Does writing sound easy?
Well…it is not.
It doesn’t matter if you are an experienced writer or a beginner blogger, writing can be overwhelming at times.
You have to constantly come up with fresh content, manage the time you put into every task, find the right words for the right place. And in the end, you have to deliver an outstanding piece of content that your audience can’t resist.
It never gets easy. The good news is that we have the technology and everything we need at one click of a button.
We are long past the time when all you had was a pen and a piece of paper. Nowadays, there are so many writing tools online that can help improve your writing skills and make you more productive. You just have to go online, give them a try, and choose your weapons. Here are some of the best tools you can try to improve writing, productivity, enrich vocabulary, or even to create visual content to match your article.
You’ll have to check them out and see which ones are best suited for you, as each of them has its own style and features. Don’t just focus on one. You have to use several writing tools to take your skills to the next level.
If you are looking for a specific tool, here are the categories that can guide you through the article.
25 Tools to Improve Writing Skills You Should Know About
I. Develop a daily writing habit
Maybe you are a new blogger who didn’t get used to writing on a daily basis. A more experienced writer who is harder to be caught in a daily routine. Or you want to get over the blockages a writer hits from time to time. Making writing a daily routine is a must if you want to come up with killer content.
If you form a habit of writing on a regular basis the improvements will show up in no time. You get used to writing in whatever state of mind you’re in, whatever kind of day, and whatever level of laziness. On top of that, you improve your writing skills with every day passing by.
Doesn’t it sound tempting? One of this online writing tools can make you more disciplined so you can up your skills faster.
Say goodbye to “I’m not in the mood. I don’t know what to write about. I forgot to set up time for that.”, and say hello to some potential new best friends.
The most important thing when it comes to developing your writing skills is writing itself. Writing is no different than running. You can’t run once a month and expect to finish a 10 miles marathon in less than two hours. Likewise, you can’t expect to improve your writing skills when writing now and then. Writing needs exercise and practice, and it needs to be a daily habit.
“Writing is like breathing, it’s possible to learn to do it well, but the point is to do it no matter what.” – Julia Cameron
This writing software eases the struggle of turning writing into a daily routine. It gives you daily emails reminding you to write and to keep on track. You receive daily writing prompts to write on, so you can’t use “I don’t know what to write about” as an excuse for skipping out the day. You can set up the time of the day when you want to receive the reminders. This way you can set up a schedule and not let yourself forget about the email because it came at the wrong time.
The Daily Page’s editor gives you a clean space to write on. It helps you avoid distractions and lets you organize your work. You can see the number of entries and the average word count so you can stay updated on your progress over time.
The nice thing about it is that you don’t have to worry about writing for an audience. It gives you more freedom, helps you with personal reflection, and life organization. An amazing way to stimulate your creative writing skills.
The idea of morning pages comes from Julia Cameron’s book “The Artist’s Way”. The plan is to write 3 pages, the equal of 750 words, every day, best done after waking up. Get out all the stuff that’s going through your mind first thing in the morning. Go on for the rest of the day with a clear mind full of ideas. It’s a great exercise for practicing your writing skills and balancing your thoughts.
It is an online, private and free writing website where you don’t have to worry about posting and sharing. You’re free to write whatever pops into your mind. Think about it as your “safe place”.
It also gives you rewards to stimulate your engagement. Get 1 point for writing anything at all, 2 points for reaching the 750 words goal, extra points for keeping on track and writing for more days in a row. You can also see how many points others are gathering. If competition makes you focus more on a task you will love this feature.
You get reports on your writing process: data about how much time you spent writing, how fast you typed, and even how many times you got distracted in the process. You can use this data to get specific insights and establish how to improve your writing furthermore.
For every post, it analyzes the words you’re using and determines the overall feelings, mindset, and themes.
If 750 words sound too much right away and you want to take things slower, there are alternatives. You can always pick a tool that lets you decide how much time you want to put into practice. Choose your milestone and grow from there at your own peace. Want to write 200 words a day? 500 words? It’s your choice. You decide how many words you want to hit per day then let the tool make sure you reach out your goal.
