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Best Writing Apps in 2024

Showing 127 writing apps that match your search.

A reliable proofreading tool and essay editor for any writer or student.

Platforms: Online

Best for: Editing, Proofreading, Essay, Blog, and Free

Website: https://typely.com/

Base price:

Premium price:

★★★★ Performance

★★★ Features

★★ Accessibility

★★★★★ Value

Also rated 4.3 ★ on Capterra

Chapters lets you manage multiple notebooks, each fully searchable and with its own settings. Keep a personal journal, a photo diary, notes about that project at work, and a travel journal in a single app.

Platforms: iPhone, iPad, Mac

Best for: Note-taking and Journal

Website: http://slidetorock.com/apps/Chapters-iPad-notebooks.html

★★★ Performance

Also rated 4.0 ★ on the App Store

Create ebooks for every platform: Kindle, Kobo, Apple Books, and more. Each specialized file can guide readers to buy your next book in their favorite store.

Platforms: Mac

Best for: Publishing, Story, and Book

Website: https://vellum.pub/

★★★★ Features

Also rated 3.0 ★ on Reedsy

Learn more about Reedsy Studio .

Writemonkey

Writemonkey is a Windows zenware writing application with an extremely stripped down user interface, leaving you alone with your thoughts and your words. It is light, fast and free.

Platforms: Windows, PC, Mac

Best for: Drafting, Book, Essay, Journal, Poetry, Story, Blog, and Free

Website: https://writemonkey.com/

★★★★★ Performance

★★★★ Accessibility

Also rated 4.5 ★ on TechRadar

SoftMaker Free Office

FreeOffice 2021 is a complete Office suite with a word processor, a spreadsheet application and a presentation program – all seamlessly compatible with their counterparts in Microsoft Office.

Platforms: Mac, PC, Windows

Website: https://www.freeoffice.com/en/

Also rated 4.0 ★ on TechRadar

Notebook.ai

Most writers have at least one old notebook lying around somewhere, full of old story ideas, interesting characters, enchanting locations, or a myriad of other margin-scribbled thoughts. Notebook.ai is a worldbuilding tool that organizes, saves, and helps in fully fleshing out your fictional world, your way.

Platforms: Online, Chrome

Best for: Worldbuilding, Book, Story, and Free

Website: https://www.notebook.ai/

Built for teams and individuals to create, collaborate, and organize all your knowledge in one place from anywhere in the world. Create fast dynamic notes, documents, wikis, knowledge bases, and projects while integrating across the apps you work with.

Best for: Productivity, Blog, and Free

Website: https://bit.ai/

★★★ Accessibility

Also rated 5.0 ★ on Capterra

An online writing app for novelists and storytellers

Best for: Drafting, Book, Story, and Free

Website: https://thequill.app/

Campfire Write

Campfire is a versatile writing tool organized into modules, each one offering a different type of story element you can create. Keep track of each character's motives, history, eye color, and more. The Characters Module gives you an easy way to make quick notes or detailed character sheets about anyone in your story. Upload your map to the Maps Module, add pins to integrate it with the rest of your story, and nest other maps to keep things organized.

Platforms: Mac, Windows, Online, PC

Best for: Outlining, Drafting, Book, Story, and Free

Website: https://www.campfirewriting.com/

★★★★★ Accessibility

Also rated 4.0 ★ on Reedsy

Are you using the right tool to get your novel written? If you want a finished manuscript, you need intuitive novel writing software that keeps you on track and helps you write more novels. Writing a novel is not easy, but it should be simple. Novelize has all the features you need while minimizing distractions. Just write!

Best for: Outlining, Drafting, Book, and Story

Website: https://www.getnovelize.com/

Also rated 3.5 ★ on PC Magazine

The only writing platform with unlimited potential through project management, collaboration, and publishing.

Website: https://www.squibler.io/

Compose bold, clear, mistake-free writing with Grammarly. Work with an AI writing partner that helps you find the words you need⁠—⁠to write that tricky email, to get your point across, to keep your work moving.

Platforms: Windows, Mac, iPhone, iPad, Android, Chrome, Online, PC

Best for: Editing, Proofreading, Book, Essay, Story, Blog, and Free

Website: https://www.grammarly.com/

Also rated 4.4 ★ on the App Store

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Best free writing app of 2024

Bring your words to life with the best free writing apps

Person writing on a laptop

Best overall

Best for markup, best word alternative, best word processor, best for mac, best online.

  • How we test

The best free writing apps serve up more than just text tools - they also offer betters ways to manage and organize all your ideas, outlines, and projects. 

1. Best overall 2. Best for markup 3. Best Word alternative 4. Best word processor 5. Best for Mac 6. Best online 7. FAQs 8. How we test

Like the best free word processors , writing apps help you get your thoughts on the page without breaking the bank (or your train of thought). But we’ve also made sure they’ll make it easier to save, share, and sync all your documents and keep them safe, whether you need a desktop writing app for work, school, or play. 

If you struggle to stay focused, we’ve tested some of the best free writing apps come with distraction-free layouts or gamification challenges to keep you in the zone. We’ve also reviewed those built for professional document creation, with advanced business features such as speech-to-text transcription and online collaboration tools. 

Our picks cover the best apps for writing on the web, Windows, Mac, Android, and iOS - so you’re always ready whenever and wherever creativity strikes. 

literature and latte Scrivener 3

Scrivener: best writing software for authors Scrivener is packed with all the features a novelist needs, helping you track plot threads, store notes on characters and locations, structure your work and (most importantly) get some serious work done. It's not a free writing app like the tools below, but it's well worth the investment if your budget will allow it.

The best free writing app of 2024 in full:

Why you can trust TechRadar We spend hours testing every product or service we review, so you can be sure you’re buying the best. Find out more about how we test.

1. FocusWriter

Our expert review:

Specifications

Reasons to buy, reasons to avoid.

FocusWriter helps writers combat one of their biggest challenges: distractions. One of the best free writing software tools out there, it's specifically designed to let you just concentrate on your writing. 

The stripped-back interface is deliciously sparse - ideal for when you just need to get your head down and write - and not dissimilar to a moderately powerful version of Notepad, featuring support for TXT, basic, RTF, and ODT files. 

Even the toolbar is hidden until you actually need it. Just swoop your cursor to the top on the screen to reveal a barren menu, from basic formatting to themes and timers.

Features are light within the software, but FocusWriter isn’t made for heavy editing sessions. It’s designed to make the act of writing flow seamlessly onto the page. 

Elsewhere, the writing app boasts the ability to add themes and your own background images, which can help you stay motivated. 

The Daily Progress tool is a sweet extra, adding Duolingo-style gamification that lets you track your daily writing streak. For when it’s oh-so-easy to slip onto social media when you can’t find the perfect word, it’s a nice way to keep you within the app. 

Available for Windows, Linux, and macOS, the writing software also comes as a portable download, no installation required. So, you can pop it on a USB stick and plug it into any computer you’re working on. 

Read our full FocusWriter review .

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2. WriteMonkey

WriteMonkey is another piece of free writing software that cuts down on the clutter to deliver uninterrupted writing sessions. 

The free word processor, cleverly described as zenware, is unbelievably pared back compared to more traditional writing apps. 

There’s very little in the way of distracting ‘screen furniture’, which means you’re better positioned to concentrate on the writing process. And absolutely nothing else. 

But don’t let that stripped-back approach fool you. As one of the best free writing apps, WriteMonkey is still rich with the sort of core features that matter to writers. 

However, most options are hidden in a context menu (so you’ll need to right-click to view it). It also only supports TXT files, which may limit those looking to read, write, or edit across multiple formats. It is, at least, a portable download, letting you take it wherever you need.

If you’ve enjoyed Markdown, the simplified text-editing language that lets you format, annotate, classify, and link as you type, then great. WriteMonkey’s inner workings will instantly chime. 

First-timers should spend a little time with this free writing software, to uncover that intuitive simplicity. 

Read our full WriteMonkey review .

3. LibreOffice Writer

Writer, the open-source, free writing software, serves almost all general writing needs.

LibreOffice is a near-perfect example of free office software - a familiar, feature-rich take on the office suite. What the veteran software package lacks in Microsoft polish (its interface is undeniably old-fashioned, for starters), it makes up for in its price-point: free. For that, you get access to six tools: Calc, Impress, Draw, Base, Math, and Writer. 

Earning it a slot on our list of best free writing apps is the fact that LibreOffice Writer packs the full editing toolbox. 

This isn’t just a note-taking app for staving off distractions when you’re deep in the zone; it’s for when you’re in pure writer-mode. 

If you’re at all proficient with Microsoft Word, you won’t have any problems using the Writer software. Layouts and functions are almost identical, and there’s support for DOC and DOCX file types, making it efficient to switch out of the Microsoft garden.

This free writing app is ideal if you’re hunting for a tool that almost perfectly replicates the Word experience without the cost. 

Read our full LibreOffice review .

4. Microsoft Word

When it comes to word processors, Microsoft Word is probably the baseline against which all others are compared. It’s the one most of us use at school, home, and work. It’s familiar, comfortable - and it’s available free on the web and mobile devices. 

That may not be the best way to write your masterpiece (unless you’ve hooked up a Bluetooth keyboard). But it’s a great way to jot down ideas on-the-go. When we tested the browser-based version we found it could be a bit slow at first, and we were typing faster than the words appeared on screen. This settles down (mostly) after a minute or so. 

Microsoft’s free writing apps on Android and iPhone had no such issues. Using these was velvety smooth. We especially appreciated the option to switch between mobile view and desktop view, so we could gauge how the document would appear in full-screen. 

As with Google Docs, you’ll need to sign up with a Microsoft account. And, like Google, that also lets you use free versions of PowerPoint, Excel, and the like. While Word offers one of the best free writing app experiences, there’s no denying that the paid-for upgrade is superior, offering more tools, and a true desktop app. 

Read our full Microsoft Word review .

Author promises to make it easier to ‘think, write, and cite’. It’s a promise capably delivered, with a clean interface and bags of writing features designed to make it easy to go from first draft to final copy. 

If you're an Apple user in search of the best free writing apps on macOS, this one demands your attention. 

Concept Maps is one of the best features. It’s a great mind-mapping tool to visualize and lay down all your thoughts while they’re fresh in your head without constraint. You can worry about whipping them into shape later. 

Students and report writers will appreciate Author’s ‘fast citing’ tools - speeding up assignment-writing by correctly adding and formatting citations, references, and contents. 

A paid-for upgrade of the writing software that offers exporting options is available. However, unless you need automatic formatting on export, you can stick with the free version. 

6. Google Docs

Google Docs is a great free writing platform for any writer. It’s an extremely clean, quick word processor available in the browser, on desktop, and phone and tablet apps. So, you can take notes wherever inspiration strikes. 

Docs is more or less Google’s spin on Microsoft Word. The interface is a bit more simple than the professional office software - although it’s no less powerful. 

You’ll find heaps of writing tools, including a pretty accurate speech-to-text transcription tool (just enunciate and don’t talk too fast). Keyboard shortcuts are very well-supported. 

For best results, you’ll need an internet connection, though documents can be used offline. They’ll be synced, and in our experience, that happens swiftly behind the scenes. 

To take advantage of the free writing app, you’ll need a Google account, which may be a deal-breaker for some - but that also opens up the rest of the Google-stuff in the Google-sphere, such as Sheets, Slides, and . With a free account, you get 15GB of storage, which should be more than enough for word documents. A Google One subscription upgrades your storage space, amongst other things. 

Additionally, Google Docs is great if you want to collaborate with one or more other writers. Just be warned to stay in Google Docs for that, because exporting the data into Word or other writing applications can result formatting errors.

Read our full Google Docs review .

Best free writing app: FAQs

What's the difference between a writing app and an ai writer.

AI writers vs writing apps - what's the real difference?

Artificial intelligence is growing in a big way - and when it comes to writing, it's ChatGPT that's been snatching all the headlines of late, with its ability to generate short- and long-form content based on user prompts.

Generally, an AI writer will write your content for you, based on its current learning (although often without 'understanding' the context). A writing app simply lets you write your way, in your own voice. 

Some platforms, such as Canva , have even integrated AI into its Canva Docs and Canva PDF Editor services. However. its Magic Write tool acts as a writing assistant, serving up suggestions and ideas, leaving real writers to work their magic on the content. Though usually hiding in the back-end, you can also find AI integrated in other ways across other the best PDF editor apps (and even the best free PDF editor apps, too).

As always with AI-generated content, whether it's the written word or an artwork masterpiece, human involvement is usually necessary and always desirable. Even if you're using the best AI writers out there, editing and proofreading is essential to give the content accuracy and emotional resonance.

How to choose the best free writing app for you

When deciding which free writing app is best, start by figuring out what sort of writing you want to do. 

Do you need a handy tool for quick scribbles and jotting down ideas here and there, or are you using the writing software to write and edit an epic novel? Tools like FocusWriter and Write Monkey are great for getting thoughts on the page without friction.

It’s also worth considering if you need a writing app with a distraction-free design, so you can concentrate on what really matters to you. Again, FocusWriter performs admirably here, but as a result, you lose core typography and editing functions. Unlike LibreOffice, this isn’t the best Microsoft Office alternative if you need those tools. In that scenario, it may be worth considering looking at some of the best free office software , which includes MS Word-style apps, alongside other tools similar to Excel, PowerPoint, and so on. 

Access is an important factor when using your writing software. A tool like Scribus needs to be downloaded to your machine. Lightweight apps like FocusWriter, however, offer a portable download that can be downloaded to a USB and carried with you. 

Check what file formats your chosen writing app supports, too. While some let you create and edit the common DOC and DOCX files, others only allow TXT or RTF documents.

But most of all, it’s important to choose the best free writing app for your unique creative flow. 

How we test the best free writing apps

Testing the best free writing apps and software, we assess how easy it is to get your words down on the page with the least amount of friction. Portable writing apps rank high, because they let you use the program on whatever computer or laptop you’re using. 

We also look at performance for its intended audience. For distraction-free writing apps, do they really foster focus? For word processor-style software, does it offer good formatting and editing options? 

Most importantly, we expect to see free writing apps that are genuinely cost-free - no-one wants to stumble across hidden fees and charges in the contracts. 

We've listed the best laptops for writers .

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Steve Clark

Steve is TechRadar Pro’s B2B Editor for Creative & Hardware. He explores the apps and devices for individuals and organizations that thrive on design and innovation. A former journalist at Web User magazine, he's covered software and hardware news, reviews, features, and guides. He's previously worked on content for Microsoft, Sony, and countless SaaS & product design firms. Once upon a time, he wrote commercials and movie trailers. Relentless champion of the Oxford comma.

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The Best Online Writing Apps for Collaboration

best-collaborative-writing-app primary img

Writing shouldn't be a solitary endeavor. Unless you're a team of one, every published piece requires hours of back-and-forth between writers, editors, sources, and stakeholders. Thankfully, many of today's online writing apps offer robust collaboration features that keep everyone involved in the process on the same page.

Whether you're writing a blog post or documentation for your team, writers often work with multiple editors for each article or document—at least, that's how we work here at Zapier ( Editor's note: Hi there! ). The writer submits a draft, then editor(s) add comments and make updates directly to the document. The writer then responds to the comments and revises the draft accordingly.

Sometimes, though, this happens simultaneously--multiple people are adding text, editing, and commenting in a document. Without the right app, that can get messy.

What to Look for in a Collaborative Writing App

The best writing apps for sharing single files or folders, the best writing apps for team content management, how we evaluate and test apps.

Our best apps roundups are written by humans who've spent much of their careers using, testing, and writing about software. Unless explicitly stated, we spend dozens of hours researching and testing apps, using each app as it's intended to be used and evaluating it against the criteria we set for the category. We're never paid for placement in our articles from any app or for links to any site—we value the trust readers put in us to offer authentic evaluations of the categories and apps we review. For more details on our process, read the full rundown of how we select apps to feature on the Zapier blog .

For this guide, we researched and tested more than a dozen writing web apps with collaboration features, and graded them based on criteria such as:

Simple sharing with collaborators: Does this app make it easy for colleagues and other collaborators to jump into one of your documents?

Commenting on specific parts of the document: Does this app offer a smooth experience for providing feedback?

Synchronous, confusion-free collaboration: Can multiple people edit a document at once without tripping over each other?

Editing and version control: Is it easy to see what's been changed since you last opened the document, and does the app let you accept and reject changes?

Exporting options: Whether you need to post your finished product to your blog or attach it to an email, does this app offer a variety of exporting options?

Markdown support: Can you use Markdown to add quick, clean styles to your copy? (If you haven’t used it before, here’s our Markdown guide to get you started—once you've tried it, you'll never go back.)

In the end, these apps stood out for their writing and collaboration features.

The writing apps below make it easy to share a single document with others via email or a shared link, or by sharing a folder. They're basically online word processors with collaboration features such as clear commenting, but without extra features such as project management tools for teams. Their simplicity and popularity are their greatest strengths, particularly for freelancers and people who collaborate often with others outside of their company.

Google Docs (Web, iOS, Android)

Best for quickly and easily sharing documents with other Google Apps users

Google Docs is the most popular collaborative writing and editing tool today, with nearly 25 million active monthly users (compared to nearly 5 million for Microsoft Word, according to a report from SurveyMonkey ). Because it's so easy to use and automatically tied to every Google account, it's the default word processing app for many individuals.

Google Docs offers the essential features you'd expect of any popular word processor. It excels, however, in its baked-in collaboration features.

Clear and Easy Commenting : Google Docs lets you comment on any text, image, or other specific part of the page, and highlights the text with comments. These make it easy for both editors and writers to spot parts of the text that need to be addressed: When you scroll through a document, the highlighted text jumps out at you. At the same time, the comments are not inline with the document but off to the side and can be hidden or shown, as well as marked as resolved.

Google Docs comments

Convenient Suggested Edits Mode : Google Docs' editing mode feature (the pen icon in the toolbar at the top right) lets you decide whether to directly edit the original document or make all your edits as suggestions. The main benefit of suggestions: they won't get merged into the original until accepted by the author, so anyone can recommend changes without affecting the original document.

Suggestions come with what looks like a comment, but rather than having a "resolve" button, as comments do, they have accept (checkmark) and reject (X mark) options. This is great for editors who want to suggest a change to the text but want to let the writer decide, and for writers to easily see the kinds of changes their editor(s) typically make for future reference.

The downside, however, is that the suggested edits, color-coded and littered throughout the piece, can be overwhelming. The simple act of deleting a space or adding a comma is called out in green or pink or another color—and that can be daunting for writers who return to find gallons of virtual ink splashed across the page.

Color-coded Google Doc suggested edits

Detailed Revision History: If you need to know what's been changed in the document, when it was changed, and by whom, Google Docs makes it easy to find that out. Just go to File > See revision history and you can see every edit that was made by collaborators. To revert to a previous version of the document, all you have to do is click the "Restore this version" link.

Google Docs revision history

Exporting to Multiple Formats: Unlike many other writing apps that let you export the document only to text or HTML, Google Docs supports exporting your document to a wide range of file types, including Word (.doc), OpenDocument text (.odt), PDF, HTML, and .epub. This makes Google Docs a great publishing tool and allows collaborators to use your document in just about any app they choose.

Advanced Sharing Controls: Not only can you share a Google Doc via email or with a link, but you can also prevent people you give editing control to from adding others to the doc. You can also disable downloading, printing, and copying for those who only have view or commenting access. And for even more control, set an expiration date on a collaborator's access to the doc. This is useful when you want to co-author the file with someone but stop sharing it as soon as they're finished.

Google Docs was created with collaboration in mind from the start--and offered real-time collaboration features before Microsoft Word. You'll need a Google account to use Google Docs with other collaborators, but those you share the doc with don't need a Google account to view, comment, or edit the document. (Still, everyone's got a Google account, right?). With the Google Docs Chrome extension , you can even work on your documents offline. This is one of the easiest apps to collaborate on a document with.

Google Docs Price: Free

For a deeper look at Google Docs' features and pricing, see our in-depth Google Docs review . Then, connect Google Docs to your other favorite apps with Zapier's Google Docs integrations .

Related: 40+ Google Docs Tips and Tricks .

Microsoft Word Online (Web, iOS, Android)

Best for compatibility with other Microsoft Office files and quick document formatting

Ask anyone to name a word processing program, and chances are they'll say Microsoft Word. As part of the 28-year-old Microsoft Office suite, which is used by over a billion people worldwide, Microsoft Word has long been the de facto tool for writing and editing at most companies. It's only in the last few years, however, that Microsoft's free web apps suite, Office Online--including Word Online --became a serious contender to Google's Apps offering.

Google Docs and Word Online have similar features--excellent real-time collaboration, version history, and mobile as well as desktop browser access--but there are a few features that might make you choose Word Online over Google Docs.

A Streamlined Microsoft Office Interface and Better Office Compatibility : If you use Office 365, Word Online is a no-brainer for those times you don't have access to the PC or Mac desktop app or you just want to make a quick change to an Office document. It's easy to sign in at OneDrive with your Microsoft account to access your Word docs or create a new one and get right to it. You'll see the familiar Ribbon user interface and can access the most essential features of the writing app.

Microsoft Word Online

If someone sends you a Microsoft Word doc and you don't have the desktop app, you can open it in Word Online and expect it to look and function like their version.

