Five Terrific Free Tools for Online Writers

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If you are a freelance writer or blogger, here are five great online tools. Each of them will help you to make your writing process easier and more effective. Best of all, all of them are available at no cost whatsoever (though some of them have paid versions).

1. Ginger Grammar Checker

If you are not sure of your proof-checking and editing skills, here’s a tool you will love.

Ginger is a spelling and grammar checker that corrects typos, grammar and spelling mistakes. The Ginger Grammar Checker suggestions are superior to standard spell checkers because it helps you to differentiate between phonetically identical words.

Ginger’s free version gives users free access up to a certain weekly limit. Once the weekly limit is reached, Ginger still displays corrections for misspelled words but you have to manually enter the corrected word. On the following Monday, the weekly capacity is reloaded and you can enjoy Ginger’s corrections until the capacity has been used up again.

Ginger’s paid versions (Basic: $4.90/month; Premium: $9.40/month) offer three additional tools:

Sentence Rephraser suggests different synonyms, idioms and adds vocabulary that lends your text more expression, depth and meaning.

Text Reader helps you improve your spoken English by letting you write text and then hear it read back to you with proper (US or UK) pronunciation.

Personal Trainer helps you to improve your English skills by building practice sessions that use your actual text as examples, to ensure that you never make the same mistake twice. It analyzes what you need the most help with and builds its lessons specifically to address those subjects.

You can download the free Ginger Grammar Checker from GingerSoftware.com.

2. Topical Brainstorm

Do you find it hard to think of topics to write? Then Topical Brainstorm can help you.

When you enter your keyword or topic in the text box, this tool “brainstorms” it and presents you with a list of topics. It groups the suggested titles into Lists, The Five Ws, More Questions, Errors, Secrets, etc. Some of the headlines may not make any sense, but it does present you with quite a few helpful ideas. Try it out here.

3. Cliché Finder

If you tend to use clichés in your writing, standard spelling and grammar checking tools are of no help. Here’s a cool online tool that can rescue you from a fate worse than death. 🙂

Cliché finder is a free online tool that scans your text and highlights clichés and repetitive phrases. This tool is easy to use. Simply copy and paste your article in the box at Cliché Finder and click “Find Clichés.”

4. Evernote

Are you fed up of trying to find that crucial piece of information that you saved someplace on your computer but can’t find just when you need it? Are your research notes scattered all over your computer or in a zillion websites in cyberspace? Fear not, the universe has sent you a solution.

Evernote is great tool that enables you to organize your writing projects and everything else. You can download it to your computer and sync it across all other devices. Evernote enables you to

  • capture and save your ideas, tasks, projects, files, research, etc.
  • access all of your saved items anywhere across all your computers, smartphones and tablets
  • find everything fast by searching by keyword, tag, and including text inside images.

Whether you are writing an article, a series of blog posts or a trilogy, you can use Evernote to keep track of all your material.

You can get it here.

5. Write or Die

Don’t you love the title of this app? If you have trouble getting started with your writing or are easily distracted, this app is made for you.

According to its creator, Dr. Wicked, Write or Die aims to eliminate writer’s block by providing consequences for procrastination and rewards for accomplishment.

You can use it to set your writing goal and the consequences for not meeting that goal. Check out the user interface and new options here.

If you have time to check out only one tool, I suggest you try out Write or Die. It has the potential to revolutionize your writing. It helps you realize how often you pause and revise while writing your first draft.

Try it out right now – set the time for five minutes and click on the “Try” button (at the left-hand bottom corner of the user interface).

Then let us know your experience in the comments below.

(12 March 2014)


Rohi Shetty is a freelance writer who riffs about the importance of humor, mindful mojo, and creative entrepreneurship at http://rohishetty.com. He is also a star student of Danny Iny’s Audience Business Masterclass. You can connect with him on Twitter at @rohishetty.

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