Apps For Writers
Writing isn’t an easy task and often authors need a bit of help in finishing their projects and ensuring a high standard of work every time. While your smartphone might not be the first tool that springs to mind when it comes to aspiring authors, writing mobile apps are incredibly useful for helping you manage your time effectively, create new ideas and concepts to work off of, and even just for organizing your thoughts more clearly.
In addition to productivity apps, there are other tools that can enhance your writing time. Noise canceling headphones are great for blocking out unwanted distractions while a high-quality stand desk will enable you to combine work with fitness for perfect multitasking. You’ll appreciate checking out durable leather backpacks when it comes to traveling to client meetings or heading to a coffee shop to get some extra work done. Alternatively, pick yourself up one of the best pod coffee machines you can find so you can indulge at home instead. Setting up your work environment correctly is absolutely conducive to getting yourself in the right mindset to work hard and meet your deadlines.
Luckily, apps make achieving that perfect work environment much more straightforward, and with the right app you don’t even need to be at your desk to be working efficiently. With so many apps for writers to choose from though, it can be difficult knowing which to pick for the best results and a marked improvement to your writing. Check out this selection of the best writing apps on the market to make the best use of your time and productivity.
MindNode is an incredibly useful app for writers who need to organize their ideas and make sense of their thoughts. The app allows you to start off with a single idea and then brainstorm, turning your ideas into an easy-to-follow mind map. It works in a wonderfully simple way, letting users create bullet lists which are then turned into mind maps for you – useful enough on an iPad but on a phone, even better. For anyone who’s played around with creative writing apps before, the flexibility of MindNode will certainly appeal the most. There are in-built themes to switch between, as well as the ability to manually drag nodes around the screen and alphabetize them automatically.
2. The Brainstormer
The Brainstormer is one of the best apps for authors who are struggling with their creativity and need some assistance in generating ideas. With this app, you generate your ideas by spinning three wheels to combine different concepts and provide you with ideas to explore. You can spin them together for a random selection or individually for more focused options. The app also allows you to add your own custom word wheels or purchase others that are themed. Creativity can come and go in the blink of an eye, so an app like this can really help get the ideas flowing faster, particularly if you have a deadline coming up.
3. Story Tracker
If you’re looking for writing apps for iPhone, Story Tracker is a must. The app keeps track of your submitted stories, poems, scripts, articles and more. Once you’ve submitted your work, you can also tag it with a sent, response due or the date of a response, as well as how much you earned from it and any other details for easy management later on. If you’re a freelance writer, apps like this are a handy tool to help you track the work you’ve completed and whether payment has come in, which can become overwhelming the busier you get. Story Tracker helps save any embarrassment from querying the same person twice over a response or approval.
4. Pomodoro Timer
While the Pomodoro Timer isn’t an online writing app in the sense of helping your creativity, don’t underestimate just how useful it can be. Time management is the bane of so many writers’ lives and this app is one of the most effective tools for combating that. You allow 25 minutes for each task, for example writing an article, and then you work until the timer goes off. You take a brief five-minute break and then begin the cycle again. For each set of four ‘Pomodori’, as they’re known, you get a longer break. Using this app correctly is sure to have a positive effect on your writing productivity and will help you clear that list of tasks much more easily.
5. Good Reader
Good Reader is fantastic for on-the-go editing, allowing you to save your work as a PDF and then mark up the draft using highlighters, sticky notes and comments. The app makes it easy to import and sync your files for effective file management too. Initially released as primarily a PDF reader and annotator, the app now lets you download files, sync with cloud storage systems, create and edit content, and more. Whether you’re on the train, travelling long-distance or waiting for a meeting to start, you can be using your time more efficiently and getting work done.
Ask any writer their favorite apps and chances are Evernote will pop up. There are few things this app can’t do – it lets you create task lists, checklists and draw out notes, as well as capturing receipts to track business expenses and has 60MB of storage space just on its free plan. Essentially, Evernote is the ultimate digital notepad and diary planner, with the ability to create separate notebooks for easy organization, functionality to attach PDFs and Microsoft Office docs and even include web clippings, audio and video. If you’re struggling to feel organized and want a way of clearing through the clutter to make future work days more manageable, this is the app for you.