Actionable Comments : Comments aren't always just comments when it comes to shared documents. Sometimes they're to-dos, such as "find a better way to phrase this." Word Online adds a checkbox to comments so you can mark comments as completed, in addition to replying to comments or deleting them.

Word Online comments

Advanced Page Layout Tools: Many simple writing web apps give you a default page size (8.5x11") in portrait mode. But what if you wanted the document to be legal-size, A4, or any other size or in landscape mode? Word Online gives you complete control over page sizing, and easy ways to adjust the margins, indents, and paragraph spacing, so you can build your pages with precision.

Word Online Page Layout

Quick Text Styling: Word Online's styles pane makes it easy to apply more than 20 default styles to blocks of text or the entire document. And if you click the Apply Styles option, you have access to dozens of other styles for table formatting, lists formatting, and footer and endnote styles. Especially when there are multiple people formatting the same document, these pre-made styles help ensure consistency.

Word Online Styles

Skype Group Chats in Word Online: When someone is editing with you in Word Online, you can click the Skype button to start a text, voice, or video chat directly within the document's chat pane. (Note: This requires users to have an Office 365 subscription.) Or, if you're away from the document, you can still participate in the chat using Skype on your phone or web browser.

Word Online doesn't have all of the features as the desktop version of Word, but it has all the functionality you'd expect in an online word processor--including strong collaboration and sharing options. As with Google Docs, you can share Word Online with others even if they don't have a Word Online (Microsoft) account.

Word Online Price: Free

Want to collaborate on spreadsheets, too? Learn how to use Excel Online to crunch numbers in your browser with our Excel Online review .

Dropbox Paper (Web)

Best for clean, clutter-free writing and rich media support

Dropbox Paper is still in beta. However, the beta feels polished and has an elegant, modern design. Here are some of this writing app's best features:

Minimalist Design : Dropbox Paper's design is very reminiscent of online publishing platform Medium . It's clean and uncluttered, with lots of white space to put the focus on your content, rather than buttons and options. The sleek interface makes Dropbox Paper easy to use and encourages you to just start writing.

Dropbox Paper

Rich Content Embedding : You can insert just about any kind of content into your document: videos from YouTube or Vimeo, audio from Spotify, and files from Dropbox and Google Docs.

Dropbox Paper also offers one of the best ways to use images in your document. You can paste two images next to each other and they'll be automatically organized side by side. The image toolbar lets you align images left, center, or right, or expand them full width. And if you double-click on an image, it will open in a full-screen gallery view.

Instant Markdown and Code Formatting : Dropbox Paper uses rich text rather than Markdown formatting, but it took my pasted Markdown and re-formatted it as rich text immediately. That was a nice surprise.

Compared to the process of exporting my Markdown as rich text, pasting it into Google Docs, and fixing the parts of my formatting that get lost during that process, Dropbox Paper's auto-formatting would save me a bunch of time. If you prefer to write in Markdown but the final document needs to be in rich text format, Paper is a lifesaver.

You can also use Dropbox Paper for writing code. Start a line with three backticks ` and the app will automatically detect the programming language and highlight the syntax for you.

Easy Folder or Documents Sharing : Dropbox Paper uses a simple approach to sharing: Enter an email address, add an optional note, and send the invite. It also gives you a couple of additional sharing options: As with Google Docs, you can create folders in your account and share their contents with collaborators. Or, you can share a single document from within the document editor.

You might use folders to keep you work and personal files separate in your Paper account. If you're going to share files with the same people over and over, sharing a folder saves you the time and effort of sharing each new document.

Colorful Comments : In your Dropbox Paper document, you can highlight a particular parts to add your comment to. Plus, it's easy to reply to comments. In other words: You'll feel right at home if you've used Google Docs a lot in the past. The Paper team even threw in some fun stickers to keep comments lively.

Dropbox Paper comments

Dropbox Paper also uses colored names (similar to Hackpad , below) to show who wrote what. If you're working on a living document with a team of people, this can be handy when time passes and you can't remember who had which idea.

Within your document, you can also use the @ sign before a team member's name to call their attention to a comment. Similarly, you can reference another document or folder by typing + and its name.

Unobtrusive Table of Contents : Dropbox Paper automatically creates a table of contents based on the headings in your document. Although other writing apps can also do this, it's implemented unobtrusively and automatically here. In other apps, you have to click a button in one of the menus to show the TOC, but Dropbox Paper shows very small lines on the left of the screen that you can just hover over to show the TOC. It's out of the way when you don't need it, but easy to get to when you do.

Linked to Your Dropbox Account : As you might expect, Dropbox Paper requires users to log in with their Dropbox account, so you'll need to create one if you want to use the product. Paper isn't mixed in with your Dropbox files, but, again, you can link to Dropbox files easily from within a Paper document. The good news is, at least for now , Paper documents don't count towards your Dropbox storage quota.

Do note that Dropbox Paper doesn't offer offline access. It's possible Paper will add offline access in the future, but for now you'll need an internet connection to create and edit documents. Depending on your workflow, this could be a dealbreaker.

Dropbox Paper Price: Free

Learn more about the core Dropbox features in our Dropbox review .

Etherpad (Web)

Best for developers who want full control over their tools

Etherpad is an open-source, real-time, collaborative writing tool. If you’re looking for a tool that you can host yourself—rather than storing your data on some big company’s servers—this is the app for you. There are also a few publicly hosted instances of Etherpad you can use for free, such as etherpad.net .

Color-coded and Account-Free Collaboration : Each collaborator on the document gets a color, and their additions to a document gets highlighted with that color. This makes it easy to see who contributed what to the document at a glance, but with many collaborators a document could look like a rainbow of LEGO blocks. You can, however, clear the color formatting.

Etherpad

Anyone with a link to your document can view or edit it without needing an account. This means you can open up any project to the public and let people contribute anonymously.

Plain-Text-Like Design : Etherpad has a stark, no-frills design. It's not as elegant or modern as apps like Dropbox Paper, nor does it have as many rich formatting features as apps like Word Online, but some might be more comfortable in Etherpad's distraction-free interface.

Open Source : The internet, and most of the software we use today, wouldn't exist without open source code. Developers rely on each other to share their code so they can build upon what others have done before. It's great to support open source software, and because Etherpad is open source, you'll find several free variations of this writing tool, one of which might suit your needs better.

Fun fact: Hackpad (below) is based on Etherpad.

Timeline view : One feature that's unique to Etherpad is the timeline view, which lets you explore previous versions of your document. You can quickly scrub through the timeline to find the version you’re after, or marvel at how your document has changed over time.

Etherpad timeline

Syntax highlighting : If you’re a developer and want to share snippets of code with your team, you know how awkward it can be to share code without syntax highlighting. Syntax highlighting in Etherpad is enabled through a plugin, so not every public instance will include it, but https://etherpad.mozilla.org/ does.

Embed your Etherpad : Another unusual feature that’s present in Etherpad is the option to embed your document elsewhere. Most collaborative editors expect you to pull collaborators into their product, but Etherpad lets you embed your documents in your own website.

Etherpad Price : Free

Some writing apps are built more for teams in the same company. Beyond allowing you to share documents for collaborative editing, the apps below also let you share entire sets of content. They also offer team-centric features such as project workspaces, task management tools, and detailed access control.

Quip (Web, Windows, Mac, Android, iOS)

Best for robust commenting and team chat within your writing app

Quip is a streamlined app that combines text documents, spreadsheets, and checklists in a central place. With messaging and notification features not found in many standalone writing apps, Quip is more of a team content management platform than an online word processor. Here are some of Quip's best features for writers and editors working together:

Change History Stream: Documents in Quip all get a handy side panel that shows comments and changes to the document in one long stream. This can be useful when trying to keep track of who touched the document last and what changes have been made recently.

Quip activity stream

Fun Commenting: What makes people want to discuss a document? Emojis, of course. Quip's commenting feature not only boldly highlights comments, but also lets you add emojis and add commands like /yoda to automatically insert a Yoda GIF as your comment. You can archive comments and team members can "like" your comments, creating a sort of social network within your living doc.

Quip comments

Granular Notifications: When you want to keep up with all activity in a document, notifications are your friend. Quip lets you customize the desktop and mobile notifications for each document, so you can stay on top of the changes that matter most to you.

Quip notifications

Folder-Based Organization: In addition to sharing individual files by email or with a link, you can share entire folders with one or more people. That's possible in many other apps, such as Google Drive and Microsoft OneDrive, but Quip offers color-coded folders, notification settings on a per-folder basis, and a clear way to see how many people a folder is shared with. You can also add files to multiple folders--useful, for example, for saving a file to both a drafts folder and a department folder.

Quip folders

Built-in Chat Room: Aside from inline comments, Quip also lets you create one or more chat rooms, similar to Slack. So instead of switching to a separate messaging app, you can write, edit, and collaborate on content under one roof.

Quip's minimalist, toolbar-less user interface might take some getting used to if you've long used other writing apps. With dedicated URLs for teams (such as zapier.quip.com), granular notifications, built-in chat, and fun commenting, however, it's worth a look if your team needs a new collaborative writing tool.

Quip Price: Free for personal accounts; from $10/month for teams

Note: The app was recently acquired by Salesforce .

For a deeper look at Quip's features and pricing, see our in-depth Quip review . Then, connect Quip to your other favorite apps with Zapier's Quip integrations .

Hackpad (Web, Android, iOS)

Best for living documents that don’t need to be published elsewhere

Hackpad has been acquired by Dropbox and is no longer maintained, but it's been open-sourced and open-for-business for existing and new customers. This collaborative, real-time text editor offers moderation and organization features not found in many other team writing apps.

Organization Tools : Your pads can be organized into workspaces, which function like notebooks. They can also be added to collections, which are more like labels or tags. Add a pad to as many collections as you need to stay organized.

Hackpad

If you add a hashtag to your pad, you can find all the related pads just by searching for that hashtag and clicking on it.

Hackpad also generates a table of contents for you automatically, creating a header out of any bolded line. That makes it easy to jump to any section to find what you need.

Sharing : Sending an invite is as simple as dropping a collaborator's email address in the box to the right of the editor. However, there's no option to add a comment when sending an invite, so if you want to add a note, you'll need to send a separate message.

You can also share a pad with the public, making those pads more like a wiki-style resource.

Document Moderation : Hackpad works more as a "living document" or online notebook for co-editing notes. Collaborators all work on the same document, and comments are included inline, rather than attached to--and visually separated from--the document.

Hackpad commenting

This works well for brainstorming or collaborative meeting notes, but isn't as versatile for writers and editors co-authoring content. It can also be confusing when different contributors start adding lots of comments, as there's no easy way to keep track of where you've read up to and which comments need to be dealt with. However, every update to the document is attributed to each user, and you can moderate additions, updates, and comments added to your pads.

Code and Rich Media Support : With code blocks, video embeds, and Markdown-style headings, Hackpad caters towards developers and designers. Export a pad with a code extension, such as .html or .js, and the syntax will be highlighted automatically for that language.

You can also embed images or other rich media and even create a to-do list within your pad with the task list feature.

Hackpad checklist

Notifications of Changes Delivered in Email : This one probably depends on personal taste, but I enjoy the way Hackpad sends me actual changes in an email. I never have to open the document to see what's changed; I can just read the email notifications to catch up. For those who are drowning in email, this might not be ideal, but I found it especially handy when collaborating with others in different timezones, as I could just jump into my inbox to catch up on everything I missed overnight, including changes to ongoing Hackpad files.

Seamless Dropbox Syncing : If you're a Dropbox user, you can connect your account to Hackpad to sync all of your Hackpad documents. You can also add files of any size to your document, which in Hackpad is called a "pad". This can be handy for keeping all of your work-related documents together.

Hackpad Price: Free public workspaces for unlimited users; free private workspaces with up to 5 collaborators; $2 per user for private documents with more than 5 collaborators

For a deeper look at Hackpad's features and pricing, see our in-depth Hackpad review . Then, connect Hackpad to your other favorite apps with Zapier's Hackpad integrations .

Other Collaborative Writing Apps

These aren't the only apps suited for co-authoring a document or just sharing a document for comments, but they're the most popular and feature-rich online writing apps you can easily use with either a team member or a new contact today.

That said, here are a few other established and up-and-coming web apps for document collaboration you might want to take a look at as well:

Zoho Writer : As part of the Zoho Docs suite of apps (similar to Microsoft Office) and the larger Zoho business apps ecosystem, Zoho Writer stands out for its advanced document access controls. You can specify who can manage permissions to the document, set an expiration date for file access, share a document publicly but require a password, turn off collaboration temporarily, lock sections of a document, and more. This is great for businesses or individuals working with sensitive content. We found the sharing and collaboration features to be less intuitive than the other writing apps, but if you need a full-fledged writing app that offers more security than most, this is the app to test first.

Penflip : Penflip is designed around Git , a popular version control technology used by software developers. This makes it a great choice for programmers who want to work with something familiar, but it doesn't have some of the collaborative features that come with other apps on this list. Penflip offers great version control, but comments are stored outside of the document in a separate section for each project, which makes co-authoring and collaboration trickier.

Notion.so : More of a team workspace like Hackpad than a standalone writing tool, Notion makes it easy to edit documents or create quick notes and organize them by team or category. It ticks of most of the boxes in terms of features, cost per user ($5/month), and learning curve, although key features such as versioning and seeing who edited parts of the document are still coming to this new app.

GatherContent : Used by organizations such as Harvard University, Intel, and Ogilvy, GatherContent is designed for large teams. It offers features for controlling content approval workflows--seeing what content is due, when, and who is responsible. Then you can export content to popular CMSes. With prices ranging from $66/month to $216/month, it's a bigger investment than the other apps on this list, but well worth it if you want an efficient way to organize and collaborate on content before you publish it.

As more of us spend our lives working online and with others in cities far from our homes, collaborative tools are exploding in popularity. For anyone who spends a lot of time writing or editing, collaborative writing apps like these can not only save time, they can make the entire process simpler and easier.

Whether you're collaborating on a blog post, novel, project plan, or eBook, the apps above can help you and your teammates stay on the same page (no pun intended) and each contribute to that written work of art.

Evernote, OneNote, and Beyond: The 12 Best Note-Taking Apps

15 Editorial Tools to Help You Outline, Write and Edit (Better and Faster)

Belle Beth Cooper contributed to this post.

Photo by Ilya Pavlov via Unsplash .

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Melanie Pinola

Melanie Pinola is a NY-based writer. Besides trying out new productivity systems, she enjoys cooking, playing video games with her family, and traveling. Follow her at @melaniepinola.

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Best Writing Apps for Android in 2022

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Whether you're writing essays for school, drafting updates for your blog, or just jotting notes, everybody needs a writing app. There's no shortage of them on the Play Store, and in theory it shouldn't be hard to find a good one — it's just a place to type, right?

Turns out there are quite a few useful features that you might want to look for when settling on a writing app. You probably want an app that syncs with other devices — Android or otherwise — so that you can pick up where you last left off. Diverse file support is good, too, for those times you need to export .doc files or PDFs.

Google Docs

Why you can trust Android Central Our expert reviewers spend hours testing and comparing products and services so you can choose the best for you. Find out more about how we test .

It's hard to argue with an app that comes pre-installed on most Android phones. Google Docs is an entirely cloud-based app that can be accessed from any machine that's signed into your Google account, and has full support for images, text formatting, and a wide array of file formats.

One of the best parts of Google Docs is its collaborative nature, with the ability to share your documents with others and even write simultaneously within the same file. You can even notate certain sections of a document with editor's comments for the other writers' reference. Best of all, it's completely free, without any in-app purchases or tiers to worry about.

Download: Google Docs (free)

Microsoft Word

Microsoft Word is another classic writing app, and it's one that you probably grew up using on your computer before smartphones were even around. Word works a lot like Google Docs, though it syncs to OneDrive rather than Google Drive (you can also set it to sync with Dropbox). The interface is familiar if you've used recent versions of Word on the desktop, and the app also serves as a PDF reader.

Some of the features, including custom headers/footers and file history, require an Office 365 subscription , so power users that need to meet specific formatting standards for, say, college essays, may not be able to get away with using Word for free. But for the majority of users, the free version should offer plenty of functionality and hold up to alternatives like Google Docs.

Download: Microsoft Word (free)

iA Writer is a fantastic writing app that focuses more on simplicity than formatting — though it does allow for the latter, as well. It features its own file browser for your documents, as well as the ability to sync your work to Google Drive or Dropbox, and best of all, it's cross-platform with support for iOS, Windows, and MacOS.

One of iA Writer's most unique features is its focus mode, which obscures the sentences you're not currently working on, but there's plenty of other great features like Markdown support, night mode, and the ability to publish directly to Medium. iA Writer is free on Android, but keep in mind that you'll need to shell out some cash to use it on your computer.

Download: iA Writer (free)

The go-to for nearly every college student, Evernote is an immensely popular writing app that's also equal parts organizer, planner, document scanner, to-do list, and much, much more. The interface can be a bit overwhelming at times, but in return, you get a wealth of features unmatched by the competition.

Evernote syncs your notes and files within its own cloud service, and offers apps for almost every device you can think of, as well as a web interface. Like the other note-taking apps in this list, you can export your writings as PDFs or other file formats, and Evernote can import from PDFs as well. If you shell out for Evernote Premium, you'll benefit from things like unlimited device access, offline notes, PDF annotation, and much larger storage.

Download: Evernote (free)

Which is your favorite?

Do you swear by one of the writers listed above? Or have you been using something else throughout the years? Let us know in the comments!

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Product Comparison

Top 9 Best Writing Apps in 2021: I paid & tested. The winner is...

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Writers, I’m sure you’ll agree with me when I say:

MS Word is not for us. Period.

A word processor might be OK for a high school project. Maybe …

But for writing a novel or series of blog posts or freelancing for multiple clients?

No way. There are much better apps and software out there for that.

A writing software should be something that makes the whole writing process easier, providing you with an interruption-free environment, and even helping you organize sections sequentially.

And a word processor like Microsoft Word is none of those things.

  • Are you looking for book writing apps to improve your writing ?
  • Do you have tons of writing projects that need formatting options ?
  • What are the best apps for writing available today? 
  • What’s the best text editor or book writing software for novelists?

That’s what we’re going to answer in this post. We purchased, trialed, and tested each of these writing apps. We watched MasterClass classes and took copious notes. We actually downloaded each desktop app, went distraction-free full-screen, we experimented with apps for Android , and we’ve boiled it all down to this top seven list.

So what are the best writing apps out there? Our content marketing agency produces over 300+ articles/month, so we use these tools on a daily basis.

Let’s dive in.

Disclosure: These reviews are reader-supported. We might earn a small commission if you purchase something through our site. Learn more

Our Verdict

Need grammar & plagiarism help? Look no further than Grammarly (best all-around – save 20% with our link ) and ProWritingAid (budget friendly – also with a 20% discount offer ). Otherwise, Scrivener is great for fiction writers who need excellent organization.

Grammarly Best All-Around

  • Only supports English
  • Expensive without our discount

ProWritingAid Best Budget

  • Inaccurate Plagiarism
  • Only English
  • 24+ hour support response

Grammarly Premium Walkthrough Video

writing with apps

TABLE OF CONTENTS

The 9 best writing software options (2021 review), grammarly – best all-around spelling, grammar, and plagiarism checker, prowritingaid – best style coach for general writers, scrivener – best all-around writing app, writer -best for companies wanting to keep things consistent, autocrit – best fiction-specific app for book writing, write app – best distraction free writing app with cloud sync, final draft – best screenwriting app by a distance, ulysses app – best mac writing app (for mac os and ios only), ia writer – best bare bones, desktop word processor, and the best apps for writers are….

writing with apps

First, we wanted to see how each writing tool organized your content , and if it was easy to use. Then, we wanted to make sure you had full ‘versioning’ or revision history so you’d never risk losing any of your work.

Next, we looked for distraction-free writing environments, if you could collaborate with others, and finally, how to export the work into other popular formats.

Before we dive into the best of the best writing apps, we have to interject quickly to point out that Codeless’s app, Wordable , can be a huge asset in a writer’s life. This innovative and revolutionary system can take the content you’ve written in other writing apps and seamlessly format it for publication on a CMS like WordPress .

Simply put, Wordable saves you time and money . If you’re posting content online, you’re able to use Wordable to maintain the immersive experience you get when using a writing app without having to spend an hour or more formatting the content you’ve created for publication.

OK, let’s dive into the seven best writing apps on the market today.

1. Grammarly – Best All-Around Spelling, Grammar, & Plagiarism Checker

We’ve tested dozens of writing apps, and Grammarly proved the most accurate by far. It’s the next best thing to having an in-person editor looking over your shoulder, helping to catch copy edits, grammar snafus, and even suggesting better ways to phrase certain things. Best of all, it’s plagiarism checker also earned top marks, catching almost all of the plagiarism issues we found in our

The bad news? It’s among the more expensive writing apps out there.

But the good news? We’ve got your back with an exclusive 20% discount offer that’ll instantly bring the pricing down.

Here are some of the details.

Grammarly Pros

#1. Grammarly is super user friendly. Seriously. Just copy, paste, and immediately it will start marking up your work: 

Grammarly spelling report example

I love that it doesn’t just flag incorrect issues, but also helps suggest alternatives and explain the reasons behind each error (so you can hopefully stop making them in the future).

