Let’s be honest about something. Writing isn’t for the faint of heart.
At the risk of sounding cliche, it really does take a lot of blood, sweat, and tears to go through each step from finishing the first draft to submitting the final for publication. But if you love to write, you know that there’s nothing more satisfying than getting your work published or writing something you feel proud of. This gratification is what keeps us crazy writers going.
Since writing is challenging, writers need to find ways to make life easier. We live in a digital world and you should take advantage of some of the useful websites and apps that can help you along the way. After testing out a bunch of different platforms, we’ve gathered what we consider the handiest tools and tips for your writing toolkit.
If you couldn’t tell by the name, Grammarly is a spelling and grammar app. Think of it as spellcheck 2.0. In addition to pointing out typos, Grammarly also reviews your text for tone, conciseness, readability, and provides suggestions to enhance your vocabulary. Take advantage of Grammarly’s free Chrome extension or opt for a paid account to access all of its features.
WhiteSmoke is a program that checks your writing for spelling and grammatical errors and also provides some writing suggestions too. One of the program’s perks is that it comes with over 100 different templates for writing resumes, cover letters, reports, and more. It also has video tutorials so you can brush up on your grammar.
What did we do before we had Google Drive? It makes it so much easier to store and save your writing and projects. We recommend using Google Docs instead of a word processing software so that you can easily share your writing with others and track any changes you or your editor make to the document.
The Novel Factory
The Novel Factory is an incredible tool for new writers, especially those writing their first novel. For experienced writers, it can help boost your productivity. This program helps you with every element of a story, including managing your characters, plot and character development, keeping track of drafts, and much more.
This list-making app is easy to use and will help you stay organized. Create different “boards” for your projects with their own individual task lists. To keep you accountable, Trello allows you to set deadlines for individual tasks. One of its most useful functionalities is being able to view your tasks in a calendar format so that you can see what your week and month look like workwise.
Writer’s block and procrastination have met their match with Freedom, a blocking tool that lets you block websites and apps while you’re working. You can even block the internet! To force yourself to push through writer’s block, use their Locked Mode. This tool allows you to schedule a block of time to work which you can’t end until the time is up.
Boomerang is a must for writers with overflowing inboxes. This Gmail app lets you set times when your inbox is paused from receiving messages. People who email you will receive an automated message letting them know that your inbox is paused. It has reminders so that you can be notified to check your messages and respond at a later time, which keeps you on top of your emails while being more productive during the day.
MailChimp makes email marketing easy. The program itself is simple to navigate, from uploading and organizing email lists to creating and sending the emails. You can create different audiences and even use tags to better organize your contacts. MailChimp comes with a variety of expertly designed templates so that your emails look attractive and professional.
Having a website is hard, right? Wrong. Bluehost simplifies all of the hard parts of setting up a website. It provides you with hosting, buying your domain, and has 24/7 customer support. A personal website will help you promote yourself and your writing, and Bluehost makes it easy to do that.
Investing in some of these tools is an investment in your writing, productivity, and success. We highly recommend you take advantage of the free options that some of these platforms offer and pay for the tools you think will be most beneficial to you.
Writing is hard, don’t make it harder than it needs to be. Building your writing toolkit is one of the best things you can do for yourself as a writer, whether you are writing a short story or a full-fledged novel. Your future self will thank you.