7. List for Writers
List for Writers is the perfect dose of inspiration that doesn’t require you to open up Google and become lost in a sea of distractions. When writer’s block strikes, and you can’t think of the name for your protagonist, details about a character’s profession or need to know the spelling of a location, this is the app that can help with all of that and more. It’s a great tool for any writer, both professional and amateur alike, and is well worth opening up during any brainstorming session for some useful ideas and prompts. As the name suggests, it provides handy lists of different topics, from names and character traits to personality quirks and settings, so you never need to be held up by writer’s block again.
Because you can never be sure when great ideas are going to strike, StorySkeleton has your back. This story-mapping and organizational app allows you to structure your projects with ease and then export then to different formats, including other apps such as Scrivener. You can swipe between cards, add content and descriptions, move cards around and more for easy navigation and the ability to play around with ideas. This app is great if you want to build the ‘skeleton’ of your content, so it’s particularly useful for scripts or books where you need to establish the foundations before building the copy out.
9. iA Writer Pro
Self-editing is an arduous task but iA Writer Pro makes it a simpler one. One of the most useful book writing apps, this tool highlights adjectives, nouns, adverbs and more, letting your streamline your writing and improve the way it reads. It allows for different views and colors to make the Writing, Editing and Reading functions stand out more easily, as well as identify areas where you can improve your work. iA Writer Pro is one of the best free writing apps for Android and will simplify the task of editing your own work. Its distraction-free design and clean writing environment puts the task at hand at the forefront, so you can get on with focusing on your work.
10. Merriam-Webster Dictionary App
Arguably one of the most useful free apps, the Merriam-Webster app is perfect for English language references, vocabulary building and even allows you to view definitions or access the thesaurus without internet connection. As America’s most respected dictionary, you can rest assured the results won’t steer you wrong and the app also has a host of useful features besides definitions. It now includes voice search in case you don’t know how to spell the word you’re looking up, example sentences for context, a word of the day feature to build up your word bank and audio pronunciations. All writers need access to an up to date dictionary and a thesaurus, so this app is a definite must.
Spelling and grammar rules can be difficult to remember, even for writers. Grammarly is a great app for picking up mistakes and ensuring that the work you submit is error-free. From pointing out spelling mistakes to showing you where hyphens need to be added, it’s ideal for helping you submit professional-looking work every time and avoids the chance of someone sending work back with embarrassing typos or obvious grammatical faux pas. If you find that you’re benefitting from the app a lot, Grammarly also has a Premium version with additional features like the option to set writing goals and detailed explanations about the changes it suggests.
Scrivener was designed with writers in mind and once you use this app, you’ll understand how beneficial that is in terms of the features and layout it provides. Scrivener allows you to create, edit and organize your works, and is particularly useful for long-form copy. While Scrivener isn’t exclusively for book writers, the features certainly cater to authors and it’s those features that set it apart from other standard text editors. Scrivener projects are broken down into sections that include research materials, text documents and more, for flexible navigation and clear organization. There’s also a hand search tool so you can filter based on keywords too. This is a sophisticated research and planning tool that will massively enhance the work you produce.
One of the best free writing apps for writers seeking inspiration and a more diverse vocabulary, WordPalette has a unique keyboard function that includes smart text and poetic phrases to help you develop your palette of words when you’re writing. In addition to switching between the in-built keyboards, you can also import your own text sources and convert them into Palettes or enable the Share extension to send text from other apps. Think of this app as your word muse, eliminating writer’s block when you just can’t come up with the perfect description.
14. Zoho Writer
Looking for a free online word processor? Zoho Writer is easy to use and has an easy to use interface, as well as being kitted out with virtually all of the features of Microsoft Word. For writers who tend to use Microsoft Word for basic documents only, Zoho Writer could be worth switching to. The app makes it easy to share and collaborate with others, so it’s great for teams or students, and the tab-based toolbar makes for quick navigation. There’s Version History for streamlined collaboration and you can also sync up documents that have been edited offline, so you don’t have to worry about always having internet connection when you need to get some work done.
15. Dragon Dictation
Dragon Dictation is one of the best free writing apps you can download, and you’ll be surprised how much you use it. This recording app lets you take hands-free notes, whether inspiration strikes while you’re driving or you’re busy cooking dinner and want to remember something for later. It even lets you update your Twitter Feed. This app is great for making use of your time, but it also means you don’t have to sacrifice a great idea for the task you’re doing at the time. If you’re always on the move and don’t enjoy lugging a notebook around with you all the time, Dragon Dictation makes the process of storing your thoughts much easier.