Searching for the right tools can elevate your craft to a higher level but it can also be a big waste of time. You know what I’m talking about. You search on Google for great tools; look for articles like this one and you try many of them out only to end up with a lot of time spent and very little results to show for them.
Why? Because most of the resources available to us are listicles or content just to fill up space. I have found a lot of winners and losers for writing tools. I use most of these daily and these are my tried-and-true favorites.
Below are the most efficient tools that have benefited my writing process to develop marketing content that promotes action.
My Top Free Writing Tools
I’ll be honest, when I first discovered Notion I wasn’t sure what it was. Then I didn’t know how to use it for a while. Once I got a feel for the platform, I was baffled by how resourceful and applicable it was to my writing process.
It’s the perfect tool to deconstruct your research and create deep outlines for your writing. It can serve as a great wiki for you that can weave everything together. Notion gives you the power to create your own database, making it perfect for planning your articles and content strategies.
There are a lot of apps that make reading easier for you on your browser. I’ve found that Just Read is the perfect balance between user experience and simplicity. The app takes any web page or article you are reading and removes ads and other distractions on the page. It creates a readable version of the content in front of you.
This is a great tool for your research and planning. By removing distractions, it’s easier to read more content to develop your ideas. I use this as often as possible.
Ernest Hemingway was famous for his simple and direct prose. Inspired by the writer, this app gives you the tools to simplify your writing. When you are in the editing process, you can easily input your content into the app and it will highlight complex phrases and sentences. You can adjust them right on the platform. The app will give you a rating based on a reading grade level.
The internet is full of content and publishing writing that’s easy to read and simple will help you stand out through the noise and clutter. It’s a great editing tool for your writing process. I used the app for this article.
Everybody has a note-taking app they love. Many use Evernote but I have fallen in love with Keep. Google Keep works more like sticky notes and makes it easy to pin important notes and add tags. I switched to Keep when my Evernote got out of hand because of my poor organizational skills.
Keep stays true to the “sticky note” experience, making it easy to document in-the-moment notes. I use this for general outlines, ideas, and random thoughts that come to mind while developing the foundation of a piece of content.
If you don’t have Grammarly, stop right now and get it. If I had to pick one tool for you to adopt, it would be this. Like F. Scott Fitzgerald, I am notoriously bad at spelling, and even worse in grammar (I wish I inherited his skills in perfect prose too).
Grammarly finds almost all of my grammatical errors, awkward wording, and more. It’s like a second pair of eyes that catches things you would’ve easily missed. After I proofread and edit, I run it through the app and it catches several things almost every time.
We are creatures of habit and when we adopt an over-used cliché, it sticks out pretty bad. I don’t always use this resource but I tend to revisit it when I feel like a certain piece of content was more difficult to produce than usual. I tend to use more clichés and lazy phrases in difficult writing sessions.
I enjoy researching when I am away from my desktop and using an app like Pocket makes it easy to grab articles and webpages into one central location for later. Whether you use your computer or phone, pocket offers its app, website, and extension so that you can store a URL in seconds and reference it for later.
When I am gathering articles to study closely for research, Pocket offers a valuable solution for my writing process.
As the creator of this resource, I might be biased, but I continually use it for inspiration and refining my craft as a writer. Best First Lines is a database built on Notion with over 230+ opening lines in creative works. We only have a few seconds to capture a reader, and learning the secrets of winning lines helps us expand our reach by captivating attention.
This is a great reference when you need a good introductory paragraph or a powerful sentence to lure people in.
Not all writing tools need to be digital. I find that stepping away from the screen and staring at a blank piece of paper is very effective for me in my writing process. This is especially true for my outlines. When I need to create a general outline to begin a piece, I use a Legal Pad and my Pilot G-2 07 pen.
Once I write the main points of my outline. I can expand it on Notion using much of the detailed points I have developed from research.
GoodNotes [Not Free But Worth It]
My process tends to be a hybrid experience because I am physically writing things, reading online, reading offline, and going back and forth. GoodNotes makes annotations very easy. I can read an article, save it as a PDF, and handwrite or type whatever I want on the document. If I write my outline on a Legal Pad and digitize it, but decide I now want to add more, I can seamlessly do that with GoodNotes.
This app is the glue to the writing process for research and planning. It’s one of my favorite tools and helps build a solid foundation for my future works.
These are the top free writing tools for marketing that I love. Check them out and let me know what you think on Twitter. Save this on your Pocket or swipe file because I plan on updating it with more information and tools in the future.