It works on any device, saves to the cloud, or you can even write offline from your browser. It gives you statistics so you can stay up to date on your progress. You can choose to receive daily or weekly inspiration emails to keep you motivated.
Another free writing software where the goal is completely up to you. You can set up how many words you want to write per day, or how much time you want to spend writing. It tracks how much you write each day so you can see which days you did better. There is a bar that fills up while you work, which makes a great visual to keep you writing so you can see it all colored.
You have the option to connect with others and get notified when they don’t write for a while and vice versa. This way you can gather some friends and work together to set up a daily writing routine if you do better in a group environment.
For further help, it can gather articles from around the internet to help you learn more about developing good habits. To get you through those writers blockage moments when you don’t know what to write about it comes up with random or specific prompts.
It can help you commit to writing consistently. Doesn’t matter if you are a blogger who needs regular updates, an author working on his latest novel or you want to avoid procrastinating.
If you want to set a goal for yourself but still need a distraction proof environment, meet Ilys. It has the usual features of setting up a goal, tracking your improvements, and letting you see how you develop your skills in time. But it also innovates things.
You set up the goal and you start up on writing. What will you see? One single letter on a black background. You can’t see the text, can’t edit, delete or format anything until you reach the word count. You can only see the last letter you leave behind. This makes your mind get going and blocks any distractions. Editing while writing can be a big drag in the creative process as it pauses the flow. Why not let worrying about editing after getting all out of your head?
Moreover, how about the privacy you can have when you are in a place full of people and you need to write? This can help a lot if you feel uncomfortable when creating with eyes all around you.
II. Content idea generators
As a writer, you have to come up with content on a daily basis which can be overwhelming at times. Most of us get to know the panic of “I have no idea” at some point. For this moments, there are some great content ideas generators. They are often underestimated because of their simplicity.
Simple as they are, they can be truly helpful if you give them a chance. Generate more than just two-three ideas and you’ll see how your content starts to take shape.
Here is one of the best online tools to brainstorm and get the ideas running. Blog Topic Generator is a free tool developed by Hubspot which can come in handy for coming up with topics for your content.
You just have to type in three keywords and watch the tool generate five topic ideas for your further use. If you are not happy with the results, you can always hit “Try again” and get another round of ideas. Try it out until something sparks your mind.
It’s a basic tool, but it’s extremely effective when you feel blocked and you need a little push.
Another tool that might come in handy is ContentIdeator. Struggling to find content ideas for your blog? This cross-channel intelligence solution can take the worry of your shoulder. Type in a keyword and you get back a list of existing content on the topic. You can search by keyword, domain or platform. This lets you find content fitted to your specific audience.
It gives you insights into how well a piece of content is doing by analyzing the number of views, likes, comments, and shares. You can even see what’s trending in a specific area for relevant social channels. It can be really useful for keeping one step ahead of your competitors.
Save ideas (articles, videos, forum questions) for later. The next time you find yourself wondering what to write about, you know where you can find the answer in no time.
Brainstorming is the best way to pick up the best ideas from a pile of random ones. This tool is one of the bests for doing that. It’s simple and fun to use. You can use it by yourself, or you can gather your teammates and collaborate. It’s an effective way to develop content ideas and a content strategy.
The interface is organic, nothing is rigid or pinned into place. You can add notes, lines, groups, tags. Move them around, resize, and change colors until you’re left with a vision board ready to spark your ideas.
Headline generators can also be a great source of inspiration. You just type in your keyword and hit enter until you get a perfect match for you. This tool also gives random notes which can trigger ideas you weren’t even expecting.
Another great place to come up with content ideas is Quora. A crowdsourced platform where you can find answers from people all around the globe. See exactly what problems people in your niche are struggling with. Search for a keyword and get the topics you’re interested in.
You can post your own questions related to the topic. This way you can have your targeted audience come up with the best topics for you to write about. It’s an amazing way of gathering insights about what is going on in the market. Learn what kind of information you should provide to the world directly from people.
