Need a bit of help with your writing? There's an app for that.
We’ve come a long way from a typewriter, stacks of notebooks, and scribbling ideas haphazardly over the pages. Instead, we are surrounded by high tech software and a whole host of writing apps that can aid us in the writing process.
It’s easy to get caught up in the huge number of apps out there. Which ones are actually beneficial? Which ones can help you become a better writer?
While it might seem crazy to suggest an app can turn you into a better writer, it can happen indirectly. An app isn’t about to sit you down and ruthlessly critique your work until you’re strung out, crying and using your manuscript as a handkerchief (you have to pay for these people!)
Writing apps provide an excellent space to plan, explore, organise, draft and edit your work. They help you to sort out layout so you can be off worrying about the most important thing: the content.
A must for freelance writers paving their way, online and app-based writing tools can enhance a writer’s output.
Here are 6 you need to check out!
(Online content creators, collaborators)
Let’s start with a free writing app (because we all need these!)
Zoho Writer is an online word processing site, not dissimilar to Microsoft Word. Zoho is perfect for on-the-go writing, easy to access and easy to master. Perfect for online content creators and collaborators, notetakers, brainstormers, novelists, Zoho meets the general needs of every type of writer.
Documents are stored safely in the cloud, and can be organised much like those on your computer.
Of course, with every writing medium, layout is important. More so with screenwriting. If you are familiar with the screenwriting scene (excuse the pun!) you may have heard of Final Draft.
At just under £200, Final Draft is still a worthy investment, boasting ‘over 300 templates for screenplays, teleplays, comics, immersive storytelling, graphic novels, and stage plays.’
However, RawScripts is a free online alternative, allowing you to draft and export your scripts easily, whilst maintaining professionalism.
There are simple options to insert a slug line, action, characters, dialogue, transitions and parentheticals.
Fancy giving it a try for your next feature film or freelance project? Go for it!
As well as writing apps for the act of writing, we need to consider programmes for the editing and proofreading process.
ProWritingAid is the creme de la creme of editing software. It can be purchased yearly for around £40, however a lifetime subscription comes to just under £135!
With the installation you automatically receive ‘1000s of style improvements’ and quick elimination of errors, taking your writing to the next level!
As well as improving your current writing, ProWritingAid helps you to spot your common editing mistakes and bad habits, thus improving all your writing to come.
Check out ProWritingAid here and start your free trial.
(Articles, novels, academic writing)
‘Ulysses offers a simple and intuitive workspace you can customize according to your taste.’
With a modern interface and a whole host of features catering to a writer’s needs, Ulysses is a writing tool not to be missed. Perfect for a variety of writing - articles, novels, stories, essays - the app is worth the £4.49 a month or £35.99 a year.
You are able to track writing goals, access different modes (minimal, dark, split view, typewriter), attach notes and images...the list goes on.
Perhaps also a nod to Modernist writer James Joyce’s novel ‘Ulysses’, this writing app screams ‘The Ultimate Writing App’ (No, really. It says that on its website!)
Visit the website for a trial or throw caution to the wind and buy today!
Not only is keeping a journal a fantastic endeavour for anyone, it is especially so for writers.
Day One is a sweet little free writing app that allows you to check in each day and journal your thoughts, adding photographs if you wish.
Simple to figure out (no fancy, need-an-instruction-manual to get to grips with rubbish!) Day One is a perfect app to use just to check in with yourself.
You could also use Day One to document your writing process; updating your productivity and uploading inspiration, ideas, difficulties you are having, pictures of books to buy, or blogs to read (such as this one!)
Day One's ‘Basic’ version is free to download and start to use. There’s also a Premium membership for £22.49 a year, which offers audio recording, backup on multiple devices, money off printing your journal and unlimited types of journals (gratitude, work notes, parenting, travel, therapy, and more.)
Sometimes our ideas are so jumbled up we just need to blurt in out onto paper.
But then things get messy and even more confusing, we have arrows pointing in all different directions, thoughts that needed to be together but have ended up on opposite sides of the page, and so many doodles we’re considering going into illustration.
I know, I’ve been there.
With so many mind-mapping tools out, it’s tricky to know where to start!
Bubbl.us is ‘Brainstorming made simple!’ Quite literally. Straightforward in design and free to use, Bubbl.us is perfect for writer’s who need clarity.
Bright bubbles allow you to easily map out thoughts, organise content, characters, and to-dos.
Perhaps not the most aesthetically pleasing mind-mapping software out there, Bubbl.us makes up for it by being easy, free and quick to start.
Want to learn more about how to kick-start your freelance writing career? Click the link for 16 EPIC writing tips