Whether you’re new to writing and blogging or just looking for ways to maximize your potential, there are a ton of apps to help you reach your writing goals, get organized, stay on task and beautify your blog posts or novel layout. These are just a few I’ve discovered over the years that have revolutionized the way I write!
Though I’m a long time Apple user, I’ve never been a fan of Pages or its predecessor, Apple works. Though Word can sometimes frustrate me with funky formatting, it’s the best word processor I’ve found. Plus, features like Focus view can keep you on task and prevent distractions. It’s a must have for serious writers.
Cost: Microsoft 365 (which includes their office suite) is $69.99 a year or $6.99 a month for a personal account.
For me, Google Docs is a close second to Word. But I know some people even prefer it. With a ton of free storage, the ability to share documents with others and access to your documents from anywhere you have an Internet connection, it’s easy to see why. I love that even if your computer crashes and loses all your files, you’ll still have a copy saved on Google docs. And in the writing groups I’m a part of, sharing is easy with Google Docs. It mostly comes down to preference – I like the view options on Word and I’m more familiar with their formatting.
Cost: Free! All you need is a Google email account.
Grammarly is a free online writing assistant that has been a lifesaver. It’s a catchall for spelling and grammar mistakes that you or your word-processing app might miss. Though it says they have a Word compatible download for Mac, it’s not really the best, but it’s easy to upload your working documents to the Grammarly website or use in Google Docs. There is a premium version that I’ve been eyeing for a while, but so far I’ve been happy enough with the free version.
Cost: Free! Grammarly Premium has several plans from monthly to quarterly to yearly, ranging from $11.66 a month to $29.95 a month.
Scrivener is an app I’ve had for several years that’s great for organizing large projects like novels or screenplays. It has several views, including a corkboard view, which can help you get an overview of your project. Overall, it’s a great organization tool for keeping track of character sheets, photos, notes, research and documents. It can be a little tricky to use at first because it has so many features, but there are a ton of tutorials for getting started.
Cost: One time payment of $40.84. No free version, but you can sign up for a free trial.
A friend introduced me to Canva back when I started my blog three years ago and I’ve used it ever since. It’s an amazing tool for making blog banners and graphics that’s incredibly easy to use and will give you a clean, smart blog layout, even if you don’t have any design experience. They have all sorts of templates, from social media graphics to business presentations and marketing materials. If you’re going the self-publishing route, it would also be great to use for designing a book cover, promotional bookmarks and online banners. I’ve sprung for the pro version because it’s relatively cheap and I use it so much.
Cost: Free! The Pro version is between $9.95-12.95 a month.
Similarly to Grammarly, ProWriting Aid is a grammar checker, style editor and writing mentor in one. One of the nice things about Prowriting Aid is you can get the free version as a Chrome web browser extension, allowing it to check your spelling and grammar for your WordPress posts. It will help you pick up those errors you miss the first time.
Cost: Free! There are several pro plans, ranging from $20 a month to $400.
Vellum is an amazing tool for those that choose the self-publishing route for their books. They say not to judge a book by its a cover, but the cover conveys a lot of information about the book and the author. In fact, it’s the primary sales tool for unknown authors. So why wouldn’t you want a beautiful layout and gorgeous cover?
Cost: Free! Vellum Press is $249.99 to create unlimited Ebooks and paperbacks. Vellum Ebooks is $199.99 to create unlimited Ebooks.
When you start a blog, you have a lot of great ideas to begin with. But slowly, as you try to keep up with weekly posting, you run out of things to post about. Hubspot is a great solution for writer’s block! If you enter words for the topic you want to write, it will generate blog topic ideas. And while this isn’t an essential app like many of the others, it sure can be handy when you’re facing a blank page in the WordPress editor. It can probably also help if you’re stuck for a book or short story title.
Evernote is an app to help you keep organized. Manage to-do lists, take notes and manage your tasks through Evernote. It can be downloaded for mobile and is great for jotting down story or blog ideas or observations. It can also help you set goals to stay on track for your project. And your lists can be shared with friends.
Cost: Free! And you can upgrade to Premium features for $7.99 a month.
Like Scrivener, Campfire is an organizing software for novels and longer projects. Campfire helps you world build, chart character growth, plot relationships and keep detailed timelines. I’ve only started using this app, but can already see the possibilities! There’s also a podcast, Youtube and blog that can help you get more out of the app!
Cost: Pro is $49.99 and Pro+Worldbuilding is $74.98. You can do a free trial to see if you like it first though!
Hope these help you on your writing journey!
Have you ever used any of these apps? What do you like/not like? Are they any apps you used I didn’t list that you love? Leave me a comment and we’ll chat!
Until next time,