How do successful writers work? You might imagine that they just sit at their desk each day, write down their best ideas on thousands of sheets of paper that scatter all over the room, and then immediately begin to type the most brilliant thoughts on their Royal Quiet de Luxe typewriters. But the reality is different.
Successful writers are quite busy, frequently combining multiple other tasks and jobs in their workday like speaking engagements, social media marketing, podcasting and webinars to ensure their success. They do not devote all of their time only to writing. They also do not use a typewriter as they probably have their MacBook Pro. And even if they jot down their ideas, they likely also use note-taking apps for that and transfer all information to Evernote.
That’s the modern reality of the writer's life.
Modern Reality of How Writers Work
Times have changed greatly and so have the ways writers work. A piece of writing today can fail or succeed depending not only on the quality of the writing and the talent of the writer, but also the tools the writer uses to produce and distribute the work. Fortunately, writers today have numerous tools available to them that can simplify their work and bring great success.
We have collected 10 best apps and software that are still beneficial for anyone who wants to give writing a serious try, whether professionally or as a hobby.
Best Apps and Software for Writers
These software and apps can make the life of every writer easier. They will help fix grammar, make sentences more structured, organize the process of work, and control the time that a writer spends on work and having rest. Try these apps to simplify your life and enhance the quality of your writing.
Hemingway’s characteristic writing style has been described as telegraphic style, marked by short and clear sentences. Hemingway App highlights sentences and phrases that are too long and that can be replaced with shorter and better words and phrases. This app will make your writing bold and clear, and you can use it anywhere. No internet connection required.
Grammarly helps you check your text for grammar mistakes and fix them. It is a popular app that you can install into your browser to proofread any type of writing. You can use the app for free (some options are limited) or buy a full version to help take your writing to the next level. Grammarly will be useful to anyone who feels uncomfortable with spelling, punctuation, and grammar.
As writers, it is important to have a place where we can keep all our ideas and have access to them whenever we want. Evernote is one of the best apps for that. You can add writing ideas to the software, and they will be automatically transferred or synced to your other iOS devices and programs. The app also has an audio recorder that can be quite useful for those who take interviews.
Things is another useful application for Mac that anyone who needs some help keeping track of important projects can use. If you love to-do lists and always create them, perhaps you already have some problems with organizing them. By installing Things app for Mac, you can collect all your lists into one place and access them whenever you want. You’ll discover how Things makes you more productive. And soon you’ll realize that achieving your goals comes more naturally — one to-do at a time.
Every writer should have cloud (or internet-based) storage where they keep their works instead of storing all of it only on a computer's hard drive. Dropbox is among the best personal cloud storage app, file synchronization, and client software for writers, along with GoogleDrive. Using Dropbox is safe and no one can easily steal your information. Additionally, the cloud app helps to keep a back-up of your work on the external server, so you can access your files over the Internet no matter where you are.
Writers sometimes have problems conducting research, with many professional writers avoiding doing research altogether. The problem is that they find it difficult to find useful research materials and organize and use the information that they do find. Mendeley free reference management software for researchers, students, and knowledge-workers helps with discovering research data, and managing and sharing research papers. With this web app that has a social networking aspect, you can create libraries for the information, save references, and even collaborate online!
Another common problem writers face is finding images to use for their projects. Compfight is a nifty search engine for finding free and premium images for your blog posts, books, and website. This and similar apps will save you time by speeding up the process of finding stock and license-free images, while also providing an attribution that you can cut and paste into your blog or the acknowledgements section of your book.
Writers can be unnecessarily distracted because they spend too much time browsing the internet. If you want to control how much time you spend online, install the free SelfControl app that will block distracting websites for a predetermined period of time. It will help you stop checking your social media accounts like Facebook all the time, and bring better attention and focus.
Versatile and easy to use, Outliner for iPad allows you to organize your thoughts, tasks, and projects and also easily create a to-do list for today, or track an entire project anywhere you are. It’s another great app that will help you with organizing and focusing your thoughts and ideas.
10. Time Out
For optimal focus, writers need to take regular time-outs to relax and rebuild their energy. Time Out is a super-useful application that runs in the background while you work. At set intervals (say, every 60 minutes), it fades in and gently reminds you to take a 5-10 minute break. You can also use it to remind you to take 1-minute “micro-breaks” to avoid eye strain from staring at your computer like a zombie for hours on end. With this app you have no excuse not to take regular breaks to keep your focus sharp.