The Best Apps and Software For Writing Today
So, do you want to know what are the best writing apps and software that you can use to write articles, stories or even books?
Well, remember that pen and paper worked just fine for William Shakespeare, and you should always put your craft ahead of any tool.
That said, there are several great writing apps and tools that can help you write faster.
Here are the apps and software I’ve tried, tested and recommend to new writers:
I can’t recommend Scrivener enough as a writing app for longer-form works.
I use this book writing software to write feature articles for newspapers, long-form content, reports, books and more. In the past, I used Scrivener for blogging. These days, I use it mostly for long-form writing.
Scrivener goes far beyond a regular word processor such as Microsoft Word. This app makes it easier for writers as well as students to organise their ideas and manage more complicated writing projects, using both the desktop tool and mobile writing app. It’s also available on iPad.
Scrivener also has plenty of keyboard shortcuts to speed up the writing process. If you need help, you can learn how to use this book writing software faster by taking this course by Gwen Hernandez.
IA Writer is my favourite distraction-free writing app for short blog posts and articles. While Scrivener is great for managing large writing projects, this writing app is perfect for smaller ones.
This writing app for iPad, iPhone and Mac helps writersovercome distractions through a feature called the Focus Mode.
The writing tool also has a full-screen mode that highlights the line you are currently typing and fades out everything else on the document.
This is one of the most ingenious features I have come across for focusing your mind on the current point, which is rather useful especially in creative writing projects.
I use IA Writer on my laptop, desktop and mobile. It’s an elegant, easy-to-use word processor and it syncs my writing across all of my devices.
Other minimalist writing app alternatives include Byword and WriteRoom.
Use for: writing articles and blog posts
Try IA Writer
A Plain Text Editor
That’s right, if you’re writer on a budget, you don’t need to spend any money buying expensive writing software or apps. Instead, you can use the text editor that comes free with your operating system.
Just open up Notepad on Windows or TextEdit on a Mac. I like plain text editors for writing something short quickly and easily, without thinking much about it. I wrote a blog post about the benefits of using plain text editors as writing software.
Use for: writing whatever, wherever
Ulysses is a more feature-rich alternative writing app to IA Writer.
For instance, it has features such as Markup-Based Text Editor, keyboard shortcutsso that writers can be faster, a library to organise all notes and documents, set writing goals, publish directly to WordPress and Medium, and so on.
It includes mobile and tablet writing apps. Arguably, it’s not quite as distraction-free as IA Writer, but it helps you organise both small writing projects (like a blog post) and large ones (like a book).
Use for: writing articles and blog posts
Google Docs writing templates
I use Google Docs (part of GSuite) as a writing app to collaborate with other writers and editors.
Well, Google Docs comes part of G Suite and as a word-processing software goes, it’s easy to use and works anywhere.
I also use the rather generous Google Drive cloud storage to back up my writing, notes, source files, images, writing prompts and more. And, I can access my writing on the go (and update my Google docs) using the mobile app.
G Suite also enables me to send and receive emails from the ‘BecomeAWriterToday.com’ domain (bryan[at]BecomeAWriterToday.com) using the Gmail interface and also gives you additional storage for your images, files and more.
The biggest advantage of Google Docs over Microsoft Word as a writing tool is its easy-to-use collaboration features. Everyone who has access to the file can work on it simultaneously.
Each user can leave comments on the document which is great for making clarifications or requesting changes during the writing process. Google Docs allows you to see the entire document history and the specific changes each user has made to the doc.
Use for: collaborating with other writers or editors
Try G Suite
Final Draft is the default app of choice for screenwriters. I don’t write screenplays but I’ve experimented with Final Draft and it strikes me as an example of powerful writing software with a small learning curve.
I’m a big believer in the power of journal writing for finding new ideas and conquering issues like writer’s block.
I use the writing app Day One every morning to write a short entry about what I’m struggling with and areas to focus on. It syncs across all of my devices and supports pictures and markdown too