Pick up a pen, start writing: four tools to help you craft cracking copy

Everyone needs tools to help them write. Whether you’re crafting long form features or need thinking room for an email, having access to a top quality digital writing tool is important for getting the words just right.

But which tools are the best out there? In the first part of a series about digital tools for writers, we’re taking a look at four of our favourite pieces of writing software that will help you craft the right words for your audience.

Google Docs

Yes, this is a bit of an obvious pick. But Google Docs is an essential writing tool for just about any writer who works online.

In many ways, Google Docs is similar to Microsoft Word. But its stripped down toolset makes it easier to work with, while the focus on online collaboration and editing makes it perfect for co-operative work.

The only potential headache you might have with Google Docs is being unable to access a document if you can’t get online. But that can be avoided by syncing documents offline, meaning it isn’t too difficult to overcome.

Scrivener

Scrivener is an excellent tool for anyone wanting to plan and write in a single place.

As well as offering your typical word processing tools, Scrivener also offers a series of features that are designed to help you arrange your thoughts.

Scrivener Writing Tools
Scrivener in action

Whether you’re shuffling around virtual index cards or linking ideas together on an in app pin board, Scrivener helps you think about your writing more effectively than other word processors do.

The catch with Scrivener is that it costs $45 and is designed specifically to work with Mac. But if you do prefer to research, plan and write on a device and own an Apple device, it is excellent.

Editpad

Editpad is a web notepad app. It is incredibly simple and comes with few features, but it’s a great tool for any writer uploading text to a content management system (CMS). Why? Because it rapidly converts everything you’ve written into WordPress friendly plain text.

Most word processors add an unnecessary layer of formatting to any written text. This means Editpad is a perfect tool for quickly purging your words of any of that, before the CMS begins complaining at you.

Yes, it’s feature light. And yes, it’s not going to replace any of your existing software. But if you need something to quickly clean up text before it heads online, Editpad is a handy tool to have bookmarked.

Hemingway

I do not use Hemingway on my personal writing projects. I think that consistently using an app like this diminishes your voice, makes writing less distinct and encourages the removal of qualification.

Hemingway
Hemingway

But if you need to write decisively, want to reflect on whether you can tweak your style or need to edit copy judiciously, Hemingway is a lifesaver.

The highlighting of adverbs, long sentences and passive voice will help you bring copy in. This is great if you’ve got a tight word count to meet or if you need to sell something hard.

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