Helpful writing tools, apps and software for writers and authors
On this page you will find a collection of tools that may make the process of planning, writing, editing and producing your book easier.
The categories are:
- Editing and grammar software for writers
- Dictation, interview and transcription tools, apps and software for writers
- Tools to help writers with organisation and research
- Writing tools and apps to help you focus
- Where to find virtual assistants for writers and publishing tasks
Editing and grammar software for writers
- ProWriting Aid: Fabulous to help you spot passive language, overuse of certain terms, spelling, punctuation and grammar problems.
- Grammarly: Check your work for grammar, plagiarism, spelling and more.
- Hemmingway Editor App
Dictation, interview and transcription tools for writers
These following are great dictation tools for authors for when you don’t have a pen handy, or prefer to record your first draft as a conversation, rather than write it all down. Some writers’ thoughts flow easily through their fingertips, while for others it’s so much easier to have a chat. Try out some of these to see if they’re for you.
- The recording feature on your iPhone or Android
- Windows speech recognition (you can access through Word)
- Dragon Anywhere (dictation and speech to text on your mobile phone), Dragon Professional (for your PC and includes a free year of Dragon Anywhere on your mobile)
- Google Docs Voice Typing
- Just Press Record
Organisation tools and software for writers
- Evernote: A great way to organise your research, thoughts and more. You can add text, images, audio, scans, PDFs, and documents to your notes and then locate them quickly on multiple devices.
- Trello: This nifty tool lets you stay organized using virtual boards, lists and cards.
- Zotero: Instantly creates references and bibliographies for any text editor, and integrates directly with major word processing programs. Collect, organise and cite references and keep your research together.
- ZoteroBib: Zotero also offers ZoteroBib, a free service that helps you quickly create a bibliography in any citation style.
- Trove: Straight from the source: Trove is an online resource that allows you to explore collections from Australian libraries, universities, museums, galleries and archives. It’s free and available online all day, every day. Search for digital copies of newspapers, Government Gazettes, maps, magazines and newsletters. Or books, pictures, photographs, archived websites, music and interviews. Even information about famous Australians, including copies of letters, diaries and personal archives.
Software apps for writers to help you focus
Firstly, stop the distractions by turning off your phone and alerts, and set your word processing screen to ‘full screen’ so you’re not tempted by all the other programs and widgets on your computer. If your willpower wanes, turn off your WiFi too.
- OmmWriter might help you focus
- Use a program such as Cold Turkey to transform your computer into a typewriter for a set amount of time, or apps that ban you from the internet for specific periods of time.
- Force yourself to be accountable by setting a time to write with an accountability buddy. Do it in person at the library, or use a virtual coworking tool aimed at increasing productivity such as FocusMate.
- Set goals and then reward or punish yourself: if you like the carrot and stick approach, programs like Written Kittenreward you with pictures of cute kittens when you reach your word count goal.
- Make better time-management decisions: free up more time and use what time you have more wisely by using web-based tools like Rescue Time to analyse where you spend your time and how productive you are.
Sites where you can find virtual assistants to help you with writing and publishing tasks
Software specifically for writers to help with the writing of your manuscript
Disclosure: Some of the links above may be affiliate links, and I may receive a small payment from the site operator if you go on to purchase from one of the links. Thank you.