If you’re a writer, you know how important it is that your work is clean, legible and grammatically correct. Having the right digital tools is necessary for turning your ideas into words, articles and books.
Digital tools are online programs and services that help you throughout the writing process, from brainstorming to publishing.
They’re meant to make the technological aspects of the writing process smoother, so you can focus on what you’re good at it, which is being creative.
With the growing expanse of online resources comes a variety of digital tools for you to choose from. Taking the time to explore your options can result in the discovery of tools you wished you had from the very start.
Here are some great digital tools that every writer should know about:
If you’ve just finished writing an eBook, you’ll need to figure out how you can sell it with success. In order to reach your target buyers and make a profit, you’ll need an eCommerce store that’s well-designed and customer-friendly. That’s where Shopify comes in. They’ll help you build and manage a website to sell your eBooks and grow your writing business.
You probably know that proofreading is an essential part of producing high-quality writing. Don’t do it alone! The Hemingway Editor allows you to type or paste in a line of text and presents you with an output that shows you where and how to make improvements. The application uses color-coding to point out the problem areas, such as lengthy or complex sentences, so you can easily see where edits are needed.
Love organization and braining storming? Freemind, a free downloadable software by Java, takes mind-mapping to the next level. Freemind is a tool for mapping out projects, keeping track of subtasks, collecting notes and organizing ideas with colors and branches of topics. If you’re hoping to get more technical and precise, Freemind is a useful mapping tool to try.
Even the most experienced writers make mistakes. Whether it’s a typo or a grammatically incorrect phrase, Grammarly will spot it out for you by underlining your mistakes and suggesting corrections or alternatives. The best part is that Grammarly will be right there with you to help you make edits before you post on a website. Grammarly is free to try, but the paid version offers more complete editing services.
If you’re writing for a specific audience or age group, you’ll want to make sure that your text is fluent and easy to read. The free readability test tool from WebpageFX is a fast way to input a URL or direct text and measure its readability. It will tell you what grade level the writing is, the number of complex words, words per sentence and so on. Outputs with positive readability scores are ideal for articles and blog posts.
If you’re writing online articles to market your book, the headline of your article can make or break a click from a customer. This free headline analyzer will give you a score for your headline (anything above 70 is considered to be good) and show you how it can be improved. Remember: headlines affect traffic, shares and search results, so make them count.
Are you working on a novel or play? Are you trying to figure out how in the world you’re going to organize your research paper? Scrivener is a downloadable program with Mac OS X systems used for word processing and project management. Scrivener will give you the tools you need to keep your project files in one place, help you construct outlines for your stories and pull together a completed product.
Dragon is a speech recognition software that allows the user to talk to their computer rather than type. Do you seem to get your best ideas when you’re far away from your computer, without the time to write things down? Dragon is available on iOS and Android devices, so you can use it to take down notes and ideas by speaking. It’s a great program for increasing the productivity for your work, although it’s fairly pricey.
9. Google Docs
We’ve all used Gmail, but what about the free writing and editing program, Google Docs? With Google Docs, you’ll have access to hundreds of word editing tools, graphic design features and the ability to access, create, edit and share documents and spreadsheets whenever and wherever you want. You can even use Google Docs on your smartphone or tablet, and it’s free!
10. Microsoft Word
Who said old school is a bad thing? Microsoft Word is a document viewing and editing tool that has many of the necessary features for creating any type of writing project, no matter how big or small. Microsoft Word is designed to continuously proofread your writing and enable you to design your document exactly the way you want. Updated versions of Microsoft Word are fairly priced and worth it for the advanced quality.
The best digital tools for your individual needs will depend on the type of writing you do and what goals you have for your writing projects. From voice recognition and grammar editing to eBook publishing and document creation, there’s a digital tool for just about every writing task imaginable. Choose one that’s right for you and enjoy a more efficient and fun writing experience.