#2. We ran all of our grammar checkers through a test with a sample document that was loaded with issues. And Grammarly’s grammar checker again came out on top. It caught almost every single issue, including the dreaded passive voice.

Grammarly passive voice checker

#3. Grammarly also helps you improve phrasing, like their concision recommendations to improve how concise (or not) you’re being, and again – how to fix it over the long haul.

Grammarly conciseness feature

#4. Grammarly’s 16-billion database also caught almost all instances of plagiarism when we tested it.

The only downside? This is exclusively a Grammarly Premium or paid offering. So you’ll have to upgrade (our 20% discount code takes the sting off a little bit).

Grammarly’s service does a lot more, but those are some of the highlights.

Now, what could the improve on?

Grammarly Cons

#1. Grammarly is among the most accurate checkers. However, it’s not perfect. And it’s not an in-person editor.

(It also doesn’t cost as much as an in-person editor, either.)

Grammarly will sometimes get confused on word choice, like contractions that might technically be the incorrect word usage. For instance, we used “You’re” to mean “your” – and it slipped through the cracks.

Grammarly missed mistake -- "you're" vs. "your"

#2. Unfortunately, Grammarly really only supports different versions of the English language at this point. So it’s not really helpful for foreign languages just yet.

Grammarly Cost

Grammarly offers a free version. But to get the most of out if (including the plagiarism), you’ll need to upgrade to its Premium service.

Here are the monthly, quarterly, and annual pricing details right now:

  • Monthly: $29.95 per month
  • Quarterly: $19.98 per month billed as one payment of $59.95 for three-month access
  • Annual: $11.66 per month billed as one payment of $139.95 for 12-month access

Grammarly plans and pricing

BUT, again, this is before our discount. So you can use our 20% discount code to bring that annual plan down and really save a ton of money in the long run.

Do I recommend Grammarly?

Yes, definitely. We’ve been paying for it for years, and using it on a daily basis. So we definitely recommend it. Grammarly should be an essential writing app used daily by all writers.

Visit Grammarly & Save 20%

Read our Grammarly Review

2. ProWritingAid – Best Style Coach for General Writers

ProWritingAid's homepage

This one might come off as a little surprise.  ProWritingAid  is billed as more of a grammar tool than a writing app. However, when you start looking around, you’ll discover that it’s actually much, much more. They have a few brilliant features that can act like a built-in writing coach. And its functional approach makes it perfect for non-fiction writers who won’t always need all the extra bells and whistles.

Check it out. (And grab our 20% discount here .)

ProWritingAid Pros

#1.  ProWritingAid has tool integrations on top of integrations on top of more integrations. In English, that means you can hook it up to pretty much any device or browser you use. Hell — it will even integrate with  other  writing software like #1 on our list ( Scrivener ),  Google Docs , or  Open Office .

#2.  It’s true that ProWritingAid will catch all of your grammar and spelling issues. It’s one of the  best grammar checkers  based on our hands-on tests (ranked right after Grammarly — read our full  Grammarly Review  here).

But what you don’t probably know is that ProWritingAid will also give you feedback on style, the structure of your piece, and even readability. So all writers can benefit from the extra style advice.

ProWritingAid real-time feedback

In other words, it will give you feedback in real-time to help you spot those annoying little bad habits. Such as…

#3.  ProWritingAid’s excellent software reporting will flag common writing issues like an over-reliance on adverbs, repeating phrases or words, and using  passive voice .

Sample writing style report from ProWritingAid.

ProWritingAid Cons

#1.  ProWritingAid’s editing tool is tailor-made for working on single pieces at a time. There’s no real organization or formatting system for sub-pages or chapters. And there is also no distraction-free writing option, either.

#2.  Unfortunately, ProWritingAid only works on English (of all shapes and sizes). It doesn’t play nice with other foreign languages.

ProWritingAid Costs, Plans, & Payment Options

ProWritingAid’s annual pricing is $50 bucks, with a one-time lifetime option for $175.

ProWritingAid plans

Do I recommend ProWritingAid?

Yes, I do, depending on how you’re going to use the tool.

Working on single essays or blog posts? This will definitely do the trick.

But if you need a more fully-featured book organization, you might want to head back up to Scrivener.

Check Out ProW r itingAid →

Read the full review

3. Scrivener – Best All-Around Writing App

Scrivener's homepage.

Scrivener is the top of our best writing apps list because it’s the most well-rounded.

It’s got a little bit of everything, so it’s perfect for writing anything from papers to blog posts to full-length novels. So it’s the perfect tool for almost all writers.

Here are some of the biggest pros we uncovered.

Scrivener Pros

#1.  Scrivener features a drag-and-drop tool to organize (or re-organize) sections of writing within a much bigger project (think book or screenplay).

So it’s one of the best for organizing large volumes of content.

#2.  It also comes fully-loaded with over a dozen prewritten ‘templates’ for everything from poetry to short stories, blog posts, and more.  This way, you aren’t forced to write from scratch.

#3.  Scrivener also comes with a “full screen” mode that will take over your entire screen and allow you to zero-in on writing (without getting distracted by other tools, options, or notifications).

Scrivener's “full screen” mode

#4.  Scrivener also comes with  “SnapShot” feature to help you jump back through older versions of a document or back to the latest version you were working on.

The Snapshot feature

#5.  You can export almost any format with Scrivener, including Word, OpenOffice / LibreOffice writer documents, Final Draft, PDF, txt, or RTF. You can even select EPUB files for Kindles.

Scrivener export feature

#6.  You can use Scrivener on both Mac and Windows devices, or iOS. There’s also no limit to the number of devices you register.

Scrivener device compatibility

Unfortunately, there is no Android option at this time. 

#7.   Scapple , a paid companion to Scrivener, is like a brainstorming or storyboard tool to quickly jot down related ideas or concepts. It’s one of the best visual brainstorming tools we saw out of all the writing apps reviewed.

Scapple feature

Scrivener Cons

#1.  Scrivener is perfect for writing by yourself. Otherwise, there are no real collaboration features to speak of. So getting feedback or working with others on edits could prove challenging.

If that’s a deal breaker, check out these other  Scrivener alternatives .

#2.  Unfortunately, Scrivener doesn’t support Android at this time.

Scrivener Pricing Plans

Scrivener has one-off prices of $49 for either a Mac or a Windows license. The iOS version will set you back $19.99.

Scrivener plans

The Mac and Windows versions also feature a 30-day trial for you to test drive the service before prepaying.

Students and teachers get a price break, bringing the cost down to $41.65 for each. (The iOS and Bundle packs don’t offer student discounts.)

Do I recommend Scrivener?

Yes, definitely!

Scrivener has something for everyone. The interface is great, it’s easy to organize chapters or sections, and it comes with a distraction-free environment.

Scrivener allows you to export your work to almost any format imaginable. Plus, the pricing is completely fair for what you’re getting. Just a tiny bit more than a word processor, but way more features to place it at the top of our best writing apps list.

Check Out Scrivener →

4. Writer – Best For Companies Wanting To Keep Things Consistent

Wr i ter is an AI-driven copyediting tool that helps you keep things consistent across all brand communications. It has all the features of Grammarly, but also includes a ton of additional functions that help ensure every communication aligns with your company style guide. 

Here are the pros and cons.

Writer Pros

#1. Writer allows you to precisely define your brand’s styleguide, including everything from formality, tone, spelling and grammar rules, gendered language preferences, and more. 

The app will then suggest corrections and changes to communications based on the rules of your styleguide. This ensures that no matter who is writing, they’re always aligned with your brand. 

#2. Like most grammar checking tools , Writer will check all your grammar and spelling in real time. However, what makes Writer stand out is that you can include company-specific rules you want to follow. 

#3. You definitely don’t want any of your writers plagiarizing other content when they write. In addition to potential legal issues, it’s just not a good look for your brand. Writer will analyze all your content to ensure that it’s totally original. 

#4. Good writing is clear and easy to understand. Writer will flag any sentences that are too complicated or contain too much jargon. 

#5. Writer has a Chrome extension, Google docs add-on, and a Microsoft Word plugin. So whether you’re writing online or offline, you’re covered. 

Writer Cons

#1. If you use a browser other than Chrome or an offline-document editor other than Word, you won’t be able to benefit from Writer. 

#2. Currently, Writer only supports English. So if you write primarily in Spanish, French, or any other language other than English, Writer probably isn’t your best option for a writing app. 

Writer Costs, Plans, & Payment Options

Writer starts at $11/month per user. If you need to use it at an enterprise scale, they can create custom pricing for you. 

Do I recommend Writer?

Definitely for brands. It’s not really designed for novelists or screenplay writers and shouldn’t really be compared to writing apps like Scrivener. 

But if you want to ensure brand consistency and keep all your communications in line with your style guide, Writer is a very helpful tool. 

Check out Writer →  

5. AutoCrit – Best Fiction-Specific App for Book Writing

AutoCrit  is a fiction writing app that helps you spot issues with word choice, repetitive phrasing, and more. That makes it perfect for book writing and novelists.

This software goes beyond the basics of just a readability analysis and a spell checker. So it’s got a little bit for everyone.

Here are all the pros and cons.

AutoCrit Pros

#1.  Get real-time feedback on writing quality & style.

The“Summary Report” inside AutoCrit will give you instant feedback on the ‘quality’ of your writing — starting with pacing, word choice, and more while ending with readability scores you might also find elsewhere.

Sample Autocrit summary score

#2.  Genre-specific feedback for your writing.

Generic feedback doesn’t help you very much.

That’s why AutoCrit goes to painstaking efforts to provide tailored suggestions and benchmarks based on the type of writing you’re doing. For example, the ‘acceptable threshold’ of adverbs might be different for general fiction book writers vs. B2B, nonfiction stuff.

Sample genre comparison analysis from Autocrit.

You can even go deeper, comparing your writing to individual, bestselling authors (like J.K. Rowling):

#3.  AutoCrit excels at picking up your bad habits, like repeated words or phrasing, and preparing suggested alternatives to swap out.

Autocrit can detect repeated words.

#4.  Get chapter-by-chapter editing suggestions to tackle big projects.

Adding “Chapter” headers in your draft will automatically create a hierarchy inside AutoCrit, which then allows you to quickly jump through the tool to edit one chapter after another.

Autocrit can analyze chapter by chapter.

#5.  Export your suggested feedback in both Word, Rich Text, and Text files.

You can export all of the recommended edits into different desktop-based formats to work later offline or send your book to a peer.

Autocrit's export file options

#6.  Shine a spotlight on momentum-interrupting sentences.

AutoCrit might be the only writing tool to analyze your wording and flag pacing or momentum issues that could serve as speed bumps to readers.

Autocrit can also detect pacing and momentum.

#7.  You’ll also find the same-old readability analysis and other basic editing features in tools like  ProWritingAid .

Sample readability statistics from Autocrit.

#8.  The “Unnecessary Filler Words” report inside AutoCrit should be required reading for every single writer on the face of the planet. It’ll help you find and fix all of those unnecessary words to make your prose as concise as possible.

Autocrit flags unnecessary filler words.

AutoCrit Cons

#1.  AutoCrit exports to software like Microsoft Word don’t always place nice. For instance, feast your eyes on these extra spaces:

Autocrit tends to change formatting.

#2.  Unfortunately, while AutoCrit does include a grammar checker, it  ain’t  that great.

So you probably can’t ditch a separate tool like  Grammarly Premium  — you’ll probably need to use them in tandem. (Or, go for something like  ProWritingAid  that provides better grammar checking with some, but not all, of the writing style feedback. Here are a few Grammarly alternatives .)

#3.  AutoCrit only supports English at this time. No foreign languages.

Do I recommend AutoCrit?

Yes! Depending on what you’re looking for…

If you want a writing tool that provides feedback and flags issues that almost all writers make, this software is probably your best bet for book writing.

But if you’re looking for an all-in-one writing tool or something with distraction-free writing? This isn’t the best bet.

Check Out AutoCrit →

6. Write! App – Best Distraction Free Writing App with Cloud Sync

Write! App  is like a slimmed-down version of Scrivener.

It has a beautiful interface, awesome distraction-free writing, while also stripping away a lot of the ‘extra’ tool functionality that might get in your way if you usually work on single documents at a time.

Here are the best (and worst) aspects of the tool.

Write! App Pros

#1.  Two distraction-free writing options. (Better than any old word processor.)

Write! App centers everything around its distraction-free writing. You can either use “Full-Screen Mode” which blocks out everything except your outline and document interface:

Or, you can use the “Focus Mode” that de-emphasizes everything else on your screen except the sentence or paragraph that you’re currently working on.

If you want you can tag-team both the attributes for better writing as well as editing experience.

#2.  Cloud synchronization

Nothing is more infuriating than saving a Word Doc on your work computer… only to  need  it later on your home device.

Write! App's Cloud Sync feature

Write! App provides its own built-in cloud sync, so you can get access to the same shared library from any device you use.

Best of all, there are zero limits on the numbers of files you can save. The only downside is that the price jumps a little with this extra cloud sync feature ($4.95/year).

#3.  Built-in collaboration features

One of the biggest downsides with Scrivener is that there are no collaboration features available.

Write! App, on the other hand, allows you to publish documents to the interwebs and get a shareable link. Pretty handy!

#4.  Multilingual options (35 languages)

Write! App will spell check as you write in up to different 35 languages.

Write! App's Spell Check feature.

#5.  You can also take fast, simple notes. So it’s perfect for simple to-do lists and other ideas that pop up throughout the day.

Write! App isn’t just for long, detailed writing. It can also be used for note-taking, with a few built-in keyboard shortcuts to instantly add bulleted lists or indentations.

Write! App's note-taking feature

( Image Source )

Write! App Cons

#1.  Only desktop apps available

Write! App doesn’t currently support any mobile devices. So their software is only available on a Windows, Mac, or Linux device.

#2.  Export options are limited

Write! App doesn’t have the export options that something like Scrivener has. You can export documents into PDF , Plain Text, or Markdown. But that leaves out a ton of other options, like Word, EPUB, or Final Draft.

#3.  No version history

Write! App syncs the document you’re working on to always save the latest version. That’s the good news.

The bad news is that there’s no real way to travel back in time to older versions of your document.

#4.  No free trial available, either

Write! App isn’t super expensive (more on that below), however, no free trial is available. So you’re either in or out.

Thankfully, there is a seven-day money-back guarantee.

Write! App Pricing Plans

Write! App has a single price of only $24.95 – not bad! Students can even save up to 60%, bringing the cost down to only $9.95.

Write! App comes in only one plan.

If you’re using their cloud sync, you might have some ongoing costs of $4.95/year.

They also accept anything from debit to credit, Amazon Pay, PayPal or even wire transfers. They also accept anything from debit to credit, Amazon Pay, PayPal or even wire transfers.

Sample payment confirmation from Write! App.

Do I recommend Write! App?

Write! App  offers an ideal minimal writing experience.

That means not one, but two, distraction-free writing options. The latest versions of your document are automatically saved to the cloud. And some lightweight organization make it easy to quickly build out simple chapters or sections of a project.

There are no mobile options, though. And export options are limited.

But the price is among the best, so it’s highly recommended if you don’t need a lot of extra bells and whistles.

Check Out Write! App →

Or read the full review

7. Final Draft – Best Screenwriting App By a Distance

Final Draft homepage

Final Draft is  the  screenwriting software of choice. It’s squarely aimed at television and film industry professionals. Which is also why it’s one of the most expensive writing apps out there.

But does it justify its high price and cater to the needs of other writers? Let’s find out.

Final Draft Pros

#1.  Final Draft comes fully-loaded with over 300 different templates! That’s by far the most out of any other apps for writers we’ve reviewed, making it deal for writing a book, play, or episode.

Sample templates from Final Draft

#2.  I also loved their “Beat Board” that works like a corkboard to dump different ideas and organize them to eventually build out storyboards or plot lines.

Final Draft's Beatboard feature

#3.  Final Draft is also one of the best writing apps for real-time collaboration, no matter where those other people are located.

Final Draft also allows you to collaborate.

#4.  You can lock older versions of documents to save and retrieve them at any point in time. So you can collaborate but not risk someone accidentally typing over your latest work.

#5 . Scripts can also be exported into a variety of different formats, including .fdx, RTF, PDF, or HTML.

However, there are no .docx or EPUB export options available.

#6.  Final Draft works on Mac, Windows, and iOS devices. No Android software support at this time.

Keep in mind that you’re only allowed to install it on two devices under each license. But on mobile, you can combine it with something like the  Grammarly Keyboard  to get real-time editing as you type.

#7.  Final Draft has excellent backup options that will run automatically behind the scenes.

Final Draft's backup feature

Final Draft Cons

#1.  Final Draft doesn’t really offer a true distraction-free writing tool like Scrivener or Write! App.

Their site mentions a “Night Mode,” but their support team kinda threw cold water on this as a viable alternative:

Final Draft's customer support

#2.  I tried contacting Final Draft’s email support with a few simple questions, but it has taken days for them to respond.

#3.  Final Draft is a serious writing app for professional writers.

In short, that means it’s expensive. Like, really really really expensive software. The $249 price tag is nearly ten times the price of Write! App.

Final Draft Pricing Plans

A new license of Final Draft 11 will set you back $249 for either a Mac or Windows version.

If you’re upgrading from an old version, it’ll be $99, while teachers and students can get the new version for only $129.99.

These Mac and Windows options come with a 30-day money-back guarantee.

Final Draft for Mac and Windows plans

Do I recommend Final Draft?

I do and I don’t.

If you’re screenwriting professionally and money isn’t a concern, go for it. It’s the industry standard for a reason. Book authors will also find some of the features handy.

However, for pretty much all other writers, it’s probably overkill and too expensive.

Check Out Final Draft

8 Ulysses App – Best Mac Writing App (for Mac OS and iOS Only)

Ulysses" homepage

Ulysses is a Mac-focused writing tool available in the Mac OS and iOS app store.

It also automatically syncs files to Apple’s iCloud, so it’s heavily embedded in this entire ecosystem.

If you’re in the Mac-obsessed writers crowd, this app is ideal.

Ulysses App Pros

#1.  Ulysses has a single Library that houses all of your documents. No complex hierarchy or folder system to worry about.

#2.  Ulysses also has full version history, meaning it’ll save old revisions of past work so you can jump around and pull from older stuff if needed.

Ulysses has a full version history option to pull up older content.

#3.  Inside Ulysses, you can strip away all extra menu or buttons options to write completely distraction-free.

#4.  You can also export Ulysses documents into almost anything, including Rich Text, Plain Text, PDF, HTML, Markdown, DOCX, or EPub.

The best part, though, is that you can also publish directly to WordPress (to take advantage of  WordPress plugins ) or Medium.

#5.  There’s no direct collaboration feature. You can, however, save the document files to iCloud or Dropbox and then use something like  Dropbox Paper  or  Zoho Writer .

#6  Ulysses’ customer service was probably the best we saw.

They first responded within 24 hours or so, and then all subsequent follow-ups were within minutes. Each response was friendly and thorough, too.

Sample response from customer support.

Ulysses App Cons

#1.  Ulysses does not come with pre-made templates. You can create your own, but it’s nothing like Final Draft’s 300+ samples to get you started. It might also be tough to organize a huge project like a book, too.

#2.  Ulysses is great for Mac users, but it’s not available for other users. So no Windows or Linux. No writing apps for Android at this time, either. So only a sliver of the market will be able to use it at all.

Ulysses App Pricing Plans

Ulysses uses a  subscription model  of $4.99/month or $39.99/year if you pay annually (which breaks down to $3.33/month). So the price could add up over the course of a few years.

They do also have a 14-day free trial so you can try out their software for nothing.

Ulysses' pricing and plans

Students and teachers are also in luck with some pretty hefty discounts on six-month plans (only $1.83/month).

Ulysses plans offered to students

Do I recommend Ulysses App?

Yes and no.

Mac writers will love that this tool works across all of their devices and works natively with other Apple products like iCloud.

I also loved that you could send files directly to WordPress or Medium.

However, not being available across Windows or Android devices cuts out a large segment of potential customers. There are no pre-designed templates. The organization is a little lacking for a book or novel. And the subscription model can get pricey if you use it over the course of a few years.

Check Out Ulysses

9. iA Writer – Best Bare Bones, Desktop Word Processor

iA Writer's homepage

iA Writer is another simple writing app that prides itself on minimizing distractions so you can focus on what’s most important: putting words on a page.

It’s by far one of the easiest apps we’ve used. But does it deliver enough power to make it worth it? Here’s the answer… 

iA Writer Pros

#1.  iA Writer has a squeaky-clean interface. Your options outside of actually writing are pretty limited, so distractions shouldn’t be a problem.

iA Writer's distraction-free writing interface

#2.  iA Writer is also available across a wide variety of apps, including Mac, Windows, Android, iPhone, and iPad.

iA Wrtier's device compatibility.

#3.  Their “Focus Mode” allows you to have either the current paragraph or sentence highlighted, while everything else fades in the background. This keeps you laser-focused on just one section at a time.

iA Writer has a focus mode.

