13 Browser-Based Tools For Writers

Joel Lee 17-02-2014

Portability and accessibility are important for writers. You never know when inspiration will hit, and when it does you don’t want to be caught off guard. Professional software suites can be nice but often times are overkill, localized, and more hassle than they’re worth. Browser-based writing tools are available no matter where you go.


Whether you need help with organization, a way to kill distractions, or a clean slate on which to write your words, these tools will prove useful to all of you who write on a regular basis. Don’t miss out!

Organizational Tools


Organization is the key to effective writing. Without it, your words will jumble up and only serve to confuse readers. Or worse, you’ll lose those awesome ideas you had the other day simply by nature of forgetfulness. A little bit of organization can go a long way towards staving off frustration.

Writing Tools


Writing is not a high-maintenance activity. To start, all you really need is a pen and paper (or even a rock and chisel). Some people can type hundreds of pages on Microsoft Word, but others require a more streamlined alternative. Here are some tools to help you with the actual act of writing.


Productivity Tools


It’s easy to write. It’s hard to keep writing. For people who write for a living (or as an obsessive hobby), productivity can be extremely difficult to keep up. Even the most motivated writer will suffer days when writing one word seems impossible. Thankfully, productivity tools exist to help curb that problem.

Utility Tools


In addition to all of the above, there are a slew of writing-related tools on the web that are unique enough to warrant their own categories. These tools are more specialized in what they offer but they’re good at what they do.


Did you find any of these web-based writing tools to be useful? What other tools are out there that you’d recommend? Share your thoughts with us in the comments!

Image Credits: Organization Folders Via Shutterstock, Writing Pad Via Shutterstock, Stopwatch Via Shutterstock, Up Graph Button Via Shutterstock

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  1. Steven Monrad
    October 6, 2018 at 4:24 am


  2. Adis Hasanic
    October 9, 2016 at 3:02 pm

    I'd recommend Typen for writing and Google Docs for editing.

    Google Docs:

  3. Mayank
    August 22, 2016 at 2:44 pm

    Thanks for this post. I really needed good writing tools to reduce my proofreading time and this list will help me reduce the same.

    I personally use 3 tools:

    1. The Pomodoro technique
    2., and
    3. Grammarly

    I am excited to try these new ones. :)

    • Joel Lee
      August 29, 2016 at 9:07 pm

      You're welcome, Mayank. I hope they prove useful and boost your productivity. :D

  4. Linda Brooks
    April 21, 2016 at 9:18 am

    Nice article, Joel. I use mostly all of these services too. But I think you forgot about plagiarism checkers. It's also very important!I found a great article about all good plagiarism checkers. All of them are for educators.
    I’ve tried them all, but the best for me is Unplag. It new and not so popular, but very fast and no so expensive as others.
    Check it out!

  5. Anonymous
    September 12, 2015 at 5:11 am

    I offer a jargon density checker Word macro -

  6. Anonymous
    June 18, 2015 at 7:39 pm

    If you're looking to add visual elements to your articles, we're building Steller: Interactive Storyteller at sign up for the private beta and get the first look!

  7. Case Changer
    February 3, 2015 at 3:25 am

    I suggest a word count extension that might help your writing if you use Chrome
    or this add-on if you use Firefox

    if you want a quick & reliable solution, you can go to its web version:

  8. Erika
    January 17, 2015 at 3:09 pm

    How about:
    and Language Is A Virus - this has a TON of writing prompts for poetry, short stories and more plus a lot of other games and challenges. Check them out!

  9. Krystal North
    December 22, 2014 at 4:13 am

    Love your article! As I am just in the beginning stages of my career change to full-time writer, this is the most useful of the hundreds of articles I've been weeding through. I am wondering, which are your top must-have online tools for getting organized as a new writer on a starving artist budget? This list looks awesome, and I will check them all out - but not sure where to start or focus my attention first as a new writer. Any thoughts?

  10. Gill Wedding
    May 10, 2014 at 9:01 am

    Scrivener ...

    • Joel L
      May 15, 2014 at 10:50 pm

      I wasn't aware Scrivener had a web-based option. If so, cool!

  11. Paul
    March 19, 2014 at 10:57 am is a great outliner...and it can double as a task and to-do list as well

  12. Andy T
    March 18, 2014 at 8:09 pm

    Some great tools on the comment pages. I found the 'Hemingway' app fascinating and fun (Thanks Mike for the link). The New Yorker article that Saikat B linked to was pretty cool also.

  13. Joel L
    March 18, 2014 at 12:30 am

    Whoa! GitHub for writers? That's such a cool concept. I'm going to have to look into PenFlip more when I have the time! As for CherryTree, I believe the portable can be run straight from a USB, yes.

