online-writing-toolsOur thanks to writer and professor Antonio Tooley for this guest post.

If you are a writer, you are likely to be familiar with those instances where words simply flow out of you and seemingly organize themselves into perfect phrases and sentences on paper or screen. In those moments, as an author, you feel invincible and your inspiration is at its peak.

Unfortunately, those moments happen more rarely than any of us would prefer. Once that hyper-creative process comes to a screeching halt, writers spend the rest of the time grinding out words, trying to reignite that elusive spark.

Overcoming writer’s block would be much easier if it wasn’t for the fact that it likes company, and nearly always comes out holding hands with its best friend: procrastination. That way, you are not only stagnating, but going backwards, further and further away from your goal of writing your next article, blog post, or a book, wasting your time, going down roads that lead pretty much nowhere.

But, thanks to modern technology, there are some secret weapons you can use to get you back on track and writing, or even make those times you have no trouble writing run as smooth and as long as possible. Check out our list of 10 online writing tools which will help you achieve that goal.

1. GroupMap

One of the first things which springs to mind when you encounter writer’s block or difficulties developing an idea, is brainstorming. You can do that the old-fashioned way, with a pen and paper, or you can speed up the process by turning to brainstorming and collaboration tools like GroupMap. It can help you sketch out ideas, and facilitate the process of collaborating with other authors in real-time.

2. Help Me Write

Those writers which are active on Twitter will love Help Me Write. This online tool allows you to take advantage of having a large Twitter base, and receive direct feedback on your writing ideas, by discussing them with real people. This is especially important if you are a blogger or a freelance writer, where it’s crucial to keep your finger on the pulse of your readership and your eyes on current trends.

3. EduGeeksClub

Nobody understands the problems a writer has to face better than other writers, and one place which you can always turn to for help or advice is EduGeeksClub. EduGeeksClub is a writing service which enables you to get in touch with professional writers that can help you brainstorm and come up with new writing ideas, as well as editors which can proofread and polish your existing work in case you are not happy with it.

4. Calmly Writer

In order to battle distractions, you need a text editor which will help you focus on writing, and nothing else. Our recommendation would be Calmly Writer, which really does a splendid job on helping you maintain your concentration. There is no unnecessary tools to distract you, just a blank sheet of paper and the most basic style buttons. You can take this even further by choosing the app’s “Focus Mode”, which will bring only one paragraph to the foreground.

5. Evernote

This is probably not the first time you are reading about Evernote, but it is time you finally start using it. Evenote is a powerful app which allows you to capture all of your ideas, thoughts, and comments you may think of at the oddest moments. Because it is accessible from any platform, you can write down all those useful ideas and outlines using your smartphone, while waiting in line or riding a bus, or at home, in front of your computer. It doesn’t matter when and where, thanks to Evernote.

6. Skitch

Nowadays, it is really important to add a powerful visual component to your writing. Courtesy of Evernote, Skitch is a tool which helps you emphasize your content by enhancing your screenshots and images with annotations, or visual elements, such as arrows, thought bubbles, sketches, and shapes. That way, you can rest assured your readers will get the point you are trying to get across with your writing.

7. Ilys

One of the most unique writing experiences we’ve ever had was when we decided to use Ilys instead of our usual word processor. Ilys helps you battle distraction by eliminating absolutely everything from your computer screen, except for a single letter, the last one you’ve typed. Furthermore, you are not allowed to make any changes or edits to your work unless you’ve hit the word count first. Sounds like a gimmick, but we promise you, it does wonders for your creativity.

8. After the Deadline

Proofreading your work is probably the tedious task of them all. Of course, there are plenty of proofreading apps out there, but which one do you go with? We advise you to check out After the Deadline, which a language checker capable of not only spotting your run-of-the-mill spelling and grammar errors, but also contextual spelling errors, which most apps wouldn’t even be able to detect. Also performs advanced style checking, thanks to its unique artificial intelligence algorithms.