#4.  iA Writer also has pre-loaded templates to help jump start your work. Or, you can create and save your own.

iA Writer sample template

#5.  iA Writer seamlessly integrates with both iCloud and Dropbox.

#6  You can also publish directly from iA Writer to WordPress and Medium or as an HTML page.

iA Writer Cons

#1.  Unfortunately, the only two export options you get (outside of WordPress or Dropbox) are PDF and DOCX. So no EPUB or Final Draft options.

#2.  iA Writer also isn’t great for quick brainstorming or storyboarding or anything like that. You’re basically just writing notes on a blank page, without any real way to visualize connections between the information.

#3.  There is no  live chat  support from iA Writer. I tried submitting an email request, but that also took them days to respond. So hopefully you don’t run into any urgent issues when using them.

iA Writer Pricing Plans

iA Writer has an Android version that’s always free, while the iOS option is $8.99.

The Mac license is $28.99, while the Windows license is less expensive at $19.99. Both versions offer a 30-day trial.

iA Writer plans and prices

Do I recommend iA Writer?

Yes and no. iA Writer is a good, simple writing app.

It’s fine for jotting notes or working on quick, one-off pieces of content (like blog posts) that you’re going to publish directly to WordPress or Medium.

However, outside of that, it’s a pretty limited tool. You can’t really organize larger projects. It also lacks some key features and export options that don’t make it a well-rounded writing app like Scrivener or even Write! App.

Check Out iA Writer →

And the Best Apps for Writers are…

Writing is one of those activities an average adult does every day.

Whether it’s writing stories, blog posts, letters, social media posts or as simple as writing an email to your boss.

And a writing software makes this whole process of jotting down words easier and brings more fun. Ditch Microsoft Word once and for all to write better, faster, longer.

Grammarly is the absolute go-to for grammar, spelling, and plagiarism checking. Get 20% off with our exclusive discount .

ProWritingAid  is also good for simple projects, giving you the one-two punch of writing coach + part-time editor. (Pssst… we also have a 20% discount offer here, too.)

Scrivener  is a good all-around typing app any writer can use. On top of that, its price is also well under budget.

Write! App  is a nice happy medium between Scrivener and more robust options like Final Draft. It provides a little of both, but for a fraction of the price.

Final Draft  would be an excellent pick for professional screenwriters and novelists. Though it’s a bit pricey compared to the other tools, the features cover the cost.

Other options, like Ulysses or iA Writer, are good in one area or another. But they usually lack a few key features or options to really make them a strong all-around software option. Only a good  education app development company  knows the rightmost ways to develop, deliver, and deploy writing platforms that further aid writers in creating written masterpieces.

Get long-term ROI.

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WriterSanctuary

5 Best Writing Apps for Beginner Authors and Self-Publishing

Last Updated on July 2, 2023 by Michael Brockbank

I’m constantly looking for the best writing apps that are tailored for authors. This means I’m looking for elements that go above and beyond just a word processor. And so far, I’ve found a few that have great potential.

As such, I’m not mentioning the all-in-one word processing apps like Word, LibreOffice, or OneNote. I am specifically looking for those apps that are centered around writing books and self-publishing .

Unfortunately, I’m also not mentioning apps that are specific to macOS. Sorry, but I don’t have an Apple computer and I test everything that goes on this list.

Reedsy Book Editor

Scrivener 3, campfire writing, what features do i look for in writing apps, what apps do you prefer when writing a book, what are the best writing apps for authors.

There are quite a few web-based and downloadable apps for writing books . The hard part is picking the best ones to use for your next manuscript.

To really get the most out of the experience, you’ll want something more than just a way to type words with a spellchecker.

So, what writing apps have I tested that I would consider the best for authors ?

Reedsy Writing App

Perhaps one of my favorite book-writing apps is that of the free book editor from Reedsy . It’s the very platform on which I wrote my second book.

You can probably tell how much I like the Reedsy book editor simply from the number of blog posts and videos I’ve created for it.

The writing app itself is extremely easy to use with various tools to help you from creating goals to sharing with beta readers .

One of the more recent additions was that of the planning boards . Here, you can create the outline of your book, add notes, or even link to research concerning your manuscript.

Reedsy, itself, is a multi-purpose platform that connects you to a variety of professionals for every stage of publishing your book. However, the writing app is completely free to use and can export in an assortment of file formats.

Benefits of Using Reedsy:

  • Saves in real-time so you don’t lose any of your work.
  • Create writing goals for virtually any purpose.
  • The Grammarly Chrome Extension works great in the editor.
  • Author page that you can share for others to follow.
  • A writing timeline to keep track of all your additions and changes.

Atticus Writing App

Atticus is a browser-based writing app much like Reedsy. However, it has the capacity to work as a stand-alone program instead of logging into something like Reedsy to write your books.

It has all of the functions and features you’d want to write your manuscript including formatting options, setting goals, and even a sprint timer if you like performing writing sprints for your work.

While the writing aspect of Atticus is similar to free apps, Atticus excels at formatting your manuscript as well as a preview window that includes print versions of your books.

Since Atticus is browser-based, any extensions you have installed will work with the app. For instance, the Grammarly Chrome extension works perfectly in Atticus.

One of the downsides to Atticus, though, is that it doesn’t have a free trial or free version. You’ll have to fork over the $147, and if you don’t like it, you have a 30-day money-back guarantee.

Benefits of Using Atticus:

  • Amazing preview section of your book
  • Custom formatting for eBook and print layouts
  • Clean and easy to use for beginners
  • Real-time saving of your manuscript
  • Includes writing goals and habits tracking

Cost: One-time purchase of $147

Scrivener 3

Another one of my favorite apps for writing is Scrivener 3 . While it’s a bit more on the advanced side of setting up a novel, it comes loaded with some really great features.

Scrivener provides all of the elements that any writer could need with the option to customize virtually every aspect. Once you understand where the tools are, it doesn’t take much to add things like chapters and back matter.

Unlike some of the others on this list, Scrivener is a program that you install onto your computer. It doesn’t have an “online” option available. This means you can write even if you have no Internet connection.

You might also like:

  • Review: Is Campfire Writing Worth Using for Your Novel?
  • Review: Is the Hemingway App Worth Using for Free?
  • Review: Is Scrivener 3 a Worthwhile Writing App for Authors?
  • Review of Writing a Book with Atticus: Is it Worth…
  • Review: Is the Reedsy Book Writing App Worth Using in 2023?

One of the greatest features is how you’re able to use notes and create folders specific to the story. This means you can save all of your research, links, images, and whatnot with the manuscript.

Not to mention showing those elements in a separate panel. This is useful if you use a notepad to keep track of things that happen in the story.

As for cost, you get a 30-day free trial and then it’s $60 to buy outright. What’s unique about Scrivener, though, is that the free trial is 30 actual days of use.

Theoretically, you could open the program once per month and have a free trial for 30 months.

Benefits of Using Scrivener:

  • Split-screen view to accommodate writing and notes simultaneously
  • Basic goal tracking for those who monitor writing progress
  • Lots of functions and features available for writing
  • Built-in tutorial pages for writing templates
  • Exports and saves in a wide range of file formats

Cost: 30- Day Free trial One-time purchase of $60

Campfire Writing

Campfire is one of the more unique writing apps . It provides a platform for writing your manuscript while also giving you a variety of ways to take notes on almost every aspect of world-building.

You can track characters, relationships, build your own encyclopedia, the different species in your story, items, cultures, magic systems, and much more.

Although Campfire Writing is more geared toward role-playing games and the fantasy genre, it has great potential for a hodgepodge of storylines.

What is perhaps the most interesting aspect of Campfire, though, is its pricing scheme. You only pay for what you plan to use.

In the free version, you are capped at 25,000 words and limited access to the Elements of your book. But if you want to unlock only unlimited words, Campfire would cost just $1.50 per month.

This doesn’t include adding any of the 15+ modules you can upgrade for $1 each or less to expand your account.

Benefits of Using Campfire Writing:

  • A mobile app is available for writing on the go.
  • Available notepad on screen while writing the manuscript.
  • Different themes to choose from for your app view.
  • Community sharing with other writers on Campfire.
  • Easy to invite editors to help clean up the manuscript (mobile editing is a pain, though).

Cost: Free (limited) Cost depends on the features you decide to “unlock.”

Grammarly

I’ve been using Grammarly for quite a few years. It started with installing the Chrome extension to help with writing content for clients on Textbroker. Now, it’s become one of my go-to’s for editing everything from blog posts to books.

The free account lets you create all kinds of content while providing the basics of spelling and grammar checking. One of the features of this is the ability to correct your spelling as you type. But that is limited to how badly you misspelled the word in the first place.

Grammarly comes with a built-in assistant that offers insights and suggestions regarding every aspect of your manuscript. You can double-click any word in your manuscript and Grammarly will try to find the best synonyms and alternates of that word.

This is very helpful if you find that you use some terms far too much.

The platform will give you an overall score while letting you track certain types of goals while writing the content.

One aspect that I like that is locked behind the premium version of Grammarly is the Plagiarism checker. You probably don’t need this while writing your book , but it is incredibly helpful for bloggers and those who accept guest blog posts.

Perhaps the only real drawback to using Grammarly to write an eBook is the fact that you can only export DOCX files. This means you’ll need another app to convert it to ePub or another acceptable format.

Luckily, most eBook platforms like Amazon KDP accepts DOCX files. In fact, Amazon will convert them automatically when uploading.

Benefits of Using Grammarly:

  • The free version is incredibly useful for finding errors.
  • Saves unlimited documents.
  • Explains why certain changes are necessary while offering suggestions.
  • Apps available for Windows, Chrome, iPhone, iPad, and Android in addition to the browser-based app.
  • Is a good alternative if you don’t have the money for an editor or proofreader.

Cost: Free (limited) Premium and Business Plans start at $12 per month.

Every author finds value in different features. The best writing apps are the ones that work for you. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with using programs like Word or LibreOffice to write a manuscript.

Yet, I chose the above based on the criteria I’m looking for in a writing tool.

Setting Writing Goals

I love creating goals and challenges in my writing . It’s one of the ways that I keep myself motivated and determined to finish certain projects and meet self-imposed deadlines.

Goals can also help you build confidence, especially if you’re consistently meeting them and then raising the bar.

Taking Notes and Storyboarding

The ability to have notes displayed on the same screen as the manuscript is wondrous, in my opinion. I often forget a lot of details as I write, and having a pinned note in plain site helps me remember.

In addition, any app that has some kind of storyboarding platform or background manuscript planning is incredibly useful.

Easy Sharing with Others

I like to share my work easily with beta readers or anyone who is helping me edit. Sure, I can copy and paste the manuscript into a Google Doc, but then that’s an extra step that I’ll forget to later delete.

When you’re as busy as I am, you want to simplify the process as much as possible.

Front & Back Matter and Chapter Setup

Writing apps that have pre-made, editable front and back matter are very beneficial. Especially for those who are new to self-publishing and not sure what to add to their books or how to format the pages.

If an app also has a quick and easy way to add, move, or delete entire chapters, all the better.

Export File Types Support

Although most eBook retailers and print-on-demand services support DOCX files, I prefer to have the option for ePub, MOBI, PDF, and other file types as well.

This is mostly because I plan on selling my books directly from my website. Not to mention I don’t like the idea of an editable doc floating around of my book.

Built-in Spellcheck or Support for Grammarly

No one is 100% accurate 100% of the time when it comes to spelling and grammar. Any app that has functionality for this is essentially a time saver.

If it doesn’t, then hopefully it supports the Grammarly Chrome extension. Otherwise, I’ll have to copy and paste the manuscript back and forth, which is a bit of a pain.

Affordability

Lastly, not everyone has a spare $4000 laying around for self-publishing fees. It’s my goal to find the most affordable platforms that offer the biggest bang for your buck while writing a book .

So far, I’ve come across a few additions that are worth the investment as it would save time writing the manuscript.

As I said earlier, the best writing apps are the ones you find the most value in using. Everyone is different when it comes to certain features and functions.

Nonetheless, there are some apps that just seem to go the extra mile specifically for authors. And the above apps are the best writing tools I’ve come across thus far.

This is an ever-growing list as I continue to scour the Internet for the best apps for writing . If you have something, in particular, you’d like me to try, feel free to comment down below.

I’m always interested in expanding my library of writing software .

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The 21 Best Free Writing Apps Of 2023 That Every Writer Needs

In this article, we discuss some of the best writing apps available today. As you know, copywriting and professional authorship are quite in demand niches these days. These require experts to demonstrate extensive creativity and be able to spell out information in a logical order without spending too much time at it. Time is money, and would it not be great if we could save time on this laborious process of editing and formatting. Don’t you agree?

Usually, the speed of one’s copy composition is inversely proportional to the quality of a finished piece. Often, a higher speed of composition compromises the quality of writing in terms of grammar, structure, and important SEO key figures like the keyword density and uniqueness. Thanks to the wide array of modern specialized software solutions developed by leading web and mobile app development companies – writers can be aided to accelerate their writing process, organize their thoughts, and to make their editing task quicker without impacting the quality of writing. Below, we discuss some of the most prominent writing apps available today.

What Are Some Good Writing Tools? Have a look At Our Exclusive List

Currently, there are several hundred solutions available for checking grammar and spelling. But let us explore which of these writing tools can be noted as the best and most popular ones? We will first explore ten free-of-charge tools on the market:

  • Prowritingaid
  • Scrivener (Free Trial)
  • MS Notepad and Mac TextEdit
  • Hemingway Editor
  • Portent’s Idea Generator

Let’s consider these writing apps with all of their pros and cons in a bit more detail.

1. Grammarly

Grammarly is arguably one of the most talked-about writing apps for MAC and Windows. It can help you check the spelling, grammar, punctuation, and even give pieces of advice on the tone of your copy. Grammarly’s “Tone” feature allows you to set customizable goals regarding the intent, audience, style, and the emotion of the text. It then measures a score of how well the text meets the goals that were set.

Grammarly is not only an excellent solution to quickly edit your copy, but it is also an extremely useful educational tool for students, the regular use of which will help you perfect your grammar and writing skills.

Itis a great solution for accelerating a copywriter’s workflow that, if used to its full potential, can almost replace the need of a professional staff editor.

Want to create an app like Grammarly?

Or have an even better writing software idea? – We are a bespoke web and mobile app development company that can help develop a top-class writing app for you! Write to us

2. Prowritingaid

Prowritingaid is another prominent application that tops the list of best free writing apps. It helps to shift focus towards a major objective in writing commercial text – the creation of unique, helpful, and interesting content. With this solution, you don’t have to manually check for redundant words and other errors throughout your copy, instead, this checker does all that for you by looking through your entire document in a matter of seconds.

With the use of Prowritingaid, you can enhance the tone of your writing and compose a better copy for better results.

Ginger – an app based on natural language processing algorithms, is also among the most striking writing apps today.  Ginger’s algorithms allow it to recognize context and discover errors in the most complicated areas of a text making its text-recognizing efficiency superior to most other editing writing apps. Since the service is also available in the form of a cross-platform mobile application , it makes it a top choice among the writing apps for Android and iOS as well.

A major advantage of Ginger is its feature to link with your social media profiles and Gmail inbox. This lets you write up your social media posts and emails accurately, checking everything in real-time with the help of a conveniently embedded service, without the need to copy and paste the text.

4. Scrivener (Free Trial)

This is yet another prominent software among the leading writing tools software, which has everything to help you compose a voluminous copy with a complex structure. With it, you can subdivide your piece by chapters, create drafts, put down comments and thoughts to return to later on – all in all, everything you could have been doing on a paper notebook but with faster, more accessible and efficient capabilities.

If used efficiently, Scrivener can assist you with complex writing, including composing unique studies, course work, Ph.D. dissertations or even writing entire books.

Editpad is one of the most well-rounded writing toolkits available on the internet. It provides its users with a number of free and freemium tools to write and optimize their content.

Its text editor is a great choice for writing on the go. It provides a cloud save feature, so users can access their documents from anywhere (as long as they are logged in). Users can also utilize the paraphraser of Editpad to improve the quality of their writeup in a variety of ways.

The paraphraser can help reduce the repetition of words, follow a certain content tone, and otherwise touch up the content to make it easy to read. Aside from that, the summarizer can help reduce the fluff in your write-up and make it concise and to the point.

All of these features make Editpad a versatile toolkit for writing efficiently.

6. MS Notepad & Mac TextEdit

MS Notepad along with Mac TextEdit is another writing tool that will come in handy for those who prefer simple and concise text editor software over complex and confusing programs. This software works autonomously supports an offline mode and does not take too much space on one’s hard drive. MS Notepad and Mac TextEdit are both practically identical solutions that are compatible with both Windows and macOS (the latter version allows working with both native-format documents and MS Word or OpenOffice files).

The main purpose of both the products is to help you with typing, editing, and storing text. However, with Mac TextEdit, you can also open and make changes to images, as well as add audio and video files. Sounds good, doesn’t it?

7. Hemingway Editor

Hemingway is an interactive editor you should try if you wish to make your writing simpler and more accessible to the reader. By simply copying and pasting your work into the Hemingway editor, you can view all the areas of improvement and optimization in your text, such as: which sentences can be shortened, which words can be replaced with other more fitting words or phrases, where passive voice can be removed, etc.

Hemingway offers another great feature called “readability grade levels” that helps with writing efficiently. This feature analyzes your text to measure how easy-to-read the text is, based on the choice of words and sentence structure, and suggests improvements. This efficient tool may as well eliminate the need for an expert editor for you.

Canva is a great editor to help you make your process of editing and formatting time-efficient. Need to compose a CV? No big deal – select from dozens of readymade templates and writing tools for students and professionals. The myriad of templates of business cards, banners, advertising forms, and logos available at Canva lets you present your copy in whichever form you wish, with an accessible user interface that is easy to use.

Although the service is not free, it certainly is worth its cost. It is worth paying a few bucks for an advanced and efficient tool like Canva once, then hiring an expensive graphic designer.

If you want to create qualitative text for a landing page (to tell about new products), your blog (to educate your audience), or guest posting (to grow ranks & increase brand awareness, article writing tools can be the perfect solution for you. So, let’s consider these writing apps with all of their pros and cons in a bit more detail.

9. Portent’s Content Idea Generator

Portent’s Content Idea Generator will be of great help during one’s creativity crisis – when you are unable to generate fresh ideas and create interesting, unique, and viral content. Its easy-to-use interface asks you to define the main subject of your article (even one word is enough), and in return generates an intriguing headline with content suggestions in an instant. The ideas that are suggested are adequate for you to come up with a few thousand words for a long read.

Try it and you will never fail at creating unique and interesting content again.

10. OneLook

OneLook is another accessible web service that can be a great assistant for professional writers. It is a complete online collection of dictionaries, where you can simply search for the meaning of words and get results from over 30 orthographic, linguistic, explanatory, and other anthologies. OneLook’s reverse dictionary feature is also an efficient tool for writers to look up exact words and synonyms by describing their definition. You should try it out if you want to enhance your vocabulary and knowledge of words.

11. Evernote

Evernote is another top contender among the best writing apps for Windows and MAC Apps , which is used to create notes. From the perspective of a professional writer, this piece of software can come in handy as a storage place for useful links, plans for future articles, and random thoughts to be elaborated later on. In general, you can make good use of Evernote if you need to note down ideas and useful information about your content.

This way you can simplify your workflow and produce a well thought out and structured copy.

Not Found An App Of Your Choice Yet? Here are a Few Additional Free Writing Software Options

If you still haven’t found anything that fits your requirements among the above-mentioned writing software variants, look through these ten additional solutions for professional writers:

  • Google Docs
  • Libre Office
  • Calmly Writer
  • Zoho Writer
  • Apple Pages for Mac Users
  • SoftMaker Free Office
  • Focus Writer

Let’s take a brief look at each of them individually:

12. Google Docs

Google Docs is globally-renowned online writing software that lets you unload your local storage and work with a copy in your browser, using various useful gadgets for writers. The standout features of Google Docs include collective editing and autonomous editing mode, which allows users to save changes made in offline mode on reconnection to the Internet.

Google Docs is an efficient tool if you don’t want to store important data locally on your devices’ hardware. The more documents there are, the more memory they take and create a CPU stress load. This is why Google Docs is preferred by users because it transfers all their copy to the cloud and even if a device shuts down unexpectedly, all the info is synchronized and saved on the cloud in real-time and can be processed further on via integrated writing apps.

13. Libre Office

LibreOffice is a complete package of free writing tools that allow users to work with various text and graphics formats. It is available in both desktop and web versions, and contains writing apps for Windows as LibreOffice Writer (for text files’ editing with additional visual HTML editor available), LibreOffice Calc (for digital sheets and tables’ editing), LibreOffice Draw (for the vector graphics creation), LibreOffice Impress (for presentations), LibreOffice Base (for connection with external DBMSs and HSQLDBs), and LibreOffice Math (for mathematical formula’s editing).

If you frequently include data consisting of irregular letters and symbols in your copy, this software will make your life easier. With LibreOffice, you won’t have to switch between tabs and windows to copy and paste symbols anymore.

14. AbiWord

AbiWord is a free writing software similar to Microsoft Word and is compatible with MS Word, RTF, OpenOffice, and WordPerfect files. This piece of the book writing software can serve as a great replacement for the MS Word while offering additional capabilities and features.

