Today’s aspiring writers have a lot of obstacles to overcome before they can be successful. The online world is one that is full of noise and competition. Whether you’re trying to become a writer for an online business, a blogger, or simply an author, you’re going to need some help.
Join us as we look at 25 tools that every writer needs in their toolbelt. Regardless of your chosen writing profession, these tools will give you the assistance, the knowledge, and the reach that you need to succeed.
25 Tools Every Writer Should Have in Their Toolbelt
I love being a writer, but it took a long time to get here. Honestly, I wish I had known about a lot of these tools years ago. The internet is full of useful tools and websites. Here’s hoping this list can propel you into the success you’ve worked so hard to achieve.
1. Google Drive
Our first tool is one that I use every single day for both personal and professional purposes. Google Drive compiles everything you need into one place. You’ve got your word processor, spreadsheets, presentations, it’s all here.
It’s also all in the cloud and autosaved constantly. If your computer crashes or complete dies on you, everything can be accessed somewhere else via your Gmail account. Trust me, this is the way to write and store your content. I trust Google much more than Microsoft Word on an old laptop.
Spell Check is so 2003. The new tool you need to be using is Grammarly. This can be added an extension to your web browser, or there are other options on their website. In any case, it’s an excellent tool that points out spelling and grammar errors. It also suggests useful fixes and changes, unlike most spelling checkers out there.
3. A Blog
All writers must have a blog. It doesn’t matter if you’re a blogger by trade, it’s an integral part of your long-term career. Some writers like to use their blog to showcase their portfolio, while others build a business around a blog. The choice is yours, but you need some sort of online presence if you want to stand out.
I recommend WordPress as the best platform for this purpose, but you’ll find that there are a lot of choices out there.
4. Write or Die 2
This is a fun tool for those who like to have a little competition in their lives. It allows you to set a goal for both time and a word count. The tool then tracks how quickly you managed to reach this goal and even allows you to be placed on a leaderboard.
It’s a fun way to give yourself motivation to work quickly and efficiently. If you’re a competitive type, this is one you have to try out.
Speaking of productivity, this is the tool to beat all tools. Using the proven Pomodoro method, this free tool gives you a structure to your day that keeps you engaged and refreshed throughout those long work hours. The concept is simple: work for 25 minutes without interruption, then take a five minute break.
Repeat four times and then take a longer, 10-minute break. This tool helps you time out the cycle, but each mini-break keeps you alert and gives you a chance to stretch and grab some water or tea.
6. RawPixel & Pixabay
All writers need a good image library to pull from. Plain text just isn’t going to cut it in today’s online world. You need visuals to keep people interested and reading. These two resources are excellent ways to get high-quality, royalty-free images.
There’s no obligation to pay for them either. You can donate if you like, but otherwise you have an unlimited selection of images for your needs.
7. Text-to-Speech Software
Some writers can type really fast, and others need some help to get the word count up where they need it to be. Even if you are a fast typer, but you need to give your wrists a break, there’s some excellent software out there that can let you talk and it will type for you.
Dragon Naturally Speaking is the one I’ve linked to above, but even Google Drive has its own built-in program for this. Don’t knock it until you’ve tried it, the art of storytelling is one that can be spoken or written, or in this case both.
Hemingway is an online app (or a software if you prefer) that analyzes your writing for a number of different things. Namely, it points out instances of passive voice and overly complicated sentences. It helps you trim your writing down and concentrate it into a cohesive message that’s easy to understand.
9. Yoast SEO
If you’re using WordPress, this is the first plugin you should have. All writers may not be SEO experts, but they all need to know about it. This is the science behind how Google ranks content, and if you want to be seen and heard, it’s something you need to have some knowledge about.
Enter Yoast SEO. This tool gives you a full breakdown on your content’s optimization and how you can improve it. It’s a great first step towards an understanding of the concept, and it does a whole lot more once you dig into the software.
All writers need inspiration. Depending on your profession, you’ll also need to curate content from others to fill in the spaces between your own content. This is where Pocket comes in. This tool allows you to quickly store content you find on your internet travels and access it later for the purpose of reading it, sharing it, or just revising it.
Speaking of inspiration, BuzzSumo is here to help you decide if your idea is worth pursuing. You can place keywords or even websites into this tool and see which content is performing best around the internet. An excellent way to see if your idea has some spark behind it.