There are so many different things you can write these days and so many different types of writing careers. From crafting novels or essays to working as a journalist, content writer, or copy editor; those with the gift for creating compelling sentences are in high demand.
Because of this, you need the best tools of the trade so you can be a productive writer. When you have the right kind of tools, it can help you cut back on the time you have to spend on your writing.
Here are some of the best writing applications for creative writers that are currently available.
1. Google Docs
Google Docs has a reputation as an accessible and collaborative writing program. In the current age of internet connectivity—where almost everything we do is online—it has become ubiquitous at home and in the workplace.
Google Docs may be free for personal use, but just because it’s free doesn’t mean that it is less versatile than old-school titans like Microsoft. Its numerous functions allow you to design a functional looking document from start to finish. Its collaborative abilities, especially for teams that need to work on the same document, are unrivaled.
Google Docs is best for anyone who needs to work online and remotely. It’s also good for people who need to switch between different devices to write on the same thing. This is especially true if you’re working with other people on the same file, as Google Docs allows multiple individuals to work on a single document.
Another upside to Google Docs: it has a very low learning curve, which means that you won’t struggle to adjust to the application. The fact that it’s designed and operated by Google means that it will interface seamlessly with all your other Google apps.
Looking for a more in-depth rundown? We have an article on what Google Docs is and how to use it.
Visit: Google Docs (Free)
2. Microsoft Word
Microsoft Word is a writing program that has been around for ages. So long, in fact, that it’s an application that many of us millennials learned how to type on when we were kids.
Over the years, Microsoft Word has evolved and become more complex. There are more competitors these days, but the program still packs a punch with its incredible versatility and its reputation as a standardized tool in a work-based setting.
Knowing how to use Microsoft Word can mean the difference between getting that office job or not. Because of its sprawling number of customizations, Microsoft Word is good for a large variety of writing professions and purposes. These range from business reports to novels.
Microsoft Word works on both PC and Mac OS. In my own experience, I find it’s best utilized when you’re on the PC, as you retain more of the natural versatility of the program.
If you’re looking for more information, here’s a list of add-ons that you can install to make Microsoft Word easier to use.
Visit: Microsoft Word Online (Free)
Scrivener hasn’t been around for as long as Microsoft Word, but it’s definitely not new. It’s been gaining traction over the years as an alternative to the old-school favorite.
As an incredibly in-depth outlining application, Scrivener is perfect for anyone who is writing a novel. These days you’ll often see creative writers shouting its praise. Its name usually comes up as a recommended tool on the eve of writing events like NaNoWriMo.
With its ability to organize chapters, scenes, and research all in one place, Scrivener prevents you from hunting for files in different spots on your computer.
Visit: Scrivener (Free)
Download: Scrivener for iOS ($19.99)
In terms of writing programs, Dabble is sort of like the new kid at school.
I first heard about Dabble through Camp NaNoWriMo, where the free trial was being advertised. Because I already had a lot of creative writing applications on my plate, I was unsure about trying it at first. I didn’t know if I needed another program.
Dabble hasn’t been around for as long as the other programs, so my curiosity was piqued. Was I missing anything in terms of features? Would it bring something new to the table that I hadn’t tried before? Turns out, I liked it a lot.
- Just like Scrivener, Dabble allows you to organize your writing files all in one place.
- You can arrange your book via chapters and scenes, and you can include notes and set goals for your manuscript’s progress.
- When you download your final document, Dabble formats it so your manuscript meets industry standards. This is incredibly helpful if you’re submitting your story to agents or publishers.
Overall, Dabble is online, like Google Docs. This means that you can work on your document through your browser. It has a desktop version too.
The major difference with other applications like Google Docs is that Dabble is subscription-based. When choosing between the two programs this price point could potentially be an issue.
If you’re on a budget or you’re a cash-strapped student, it might be better to go with something cheaper (or free).
Visit: Dabble (Free)
A tool I discovered this summer that I absolutely love is Pacemaker: a word count productivity app for writers.
By feeding your project stats into Pacemaker, including desired word count, deadline, and what days you will be available to write, Pacemaker creates a custom writing schedule that is perfect for you. You can stay on track with your writing goals, especially the more complex ones.
The thing I really love about Pacemaker is that they have two versions: a free account and a subscription-based premium one, so you can use whatever version works best for your needs.
Visit: Pacemaker (Free)
Download: Pacemaker Premium (Monthly Subscription)
Finally, one of the tools that you can use to make your writing better—and in perfect harmony with these other programs—is the Hemingway App.
By feeding your writing through the app, you can find out where your prose is weak and how to tighten it up. You can also narrow down the particular type of editing your writing needs, ranging from overly complicated sentences to an overabundance of passive voice.
Visit: Hemingway App (Free)
Choose the One That’s Right For You
As mentioned at the beginning of this article, there’s a lot of demand for writers these days. In order to compete and make the best use of your time, it’s essential that you have the right tools for the job. This list will give you a good head start.
Another great thing about the programs listed here is that both Scrivener and Dabble offer trial runs. Google Docs doesn’t even need a trial to function. It’s free to use as an individual, and all you require is a Google account.
Looking for more amazing applications to help you with your writing? Here are some browser-based tools for writers, and what they’re good for.