We recommend trying out AbiWord if you are not satisfied with everything MS Word has to offer.

15. Calmly Writer

Calmly Writer is a web service with an intuitive interface dedicated to real-time text editing. It is professional writing software, basically equivalent to Google Docs, that is more focused on features adapted closely to the requirements of professional writers.

Calmly Writer is a must-have writing tool if you work on large writing tasks regularly. This writing software provides better and extensive text formatting capabilities than other alternatives like Google Docs and even features a Dark Mode option which provides a comfortable reading experience.  We believe that this is one of the best writing apps for Windows to use if you write content regularly.

16. Zoho Writer

This book writing software is a handy app for mobile users, that allows you to access the editor from your smartphone or tablet if it is connected to the Internet. With Zoho Writer, new content can be written offline with all the changes automatically synced up once the internet connection is restored.

This piece of software can also be easily linked with other Zoho services, as well as with Dropbox and Google Apps. Moreover, it has a document merging feature, which can be useful for writers that work with several sources of information at the same time. You should try this alternative if you have had issues with MS Office’s built-in writing tools.

17. WPS Office

Created by a software development company based in China, WPS Office is among the most competitive alternatives to a regular MS Office software package. Its basic version is freeware and saves documents in formats as diverse as *.docx and *.xlsx (however, you will have to purchase a paid version for such features). It also allows you to work with multiple tabs simultaneously, save documents in PDF, use a built-in Google search bar, and queue several documents for printing. Additionally, WPS Office also supports the OLE technology and encrypts data upon saving a document.

Altogether, the interface of this software is pretty similar to that of Microsoft Office and you will not have many issues in figuring out how to work with it.

18. SoftMaker Free Office

SoftMaker FreeOffice is a freeware solution from German developers that contains a text editor, digital sheets editor, and a separate app for presentations. It is an ideal option both for professional and common use. It is not only an alternative to Microsoft Office, but it can also be integrated with it. This software provides a proprietary file format and also supports the commonly used .doc, .xslx, and others.

Another great feature of SoftMaker FreeOffice is that it can be launched straight from your flash drive, which means that you can use it on certain portable devices as well. You should try SoftMaker FreeOffice if you are looking for a multipurpose solution.

19. iA Writer

iA Writer is available in two versions – a full-scale product for Mac OS X and a compact application for iPhone and iPad. It is inspired by the minimalistic visual design of Apple iOS and is one of the best text editors for journalists, bloggers, and everyone who works regularly with text. If you want to get extensive text formatting capabilities, you should probably go for other, more functionality-focused writing tools (e.g., Pages, which we discuss below). However, if convenience, accessibility, and interface conciseness are the main features you are looking for, then this solution will be a great choice for you.

When working with iA Writer, you can employ convenient hotkeys and change color schemes of the whole editor. The available skins look visually appealing and all the formatting options are conveniently available to use.

20. Apple Pages for Mac Users

Pages are one of the professional text editors from the category of writing apps for Mac. The interface design of this book-writing software is what makes it a professional editor, where despite the extensiveness of all the features, the interface is easy-to-use, intuitive, well-structured, and customizable.

This is one of those writing apps that will be a trusty companion for professional copywriters, journalists or anyone wishing to write a copy that doesn’t require much formatting and can be passed on to editorial right away.

21. Focuswriter

A Focuswriter is a distraction-free text-editor with efficient features like an autonomous spell check, focusing function (highlight fragments of text you are currently working on), a selection of visual themes, convenient text navigation, and extensive support for major operating systems. Another key feature of a Focuswriter is its ability to launch the app right from a flash drive, while you can also launch it on your pocket devices without any problems.

This book writing software looks original and different from most text editors out there which makes it a go-to software for writers.

Have a unique writing app idea?

Develop a truly unique and customised writing app for professional writers or hobbyists with GoodCore’s custom mobile app development services . Write to us

Best Tips To Use Specialized Software To Create High-Quality Content

All of the aforementioned software solutions would allow striving writers to achieve their ultimate goal – enhancing their professional writing skills. Here are some tips to help you create the highest-quality content with the help of these book writing software:

  • Minimize your mistakes . You should always analyze recommendations provided by the writing apps to minimize the number of common errors you make over time;
  • Use comments . When you are working on a document collectively, try to define all the changes made using the “comments” feature on the app. The simplest way to do that is to comment on particular chunks of text via writing apps’ built-in features instead of rewriting it at once;
  • Unload your thoughts . It can be quite difficult to keep everything in mind when working on a large copy. You can use Evernote or similar software to sort everything out and employ your thoughts gradually.
  • Formatting first, text later . For marketing-focused writing such as mottos and the advertising copy or something similar, the most sensible order of things to do would be to work out the visual design of your feature first and then fill it up with text.
  • Always compose a plan . This goes for book-writing especially. A basic draft will always help you accelerate the process without losing important thoughts. Writing apps such as Scrivener are of great help at that.
  • Integrate apps with your workflow gradually . Don’t try to master all the top writing tools at once. Take it slowly, figure out the pros and cons of each app. Otherwise, you will risk wasting a lot of time without much effect.

Enough about Writing Apps & Software! Let’s Answer Some Common Questions For You

A small FAQ for you to get a better understanding of the professional software and editing tools today.

Do authors use Microsoft Word?

Yes, they do! Despite the innovativeness and diversity of numerous similar yet advanced writing apps, Microsoft Word remains the most popular professional tool for writers. On the other hand, an online version of this renowned writing software – Google Docs – can be a sufficient alternative if you are concerned with the safety of your text. Google Docs can be an irreplaceable writing tool for anybody who needs to access their copy on mobile devices (some people on our team consider it one of the best writing apps for Android) or laptops on a regular basis – even if your device’s battery dies at the most inappropriate moment, all data will be saved in the cloud automatically.

What font do writers use?

Although Microsoft Word’s default font type is Times New Roman, most of the copywriting clients require the use of 11 pt Arial (which is a more plain alternative to Times New Roman). It is considered to be better perceived visually and can be scaled to any text-size. We would recommend you to focus on Arial font to make your work look as professional as possible.

What format should I choose?

For the overall format of your copy it is preferred to use up and down, left and right paragraph indents, which are usually set by default. A single line interval should also be employed, and don’t forget about headlines. Instead of making the text bold and bigger, use proper headline styles in your text to make it look more professional.

Is proofreading necessary?

It surely is. Sometimes it happens that links added to the text lead to either outdated or changed information sources. You should also take time to look through your copy after editing, as this will allow you to find mistakes you might have made while composing and correct them.

With all modern writing software apps we have listed above, it becomes much easier to focus on the task of writing without having to bother about formatting, editing, and proofreading. Try out at least one of the writing apps we have discussed to see for yourself what productivity-boosting opportunities you may be missing out on right now!

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The author Ava Franklin

Ava Franklin is a content writer at GoodCore Software with five years of experience in the tech industry. She writes software development guides, app reviews, and articles on the latest technology trends. Ava holds a degree in Digital Marketing and Communications along with a below-average track record in college theatre. When she is not writing, she enjoys spending time with her dog, reading about current affairs, watching football, and fighting trolls on Twitter. She hopes to learn Korean and write a play someday. Ava rates her tea-making skills as high as her writing abilities – she makes a mean cup of tea and her friends concur.

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Great article.Thanks for your great information. The content are quite impressive.What about the INK for All editor? When I started my career (mind you this was at least two years ago), I used Hemingway exclusively, and I can honestly say that I loved the platform, and I still do. However, as ranking becomes more and more important, my articles need some more help in the search optimization department. INK for All has helped me improve 10 in this regard. I would definitely love to see your thoughts on the Hemingway app vs INK for All.

I think you should include the free app iOS and Android app Novelist. While you can’t use it on a desktop OS other than ChromeOS, LibreOffice isn’t useable on portables, either. I personally go with Google Docs, though if I know for sure I will only be working with Macbook, iPhone and iPad, I use Pages instead. Pages collaboration is better than Google Docs, which is already great.

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Best writing apps for the Mac 2024

Mac Studio with iA Write

Scrivener 3

Writing is a magical journey that involves research, creativity, and skill. Long are the days when writing meant using a pencil and paper or old-school typewriter. Today, writing involves sitting down at a computer and letting the mental juices flow.

Whether you're looking to type a term paper or plan on crafting the next great novel, these writing apps for Mac will get the job done. They work on the best Macs, including the latest MacBook Pro.

Ulysses offers a full array of tools for writers of any kind. This app is easy to pick up and start using but offers a wide array of customization options for everything from writing to exporting. Choose to work in Markdown or create your own markup style. With Ulysses, you can also create your own writing environment with background colors and fonts. Then, when it comes time to publish, you can export your work in various formats, including plain text, DOCX, and ePub. You can also publish your work to WordPress sites and Medium.

Your projects sync with iCloud between Mac, iPhone, and iPad, with Dropbox support also available. The app also recently added support for Touch ID to keep your documents safe.

This app is available for $5.99 per month or $29.99 per year. In addition, there are discounts for students. All packages come with a seven-day free trial.

Image

Write, note, and journal with this popular app that's been a best seller for many years.

Apple's own writing app, Pages, lets you create different types of documents on all of your favorite Macs, like the 2021 MacBook Pro . There are more than 60 templates in Pages, covering just about every kind of writing, from short essays to research papers. There are even templates for items like business cards and flyers. In addition, you can add images and shapes, lay out your documents in different styles, and more. You can also secure documents with Touch ID if you have one of Apple's MacBook Pros with a Touch Bar.

The Pages app also makes it easy to collaborate with other people. Multiple people, whether they're on macOS, iOS, or even Windows, thanks to iCloud, can collaborate on a document simultaneously. You can share collaborative documents publicly or with specific users, see who is in the document at any time, and follow their cursors as they edit the project.

Image

When you purchased your Mac, you unlocked this beautiful app for free. Get it today!

A relatively new app compared to the rest of the list, Bear might seem simple, but it offers a great deal of flexibility for handling text. Bear is good for both notes and to-do checklists, but its support for Markdown, a variety of themes, and simple organization make it a great tool for many different kinds of writing. Add images, files, code blocks, and more to spice up your work and give it more context.

In terms of options, you've got few. First, choose how to sort your documents, pick a theme, pick your font, and even control fine-grain details such as font size, line height and width, and paragraph spacing. Then, subscribe to Bear Pro for $1.49 per month to sync your documents between Bear for Mac, iPhone, and iPad. A yearly subscription is $19.99.

Image

Beautiful and powerful, Bear is a terrific app worth your consideration.

iA Writer's gone through quite a few changes over the years. Where the previous Pro app tried to break down your writing into a flow between notes and writing and editing, the modern iA Writer focuses on having you write in plain text, with full Markdown support. However, that's not to say that there aren't advanced features, as there are quite a few. For example, Syntax Control breaks down your writing to show you the structure, highlighting adjectives, nouns, conjunctions, etc. Link to other documents in iA Writer to combine them into a single project, or link to images or spreadsheet files to see them in iA Writer's Preview screen in several different templates.

Like other apps on this list, iA Writer lets you publish to blogs, in this case, WordPress and Medium. You can also export your work in Markdown, PDF, HTML, and Microsoft Word.

Image

Modern and powerful, iA Writer is a terrific app that requires a one-time purchase only.

Scrivener is nothing short of a full-featured suite of tools for writers. Novels, scripts, essays, research papers, it doesn't matter because Scrivener supports all of them. Organize your ideas on digital notecards and lay them out on the corkboard to see how your work fits together. Import images, PDFs, and other media you've used as research to refer to it later. Keep your work segmented for easier organization and edition while maintaining its structure with the Binder. And each part of the app can be customized to create the exact writing environment you need. It's actually hard to encapsulate just how many options Scrivener gives you.

When you're done, compile your project into a single document and export in formats like DOC, rich text, PDF, ePub, Kindle, and even export for other apps like Final Draft. Away from your Mac? You can also check out Scrivener for iPhone and iPad, which lets you work on your Scrivener projects no matter where you are.

Although Scrivener is pricey, it offers the perfect tools for anyone looking to write and publish a masterpiece. This is a one-time purchase, unlike other options on this list.

Image

Going to Hollywood by plane or in mind? This is the writing app to consider.

"Simple but effective" is the best way to describe Byword. With this Markdown-focused writing app, you start with a blank document and just write. It's a minimalist app with only a few settings to fuss with, and Byword really only cares about getting you writing. Your documents sync between Mac, iPhone, and iPad using iCloud Drive, though you can also store them in Dropbox.

When it comes to publishing, you've got options for PDF and HTML. You can also post what you've written to blogging services such as Medium, WordPress, Tumblr, and Blogger; or you could send your document to Evernote.

Image

Bloggers will want to consider this terrific app available for a relatively low price.

Which app is best?

You can always trust iMore. Our team of Apple experts have years of experience testing all kinds of tech and gadgets, so you can be sure our recommendations and criticisms are accurate and helpful. Find out more about how we test.

Ulysses is your best bet if you want a jack-of-all-trades writing app with WordPress, Medium, and iCloud support. Try the similar Bear first if you're not willing to shell out $29.99 per year. You may not ever need its advanced features, which would give you a terrific writing app for free.

But if you're serious about creative writing and you want a stalwart companion on your best Mac to help drag stories out of your brain, Scrivener's your best bet. Its learning curve is steeper, but its powerful features make that climb worthwhile.

Updated April 2022: Updated for macOS Monterey with new picks: Byword and Pages.

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Bryan M Wolfe

Bryan M. Wolfe has written about technology for over a decade on various websites, including TechRadar, AppAdvice, and many more. Before this, he worked in the technology field across different industries, including healthcare and education. He’s currently iMore’s lead on all things Mac and macOS, although he also loves covering iPhone, iPad, and Apple Watch. Bryan enjoys watching his favorite sports teams, traveling, and driving around his teenage daughter to her latest stage show, audition, or school event in his spare time. He also keeps busy walking his black and white cocker spaniel, Izzy, and trying new coffees and liquid grapes.

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45 best book writing software and apps for authors (write faster with these amazing features!)

When asked about the best writing apps or software, I used to say, “Just use whatever you have and are comfortable with.” But recently I’ve been focused on upping my productivity and wordcount, so I’m testing everything to see if anything helps. Here’s a quick review of some of the things I think are cool, and what I actually ended up using.

NOTE: none of these will actually help you write a better book, unless they’re helping with a suggested outline or content. They can help you stay organized, and some may help edit or polish your writing, but they won’t  improve the commercial  value of your work.

There are several software options available for writing, including word processors and text editors. Here’s a quick list of the winners I really use…

  • Plottr for outlining (or chatGPT with my outline templates )
  • iAwriter or Sudo Write (drafting or brainstorming ideas)
  • Microsoft Word (I move my words here to organize)
  • Scrivener (some people prefer this to keep notes)
  • ProWritingAid (editing)
  • Grammarly (proofreading)
  • Quillbot (revising)
  • Atticus or Vellum (for formatting)

The perfect writing software doesn’t exist…

I just upgraded my  writing tools and keyboards , so now I need a system for doing quick writing sprints for the rough draft, and adding them into my main software for organization and editing. Here are some of the features I want or am looking for, which won’t all be satisfied by one program:

  • easily open and save files in dropbox, so I can switch devices easily or copy+paste into main file
  • display word count as I type
  • set project word count goals and deadlines
  • keep track of long-term writing habits and data
  • make it easy to rearrange, organize notes, and keep everything together
  • distraction free writing

Update: I found something new that does all of this…

book writing software

Let’s be real, you don’t need any writing software to write books. But you also don’t need to suffer so hard to tell your story, and there are tools that make it a LOT easier if you learn to use them. Yes it’s probably worth the cost… as long as you use it. If you don’t use it, cancel. But you want to be writing more and better, right? Whatever it takes? Scroll down for my full list of best writing apps and software, I’ll add some video reviews soon as well, or just grab the basics up above. They work.

I *hope* there will be better, newer apps and software out soon, but it’s also true that the old standards like Grammarly, ProWritingAid, and probably even a zombified “clippy” using AI are being updated, which means they’ll be way more helpful and it’ll be way easier to write and edit books.

Maybe you’re creative and you just need to brainstorm ideas; or maybe it’s too hard to hold everything in your brain and you need a serial-killer pinboard with all your ideas connected with red yarn; maybe you LOVE writing but aren’t sure how to plot a satisfying story (or fix a broken one); maybe you had revising and editing and are hunting down every last elusive typo before you publish. Maybe you can’t get off your couch so you aren’t writing at all and feel like a loser (been there!).

Writing software makes life easier, and it can be a shortcut past those tedious things you hate to do, that you’re procrastinating against so hard it’s killing your joy and momentum. Take the easy way out. You don’t have to do everything yourself. PS – look at the image up there. Using a typewriter in a coffeeshop is dumb. But when they first came out, lots of writers made the shift quickly, because it was faster and easier than writing by hand. Now everybody has a laptop; but some authors are dictating full books while driving to work. There isn’t one way to write a book. Any way that works for you, is the right way. Try them all until you find a process that works and your book gets done.

Best book writing software and apps for authors

Tired of struggling with clunky word processors and outdated software when trying to write your magnum opus? Or maybe you’re sick of spending hours scouring the web for the best writing resources and tools. Fear not, for I have a solution for you!

Writing a book is no easy feat. It takes grit, determination, and a whole lot of creativity. Luckily, there are some fantastic writing software options out there that can make the process a little bit easier. In this section, we’ll dive into the best software for book authors – from powerful word processors to specialized outlining tools. Whether you’re working on a novel, memoir, or any other type of book, we’ve got you covered. Let’s explore the top writing software options for book authors and take your writing to the next level. I’m going to be your guide to the best online writing software and tools available for book authors. But first, let’s talk about why writing software is so darn important.

Now, I know what you’re thinking – “But Derek, can’t I just use Microsoft Word or Google Docs to write my book?” Well, sure, you can; I’ve written 2 dozens books just with Microsoft Word. But I also rely on a few other tools, and I’m open to finding new ways to write better quality content without slaving over it for years. Those programs were designed for general use and lack many of the specific features that authors need. Trust me, I’ve been there. And there are a bunch of useful tools that probably aren’t even on your radar yet: so I did a deep dive to find them all (like catching Pokémon).

Whether you’re looking for software to help you outline your plot, organize your research, or simply write without distractions, there’s a tool out there for you. And with so many options available, it can be overwhelming to know where to start.

That’s why I’ve taken it upon myself to test and evaluate the most popular writing software and tools available. But before we dive into the nitty-gritty, let me explain the criteria I used to select the best options.

First and foremost, I looked for software that could truly enhance the writing process. Whether that meant streamlining the drafting process, improving editing capabilities, or providing research and organization tools, each piece of software had to be useful in some way.

Next, I evaluated each tool based on its ease of use. Let’s be honest – writing a book is hard enough without having to fiddle around with complicated software. The tools I’ve selected are all user-friendly and intuitive, making them accessible for writers of all levels.

Finally, I took pricing into account. As much as we’d all love to shell out thousands of dollars for the ultimate writing software, the reality is that most of us are working within a budget. That’s why I’ve included both free and paid options, so you can find the best tool for your needs without breaking the bank.

So, without further ado, let’s jump into the world of writing software and find the perfect tools to take your book to the next level!

PS… I’m in the middle of revising this list with fresh new tools, so it’s a little messy right now!

best book writing apps and software

Best writing apps and software for authors

Writing a book is a complex process that requires a lot of organization, focus, and creativity. That’s why there are many writing software programs that are specifically designed to cater to the needs of book authors.

Whether you’re a newbie or a seasoned author, the right software can help you streamline your workflow, keep track of characters and plotlines, and make revisions a breeze. In this section, we’ll explore some of the top writing software programs that are perfect for book authors.

From traditional word processors like Microsoft Word and Google Docs to specialized tools like Scrivener and Ulysses, there are a ton of options out there to choose from. These programs offer features like chapter and scene organization, character profiles, research tools, and more. With the right software, you’ll be able to focus on your writing without worrying about the logistics.

While some professional writers have found basic software to be sufficient for writing books, there are valid reasons to want to use good tools to make the writing process easier. For example, you may want a writing program that better enables you to write chapter by chapter, has file management, or lets you set daily goals. Some of the best book writing software options include Scrivener, Ulysses, and Atticus, while Novlr is a good option for discovery writers.

I. Best Writing Software for Book Authors

  • Microsoft Word
  • Google Docs
  • Scribble – this one is brand new, and it’s based on my 24 chapter outlines, and has tools to structure, keep track of writing habits, and lots of awesome features.

II. Best Editing Software for Book Authors

  • Prowritingaid
  • Hemingway Editor
  • free editing software

Best Paraphrase/Rewriting tools

  • Quillbot paraphrase –   see my full review .
  • GhosttheWriter

III. Best Writing and Editing Apps for Mobile Devices

  • Scrivener for iOS
  • Ulysses for iOS
  • Grammarly Keyboard
  • Hemingway Editor for iOS
  • Bear – a note-taking app for Mac and iOS that provides advanced organizational tools and markdown formatting for writers.

