that can assist you focus.
Listening to music is a typical solution to concentrate on all types of tasks, writing and in any other case. Nevertheless, listening to music whereas writing may be distracting, significantly if the music accommodates lyrics or attention-grabbing melodies.
While you check in to the app, you inform it what your purpose is: focus, chill out, or sleep. As soon as you choose your purpose (which might sometimes be “Focus” for writing), you inform the app how lengthy you need to focus. Mind.fm will then begin enjoying music designed to assist your mind enter a movement state.
I discover Mind.fm to be particularly useful if I’m procrastinating or struggling to complete a tough undertaking. I like to recommend combining it with the Pomodoro approach for the final word targeted writing expertise.
Value: $6.99 / month or $49.99 / yr. A free, 5-session trial can be obtainable.
Platforms: Android, iOS, Net
For extra music that can assist you focus, hearken to our examine playlist.
Overview: A free device for organizing tutorial sources and producing citations.
While you’re writing a thesis, dissertation, or analysis paper, it may be difficult to maintain monitor of your sources. You might hold a listing of them in a textual content doc, however that depends on you remembering to replace it. And when it’s time to quote your sources, it might take hours to assemble that record right into a correctly formatted bibliography.
To make it simpler to handle your analysis, use Zotero. Zotero is an open-source app for gathering, organizing, and citing sources of all types.
When you’ve put in the Zotero browser extension, you possibly can rapidly pull quotation info from library pages, JSTOR, on-line journals, and nearly every other digital supply you possibly can consider. The result’s a database of sources that you could rapidly search and reference.
And when it’s time to submit your ultimate draft, Zotero can generate a bibliography or references part within the quotation format of your selection (APA, Chicago, MLA, and hundreds extra). The app additionally consists of instruments for collaborating on papers with different researchers, and you’ve got the choice to retailer all of your Zotero information within the cloud.
Platforms: Mac, Home windows, Linux, Chrome, Firefox, Safari
Beneath, you’ll discover a number of different apps that I exploit frequently in my writing work. I didn’t give these their very own sections as a result of they’re both too particular to my work or have a waitlist. However I nonetheless suppose they’re tremendous helpful and price a glance:
- Capitalize My Title – An online app that converts your titles to the right “title case.” I exploit it to verify the title and subheadings of my articles, however you may as well use it to correctly capitalize the titles of essays or analysis papers.
- Roam Analysis – The app I exploit to take notes, journal, and document article concepts. Whereas extraordinarily highly effective, I didn’t give Roam its personal part as a result of there’s at the moment a ready record to entry the app. You possibly can study extra about Roam in our full evaluate.
- Docs to Markdown – This Google Docs add-on helps you to export your work as HTML or Markdown. I exploit it once I’m transferring an article from Google Docs to WordPress. Nevertheless it may be a useful gizmo for copywriters or net designers.
I hope this text has helped you discover an app to make your writing course of extra environment friendly, nice, or targeted.
Finally, writing apps are simply there to allow you as a author. To get higher at writing, it’s good to apply it, get suggestions, study, and repeat.
On the lookout for extra apps that can assist you work higher? Take a look at our record of the highest productiveness apps.
Picture Credit: doc open on MacBook
15+ Writing Apps to Brainstorm, Draft, Edit, and Publish Your Work – Online MBA No GMAT