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Hello fellow writers! Today I’m sharing my favourite free writing tools, covering everything from organisation and productivity to SEO.
I’ve been blogging for seven years now, freelance writing for several years, and I have two degrees. Needless to say, I write a lot. Over the years, I’ve used many writing tools to improve the way I write, and increase productivity.
Instead of keeping them to myself, collecting virtual dust in my Chrome bookmarks, here are the free writing tools I recommend trying out!
These 27 great apps and websites will help you:
- Get into a creative flow.
- Improve your headlines.
- Boost your SEO for those who write online (most of us do these days!).
- Work productivity, with breaks.
- And most importantly, work on your readability and grammar.
27 Excellent Writing Tools You Need To Try
Whether you’re an author, copywriter, freelance writer, or blogger, you’ll find some excellent free writing tools here. I’ve also made a PDF version with hyperlinks, so you can save that for future reference if you like. Download it at the end of this post!
Hemingway. This is my favourite free writing tool. I often write long sentences, and Hemingway helps break them up. It also helps me reduce the amount of passive voice and adverbs in my writing. It has a handy word count and readability score at the top of the screen. I like it so much that I paid for their desktop app. You can also use their service for free online.
Grammarly. We’ve all heard of Grammarly, right? After writing my blog posts and articles in Hemingway, I copy them into WordPress or Medium. That’s where Grammarly comes in – I use their free Chrome extension. This points out any grammatical errors that I’ve missed while proofreading!
CiteThisForMe. This was an absolute essential for me while at university. CiteThisForMe does exactly what you think: it generates your references in whichever citation style you need. Need to cite your sources in the APA, Harvard or Chicago referencing system? I’ve found this is the easiest way to do so.
Google Docs. This one is pretty self-explanatory, but I had to include it. You might prefer to write in your computer’s default document program, but if you’re not getting along with it, try Google Docs. It’s very useful for collaboration, whether you’re working with another writer or an editor. Plus your work is saved on the cloud, so you’ll save hard drive space.
Coschedule Headline Analyzer. This tool is an absolute gift. I use the free version all the time, but they do offer a premium version with SEO analysis. Coschedule’s Headline Analyzer gives you a simple score for your headline, and analyses the types of words you’ve used. Aim for a high score, and you’ve got yourself a good headline!
Capitalize My Title. Do you ever forget which words should be capitalised when using title case? This website does it for you.
Advanced Marketing Institute’s Headline Analyzer. This one is similar to Coschedule’s, but it focuses on the Emotional Marketing Value (EMV) of your headline. It tells you whether your words evoke intellectual, empathetic, or spiritual reactions.
OptInMonster’s 700 Power Words cheatsheet. This is one of the most useful documents I have! Sometimes I can’t think of words to evoke a specific emotion, and this list helps me out.
Portent Title Maker. Okay, this is the last headline resource I’ve got for you. Portent’s Title Maker generates title ideas for you! Just type in a topic, and it’ll create article ideas for you.
Free Writing Tools to Help With Motivation
Speechnotes.co. Bored of writing? Why not try out a speech-to-text dictation tool? I find this is great for times when I don’t feel like typing or looking at a screen. Sometimes you just want to get your stream of consciousness out into words, and it can often be quicker to use a dictation tool!
Ommwriter. If you like the sound of typewriters and peaceful ambient music, this will help motivate you. There’s a free web version with limited features and a full app for around $7.
Cold Turkey. If you struggle with self-discipline or find yourself procrastinating, this is the program for you. Cold Turkey completely removes distractions. You can set time limits, block websites, apps, or the entire internet.
Noisli. This is a great website for ambient noise to help you focus. I’ve found it particularly helpful while working from home, as it helps drown out annoying sounds. On Noisli, you can mix different sounds to create your perfect background soundtrack for writing! It also has a timer and a simple writing tool.
Need some inspiration for writing ideas?
If you’re struggling for writing ideas, have a browse of the following trend tools. These show what people are searching for! My favourite is Exploding Topics because it’s very easy to use, but I often use Google and Pinterest trends too.
Once you have a topic idea, make sure to use Answer The Public. Simply type in your topic or keyword, then it’ll give you questions and related ideas that people are searching for.
If you still have blogger’s block, here are 20 things to do when you don’t feel like writing a blog post.
Small SEO Tools provides an incredible amount of free tools to help you. I use it all the time, especially their broken link checker!
Get the Yoast or RankMath Plugin if you’re a WordPress blogger. On this blog, I’m currently using Yoast, but on my creativity blog, I’ve recently switched to RankMath. I’ve found that Yoast is simpler, but RankMath provides more options when comparing both free versions.
Google Keyword Planner. This is part of Google’s Ad network, but it’s really useful for writers too! If you’re researching keywords because you want to rank on Google, try using this.
Keysearch’s Free SEO Tools. Keysearch’s paid service is the best I’ve found: it’s affordable and user-friendly. It’s worth checking that out! They do have some free SEO tools too, including a great Plagiarism Checker.
Tools To Help You Stay Organised
Evernote. This is my go-to app for staying organised. It’s on my laptop and phone, so I can access my notes and to-do lists wherever I am. I’ve used the free version for years, and haven’t felt the need to upgrade to their premium option.
OneNote. I used OneNote a lot during university, I found it very useful for taking lecture notes. You can create multiple notebooks, sections, and pages. If you’re researching a big topic, you’ll find this helpful.
Trello. I’ve only recently started using Trello, a Kanban-style lists app. It’s a different way of taking notes and creating lists than I’m used to, but I like it so far. Evernote is still my go-to, but you might prefer Trello.
Tools To Help You Take a Break
The Pomodoro Technique. This method is a very useful way to remind yourself to take breaks. It involves working in short bursts of 30 minutes at a time, followed by a 5-minute break. There are several apps and chrome extensions that can keep track for you! I use Flow on Mac for the Pomodoro technique. It can also block any distracting apps or websites if you need to.
During my 5-minute breaks, I get up, wander around and drink some water. You’ll still need to take a longer break for lunch of course. When I discovered the Pomodoro technique a few years back, it completely changed the way I work. Breaks are essential!
F.lux. Make sure you give your eyes a break too. Looking at screens for long periods of time is damaging. I use F.lux to make my laptop screen more warm-toned, and it even dims when the sun sets based on your location! It’s a great free tool, I’ve been using it for years. I’ve also got blue-light blocking glasses, but if you don’t want to invest in those, start with adjusting your screen. F.lux is available on Mac, Windows, Linux, Android, iOS… pretty much every device you use.
Follow the 20-20-20 rule. Research shows that looking away from your screen at something 20 feet away every 20 minutes for 20 seconds helps your eyes. Give that a go, your eyes will thank you.
Finally, a tool to help you find cliché’s in your writing!
Cliché Finder. Okay, this one is a bit of a joke. If you find yourself using cliché’s too often, it might be exactly what you need!
Grab the free writing tools PDF checklist
If you fancy saving a simple pdf version featuring these writing tools, feel free to download it below.
I hope you find these 27 free writing tools helpful. Best of luck with your writing. You can do it!