IIIV. Best Script Writing Softare

  • Final Draft: Final Draft is the industry standard for screenwriting software. It has a clean and intuitive interface, customizable reports, and collaboration tools for working with other writers.
  • Celtx: Celtx is a free, web-based screenwriting software that offers scriptwriting, pre-production, and collaboration features. It also includes templates for screenplays, stage plays, and comic books.
  • Fade In: Fade In offers a feature-rich, cross-platform screenwriting software with support for multiple languages, real-time collaboration, and advanced formatting options. It also has a low one-time purchase price.
  • Movie Magic Screenwriter: Movie Magic Screenwriter is a full-featured screenwriting software with an intuitive interface, customizable reports, and collaboration tools. It also includes templates for TV, stage plays, and novels.
  • WriterDuet: WriterDuet is a cloud-based screenwriting software that allows real-time collaboration, automatic backups, and industry-standard formatting. It offers a free version with limited features and a paid version with more advanced options.
  • Highland 2: Highland 2 is a minimalist, distraction-free screenwriting software that emphasizes simplicity and ease of use. It offers an automatic backup feature, a built-in thesaurus, and a night mode for writing in low-light conditions.
  • Scrivener: Scrivener is a popular writing software that can be used for scriptwriting, novel writing, and other forms of writing. It offers customizable templates, outlining tools, and a user-friendly interface.

Overall, the best script writing software for you will depend on your individual needs and preferences. Consider the features that are most important to you, such as real-time collaboration or advanced formatting options, and choose the software that best fits your workflow.

V. Best Resources for Book Authors

  • Google Keep
  • Best books on writing

V1. Best Writing Apps for Distraction and Focus

  • FocusWriter – a distraction-free writing app that provides a full-screen mode to help writers focus on their work.
  • Evernote – a note-taking app that allows writers to save and organize their ideas, research, and notes in one place.
  • MindNode – a mind mapping tool that helps writers to brainstorm and organize their ideas visually.
  • Freedom – an app that blocks distracting websites and apps to help writers focus on their work.
  • Draft – an online writing app that provides version control, collaboration, and commenting tools to help writers improve their work.
  • most dangerous writing app
  • write every day
  • cold turkey writer

Personally, I use AIwriter on my iphone when I need to just draft scenes and get the words down; it helps to have a small screen with limited focus, so I can visualize the scene and not the words. Most of these tools are meant to gamify writing and help you to build that focus, by sprinting to get the words down. I haven’t found any I really use all the time though.

Writing software for outlining & formatting

  • Reedsy – a book publishing platform that provides a suite of tools for writers, including a book editor, formatting tools, and a book cover designer.
  • Plottr – a plotting and outlining software that helps writers to create and organize their story structure.
  • Draft2Digital
  • Vellum – I still use this to format everything, even though I have formatting templates .

Best AI writing software based on GPT3

These are just a few of the latest and best writing apps, software, editing, and revision tools available based on the analysis from ChatGPT3.

  • GPT-4:  This is one of the most advanced AI writing tools available, capable of generating high-quality content for a variety of purposes, including marketing copy, blog posts, and even creative writing. It is currently available through several different software platforms, including OpenAI’s API.
  • Copy.ai: This AI writing tool is designed to help users generate marketing copy and other types of content quickly and easily. It uses a combination of AI and natural language processing to generate content that is tailored to the user’s needs.
  • Article Forge: This AI writing software is specifically designed to help users create high-quality articles for their websites or blogs. It uses a combination of AI and natural language processing to create content that is both informative and engaging.
  • Writesonic: This AI writing tool is designed to help users create a wide range of content, including blog posts, social media updates, and product descriptions. It uses a combination of AI and machine learning to create content that is both high-quality and engaging.
  • Shortly AI: This AI writing tool is designed to help users create high-quality content quickly and easily. It uses a combination of AI and natural language processing to generate content that is both informative and engaging.
  • Rytr: This AI writing tool is designed to help users create a wide range of content, including blog posts, social media updates, and email newsletters. It uses a combination of AI and natural language processing to generate content that is both high-quality and engaging.
  • QuillBot:  This AI writing tool is designed to help users generate high-quality content quickly and easily. It uses a combination of AI and natural language processing to create content that is tailored to the user’s needs.
  • Articoolo: This AI writing tool is designed to help users create high-quality articles quickly and easily. It uses a combination of AI and natural language processing to generate content that is both informative and engaging.
  • ContentBot: This AI writing tool is designed to help users create a wide range of content, including blog posts, social media updates, and product descriptions. It uses a combination of AI and natural language processing to generate content that is both high-quality and engaging.
  • Jasper AI:  This AI writing tool is designed to help users generate high-quality content for a variety of purposes, including marketing copy, blog posts, and even creative writing. It uses a combination of AI and natural language processing to generate content that is tailored to the user’s needs.
  • Squibler: Squibler uses AI to analyze your writing and provide feedback on plot, character development, pacing, and more. It also includes collaboration tools and writing prompts.
  • Kafkai: Kafkai uses GPT-3 to generate unique, high-quality content for a variety of applications, including fiction writing. Users can input prompts and Kafkai will generate a unique story based on those prompts.
  • AI Writer: AI Writer is an AI-powered writing tool that can help with content creation for blogs, articles, and more. It uses GPT-3 to generate unique content based on your input.
  • The Writer’s Assistant: The Writer’s Assistant is an AI-powered writing tool that can help with character development, plot structure, and more. It uses machine learning to analyze your writing and provide feedback.
  • Sudo Write :  is primarily designed for writers who are looking for help with writer’s block, plot development, and character creation. The output is more human-like and natural-sounding than some other AI writing tools. Users can then edit and refine the content as needed, using Sudo Write as a starting point or a source of inspiration. Users have reported positive results and praised the software’s ease of use and ability to generate creative ideas.
  • GhostTheWriter – rewrite your draft in the style of famous dead authors
  • HyperWriteAI
  • Writerly.ai

book writing author AI writing tools sudowrite

OK but what’s the BEST writing software

When asked about the best writing apps or software, I used to say, “Just use whatever you have and are comfortable with.” But recently I’ve been focused on upping my productivity and wordcount, so I’m testing everything to see if anything helps. Here’s a quick review of some of the things I think are cool, and what I actually ended up using.

NOTE: none of these will actually help you write a better book, unless they’re helping with a suggested outline or content. They can help you stay organized, and some may help edit or polish your writing, but they won’t improve the commercial value of your work (for that, you need a commercial story). But there is at least one software (maybe 2 now) that’s based on my 24 chapter plotting outline template .

Microsoft Word is fine in most cases, and I like it for organizing my outline and pulling the whole thing together… though it does freeze up and crash a lot when you have a large file. If you want to use Word, make sure you download my  24 chapter plot outline templates  or my  DIY book formatting templates .

Some pros of using Microsoft Word for writing a novel include its powerful writing tools and in-line editing options. However, there are also some cons to using Word, such as its cost if you have to buy it, the distraction of all the options, and the fact that it may not be ideal for ebook or print formatting. Additionally, Word may not be the best book writing software option available, as it does not measure up to its competitors. While Stephen King uses MS Word to draft his book manuscripts, he uses Final Draft to write screenplays.

For people who need more organization and to have everything in the same place, with mood boards, notes, character profiles etc – there are some great features in Scrivener… but it’s a better experience on Mac and a steeper learning curve than MS Word. I never got the hang of it so I don’t use it.

Great for making sure your writing is always saved and protected, and you can switch between devices easily; also good for cowriting or working with an editor.

The point of Ilys (pronounced “eye-less”) is to simplify and make it difficult to backspace of correct – you must keep writing forward and you can only see a few words at a time. I need more practice to get used to it, but I really like the idea of this for writing sprints and getting the first draft done.

There are other online writing apps and programs, and I almost referred to a couple here, but the truth is most don’t have enough advanced features to make them worth using. However, I recently met the founder of Shaxpir and saw a demonstration, and it looks awesome… I signed up so I could make this video.

Basically, I don’t need a program to add all my content.

What I want is a program where I can add/organize my content into a book that ALSO offers some advanced tracking, so I can see long-term progress. Something that could help with the editing, or improving my writing, would be really valuable too. Shaxpir is beautifully designed and has some really impressive unexpected features.

I’ve only shared my favorites, but if you need more options here’s a bigger list of  writing software and apps.

However,  I’m actually not going to be doing my writing in any of these programs, because I’ve found I can boost my wordcount during writing sprints when I’m using a bluetooth keyboard  and an iphone or ipad. So what I need is a writing app that helps me focus and boost wordcount without distraction.

Writing Apps I actually use…

  • iA Writer (WINNER)  – the focus mode + display word count makes this awesome.

Tracking apps:

These let you record typing sessions, add word counts, set goals, and track progress. I’d rather have something simple I can use on my Desktop though (I’m hoping Shaxpir has this ability, will confirm soon). The main thing is you want something you can actually use… even a calendar where you can draw an X and record daily word count would work, though I really want something that can make pretty graphs and bars.

PRODUCTIVITY SOFTWARE

The other big missing feature is accountability and motivation; this can be social – get some friends to do writing sprints with you, or even just a daily check in with word count. Some of these apps match you up with partners (focusmate) or gamify writing to give you long term rewards (4thwords).

  • MyWriteClub
  • WriterSprints

UPDATE: I did try to build a sprinting website before, I might try again; basically it would keep track of daily wordsprints, but also allow you to make rooms and write with buddies, in a friendly competition. Community can be a big motivator but is hard to organize.

EDITING & FORMATTING SOFTWARE

Once you’ve FINISHED the rough draft, you’ll want to get started editing it. Here are some tools that help.

  • Stylewriter
  • ProWritingAid

After your editing is done, you can use  Vellum  to format or download my  book formatting templates .

OUTLINING / CRAFT WRITING TOOLS

This should really have been earlier, but these apps may help you organize your outline. NovelCreator is based on the Marshall Plan, which helped me when I was figuring out plotting. The Novel Factor guides you towards five key story elements: “character, situation, objective, opponent, disaster” (for more about basic story, read this).

  • AeonTimeline
  • NovelCreator
  • The  Novel Factory 
  • 24 chapter plot outline templates

Hardware/tech

I’m a fan of asus zenbooks mostly, but have been considering a new M1 macbook pro, mostly to use vellum on and because the new ones are pretty powerful. For my main desktop, I use a razer laptop but will probably upgrade to a new very powerful asus gaming laptop.

However, that’s because I do a lot of heavy design and video work.

For just basic book writing, I’d actually suggest something small and portable, at least for the sprints/drafting. Maybe like a freewrite, though I prefer a bluetooth keyboard and the iAwriter app; for editing, I put it in Word with my huge desktop monitor.

So, a small portable device for sprinting (maybe not at your desktop/main office) and a regular work machine.

Here’s a list of  my favorite bluetooth keyboards.

Also keep in mind,  this stuff is a very small piece of book writing: you’ll find the best resources to help you finish are actually  my writing guides and chapter outlines.

writing tips, self-publishing and book marketing for authors

The 3 secrets to book marketing, and a haunted castle tour.

Totally free. Get it here.

derek Murphy

I’m a philosophy dropout with a PhD in Literature. I covet a cabin full of cats, where I can write fantasy novels to pay for my cake addiction. Sometimes I live in castles.

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writing with apps

7. NaturalReader

Before you send your book to an editor, you’re going to want to do some thorough editing yourself.

One great way to approach the final editing process is to read the text out loud. While this is a great way to check your text’s sentence structure, flow, and readability, you can often miss key issues.

That’s where NaturalReader comes in. This editing app acts as a text-to-speech reader that reads your book right back to you.

You can choose from a variety of voices and adjust the reading speed as you wish. As the human-like voice reads your work back to you, the text is highlighted along the bottom of the screen so you can follow along and pinpoint any mistakes.

While running a whole full-length novel through NaturalReader might be too long a task, it can be a great way of checking shorter sections or running your daily writing through to check for issues with sentence structure and flow.

  • Works on : Mac, Windows and Web
  • Cost:  Basic version is free. One time payment premium packages vary from $99.50 to $199.50
  • Reads your own text back to you
  • Gives your eyes a break from looking at the screen
  • Free package available
  • Premium version is more expensive than many other apps on our list

Atticus is a software that allows writers to write and format a book at a lesser price than other platforms but with almost the same features.

It is a word processor and book formatting software where users can write, edit, and export their books very easily. On the dashboard, there is an option to create a new book or upload an existing one.

It is an alternative to Scrivener, where you create and reorder chapters, add images, front and back matter, and more.

Atticus has features such as cross-platform use, pre-built theme templates, create your own templates, device and print previewer, etc. It has a lot more user-friendly tools and export options such as EPUB format, PDF file, and DOCX file.

  • Work On : Mac, Windows, Linux, Chromebooks, Internet Browser, iOS device, Android 
  • Cost: It costs $147 for a lifetime purchase. With this price, users can avail unlimited books and ebooks.
  • Available on all conceivable platforms
  • Affordable than other leading platforms with major features 
  • Dynamic theme builder and easy to use 
  • There’s no free trial option. Only 30-day money-back guarantee 
  • Not all features are available as of now 

Dabble is a simple and powerful writing tool to produce quality books. It is a place where you plan, plot, and write with the story’s notes in hand for a seamless writing experience.

It helps you with plotting and editing after you have written your first draft. It also has an organized feature that rearranges your work.

It has wide availability, which means it can be used on any system, automatically updates a plot section for reference, and also has a goal-setting feature that allows you to stay on track and complete your daily word count limit.

It has a 14-day free trial and does not require initial credit card details with a minimum payment amount. You can just sign up and start.

Work On : Windows, MAC, Android, iOS, or on any browser Cost : It has 3 different subscription tiers:

  • Basic: $10/month or $96/annually
  • Standard: $15/month or $144/annually
  • Premium: $20/month or $192/annually 
  • Simple Interface 
  • Good Plot Grid 
  • Focus Mode 
  • No Import Options 
  • No Book Formatting Options 
  • A Bit Pricey 

10. Squibler

Squibler is specifically designed to help people write whatever they want by using its features. It is a digital writing platform that is for fiction writers, nonfiction writers, content writers, screenwriters, journal writers, and more.

It is a centralized platform that allows drafting, organizing, managing, editing, and collaboration for your writing projects. It has built-in writing templates and export options such as TXT, DOCX, PDF, and Kindle.

One of the unique features of the platform is that it comes with an AI writing assistant called Smart Writer that can help you write a scene, a dialogue, etc. if you get stuck in between with just a few prompts.

The free version offers almost all the major features that authors need to write a good-quality book, but it limits the usage of word count and projects.

  • Cost : The Pro plan charges $16 (billed annually).

Pros : 

  • Smart Writer 
  • Robust Free Version 
  • It can be used by any type of writers 
  • Limited Formatting 
  • Not Fast Enough 
  • Pricey 

Free Book Writing App For Beginners

For authors who are just starting out, exploring free book-writing apps is a better option. Through this, they can understand the concept better without paying fees.

There are good free writing tools available that are easy to use. I have listed a few, have a look!

Google Docs

Google Docs is a great book-writing software that is free to use. It does not have many features but is more than enough to produce a book.

It is easy to use, and beginners can explore it easily without any hassle. It is great for writing and editing and has handy tools for designing manuscripts. Google Docs is best for the writing process; you need to use other software for further steps.

Microsoft Word

Microsoft Word is another good writing tool for beginners. It is not dedicated to only book writing; there are templates available for writing novels.

It is available for free and also has a subscription option. Beginners can use the free version to write books, and if you want, you can purchase it as well, but it is not cheap.

It is great for writing and editing your work and also has other features that will help enhance the write-ups.

Novlr is a free writing app with essential writing and editing features. It helps you stay organized, take notes, set daily and monthly goals, etc.

It also has a subscription plan, but the free version is also good, with all the basic features available to start writing your book.

It has a distraction-free mode and allows you to export written resources, a simple yet better software for beginners.

Manuskript is another free book-writing tool that has features for beginners to use. It has word count, outliners, and a novel assistant to get you started.

It does not have any major extraordinary features, but the basic ones can be good for writers who are just starting their journey.

While the authors of yesteryear had to go it alone, in 2024, there’s a whole new world of apps that can help you when you’re writing a book.

From basic spelling and grammar checkers to intricate book writing assistants that keep you focused, organized and motivated; there’s a book writing app to help make the process much easier.

Don’t let writer’s block and procrastination stand in your way. Try out these apps for writing a book today and see how your writing and focus improves.

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The Best Writing App for Authors and Novelists

Start your book, plot your screenplay, write your papers, organize your manuscripts, and export it for publishing - all in one place.

Start your book, plot your screenplay, write your papers, organize your manuscripts, and export it for publishing - all in one place.

Organize and Plot Your Manuscripts Easily

Leave your word processor in the dust. Spend less time planning and organizing documents. Spend more time growing your ideas into books, novels, and screenplays.

Organize Quickly with Drag and Drop

Order and reorder your sections, outlines, chapters, and elements without the hassle of copying and pasting.

Drag and Drop

On Screen Sidebar for Notes, Goals , and more

Quickly access notes, elements, goals, comments, and more from the sidebar. Everything on one screen means uninterrupted writing.

On Screen Sidebar

The   Boards

No more moving files, text, and post-its to organize your manuscripts. Get a god's-eye view of your writing. Intuitively drag and drop to plot. Manage your manuscript elements . Compile your research . All in one place.

See how the boards work

The Boards

Find out more about the different Boards

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We believe great writing comes from an authentic human experience. But we do believe AI can assist you in writing and barreling through creative blocks.

Our AI Outline Generator helps you structure your books effortlessly. It offers a range of templates from Hero's Journey to Romancing the Beat, to Screenplays and Academic theses. It provides a guided approach to organizing your narrative, ensuring that your stories and books are well-structured and coherent. You can feed the Outline Generator as little or as much information as you want and it will give you a plot structure and outline specifically tailored to you and your elements, with your chosen template.

Our AI does not and will never store your data, it is deleted on every session. Your data will never be used to train our AI.

Smart Text and Auto-suggest

You won’t find this in any other writing app.

LivingWriter stores all your elements and auto-suggests them in your manuscript.

As you type any character names, location, objects, etc. our editor will auto-suggest your elements.

Clicking on your elements will allow you to quickly access notes and other info for each element.

Plot Quickly with Time-Tested Manuscript Outlines

You can use the same outlines used in world famous stories and movies right inside LivingWriter. We'll lead you through each step with detailed instructions.

With our AI Outline Feature, you can even use these templates to get assistance creating a narrative just from basic ideas you haven’t fleshed out yet!

No other writing app out there will do that for you.

The outlines include, the Three Act Structure, The Hero's Journey, The Story Circle, Romancing the Beat, and many more!

See All Available Outlines

Intuitive Writing Goals and Stats

Writing goals helps you create a vision for your manuscripts. Visually seeing your goals will make a difference in your writing pace. There's no novel writing software that shows you your goals as beautifully as we do. Goals and deadlines don't have to be scary, they can be motivating!

Chapter Goals

Quickly add and update word count goals per section of your manuscript

Easy integration and support for National Novel Writing Month

NanoWrimo

Manuscript Goals

Beyond word counts, you can add deadlines to your manuscript to keep yourself on track

Manuscript Goals

Session Goals

Track your word counts automatically per writing session

Session Goals

Keep everything in one place. Your plot, research, and elements.

With the Plot Board, you get an intuitive, modern way to organize your plot. Simply drag and drop plot points, elements, and any other plot data you want into the board. Watch your manuscript map come to life in a clear, visual way.

Outlines Board

With the Outline Board, you get an intuitive, modern way to view your manuscript. Simply drag and drop anything inside the board to rearrange your book , change up your plot or just marvel at how much you've written so far.

Research Board

With the Research Board, you can add research sections for each topic in your book. In each section you can add files, images, notes, documents, and more. Simply drag and drop to arrange and rearrange.

Elements Board

With the Element Board, you can see all the elements in your manuscript for quick editing in detailed and simple views. In addition, you have access to freeform element boards to create family trees, branching timelines, and anything else you can imagine!

Tailored To Your Tastes

LivingWriter comes in both light and dark modes. You can easily switch between them with one click. This will come in handy when you're on a writing binge at night and your eyes start to hurt. You can keep using the best writing app in the world straight through to sunrise. In addition, LivingWriter offers various color theme options so you can customize the application to look the way you want it to.

Cloud Based So Your Creativity Doesn't Have to Stop

Many writing apps out there don't link to the cloud, so you're stuck working on just one device. But we know that writing novels online , and on any device is the future. LivingWriter doesn't lock your imagination to one place. With iOS/Android/MacOS and Windows apps completely synced to the web version, write wherever and whenever.

Integrated With

writing with apps

Get it all out there or Share it in pieces

You're midway through your thrilling murder mystery, but you get the feeling it's not suspenseful enough. Don't worry. LivingWriter is the only novel writing software with easy sharing and co-authoring features. Share your manuscript for just viewing or allow editing.

Share Specifically

With one click of a button share your whole book or individual chapters with your friends or an editor.

Share Everything

Your notes for your chapters and elements can be shared as well.

Seamless Exports of Your Manuscripts

We make it easy to export your manuscripts in any format you’d like. Currently we offer PDF, DOCX, direct to Google Drive and Dropbox, as well as Amazon Manuscript (which gives you Amazon Manuscript sizes to send direct to Amazon KDP). Export your entire manuscript, just your elements, notes, or specific chapter, easily and intuitively.