9. Typewrite

Collaborative writing is becoming increasingly popular, thanks to a number of great tools which make the collaborative process run smoothly. The best of the bunch is Typewrite, which offers plenty of features you’d want your collaborative writing tool to have, such as easy version tracking, markdown formatting, real-time editing by several users at the same time, and the ability to automatically save work to cloud, such as Dropbox.

10. OmmWriter

Ommwriter is one of those apps that will help capture that early joy of writing, like that time you’ve bought a beautiful leather-bound notebook whose pages you couldn’t wait to fill with your work. Its luxurious and pleasant interface is guaranteed to keep you glued to the screen, just because it offers such a creative and stimulating environment. Beautifully designed themes, custom audio track, and sound effects which send a pleasing surge down your spine, urging you to soldier on.

While you can stick to your usual writing routine, there is so much you can gain using these writing tools, which will help you remain efficient, motivated, and productive, even at times when your inspiration seems to be running out.

Antonio Tooley is a hopeless optimist who enjoys basking in the world’s brightest colors. He loves biking to distant places and occasionally he gets lost. When not doing that he’s blogging and teaching ESL. He will be happy to meet you on Facebook and Twitter

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8 thoughts on “10 Online Writing Tools to Make Your Experience Nice and Smooth

    • November 18, 2015 at 9:12 am

      Wilbur – Thank you so much for the link and yes, you’re always among friends here at WWW, so write on and enjoy every moment!

  • November 17, 2015 at 7:27 am

    I agree with Sheila, handwriting is cool for discovering your creativity. When I write using a pen and piece of paper, I create more special writing, more “warm” and ingenious.

    However, technologies are not always bad, they help to discover new ways of writing and unlocking your undiscovered writing potential.

    It is smart to develop your writing skills in many different possible ways, isn’t it?

    Many of online tools mentioned in this article I tried, and I want to emphasize that it was a
    wonderful experience.

    Besides, I would like to say a few words about some other nice writing tools too. First from my favorites is Drivel Defence, great tool which helps you to clear your writing and deal with over-long sentences. It analyses
    your text and shows you possible alternatives of some words. Another one is a plagiarism checker Unplag – perfect for searching duplicated parts in writing. I actually like that I can compare my previous and current writing and avoid self-plagiarizing with this tool.

    • November 17, 2015 at 9:34 am

      Great points all, Nancy and thanks for the added tools as well. Yes, much as we’d like to stick to pen and paper, knowing how to operate on both sides of the fence (without getting slivers on our butts from the straddling) is paramount in today’s shifting digital world…

  • November 12, 2015 at 11:31 am

    Writing things down with “old fashioned” pen and paper is an excellent way for a writer to literally contact what’s going on in his or her mind. Recent research shows that people who use forms of cursive writing process ideas and thoughts differently from those who only use the keyboard or printed writing. Handwriting reflects what’s going on inside you, and seeing the written word flow from your pen activates areas of the brain that can help with your creative writing.

    • November 12, 2015 at 11:47 am

      Ah, so agree, Sheila… and isn’t it sad that schools won’t be teaching cursive writing anymore? Soon to be another lost art…

      • November 12, 2015 at 11:53 am

        I don’t accept it’s a lost art. States who adopted the Common Core, which does require cursive handwriting training, are now seeing the foolishness of that omission and are returning the requirement to their curriculum. As president of the American Handwriting Analysis Foundation (and author of the forensic handwriting mystery series), I’m delighted to report that our Campaign for Cursive is making a difference, too. Our slogan is Cursive is Cool. Even Stephen Colbert did a segment on his former show about us.

        • November 13, 2015 at 8:35 am

          Good for you and this group!!! Actually, would love a guest post on this campaign for cursive as it’s a subject near and dear to the hearts of so many writers (me, my journals and my fountain pen collection applaud you from our writing desk!) I’d like to address that thread you spoke of in your last comment about activating creativity as I see too many arguments from the next-gen that “who needs it – everything’s digital” set. Would you be willing to write such a post? Think your credentials would speak to your credibility on the subject!

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