III. Writing editors and vocabulary enhancement
What writers have to face on a daily basis is editing and proofreading after they are done with creating. A professional proofreader is the best choice for this task, but this option is not always available. You can still get tons of help from writing editing tools.
Some tools can see more, and do more than you probably expect them to. It’s time to have error-free content each and every time.
Are you ready to have shiny-polished content? Grammarly is one of the best editing tools for writing, it is full of useful features.
It does more than just highlighting misspelling or typos. It can identify even the correctly spelled words that are not used in the right context. Get a scan of your text for repetitive words, missing articles, comma usage, weak adjectives, sentence structure and so on. Any suggestion you get comes with an explanation. This is a great tool to improve your English writing skills and learn from your mistakes. With the premium account, it even checks out for plagiarism and vocabulary enhancement.
If you want mistake-free content anywhere you write on the web you can install the extension to your browser. It will show you the errors you miss out.
Now that you used a grammar correction software and made sure your content is free of errors, it’s time to take it to the next level. Typley is a great free online tool that goes beyond just checking for typos and spelling errors.
This tool focuses on the content that makes your writing dull and hard to read. It highlights the usage of redundancy, illogic, cliches, sexism, inconsistency, and more. The suggestions are quite precise, diminishing the need for the writer to carefully weight if he should trust the advice or not. You get your content analyzed for the readability level (grade level), sentiment analysis and vocabulary. It gives you the option to highlight phrases based on a certain trait so you know exactly what to adjust.
Additionally, you can go full screen to avoid any disruptions and can play background noises tailored for your preferences.
Writing for your target audience is an important part of content writing. This is why a tool like AtomicWriter can be a great asset. This tool is designed to strengthen the connection you have with the audience.
You can find it as a WordPress plugin or a Chrome extension. For those not using WordPress or Chrome, there is a web app on the Atomic Reach home page.
Connect it to your Google Analytics and social media accounts so it can analyze the data out there. It will let you know if the content you paste into the app is right for your target audience based on the data collected.
Thesaurus apps are great for improving vocabulary. They can also come in handy when you need to decide on your choice of words. If you want to improve your writing skills, using a tool that helps with vocabulary is a must.
Power Thesaurus is one of the best in its realm. It has a clean design, is crowdsourced, and free of ads. It’s continuously updated by its users, and you can become addicted to using it. When you are stuck in a wording situation, type in a word or an expression and get plenty of results to choose from. The results are ranked so you can see which term is more relevant, and you can also get full definitions of the words.
A free writing website to help you with word choice is Twinword. Add your text there and get suggestions of synonyms for any word you want. Hover your mouse over a word and it will start looking out for suggestions. You can also highlight a word and the tool will find every place you used that word or something related to it. It’s an effective way to avoid overusing words or expressions.
Got stuck on a word? Twinword Writer senses that you have paused. It will analyze the context and will suggest alternative words you can use.
If you want to incorporate quotes in your writing to make it more inspiring to the readers, BrainyQuote is the most reliable source for quotations. Out of millions of quotes, from Buddha to Nietzsche to Eminem, it is impossible not to find something perfect to go with your content. You can search based on the author, or by the topic you’re interested in.
IV. Shut out distractions and maximize productivity
At times, anything can become a distraction. That red line stands there on her one, those buttons are all over the place, the noise from the traffic is annoying. Any of them can narrow your focus now and then.
When is hard to keep focus, you can always let writing tools designed for your problem to help out.
All the features text editors like Word or Google Sheets have are a good aid kit in so many cases. But sometimes you just need to let go and write. No distractions. Just a blank page in front of you giving a peaceful place where to lay down all those ideas. No buttons, no options, just a simple logo laying in the corner. It is one of the best free writing websites you can find. It even has a feature that takes focusing at another level. You have the option of blurring out everything except for the paragraph you’re writing on.