    Thanks for the kind word, Caroline. I'm glad you found the article helpful! :)

    • Caroline W
      April 13, 2014 at 8:41 pm

      Yeah, GitHub for writers! It is really, really cool!! I pray it keeps going, but, from the update emails I'm getting, feature requests are being put in regularly. I'm getting a Chromebook (just for simplicity sake and as a 2nd device) and I want to use it to write my book. I've thought about using Docs but as Penflip's around, writing it on there would make sense, though the two may be used as they both export to PDF. In comparison to Scrivener and yWriter though, only 'Chapters' are available as separate sections at the moment. However, because you can use Penflip to write Documenets as the other option, perhaps the book can be cut into sections that way. Penflip's still in its infancy, but if updates are being made, then hopefully it will carry on and grow into something that's massive and permanent!

  14. Caroline W
    March 15, 2014 at 5:47 pm

    Now This is a Fantastic article (I would say that because I write a lot!). Your suggestions are totally awsome! Cherry Tree, what can I say, it looks like just what I was looking for and by looking at the downloads available, there is a "Microsoft Windows Portable Archive" (cherrytree_0.32.0_win32_portable.7z) which I am hoping means I can run it off a USB as a Portable version... Is that right??

    To add to the list of Distraction-Free Editors, today I found "Writebox" available in the Chrome Store; I've tested it and it works well. It's not as intensive as "Write Monkey" which too is in the same category. But I had heard that people use it (Write Monkey) for writing their novels; the right-click menu is extensive but I cannot say exactly what's on it as I've only been using it for 750 word journal entries.

    "Write or Die" is something I am considering purchasing. I've had a brief look at it and not only does it sound fun, it's productive and perfect for me, who starts stories by free-writing, but my editor is still, even though marginarily, on and I like this idea.

    "PenFlip" is Git Hub for Writers. Loren Burton created it with writers in mind; it's not that old at all and he is improving it all the time. Any writer has got to check it out. Basically you can create a Text Document right up to working on a Novel - it's that good! And, it is Browser based, saves your work and it is minimalist and simple, a bit of markdown to learn, which is explained in simple terms and it's just the basics. It's highly useful for collaboration. You are essentially creating an E-Book (in whatever type of document style) which you can publish straight from PenFlip as ePub, HTML, PDF. Honestly, there's nothing I've seen like it.

    I'm also getting into Mind Maps, totally could not get on with them, but as MUO has hilighted it so much, I'm jumping on board and finding them useful now.

    I cannot thank you enough, Joel, for taking so much time and effort to pull out such a great article! Originally it was saved to Pocket and I just went through it today when I had a bit more time.

    Keep the writing articles coming! Thanks again :)

  15. solostand
    February 18, 2014 at 4:34 pm

    I really loved mentioned above Quabel, It is really awesome tool...but then I just found that chunks of my text are just missing... But I guess it is just because I write eith Cyrilllic characters... So thank you for mentioned alternatives, will try them now. Hope that they will work fine. It quite hard to find online tools for writers if you are non-English speaker, sadly... =)

    • Joel L
      February 28, 2014 at 7:11 am

      I'm sorry to hear that. Non-English languages do get it rough when it comes to cool web tools, unfortunately. I hope you find some good alternatives that work!

  16. Dharmesh
    February 18, 2014 at 3:52 pm

    Really informative article got much of new ideas and solution for my some problems.
    Thanks you

  17. Jeff Howe
    February 18, 2014 at 2:19 pm

    I am fond of AutoCrit, which:
    * finds cliches
    * marks word and phrase repeaters
    * notes use of dialog tags
    * highlights proper name/pronoun sentence openings
    * runs a number of readability tests
    * tells you when you use any of the more common "problem" words (sense filters, filler, inactive verbs et al) too often

    It offers both a free (500 word) and subscription (up to 100,000 words) version.

    • Joel L
      February 28, 2014 at 7:10 am

      It's a shame the free version is only up to 500 words. That feature list is impressive, though.

  18. Bill Marcy
    February 18, 2014 at 1:35 pm

    I am using MyChain at [Broken URL Removed] Very motiovational and the daily word count keeps me jazzed for the next days work.

    • Joel L
      February 28, 2014 at 7:09 am

      Whoa, never heard of Suicide Scribes but it looks pretty neat. Daily word counts are the way to go!

  19. Jeff Palmer
    February 18, 2014 at 10:32 am

    Nice one. I'd add to this list, a third party grammar and spell check can be useful at times. Cheers!

    • Joel L
      February 28, 2014 at 7:09 am

      Definitely! Spell check and grammar check are so ubiquitous but does work in a pinch.

  20. Mike
    February 17, 2014 at 11:45 pm

    I recently came across an online tool called Hemingway ( It rates sentences based on difficulty of reading. It also highlights adverbs, passive voice, and phrases that you can simplify.

    • Saikat B
      February 18, 2014 at 2:02 am

      Yes. They also recently put Hemingway through the Hemingway test using the app :)

      Interesting read on the New Yorker.

    • Joel L
      February 28, 2014 at 7:08 am

      Ha, very cool! Always interesting to see these kind of tools.