Write On! The 10 Best Online Tools + Apps For Writers
Have you ever been hit with a great idea only to let it evaporate away by not finding the time to jot it down? If you’re not the pen and paper type, but you’re searching for ways to help you improve your craft, why not coax out that inner writer with the best writing tools and apps that the web has to offer? Whether you’re pages into your first novel, posting an article to your blog or sharing content between multiple users, these 10 tools are sure to make writing manageable, shareable and distraction-free.
1. Penultimate (Free): If you’re already a loyal Evernote user, than you’ll love their iPad app. It’s free of clutter, but packed with tools. All of your notes are searchable and available to you on any computer or mobile device.
2. Storehouse (Free): This iPad app offers a simple way to tell a story by combining text, photos and wonderful layouts. Tell your story from any device, anywhere. You can share travel adventures, culinary journeys, short stories or journal entries. Storehouse is there for you to design your own tale to tell in whatever way you want to tell it.
3. GoodNotes 4 ($6): Have you ever heard of digital ink? GoodNotes 4 is where you get it. This app for iPads and iPhones lets you take handwritten notes, sketch diagrams, mark-up PDFs and organize every last one of them. If you want to feel like you’re truly touching pen to paper, check out Adonit’s Jot Stylus, which works seamlessly with the app.
4. Draft (Free): Draft’s goal is to give writers what they need to be better at what they do. This free site is a strong believer that all writers, even the greats, don’t do it alone. Draft gives you the option of inviting people to pick at your words. If you like the suggestions your friends or editors suggest, Draft is able to track those changes and allows you to accept or reject them. Another nod to great writers is Draft’s Hemingway mode, playing off of the idea that writing and editing are two separate entities. When Draft is set to Hemingway mode, you can only move forward; no deleting, no going back. It’s meant for you to write now and edit later.
5. Poetica (Free): It’s all about collaboration in this space where writers can get a little help from their friends. Whether you’re writing a WordPress blog post, an email in Gmail or drafting a document in Word, you can share it on Poetica to get another pair of eyes to glance over it. This site can save your work and import PDFs. If you’re in need of a proofreading tool, then Poetica is your answer.
6. Penflip (Free): Fans of GitHub’s platform better give Penflip a go. Creator, Loren Burton said, “It’s not a stretch to imagine the usefulness of a GitHub platform for non-developers — authors, teachers, students — though as much as I search, I can’t seem to find one. So I’m building it myself.” Penflip’s platform (built off of none other than GitHub), operates for hosting, collaborating and publishing writing project like novels, eBooks, textbooks, research papers and more. A great asset of Penflip is the opportunity to work offline and make your projects public or private, but private projects come with price.
7. Shareist ($10): Shareist is a button for your web browser that helps you plan, produce and distribute content and measure results. First, capture text, documents, links, videos, tweets, quotes or images. Then, Shareist lets you tag and comment on them, essentially turning your inspirations into social media posts, personal notebooks, blog posts, email newsletters or eBooks. This will be your go-to content market platform where you can connect all the services that you already publish to (e.g. Twitter, Facebook, WordPress, Constant Contact). Plus, it can be used individually or as a team.
8. Writer Pro ($20): Writer Pro is a writing suite that boldly goes where no other writing app has gone before. It’s no wonder it’s dominating the app store rankings. Most would say it’s because of the app’s workflow design, which helps writers develop their writing. Writer Pro creates an environment for users to focus on the task at hand, streaming the writer through a process of getting ideas out in “Note,” fleshing them out in “Write,” progressing to “Edit” for refinement, then on to “Read” when complete. If you’re looking for a tool to guide you through the writing process from start to finish, Writer Pro is it.
9. Grammarly ($12): Don’t have an editor but need another set of eyes to help perfect your writing? Get Grammarly. This tool is akin to your very own grammar coach that can proofread and correct up to 10 times more mistakes than a regular word processor. Grammarly also helps you avoid plagiarism and improves your text by correcting grammar, word choice, spelling and style mistakes.
10. WriteRoom ($10): This word processor throwback is essentially a blank sheet of paper for Mac users; a full-screen writing environment with a minimalistic approach, unlike the cluttered word processors of today. Writing without distractions is WriteRoom’s forte. No need to fiddle with embellishments. It’s just you and the screen, simple as that.
Help a writer out! What other online tools and apps do you find helpful to your life as a writer? Share with us in the comments below!
It can be intimidating to step out on your own and build a business from the ground up. As part of our collaboration with Office Depot, we're talking with Selfmade alum and solopreneur Colette Lawrence, the faith-based motivator and relationship builder behind The M.E.E. Movement, about ways in which women in business can find success.
B + C: How did you know M.E.E. Movement was your business to start?
The M.E.E Movement represents motivation, empowerment, and encouragement for women. It is what represents me. I did not know at first that it was my business to start, but then the thought of monetizing what I loved came to me. It scared me, however. I registered the business in July 2020 and have been slowly building my wings since.
B + C: What's one strategy that's helped you start your business?
Thinking through and researching what the requirements are to start my business, and then asking questions of people who are in the business. Not all advice worked; however, it helped me to figure out what I needed to do and not to do.
B + C: Did you always know life coaching would be your entrepreneurial path?
(Smiles) No, I did not. I 'stumbled" on it. I knew that people were always coming to me for advice and I found that I loved having conversations with them, especially with women, young and old.
B + C: What was your most valuable takeaway from Selfmade?
My most valuable takeaway was the first day of training: Get out of your own way. There were a lot of great moments and important takeaways from every presenter. However, getting out of my own way, pushing past doubts, was for me my most valuable takeaway. Doing something that I had never done before took courage. If I do not focus on what is happening with me mentally then I cannot deliver to my clients successfully.
B + C: What's one piece of advice you would give to female entrepreneurs on the brink of starting?
Get out of your head. You have something to offer. You have what you need to succeed so go ahead and do it.
B + C: How do you stay motivated?
I stay motivated by listening to music and listening to motivational speakers, and sometimes someone will just reach out and talk about the impact that I made in their life. That adds the extra juice or sauce I need to pummel through the day.
B + C: What's your best organizational tip?
Keep a diary and journal. It's the best way for me to keep organized and it also provides a source motivation as I record not only my "losses" but my wins as well.
B + C: Who inspires you in the entrepreneurial space?
Shirley Toliver – She motivates and empowers and makes me always want to show up.
B + C: What has receiving the Office Depot scholarship to Selfmade done to help you start or grow your business?
The scholarship was a blessing in that all the areas that were covered offered valuable information that I needed, from social media to HR. As a new business owner, I needed to know this to increase my own personal awareness in what it takes to run a successful business. The candidness of the presenters made it easy to see myself in their shoes and helped me to realize that I can also get there.
Want to feel motivated to take the next step for your business? Let Office Depot OfficeMax give you the confidence you need with a suite of business services & solutions to help you put your best foot forward. Make a good first impression with business cards & build the business pitch of your dreams with custom presentations. With Office Depot OfficeMax you'll find the tools to reach new customers with confidence.
Head to Office Depot's Selfmade page to check out even more amazing business resources (and discounts!) to help you accomplish more on your entrepreneurial journey. These offers are available for a limited time only, so be sure to take advantage of all this goodness while supplies last. Want to join the next Selfmade cohort this summer? Check out all of the scholarship details right here.