7 Online Writing Tools To Help You With Writing Gooder
It’s hard to beat the old notepad and pen combo. The problem with computers is that it’s so easy to get distracted — you can go back and forth while you write, correcting typos and awkwardly worded sentences. While this is certainly a plus when it comes to editing, it does make it harder to just sit down and write. On top of that, computers limit how much you can do. On a plain old notepad, you can make notes in the margins, draw pictures, etc. You can even write anywhere you choose (although like a computer, it’s not a good idea to get your notepad wet)!
Over the years, though, a number of online tools have popped up not only to mimic that notepad and pen feel, but to extend beyond that as well. So here are seven of the best online writing tools to help you with writing gooder, presented in no particular order:
WriteApp bills itself as the “distraction-free text editor,” and it certainly lives up to its name. The online application is simple, easy to use, and minimal. However, don’t let that fool you. WriteApp has superb privacy features, including an option for two-factor authentication. Additionally, its mobile version is excellent, and it allows you to save all your notes in one place.
Even in a trusty notebook, making mindmaps can be difficult. Although it does take some getting used to, bubbl.us reduces that frustration while offering a lot of helpful tools.
Cliche Finder does exactly what you expect. Just copy and paste the text of the story or poem you are working on, and presto! It’ll pinpoint all the cliches you’ve used. Of course, it’s just as much a cliche to say that you should always avoid cliches, but it’s certainly helpful to know how many you’re using.
Indelible is a brand new writing app that, like WriteApp, seeks to be a distraction-free text editor. In this, it certainly succeeds, and then some. It’s an elegantly formatted application with one big benefit: the backspace / delete button is disabled. That’s right. Just as you can’t with a notebook, you can’t go back and edit what you wrote using Indelible. This makes it great for first drafts where the main focus is just to keep writing. Definitely something to keep in mind with NaNoWriMo just around the corner.
Typing on the computer has a lot of benefits and a lot of disavantages, but perhaps none so much as having unlimited entertainment just a click of a button away. If you’re like me, it’s very easy to say, “I’ll watch just this 5-minute video,” and then wonder an hour later what just happened. Although it’s only available for Google Chrome, StayFocused helps you with…. staying focused. You can block entire sites using it, or (better yet) limit the time you spend on them. So if you want to browse YouTube for just 10 minutes, use this app to make sure you browse for no longer than 10 minutes.
Like Indelible and WriteApp, WriterFeedPad is another online writing application. It’s based on Etherpad, which is also incidentally what Google Docs is based on. No registration is needed, and you can collaborate with others on the same pad by just sharing the url. It also keeps track of every single change you make, which can prove both handy and entertaining.
By the way, if you sign up with the Young Writers Society, you’ll get a free account at WFP, allowing you to keep track of all your pads in one place.
WordCounter analyzes your text to count and rank your most frequently used words. This is very useful to see which words you overuse, and it’s also very useful when you want to include certain keywords in what you’re writing.