When you have your way around words, writing is easy, isn’t it? You just launch a blank document, and you start writing your next great blog post. Unfortunately, things don’t work that way. Writing for the online audience involves a great deal of research, planning, audience scanning, endless drafting, and editing.
The horror happens when, somewhere in the middle of the process, you get into a writer’s block. You keep finding excuses to spend more time on Twitter, and when you open that document your mind goes blank. You can’t recognize your ideas and you don’t know how to continue. It happens. You’re in productivity dead-end, but you can get back on track with a bit of an effort. Luckily, there are tools to help you work more efficiently.
In the continuation, you’ll find suggestions for 15 writing tools that will help you reach the peak of your efficiency.
Note: This article is also available in German.
Idea Generating Tools
Whatever source of inspiration you find online, you can keep it in Evernote. It’s the ultimate tool for organizing ideas and research, so you can easily turn into your go-to personal information library.
Many writers already have installed Evernote on their tablets and smartphones, but not all are using the entire potential of this tool. Try capturing online sources and notes in text and audio. You’ll never lose an idea again.
This is a very popular tool for bloggers. Its purpose is simple: when you have a broad idea, but you cannot find the right words to present it though a catchy topic, you enter your keywords in the tool and it launches several topics for you.
Mind mapping can get you out of a writer’s block. Start with a central idea and map your way to an outline.
Bonus awesomeness: it’s a collaborative tool. Are you working for a client? Maybe you can work together to combine your ideas into a perfect scheme, which you’ll use as the bone structure for your blog post.
Tools for Content Writing
When you need to write a long blog post and you can’t find inspiration to keep going, try this tool! It’s simple: you get a blank box where you should start typing your words. When you reach 100 words, you’ll see a cute kitten on the right side.
I know; it sounds silly. But, it works! It’s cool to add some fun into your writing practice and go awwww on every 100 words you write.
It’s the ultimate online tool to get you out of a bad writer’s block. Sometimes you don’t know enough about the topic you’re supposed to tackle. Sometimes you can’t find enough support for your arguments, but you still want to give the idea a chance. In such situations, collaboration with another talented author will save you. Assignment Masters is the place where you can get it.
You can also get professional editing assistance at this site, so your posts will look more polished than ever.
Are you bored of your home office? Does it make you feel like you’re losing touch with the real world? That can happen when you’re writing for hours, days, and weeks. Coffitivity is a great tool to try. It plays ambient sounds of a cafe in the background, and you’ll be surprised to see how motivating that environment can be.
You can choose from different sounds in the cafe library, including morning murmur, university undertones, lunchtime lounge, and more.
When you’re trying to get focused, minimalism is the answer. The editing software you use plays a huge role in your ability to focus on the words you’re writing. Try Byword 2 – a minimalistic writing environment that leaves you alone with your words.
When you’re thinking about writing, you shouldn’t stay limited to text. The infographic format gives you a chance to express very detailed information in as few words as possible. Plus, you’ll add a visual candy that will attract the attention of your audience.
Canva is one of the coolest infographic makers that come for free. It’s really easy to use, and the templates are so customizable that you can make your work look really unique.
Grammar and Readability Checkers
Let’s be honest: software can’t match a real editor’s eye, so this tool isn’t 100% reliable. However, when combined with your common sense, Grammarly can be very useful in the editing process. The tool identifies and suggests corrections for mistakes that MS Word may ignore. That’s why it’s smart to have it as a backup.
When you install it as a Google Chrome extension, you’ll be able to use Grammarly not only for writing your blog posts, but also for emails and social media posts. You’ll never allow a mistake to slip.
When you’re writing for the online audience, you have to be aware of their attention span… it’s not that great. You understand your text, but does your audience understand it? You should always have a healthy dose of doubt. This tool gives you a readability score. If your score is above 7, try to simplify your text, so you’ll bring the idea closer to the understanding of your audience.
You know how the great Hemingway wrote, right? He was aware of the power of words, so he didn’t need many of them to create heartbreaking sentences. How will this tool boost your efficiency? It will help you write more clearly by identifying the issues in your content.
This is not a tool for text editing; it’s for your images. Let’s face it: do you have time to invest in Photoshop courses? That software does require a course; it’s too complicated for an average writer to understand. Since you’re a writer, not a designer, you need an image editing tool that will make this part of your job easy. PicMonkey is that tool.
The effects are close to the ones you can achieve with Photoshop, with the only difference that PicMonkey will take less of your time and nerves.
Time Management Tools
This Chrome extension works on the principles of the Pomodoro technique. The idea is to work for 25 minutes, and rest for 5 minutes. Before you start writing, plan how many pomodoros (working sessions) you’ll need. Then, activate the timer, and Strict Workflow will block your access to pre-set websites that are distracting you from the work. When you go through 25 minutes, you’ll get access to those websites for 5 minutes.
How much time do you spend in actual work, and how much of it do you waste on online distractions? Toggl will open your eyes. It will give you a report that shows how you used the Internet for the day. The moment you realize that you’ve wasted valuable time on useless sites, you’ll become more attentive of the way you spend your time in future.
You can have a list of daily tasks, but your ability to stay in focused mode influences your progress through it. Focus@Will plays scientifically-optimized music that will help your mind stay focused.
How much time did you spend in writing today? Did you use that time effectively? Thanks to the 15 tools suggested above, you’ll be able to boost your productivity and effectiveness as a content writer.
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