When you’re done writing click the logo and you can go through the options to start editing. Other good traits are the responsive design, automatically saving changes, and the white on black theme for those who prefer a dark space. All these properties make Calmly Writer the perfect minimalistic approach when it comes to writing software.
Here is another distraction-free writing tool which can get you channel your focus on writing instead of worrying about anything else. With the same minimalistic approach, you get a blank page to get your writing going. After you’re done, you can stylize the text to bold, italics, or add hyperlinks. Highlight the text and use the option box that pops above. If you’re using quotes, it also gives you the option of blocking quotes out.
You get only the basics from this tool so you can focus to improve your writing skills.
Like other distraction-free tools, OmmWriter also gives a clean space to start with. On top of that, it has something other tools don’t. It opens up full screen. You can avoid any notifications that might pop up on your screen disrupting your flow. It’s just you and your writing, nothing else.
It has some nice features to help with concentration. Natural backgrounds which can get you in an inspired state of mind. Audio tracks to strengthen attention. Typing sounds to support each step you’re taking along the way.
Mild ambient noises, known as “white noises” improve productivity and stimulate creativity. You just have to find the noises that trigger your creativity more.
A lot of writers find coffee shops to be the perfect environment for them to write in. But what about those times you need to be at home or at the office? You can still add the coffee shop vibe in your headphones. If you are a coffee shop addict, this tool is perfect to raise your productivity level.
Want some background noise but would enjoy nature sounds more? Rainyscope is a website that provides natural sounds, like rain and birds. You can switch between seasons and listen to different rain patterns. Calm and gentle summer rain, or heavy and thunder rich spring rain. If you’re not in the mood for rain at all, switch to the Canicule mode and listen to the birds chirping.
Is the deadline approaching? Or do you work better under pressure? Whatever the case, this time managing tool can be your answer. It keeps track of the time you spent on a task and gives you that urgency mood so you won’t be tempted to procrastinate. Type in the number of minutes you want counting and hit enter.
They also offer a couple of special timers you can use. One of them is the Pomodoro timer, based on the Pomodoro Technique developed by Francesco Cirillo. It’s about dividing your working time into little chunks. Keep yourself entirely focused for 25 minutes, then take a break of 5 minutes. It can be an effective way to manage your time.
A tool that can be an amazing assistant for writers working with interviews, is this free web app called oTranscribe. Transcribing recorded interviews can be painful and frustrating. Not if you have a tool that does the unpleasant work for you.
Upload your recording and let the app do its job. Not only that you don’t have to switch between tabs anymore, you don’t even have to take your hands off the keyboard. For pausing, rewinding, fast-forwarding you can use the keyboard shortcuts. It saves to your browser’s storage every second and you can export it to Google Docs or plain text.
V. Visual content tools
The piece of content you come up with is the most important part. But you can’t count just on the great writing, it also needs to look great once it’s polished. Visual content tools are genuinely useful for this task.
Easy to use and will leave you with an astonishing looking post ready to catch your audience’s attention.
Visuals do amazing on social platforms. You need great images to complement the paragraphs you create.
Canva it’s not one of the most used tools for nothing. It’s a free tool you can use to create visuals with no experience in graphic design. Choose a template, drag and drop elements on the board, edit and move text around. Get images ready to be shared on social media platforms in no time. If you didn’t find the perfect image for your visual online, you can check out Canva’s photo bank. Their library contains 1 million images you can buy at $1/each.
Infographics are excellent assets for a post. They ease the struggle of going through data-driven information. Readers are more inclined to go through numbers if the data is broken down into chunks. It’s easier than getting lost in a big pile of information. You should take advantage of the free available tools out there. They make the creation of infographics easy and accessible for everyone.
With Easel.ly you can have a nice looking infographic in a matter of minutes. You choose a template to start with and you build up from there. The options are countless. You have a library of images to choose from, which you just drag and drop into the canvas. Various shapes, charts, backgrounds you can play around with until you are happy with the result.
Go check out this tools and tell us your experience! What other writing tools would you add to the list?