Seamless Imports Of Your Existing Work

Wrote half of your book already? All good. Import your existing manuscripts from other programs with a couple of clicks, and see how much easier it is to finish your second half on LivingWriter. If you're coming from other writing apps like Scrivener, don't worry. You'll be able to pick up on LivingWriter right where you left off.

No Lagging , No Matter The Length

Other writing programs weren't meant to hold your 100,000 word masterpiece. You’d have to split your book up into separate docs to keep it from loading forever. With LivingWriter, each chapter and subchapter is self-contained, meaning a speedy load of your whole manuscript every time.

Never hit save again

Even if your laptop decides to have a meltdown, rest assured that your work is safe.

LivingWriter automatically saves every letter you type. Writing software that's cloud-based is the future!

Your work gets saved constantly, safely, into our Amazon Cloud Infrastructure and then we back it up for you every 10 minutes.

Our Amateur Authors and Published Authors Love

I wish I had known about LivingWriter back when I started writing! The ability to keep all my character names, ages, descriptions, etc. all organized in LivingWriter would have saved me sooooo many hours.

International Best Selling Romance Author

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Amazing Customer Service

Our staff are dedicated to improving your writing experience. Get in touch with us 24-7 to let us know how we can make your life easier.

Constantly Evolving

We've got a roadmap, but we're also always implementing new features suggested directly by our loyal writers. We're dedicated to your success. Our goal is to be the best writing app for you.

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View our Roadmap

Writing Software For Fiction, Non-Fiction And Beyond!

The best writing app for fiction.

Most of our writers are spinning up fantasy, romance and science fiction stories. We've made it easy to get all your creativity and fictional elements into LivingWriter. No writing app does this better than we do.

The best writing app for non-fiction

When it comes to non-fiction we have templates for memoirs, biographies, self-help books and more. We've already had six (that we know about) self-help books published after being written on our platform!

Best writing app for world-builders

No other writing app or novel plotting software gives you the freedom that LivingWriter does. With our smart elements, beautiful board and intuitive organization, you can have your entire world built before putting down your first word.

Best writing app for world-builders

Best software for screenwriting

You no longer have to use programs like Final Draft to write your screenplays. LivingWriter allows you to use your chapters, subchapters, and scenes with intuitive screenplay formatting. All in one writing software.

Best software for screenwriting

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15 Best Free Writing Apps To Create Content

Pragati Gupta

Table of contents

Brainstorming, drafting, and editing - Whew! ✍️

Let’s cut to the chase; navigating the world of words, managing ideas, and eliminating errors can be slightly challenging, even for seasoned writers.

But don’t worry!

With the right selection of writing apps, you can simplify the overall process, as they can help you craft, organize, and polish your writing piece smoothly and efficiently.

From jotting down spontaneous ideas to editing and proofreading your meticulously crafted content, this blog post covers the 20 best free writing apps that can help you write better, faster, and smarter.

Ready to transform your scattered thoughts and innovative ideas into a properly structured and amazingly written masterpiece at 10x speed?

Let’s get started. 🚀

Table Of Contents

Best free writing software for brainstorming.

Okay, so you're at your desk, ready to churn out your next piece, and... nothing! The ideas are just not coming, frustrating, right? 😓

No worries! Here are the 4 best free writing software that can turn your brainstorming into a fun, creative process.

These tools are designed to generate fresh ideas, fuel thoughts, and streamline efforts, setting you on the path to creating persuasive pieces.

And here's the best part - they're absolutely FREE!

1. Chatsonic

Have you ever wished for a brainstorming partner available round the clock, never gets tired, and, guess what, even does half the job for you?

Chatsonic by Writesonic can be your go-to brainstorming partner! The advanced tool uses GPT-4 technology to generate innovative ideas quickly, amplifying your creative process.

Chatsonic - Free writing apps

To be precise, Chatsonic is one of the best ChatGPT alternatives with superpowers like generating factual content, understanding voice commands, creating captivating images, and more.

With Chatsonic by your side, it’s like having a thought generator that ensures you never run out of ideas again.

Ready to take your brainstorming sessions from 'Oh no' to 'Let’s go'?

Ready to visualize like a pro? Say hello to Miro - a digital collaborative whiteboard platform where your ideas can spread over a board, and you can see the linkages and connections coming to life.

Miro is an advanced tool that can provide various brainstorming solutions like the mind map, concept map, flowchart maker, sticky notes, wireframe, and more to streamline the overall process.

Miro - Free writing apps

Moreover, what sets Miro apart is its collaborative nature, allowing you to brainstorm with your team in real-time.

Key features of Miro:

  • Infinite canvas to brainstorm ideas
  • Pre-built templates
  • Supports 100+ integrations
  • Mouseover collaboration to track and engage
  • Super easy screen sharing and presentation

So, if you're a business that is a fan of visually organizing thoughts or believes in the power of collective brainstorming, Miro is your platform.

Pricing : Miro provides a free plan with 3 boards and unlimited team members. The started plan starts at $8/month, billed annually.

3. MindMeister

MindMeister is an amazing software that helps you to organize your thoughts, offering a visual playground where you can map out your ideas, connect the dots, and create a comprehensive picture of your overall creative concept. This is what brilliant brainstorming looks like in practice.

MindMeister - Free writing apps

What's even better? MindMeister encourages real-time collaboration, meaning you and your team can contribute to an idea, explore different perspectives, and develop a collective vision in one place.

From mind mapping and brainstorming to note taking and project planning, MindMeister can help you with all. In simple terms, the tool helps to visualize ideas, collaborate with the team, manage tasks, and share with others effectively.

Key features of MindMeister:

  • Provides multiple solutions
  • Multiple integrations
  • Various styling options like line styling, topic styling, and more
  • Advanced features like outline mode, focus mode, and more

Pricing : MindMeister provides a free plan where you get up to 3 mind maps. The paid plan starts at $3.50 per user/month, billed annually.

Best free writing software for research and note-taking

After brainstorming tons of brilliant ideas, what’s next?

Well, it’s transforming those creative ideas into well-researched facts and organized notes.  And, the best part - even this task becomes incredibly straightforward with the right tools by your side.

Let’s explore the 3 best free writing apps for research that can take your research and note-taking efficiency to a sky-high level.

4. Google Docs

Next up on the list of research and note-taking tools is a reliable old friend - Google Docs. However, don't let its familiar face fool you; this tool packs quite a punch when it comes to functionality and ease of use. 🌟

From drafting initial ideas and conducting and compiling research to finalizing fully-fledged pieces, Google Docs has got you covered at all stages.

Google Docs - Free writing apps

What makes it stand out? Definitely, the robust collaboration feature. You can share your document with your team or friends, inviting them to contribute, edit, and comment in real-time.

Moreover, its cloud-based storage automatically saves your work and can be accessed from anywhere, anytime. No panic over unsaved files or working from different devices - all your work stays synced!

Key features of Google Docs:

  • Automatic cloud saving
  • Tracks document version history
  • Seamless collaboration
  • Voice typing
  • Tons of easy-to-use templates

In essence, Google Docs is more than just a writing space. It's your portable writing desk, your collaborative workshop, and your safe storage all rolled into one.

Pricing : Google Docs is free to use. However, if you need more space and features, you can opt for a paid plan.

Notion is one of the best note-taking and idea-organizing apps that can help you simplify and streamline your research process.

Notion - Free writing apps

The advanced tool can help you take notes, create a system design, track and manage content, organize and manage project details, and do more.

And guess what? Notion recently launched Notion AI, an AI writing assistant to help you write better and faster. From brainstorming ideas and generating content to summarizing lengthy documents and enhancing the writing piece, it can help you with all.

However, you can check out various Notion AI alternatives for more options.

Features of Notion:

  • User-friendly collaboration tool
  • Shallow learning curve
  • Rich media integration
  • Customizable interface
  • Mobile app to coordinate easily
  • Access to Notion AI - an AI writing tool

Wave goodbye to countless tabs and say hello to focused and efficient research through just one neat interface - Notion.

Pricing : Notion offers a free plan. The paid plan starts at $8/month, billed annually.

Here comes another tool ready to revolutionize your research and note-taking process - ChatGPT. This isn't just your regular tool; it's an AI-powered assistant tailored to smooth your research process.

ChatGPT - Free writing apps

ChatGPT by OpenAI is an advanced AI tool that can quickly help you find relevant information on any topic - saving you countless hours of research.

Be it brainstorming ideas, generating topics, creating an outline, or coming up with specific information, ChatGPT has got you covered.

If you want more options, check out these ChatGPT alternatives for research .

Features of ChatGPT:

  • An AI-powered tool powered by GPT-4
  • Generates responses in a human-like manner
  • Create content on any topic
  • Ability to handle complex tasks
  • Contextual understanding
  • Multilingual features
  • Self-improvement abilities

With ChatGPT by your side, you can say goodbye to endless hours of research, information overload, and unending note piles.

Pricing : ChatGPT has a free plan. However, if you want to access the internet, you need to go for ChatGPT Plus, which costs $20/month.

Best free writing software for creating content or writing

After brainstorming and researching comes the most exciting part - turning those ideas and information into compelling content.

Whether you’re writing a high-quality blog post or creating a compelling social media post, AI writing software goes beyond just keying in words; it facilitates a smooth writing process, enhances your content, and amplifies your message - ensuring your content stands out in the loud digital world.

So, are you ready to transform your thoughts into beautifully penned paragraphs? Here are the 3 best free AI content creation tools to 10x your process.

7. Writesonic - #1 AI writing tool

First on the list of best free writing software is none other than - Writesonic, a powerful AI platform that's here to transform how you write.

Writesonic - Free writing apps

Writesonic is the best AI writer , powered by GPT-4, which can help you effortlessly create high-quality and engaging content at a 10x speed.

The advanced AI content creation tool offers 100+ AI templates catering to your requirements, from blog posts and landing pages to email copy and social media posts.

What's even more exciting is how user-friendly Writesonic is. Tech-savvy or not, anyone can smoothly generate professional-grade content using Writesonic. And here’s the best part - Writesonic offers an extremely cost-effective solution for a high-performing AI platform, giving you unmatched value for your buck. 💰

Writesonic isn’t confined to just content generation. Its diverse range of tools can elevate your entire writing process.

But Writesonic is not just confined to content generation.

Chatsonic , an AI chatbot powered by GPT-4, can help you create up-to-date content, understand voice commands, serve as your personal assistant, and more.

And it doesn't end there! Need eye-catching images? Writesonic's AI image generator - Photosonic can help you. And if you’re looking to create a customized AI chatbot for your business, Botsonic by Writesonic lets you do just that.

Key features of Writesonic:

  • Article Writer 5.0 lets you generate long-form SEO-optimized articles quickly.
  • It offers various SEO tools like the keyword research tool, SEO Checker, and Optimizer to make your content rank higher.
  • Multiple integrations like Zapier, Wordpress, and more.
  • 100+ AI templates to generate various types of content like blog posts, landing pages, social media posts, and more.

Pricing : Writesonic offers a free plan where you get 10k words for free. The paid plan starts at $19/month, billed monthly.

Ready to try the best writing app and automate your writing process?

8. Jasper AI

Coming next on the dynamic writing tools is Jasper. Formerly known as Jarvis, this AI writing buddy is taking content creation to a whole new level.

Jasper AI - Free writing apps

Whether you're writing a captivating blog post, crafting a persuasive sales email, or amplifying your social media presence, Jasper can lend a hand.

Key features of Jasper:

  • Leverages GPT-3.5 technology to generate content.
  • Multilingual capabilities - supports 30+ languages.
  • 50+ pre-built templates to create content.
  • Offers Jasper Chat - an AI-powered chatbot.

If you are looking for better alternatives, check out these best Jasper AI alternatives you can try in 2024.

Pricing : Jasper AI offers a 7-day free trial, but you need to add credit card details to it. Moreover, the paid plan starts at $49/month, billed monthly.

Next on the list comes Copy.ai, one of the best AI writing tools that can transform and streamline your content creation process. It is a great tool for bloggers, writers, business owners, and more that can help you ace your blog posts, email copies, social media posts, and more.

Copy.ai - Free writing apps

Tailored to suit the needs of teams looking for an efficient writing solution, Copy.ai boasts over 90 templates to whip out high-quality content.

Key features of Copy.ai:

  • Provides 90+ content types.
  • Supports 95+ languages.
  • Offers Chat AI, an AI-powered chatbot.
  • Access to pre-built templates.

However, every tool has its strengths and weaknesses. While Copy.ai undoubtedly is a great tool, some users find the generated content less creative and original. It might also lack some features and integrations compared to some of its competitors and can seem a bit pricey. Don’t worry - alternatives like Writesonic are there to fill any gaps.

Check out Writesonic vs. Copy.ai to get a clear picture.

Pricing : Copy.ai offers 2000 words for free. The pro plan starts at $49/month.

Best free writing software for SEO

Now that we've got the knack for brainstorming, research, note-taking, and content creation, it's time to make sure your well-crafted content reaches the right eye.

For that, you need to take into consideration the SEO aspect.

From identifying perfect keywords with Writesonic's Keyword Research Tool to optimizing your content using the SEO Checker, these tools are game-changers, ensuring your content doesn't just read well but ranks well, too.

Ready to let your content climb the rankings and meet the right eyes? Let’s get started!

10. Writesonic Keyword Research Tool

First on our list of free SEO writing tools is a star performer that’s integral to every solid SEO strategy – Writesonic’s Keyword Research Tool. It isn't simply a tool; it's the most important player in your SEO team that can take your content's visibility to new heights.

Writesonic Keyword Research Tool - Free writing apps

The advanced Keyword Research Tool helps you find both short-tail and long-tail keywords, thus amplifying your content's effectiveness and visibility on search engines.

Moreover, the tool gives insights into search volume, keyword difficulty, and traffic potential, helping you craft content in line with your audience. A perfect tool for increasing website traffic and boosting your revenue! 💰

Key features of Writesonic Keyword Research Tool:

  • User-friendly interface.
  • Provides detailed analysis like volume, KD, traffic potential, and more.
  • It helps to find both long- and short-tail keywords.
  • Streamlines the overall workflow.

Pricing : The Writesonic Keyword Research Tool comes along with the Writesonic subscription. You can sign up for a free trial offering 10k premium words. The paid plan starts at $19/month. (billed monthly)

So, ready to level up your content game with Writesonic's Keyword Research Tool, one of the best free SEO tools of 2024 and beyond? Let's get started! 🚀

11. Writesonic SEO Checker and Optimizer Tool

Next comes Writesonic's SEO Checker and Optimizer Tool, a powerful tool that can enhance content quality by highlighting SEO gaps in your content and suggest quick fixes to reach the top of Google rankings seamlessly! 🚀

Writesonic SEO Checker and Optimizer - Free writing apps

Consider this tool as your personal SEO critic, reviewing your content, comparing it against all known SEO standards, and providing practical suggestions to enhance your content's SEO score.

From tweaking your title to optimizing keyword density and enhancing readability - the advanced tool leaves no SEO stone unturned.

And guess what? The magic doesn't stop with just checking; it goes one step further to help you actively optimize your content. Simply enter your raw content and watch the tool work its magic.✨

Key features of Writesonic SEO checker and optimizer tool:

  • A comprehensive tool to make your content SEO-optimized.
  • Gives actionable recommendations that you can easily apply to your content.
  • Use the 'Improve SEO’ option for the tool to automatically make your content more SEO-friendly.
  • Offers a user-friendly interface.
  • Integrates with Sonic Editor, allowing real-time checking and optimization of your content during the writing process.

Pricing : The Writesonic SEO Checker and Optimizer come along with the Writesonic subscription. You can sign up for a free trial offering 10k premium words. The paid plan starts at $19/month. (billed monthly)

So, are you ready to give your content the SEO advantage it needs in 2024?

12. Answer The Public

Another exceptional SEO tool is Answer The Public - a mind-blowing platform that uncovers the questions your audience is asking.

Answer The Public - Free writing apps

The advanced social listening tool lets you tap directly into people’s most common inquiries about your niche, helping you dive deeper into their audience's minds.

It uses the autosuggest data from Google or Bing to come up with insights on queries, concerns, and more. These popular questions and phrases can steer your content creation, giving you targeted themes to focus on in your articles, blogs, and more.📝

Key features of Answer The Public:

  • Get insights into what questions the public is asking about your chosen keyword in real-time.
  • Presents the data in easy-to-understand, visually appealing mind maps.
  • Separates queries into varied categories like who, what, where, why, and how, giving you a well-rounded view of your audience's inquiries.
  • It lets you filter the results based on language and region for targeted insights.

With Answer The Public, your content becomes more audience-focused, more pertaining, and, thus, more impactful. Transform your audience's curiosity into compelling content. 🚀

Looking for more such tools to strengthen your SEO game? Check out 11 free SEO tools that you can try out in 2024.

Pricing : Answer The Public offers a free trial. The paid plan starts at $5/month.

Best free writing software for editing and proofreading

13. sonic editor.

Stepping into the editing limelight is Sonic Editor by Writesonic. An AI-powered editor that functions much like Notion AI, Sonic Editor brings many superpowers, such as advanced search engine optimization, AI image generation, keyword research, and more.

Sonic Editor - Free writing apps

What's more, Sonic Editor gives you access to over 100+ AI templates for a quick content creation process, all set to hit the SEO mark. Whether crafting meta descriptions, SEO tags, or content with relevant keywords, Sonic Editor becomes your pillar of productivity and quality. 🔥

Key features of Sonic Editor:

  • Provides comprehensive editing capabilities.
  • Offers an easy and efficient editing workflow.
  • Integrated with SEO tools that can help create SEO-optimized content.
  • 100+ AI templates to speed up the content creation process.

And it’s super easy to use. Simply log into your Writesonic account and select 'Create a new document,' you'll find Sonic Editor and its robust features on the left side of your screen.

Pricing: Sonic Editor by Writesonic comes along with Writesonic subscription. The free plan offers 10k premium words, and the paid plan starts at $19/month.

Ready to take advantage of this incredible free SEO tool?

14. Grammarly

Next on the list of editing and proofreading is a tool that hardly requires an introduction - Grammarly, a name synonymous with error-free, polished writing.

Grammarly - Free writing apps

Grammarly is more than just an editing tool; it’s your grammar guru that helps you spot grammatical errors, typos, punctuation inconsistencies, and more.

And it doesn’t stop there! The tool also provides style, tone, and readability suggestions, further polishing your content.

Built with an intuitive interface and infused with real-time insights, Grammarly is perfect for writers. From writing an important email to crafting a compelling blog post, it operates seamlessly to scrutinize every word you write, ensuring your content is absolutely top-notch.

Key features of Grammarly:

  • Ensures your writing is error-free.
  • Edits content effortlessly and efficiently.
  • Offers multiple integrations to streamline your process.
  • Grammarly’s Generative AI provides various versions to consider.
  • Make sure that the language and tone are unique to your brand.

Pricing: Grammarly offers a free plan. The Grammarly Premium starts at $12/month.

Get ready to come up with error-free, clear, and compelling writing with Grammarly.

15. ProWritingAid

ProWritingAid is another comprehensive editing tool. It does more than polish your words; it's like having a professional editor and personal writing coach all wrapped in one!

ProWritingAid - Free writing apps

ProWritingAid is designed to fine-tune your text and enhance its impact. It scrutinizes your drafts for any redundancies, errors, or suggestions, all without losing the essence of your unique writing style. And it goes beyond the basic grammar checking; it checks phrasing, overused words, and more.

So, whether you're penning down a novel, drafting an important email, or writing an engaging blog post - ProWritingAid can be your secret weapon in delivering clear, concise, and compelling narratives.

Key features of ProWritingAid:

  • It helps you perfect your writing with 25+ reports.
  • Offers a rephrasing tool to make your writing formal, longer, shorter, and more.
  • Sparks edit to improve readability, fluency, tenses, and more.
  • Provides Critique Report (Beta) for custom suggestions for improving your content.

Pricing: ProWritingAid offers a free trial that lets you edit 500 words at a time. The paid plan starts at $30/month.

Amplify your writing process with Writesonic

And there you go! From brainstorming and researching to writing and editing - the above-mentioned top-notch free writing software can streamline your writing process and amplify your content quality.

But what if you need one tool, a super tool, that can handle it all? Go for Writesonic - your all-in-one writing assistant. From generating SEO-friendly content to polishing it to perfection to optimizing it for higher rankings, Writesonic is the writing partner you need to elevate your content journey.

Ready to create words that ‘wow’ your audience and rank on the top of SERPs! Start your free trial of Writesonic today and transform the way you write.

Pragati Gupta

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The Write Practice

Book Writing Software (2024): Top 10 for Writers

by Joe Bunting | 20 comments

Writing a book is hard. I've written fifteen books and at some point during each one I had the thought, “There has to be a tool, a piece of book writing software, that would make it easier to reach my writing goals.”

Book Writing Software - Top 10 Pieces of Software for Writers

The good news is there  is  book writing software that can make the writing process and meeting your daily goals easier!

(The better news is that once you've found the right software, we have the best resources to help you finish your book, like this book idea worksheet , which will get you started on your book in just a few minutes. Get your free copy here. )

In this article, we will cover the ten best pieces of software for writing a book and look at the pros and cons of each. Click the links below to get our review on the best writing software.

