Writing is one of the most profound and historically important forms of art. A lot of our knowledge of the olden days is through written records. Without The Iliad, we wouldn’t know about Helen of Troy and the Trojan Horse. Without the writings of travellers like Faxian and Xuanzang, we wouldn’t know much about what went on in ancient-medieval Eurasia. Carl Sagan said: “A book is made from a tree. It is an assemblage of flat, flexible parts (still called “leaves”) imprinted with dark pigmented squiggles. One glance at it and you hear the voice of another person, perhaps someone dead for thousands of years. Across the millennia, the author is speaking, clearly and silently, inside your head, directly to you. Writing is perhaps the greatest of human inventions, binding together people, citizens of distant epochs, who never knew one another. Books break the shackles of time–proof that humans can work magic.” Coming to the modern age, we have developed a lot of tools which help us chronicle the events of our time. Video and audio are great tools for the dissemination of information. However, writing is still as important as ever. Whether it’s a WordPress blog post, news story, ad copy or even an emotionally engaging email or social media caption, writing requires personality and feeling that comes from your heart. However, that definitely doesn’t mean that modern technology should be kept away from the process. There is a host of incredibly useful writing apps which will help you become a better writer. Whether you face writing blocks, struggle with grammatical nuances or get distracted very easily, these writing apps are bound to be extremely helpful for you.
Here are the best writing apps for you:
Calmly is a plain and simple distraction-free writing tool with an incredibly easy-to-use interface that blocks out all the bells and whistles of a typical word processing interface. That helps you focus all your concentration on the words. Tons of keyboard shortcuts, markdown formatting and “focus mode” (highlighting only the paragraph you’re currently working on) makes it a fruitful note-taking and editing tool (and definitely one of the best writing apps out there).
No list of the best writing apps would be complete without Scrivener. This tool is like a digital three-ring-binder, gathering all of your notes, research and writing in one easily manageable place so you can move between your manuscript and reference materials with ease. Scrivener’s text editor is like a word processor on steroids, with easy-to-use formatting, annotation, style and footnote settings that save time and stress. You can even set writing targets for yourself and track your progress, and when you’re ready to share your writing project, you can print using formatting automatically tailored to submission guidelines. You also have the option to export to a wide variety of file formats such as a PDF document.
If you are a writer who has no problem writing a compelling and interesting story but has a lot of problems with modifiers and subject-verb agreements, Grammarly might end up being your lifesaver. This awesome writing app scans for grammatical mistakes and helps you correct them. Grammarly doesn’t just give the correct word suggestion, it gives the explanation behind the suggestion, helping you learn as you write. This will help you improve your grammar skills in the future as well. So it’s both a writing and teaching app (kind of).
A Soft Murmur
Ambience has just about everything when it comes to helping you have a productive writing session. And research has shown that a moderate level of ambient noise is ideal for creative cognition. This free app, a white-noise-machine-meets-soundboard, lets you curate your own soundscape by combining any of 10 themed settings.
How can you be expected to craft a compelling narrative or tight, clean copy with social media on in the background? You can’t (at least without an incredible amount of Zen level willpower). Enter: Freedom, an app- and website-blocker that gives you the gift of focus. You can block specific apps or websites, or the entire Internet, for however much time you want. Begin a block on the fly when the writing process strikes, or create a schedule that automatically initiates your blocks during the times you know you typically write (or when your deadline is close).
Do you ever wonder if something you wrote only sounds good in your head, but won’t quite resonate when someone else reads it? Try Readable. It’s a text analyzer that makes your writing clearer and easy to understand using powerful readability algorithms that look for measures like keyword density, sentence length, syllable count and more.
Do you get bogged down by writer’s block occasionally? Check out Writing Challenge, a writing app that kick-starts your creativity by prompting you with any of thousands of different story starters (example: “Begin with the sentence ‘The letter was from his father.’”). You can even set a timer and challenge yourself to write against the clock.
Draft is a streamlined word processing platform that takes the nightmare out of version control. If you’re collaborating with anyone on a piece of writing, be it a co-writer, an editor or just a friend or colleague who’s giving your work a sanity check, tools like Google Docs or Microsoft Word make versioning difficult. You can’t accept individual changes with a lot of ease, or refer to previous drafts that have since been edited over. With Draft you can. Two other cool features: Hemingway Mode, a “write first, edit later” setting useful for rough drafts which temporarily turns off your ability to delete anything; and Ask a Professional, which lets you solicit edits from a staff of reviewers.
Whether you do your writing on an iPad, an android tab, an iPhone, an android phone, a macbook or a windows laptop, there are great writing apps available for you in the market. These apps will help you overcome writing issues that you generally face. So the next time you are planning to put pen to paper (or finger to keyboard), try out some of these writing apps to help you with the writing process. While becoming a better writer doesn’t happen overnight, using these writing apps will definitely accelerate the process. As time goes by, these writing apps are bound to be helpful for the writer in you. As a bonus tip, here are some helpful words about becoming a better writer from the Nobel and Pulitzer prize winning American writer William Faulkner: “Read, read, read. Read everything – trash, classics, good and bad, and see how they do it. Just like a carpenter who works as an apprentice and studies the master. Read! You’ll absorb it. Then write. If it’s good, you’ll find out. If it’s not, throw it out of the window.”