Updated: Apr 17, 2019
How many writing mistakes did you make in today? If you said zero, you’re lying. Which is why you need an excellent set of writing tools. By adding these free online writing tools to your arsenal you’ll become a more effective writer.
What makes these tools so great?
I put together a litmus test of 3 objective criteria. If the product doesn’t pass the test, I won’t recommend it. These standards for inclusion are:
Ease of Use. The tool must be easy to integrate into your writing process and use every day.
Effectiveness. It must work. The tool must be reliable and output consistent, simple to understand results in a straightforward fashion.
No Cost. It must be free. There’s nothing I hate more than seeing an ad when my creative mojo is rocking. There are no pushy sales pop-ups or prompts to upgrade to a paid version.
Writing & Editing Tools
Grammarly. Grammarly provides a free online grammar checker and text editor. It automatically checks grammar, spelling, punctuation, word-choice, and style mistakes. Additionally, the Grammarly free browser extension will seamlessly conduct in-line edits while you’re writing online.
Click here to start using Grammarly.
Thesaurus. Every time I write, I get stumped looking for the right word or find myself reusing the same word too much. When I hit this wall I turn to a thesaurus. Today, this masterpiece of the English language has been digitized. So when you’re looking for the right word, stick with the tried and true.
Online-utility’s English Readability Test. This tool is super simple to use and provides excellent feedback. There is zero sign-up process. Navigate to the webpage and paste your text into the text box. You’ll get a readability score, detailed text statistics, and a list of suggested sentences to improve.
How’s my writing? Find out here. www.online-utility.org/english/readability_test
Google Docs. This is one of the best online word processors. Through Google Docs your documents are available online so you can write anytime you have internet access. Additionally, it saves your work automatically. Last, it’s great for editing and collaboration. Collaborators can insert suggested edits using the Suggesting function. You can also insert comment and reply to comments within a specific line of text.
All you need is a Gmail account.
Writing & Editing Tools
Google Keyword Planner. Content marketers use this tool to select strategic keywords to include in their articles. I’ve found that it has added bonus of getting the creative juices flowing.
Here’s what I mean...
Let’s pretend you just seeded your lawn and want to write about it. You want to write something useful but don’t know what your readers will relate to. You can use Google’s Keyword Planner to see what people are searching for in relation to your topic.
Enter the search term “lawn seeding” into the Keyword Planner. You’ll be shown a list of relevant keywords. You’ll see that people also search for “over seeding”, “proper lawn care”, and “the best time to plant a new lawn”. Any of these items could be a stand alone article or be integrated as subtopics into one longer piece.
For a great Keyword Planner walkthrough watch this video.
Toby. Toby is a great tool for the brainstorming or research phase of writing. Toby allows you to organize browser tabs into collections of your creation. For example, organize browser tabs into categories based on your article’s subtopics. You can also integrate this tool into your long-term strategy. Create a collection for these 7 Free Online Writing Tools and have them easily accessible every time you’re online.
Get Toby at gettoby.com
Online Communities. There are unlimited opportunities to connect with other creative minds. You should regularly read posts on Quora, Medium, and Reddit. To guide your brainstorming, find out what topics are trending and what questions people are asking. These communities are also a great resource for networking. You can find free proofreading, free editing, and story writing help from experienced writers.
Go make some new friends!
Did I miss one?
I’ve only scratched the surface in terms of what is available. You probably have some of your own favorites. I’d love to check them out. Leave a comment with your favorite free online writing, editing, or brainstorming tools.