This is true for fiction writers, journalists, content writers, or anyone else who uses the written word to make a living.
Traditional methods like pen and paper have been inefficient and presented challenges for writers.
These challenges include:
- capturing all ideas, so they are not forgotten
- keeping thoughts organised; removing distractions during the writing process
- keeping track of resources if they are to be cited, etc.
Today, you can use lots of great tools that prevent inefficiencies and keep important thoughts and information from getting lost.
Here are six of the best writing tools:
Most writing inspiration begins with a central idea or task.
Then the writer builds off of that idea with several possibilities.
Some of those possibilities don’t go anywhere, but others spawn even more ideas and possibilities.
A mind map is a graphical way to demonstrate this propagation of ideas.
Mindnode creates these maps from the writer’s own concepts.
This way, when the writer is ready to produce something from these ideas, they are quickly accessible.
Suppose, for example, a content marketer is tasked with developing a strategy to improve a client’s online marketing.
This is the central idea. From that, the marketer will have several branches or facets – social media, re-design of the website, improvement/change of blog platform and plug-ins.
And for each one of these “branches” will come smaller branches with further detail.
All ideas can be immediately inserted.
Then, as the marketer attacks each branch of the strategy, all of the ideas and thoughts for action are right there.
Nearly every blog or article that touches on the subject of becoming a productive writer mentions Evernote.
This is largely because many writers are multi-device users and they need the one size fits all content repository that is Evernote.
Once a writer places information on Evernote, they will always be able to find that content on Evernote regardless of where it was originally sourced from.
And Evernote really has become the extreme note-taker for any writer.
Suppose, for example, that you are researching for a blog post.
You can clip any web-sourced article, and add your own tags and comments, including voice memos and handwritten notes, and you can search for it by your tags later on.
AbiWord is a minimalist and efficient word processor.
Unlike other similar apps, it runs on the desktop, not the internet.
Using Abiword is a great way to write productively without the “helpful” yet intrusive interface that can make other packages difficult to use.
This is a great product for writers who simply want a distraction free utility that will allow them to write as quickly and efficiently as possible.
If you are a rapid typist who often accidentally hits the wrong keys only to bring up the myriad of Word’s complexities, then AbiWord is the much better word processor to use.
Resource tracking and organisation is a challenge for most writers.
This is why Zotero is such a useful tool, with huge benefits. Zotero does all of the hard work of storing and indexing the sources you have accessed.
This gives you a fast track to retrieving that information when you need to via a keyword search utility.
And, the writer automatically create citations that might be needed for a piece being created.
Just imagine spending days taking notes and reading various sources.
Now, picture being able to pull up information on those sources with just a few clicks.
If you struggle at all with sentence structure and other grammar and composition issues, Grammarly is the perfect tool to keep you productive and grammatically “correct.”
Once you have completed a piece, just paste it into Grammarly, and you will have almost immediate feedback.
The incorrect or questionable parts will be underlined with suggestions for change.
Another feature is a check for plagiarism against about 8 billion documents on the web – good to use if you are fearful that you may have not paraphrased well enough.
(Editor’s note: Check out my detailed review of Grammarly)
Dragon is a great piece of software that writers can use when it is more efficient to speak than it is to write.
One beautiful thing about Dragon is that the software does a much better than average job of translating the human voice into accurately written language – the most recent version bragging 99 per cent accuracy.
If you are a slow typist, it is a beautiful thing to see your words appear on the screen as you dictate; or, if you want to use Dragon on the go, there is a free remote app download.
This definitely helps emerging writers avoid frustration and slow downs.
What are Your Favourite Writing Tools?
Writers have always had unique challenges.
These new tools have come to the rescue and, as technology advances, writers will find they can become much more productive.
What are your favourite writing tools?
Please let me know in the comments section below.
Julie Ellis – a professional blogger and passionate traveler. Her love for traveling Julie combines with writing articles for such websites as Lifehack, Business2Community, SmartCustomWriting.com. Julie is always open to new, interesting people and new opportunities. For more – follow her Twitter.