Best Writing Software: Contents

  • Google Docs
  • Google Sheets OR Microsoft Excel
  • ProWritingAid
  • Publisher Rocket
  • Microsoft Word
  • Bonus: Note Taking Apps
  • Bonus: Google Drive OR Dropbox

Worst Pieces of Software for Writing a Book

Before we discuss writing software that will help you write a beautiful book, it's important to understand (and eliminate) what will hurt your writing progress. At least while you're writing a book:

  • Video Games.  Especially World of Warcraft (always, always, always!) but also Solitaire, Sudoku, Angry Birds, Star Wars Galaxy of Heroes, and Wild Rift/League of Legends.

No World of Warcraft for Writers

  • Facebook, TikTok, and Other Social Media Software.  Do I really need to say more? Fortunately there's a piece of book writing software for avoiding this very distracting software (see Freedom below). You can't write a book if you spend you writing time publishing social media posts.
  • Other Productive Software Not Directly Associated With Your Writing.  Yes, it's good to reconcile your bank account on Quickbooks or make sure you're up to date on your calendar app, but responsible, well-meaning work can easily be an excuse for a quick distraction that turns into a major distraction from writing your book.

Set aside time for your writing every day and then stay focused. If you need a game, make writing your daily word count your game. If you want more “likes” on social media, imagine how great getting five-star reviews on your book will be.

If you need to check your bank balance several times a day, think about what your bank balance will be when you stop checking it constantly, finish your book, and become a successful author. Now let's talk about some book software for authors that can help you with your book writing process.

The 10 Best Pieces of Book Writing Software

First, there is no such thing as the perfect book writing software. No amount of key features or book writing templates or editing features will write a book for you. Still, these ten book writing software options can help. Take a look at the pros and cons of each:

1. Scrivener (Word Processor)

Scrivener  is the premier book writing app made by writers  for  writers. Scrivener's “binder” view allows you to break up your book into chapters and sections and easily reorganize it with drag and drop interface.

You can also get a high-level view of your book using the corkboard and outliner modes, allowing you to view book chapters, sections, or individual scenes as index cards. Project targets let you create word count goals and then track your progress daily. Its composition mode can help you stay focused by removing all the clutter.

Scrivener Deadline Week 3

Scrivener has formatting features for publishing (e.g. on Amazon or Barnes & Noble), as well as basic features for distraction-free writing, and has templates for novels, nonfiction books, screenplays, and more.

You can read our  full Scrivener review here .

To be fair, Scrivener also has its weaknesses. Formatting is more complicated than it needs to be and collaborating isn't easy, meaning it loses its effectiveness as soon as you bring on an editor (we recommend Google Docs for collaborating).

You can sync with your iPhone/iPad, but only through Dropbox, making it not as easy as it should be. It also has something of a learning curve, especially for its advanced features. But it more than makes up for that by being so helpful in the early stages of the writing process. Again, here are the pros and cons for Scrivener.

Pros of Scrivener:

  • Easily manage a large book writing project (or screenplay) in the binder view
  • Get a high-level view of your book's structure using corkboard and outliner views
  • Manage your writing productivity with project targets and deadlines
  • iPhone and iPad app

Cons of Scrivener: 

  • Formatting can be overly complicated
  • Learning curve
  • ​Syncing with Dropbox isn't always easy
  • No Android app

We believe in Scrivener so much, we published a book about how creative writers can write more faster using it. It’s called  Scrivener Superpowers .  If you’re using Scrivener or want a tutorial to save yourself time as you learn how to use it for your creative writing, you can  get Scrivener Superpowers here . You can also learn more about how to use the software with one of these resources:

  • Scrivener Superpowers  by M.G. Herron
  • 3 Reasons I Love Scrivener
  • Microsoft Word vs. Scrivener

Cost: $59.99 for Windows, Mac

Scrivener  is the premier book writing app made by writers  for  writers. It's powerful set of tools allow you to write, organize, edit, and publish books.

  • Easily manage writing projects
  • Made by writers for writers
  • Corkboard and outliner views
  • Project targets and deadlines
  • iPhone and iPad app
  • Complicated formatting
  • Steep learning curve
  • ​Syncing isn't always easy

Scrivener

2. Dabble (Word Processor)

Similar to Scrivener, Dabble is a word processor that gives you the power to organize and rearrange scenes and chapters using drag and drop, manage your word count goals to keep to a deadline, and plot like a pro. (Screenshots seen here are in the optional dark mode.)

Dabble Review: Best book writing software

Dabble has a plot grid that allows you to easily see a macro view of your story. You can rearrange as needed, find plot holes easily, and make notes on each plot point as detailed as you like. 

Dabble Review: Best book writing software

Collaboration is easy. You simply add a co-author and they will be sent an invitation. They must also have a subscription or they will only be able to read the document. 

You can insert images in any scene or note, or add title images to chapters or full page images within or between chapters. You can even set cover art for the manuscript. 

Focus mode in Dabble is automatic. Simply start typing and everything else fades away. No need to worry about saving every few minutes either.

Dabble is cloud-based and automatically saves as you go. You can access your manuscripts everywhere: in your browser, on your phone, or in the desktop app. As you're writing, you can make notes and comments.

Don’t want to type? You can dictate. And when you’re done writing, there’s a Read to Me feature that reads your manuscript to you!

Cost : Subscription plans range from $10/month to $20/month; Lifetime access cost is $499; 14-day free trial 

Dabble is a word processor designed specifically for books. It gives you the power to organize and rearrange scenes and chapters using drag and drop, manage your word count goals to keep to a deadline, and plot like a pro. 

  • Easy Learning Curve
  • Streamlined collaboration
  • Cloud-based syncing
  • Built-in Dictation
  • Easy Exporting
  • Word count targets and deadlines
  • Plotting tool
  • Subscription service
  • Lifetime access cost is high
  • Only simple formatting options

Dabble

3. Google Docs (Word Processing)

While Scrivener and Dabble are a great book  writing  software, once you get to editing and getting feedback, it begins to fall short. That's why Google Docs has become my go-to piece of book writing software for collaborating with editors, beta readers, and other writers.

It's free, easy to use, and requires no backups since everything is in the cloud.

Best of all are its collaboration abilities, which allow you to invite your editor to the document and then watch as they make changes, which are tracked in suggestion mode, and leave comments on your story (see screenshot below).

Google Sheets Editing: Best Book Writing Software

I also like the outline feature in the left sidebar. You can display it by clicking View > Show Outline. Then format the chapters and main sections of your manuscript as headings to make them appear in the document. You can then easily visualize and even click through your book to navigate it. This feature isn't as useful as Scrivener and Dabble's binder, but it makes navigating your book much easier.

While not the best for brainstorming, writing, or organizing your book, Google Docs, the free word processor available in Google Drive, is the single best word processor for collaborating with co-writers, beta readers, or editors.

  • Real-time collaboration with editors, beta readers, or other writers
  • Suggestion mode
  • Outline View
  • Few large-document organization features
  • No productivity features
  • Usually requires an internet connection

Google Docs

4. Google Sheets OR Microsoft Excel (Spreadsheet)

If you’d told me when I was first trying to become a writer that one of my most-used tools in my book writing software toolkit would be a spreadsheet, I would have told you I didn't major in English to have to use a spreadsheet.

But now, as I'm finishing my fifteenth book, I realize that I use spreadsheets almost daily. Spreadsheets allow you to get a sense of the elements of your book at a glance, and when you're working on a 300-page document, distilling it down to useable information becomes very necessary.

You might use spreadsheets for:

  • Character tracking
  • Breakdown of scenes
  • A Foolscap/Beat sheet

Google Sheets is perfect for this because it's free and you can quickly share your documents with your writing partners, editors, or beta readers to get feedback.

Microsoft Excel is another great option, but Excel lacks the real-time editing with other users and is overall lacking in the collaboration functions. Still, if you already have Excel, it's a great way to quickly get started plotting your book or managing your project.

Google Sheets

  • Real-time Collaboration : Work with editors, beta readers, or co-authors in real-time.
  • Speed : It's fast and responsive, which is useful for quickly developing an outline or managing a project.
  • Cost-effective : It's so cost-effective it's free!
  • Handling External Spreadsheets : Managing spreadsheets from other sources like Excel can be annoying.
  • Internet Dependency : Although there's an offline mode, the overall experience is better with an internet connection.

Microsoft Excel

  • Familiar : If you already own or have used Microsoft Office, it should be familiar to you.
  • Advanced Feature : Excel is slightly more powerful than Google Sheets (although for most writing related tasks, you will likely not need advanced features).
  • Offline Access : Unlike Google Sheets, Excel doesn't require an internet connection, which is handy for working on-the-go.
  • Cost : Unlike Google Sheets which is free, Excel comes with a cost as part of the Microsoft 365 Office Suite.
  • Collaboration : Although Excel has collaborative features, they're more streamlined in Google Sheets.

5. Vellum (Book Formatting/Word Processing)

If you want to turn your book into an eBook, it's not that hard. Scrivener, Word, Pages, they all can format eBooks and print books. But that doesn't mean they'll look good. In fact, it takes a lot of skill and effort to format a printed book that looks good on any of those word processors.

That's why I love Vellum so much.

Vellum makes beautiful books.

Vellum: Top Book Writing Software

Vellum picks up where Scrivener, Word, and Pages leave off, giving you a tool to make great looking eBooks and print books, usually in under an hour. The most important part of this is the previewer (see the image below), which lets you see how each formatting change or book edit you make will appear on Kindle, Fire, iPhone, Nook, and other eReaders.

Vellum Previewer: Best Book Writing Software

It also has stripped-down, option-based formatting, which is perfect for designing both eBooks and print books. I really love this writing app!

Vellum is a book formatting tool to quickly and easily create beautiful eBooks and print books, often within an hour. It features a book previewer which allows you to see how your book will look on various eReaders and in print, and offers a simplified, option-based formatting to format beautiful books faster.

  • Ease of Use: Easy to navigate and use, even for inexperienced writers.
  • Quick Formatting: The simplified, option-based formatting lets you create books in as little as an hour.
  • High-Quality Aesthetics: Delivers visually beautiful books.
  • Book Previewer Tool: View how your book will appear on various eReaders as you work.
  • Platform Limitation: Restricted to Mac users.
  • Style Restrictions: Limited design and styling options can be a drawback for some.
  • Cost: Higher price point compared to some other formatting software.

Vellum

6. ProWritingAid (Grammar/Spell Check)

Can a grammar checker replace an editor?

Definitely not. But if you ask Alice Sudlow, our in-house editor, she'll tell you, “If you don’t have access to an editor (or if you do, but you don’t want to hire them to edit your emails or Facebook posts), software that performs grammar checks like  ProWritingAid  is an accessible, affordable alternative.”

If you struggle with grammar mistakes, sentence structure, spelling, or even writing style, ProWritingAid can help. It goes far beyond your built-in spellcheck. You should still learn grammar skills, but ProWritingAid can help you start to see the patterns and grow as a writer.

There's a free version that's very good. It can even be installed into your browser or Word processor, so you can check your grammar wherever you write.

The paid version, just $96 a year with our discount link (33 percent less than Grammarly ‘s price), gives you additional support on sentence structure, style, and vocabulary. Learn more about how writers can get the most out of ProWritingAid here .

ProWritingAid

  • Grammar and Style Correction: Gives "as-you-type" grammar corrections as well as comprehensive style analysis to help you write clearer, more engaging prose.
  • Writing Insights: You can learn a lot about your writing style with their detailed reports on readability, sentence structure, and more.
  • Integration: You can integrate it with nearly any other writing tool or word processor..
  • Subscription Cost: While more affordable than other options, there is a subscription cost for for full access.
  • Overwhelming Feedback: Not all the feedback is useful, and without knowledge of the book writing process, you may get distracted by the amount of feedback.
  • Internet Requirement: You must have an internet connection for most types of feedback.

Grammarly

  • Easy to Use: User-friendly design (slightly more easy to use than ProWritingAid in my opinion).
  • Spell-Check and Grammar Check: Detailed spelling and grammar check functionality.
  • Goal-Setting Feature: It can help you tailor suggestions based on writing goals.
  • Broad Integration: Works with many platforms (the Google Docs integration isn't very good though).
  • Cost: While the free plan is robust, the premium plan is more expensive compared to ProWritingAid.
  • Google Docs Integration: Lacks a fully functional integration.
  • Big Picture Feedback: Does not provide as much overarching edits and style-based feedback as ProWritingAid.

7. Publisher Rocket (Book Marketing App)

How do you know if your book will sell? Wouldn't it be nice to know if there is a market for your book  before  you start writing? How do you find the most readers on Amazon for your published book? For all of these questions, Publisher Rocket has an answer.

Read our  full Publisher Rocket review here .

writing with apps

Publisher Rocket a book marketing research tool that helps you understand what readers actually want  and  how to connect with them with your books. Here are some things you can discover in Publisher Rocket:

  • What phrases Amazon buyers are actually searching for.
  • The psychology of how readers choose to buy books.
  • How much money readers are spending on certain niches and topics.
  • How much money specific books are making per month (for example, books that might be competing with yours).

I've personally used Publisher Rocket to take mid-list books to #1 bestseller status on Amazon. It's an amazing tool, perfect for anyone working on a book.

We also like KD Spy, another Amazon research tool (check out our review here ). You can compare and contrast the two tools below:

Publisher Rocket

  • Target Popular Keywords: Helps writers find specific phrases readers are using on Amazon to discover books.
  • Market Understanding: Offers a clear view of what books are competing with yours (and how many sales they make, historically).
  • Category Identification: Find the most relevant Amazon categories for your book.
  • Cross-Platform Compatibility: Works on both PCs and Macs.
  • Learning Curve: May require some time and education to fully utilize all features.
  • Cost: One-time purchase required.
  • Amazon-Centric: Tailored for Amazon, may not be as effective for other platforms.

KDSpy

  • Amazon Category Research : Analyze Amazon book categories to understand competition and profitability.
  • Keyword Tools : Provides niche and seed keywords to help in market understanding.
  • Competition Snapshot : Ability to get an overview of your competitors.
  • Traffic Light System : Visual cues to understand keyword difficulty and category competitiveness.
  • Limited Keyword Data : Doesn't provide Amazon search numbers.
  • Browser Extension : Limited to browser usage, not a standalone software.
  • Basic Keyword Tools: Keyword functionalities are quite basic compared to Publisher Rocket.
  • Dependent on Amazon : Insights are tailored for Amazon, may not apply to other platforms.

8. Atticus (Book Formatting/Word Processing)

Once you've  written  your book, how do you turn it into something people can actually  read ? If you're self-publishing, you need a tool like Atticus.

Atticus is a book formatting and word processing tool that allows you to take your manuscript and quickly and easily format it for publishing, including print and eBook formats.

But Atticus is more that just a formatter. It's an all-in-one solution for writers, giving you the organization features of Scrivener, the cloud collaboration features of Google Docs,  and  the book formatting abilities of Vellum. Yes, that's just as cool as it sounds!

Atticus Home Screen

It also works on all platforms, whether you're working on Windows, Mac, Chromebook, or even Linux. While I still love and use Vellum (see below), the benefit of Atticus is that it works for everyone, not just Mac users. Learn more about Atticus in my full review.

  • All-in-One Solution : Combines writing and formatting capabilities seamlessly.
  • Multi-Platform Availability : Available on PC, Mac, Linux, and Chromebook.
  • Cost-Effective : Priced lower than some competitors like Vellum while offering similar capabilities

Cons: 

  • Learning Curve : While intuitive, mastering advanced features may require some time.
  • New Software : Being relatively new, it might have fewer features compared to established software, with some desired features planned for future updates.
  • Crude Formatting : Out of the box formatting options aren't as refined as Vellum and will require more tweaking.

Atticus is a complete book writing and formatting tool that merges the capabilities of an online word processor with plug-and-play book formatting features. It can function as a one-stop solution for authors, with collaboration tools between authors, editors, and book designers, to take your book from idea to finished, publishable product.

Atticus

9. Freedom (Productivity App)

One question writers always ask me is, “How can I stay focused enough to finish what I write?” I have too many thoughts on that for this article, but as far as using writing software to encourage focus goes, I recommend Freedom. It's my favorite writing tool for a distraction-free writing experience.

Freedom allows you to enter focus mode, blocking your biggest distractions, including both websites and mobile apps, for a set period of time. So when you mindlessly escape your book to scroll through Facebook, you'll find the site won't load.

You can also schedule recurring sessions, so that at a scheduled time (e.g. Mondays from 6 am to 10 am), you won’t be able to access the sites on your blocklist, even if you try.

There are other apps like this that we've written about before, notably Self-Control for Mac and StayFocused for Windows. But Freedom goes further, allowing you to block sites on both your computer  and  your phone, and enabling recurring sessions.

You can learn more about  how writers can get the most out of Freedom on our review here .

Freedom is a productivity app that can help writers in stay focused by blocking distracting websites and mobile apps for a designated period or during specific schedules, like during your morning writing time.

  • Distraction Blocking : Helps you concentrate on writing by blocking distractions.
  • Scheduled Focus Sessions : Schedule your focus mode in advance for recurring undistracted writing sessions.
  • Mobile Device Syncing : Getting it working with mobile devices can be a bit challenging.
  • Bypass Possibility : It's possible to find ways around its blockers if one tries hard enough.

Freedom

Cost: $29 / year for Pro version, which I use and recommend (there's also a free trial available)

10. Microsoft Word (Word Processor)

Again: no piece of book writing software is going to write your book for you. If you're looking for the next “shiny new toy” to help you write your book, it might be an excuse to avoid doing the hard work of writing.

Most of us learned how to use computers by using Microsoft Word, or a program like it. Word gets the job done. Sure, Scrivener is a little better for books, but I wrote my first book on Word and it's fine.

I wrote a long review of  the pros and cons of using Word to write books —the main problem is that as your document grows, it becomes more and more difficult to work with, whereas with Scrivener, it becomes easier—but the point is, if Word is what you have, don't let that stop you from finishing your book.

You don't need a fancy tool to plan a book in the early stages, like if you draft a character description for your protagonist, or in the editing stages, like if you want to make comments on scene details.

As Jeff Elkins said in  his review of Word , “If you aren’t already putting in the hard work to be the kind of writer you want to be, it doesn’t matter what new writing software you invest in. It is not going to help.”

Microsoft Word is the industry standard word processing software. While limited in its features for writing books, it provides a familiar platform for writers to create, share, and review their work.

  • Familiar Interface : Known and used by many, making collaboration easier.
  • Extensive Features : Provides a wide range of writing and formatting tools.
  • Cost : Requires a subscription to Microsoft 365.
  • Lack of Book Writing Features : Despite its extensive feature set, it lacks specialized tools for book writing included with applications like Scrivener or Dabble.
  • Lack of Real-Time Collaboration : While it offers some collaboration features, it falls short in real-time collaborative editing compared to some cloud-native applications like Google Docs.

Cost: $69 / year with Microsoft 365 (includes Excel, Powerpoint, Outlook, and other Microsoft software)

Note:  Another word processor we can't recommend is yWriter, which while it has a cult following and was designed by a fellow novelist, seems to be out of development and has no support for Mac/OSX.

BONUS #1: Google Drive OR Dropbox (Cloud Backup)

There's nothing worse that finishing a great writing session and going to save your work, then your computer crashes and you discover you've lost your best writing. It's enough to send any writer into the throes of grief and depression. There's a simple solution, though: save a copy of ALL your writing to the cloud using Google Drive, Dropbox, or BOTH.

Here's my process:  I have all my Scrivener book files saved on a folder on Google Drive on my computer. Then, Scrivener automatically backs up every few minutes to a Dropbox folder. That way, I know I will always have the document I need, no matter what happens. Best of all, both of these apps have free plans, making it extremely foolish NOT to use them.

Pros of Drive:

  • Universal cloud backup
  • Automatically syncs
  • Free or inexpensive

Cons of Drive:

  • Setup is a bit tricky the first time
  • Maybe you WANT to lose your writing when your computer crashes

Cost: Free with Paid options

Sign up for Google Drive here »

Sign up for Dropbox here »

BONUS #2: iOS Notes OR Evernote OR Ulysses OR Bear (Note Taking)

When I'm writing for a long time, I like to get up and go for a walk. Sometimes, I wish I could continue writing while I walk. Other times, I find myself brainstorming ideas while I'm not at my computer, typing it up on my phone, and then wanting to easily move what I wrote to my laptop without having to go through the hassle of emailing it back and forth to myself.

That's where note taking apps like Ulysses and Evernote come in.

Ulysses Book Writing Software

iOS Notes, Ulysses ,  Evernote , and  Bear  are note taking apps that allow you to sync between all your devices, so you have what you need wherever you are, ideal for jotting down ideas or thinking through your book while you're out and about.

While Scrivener recently released an iOS app which allows you to sync between devices, their process is clunky and requires you to purchase both the mobile and desktop apps. These note taking apps make the process much more seamless.

Like Scrivener, they all have a binder-like sidebar that allows you to move documents around. None of them are designed specifically for books, so they may take a little configuring to make it work for you, but once you have one set up the way you want, it's very intuitive.

And while I hate Markdown, a markup language that allows you to format your text, I actually like the paired-down formatting options Ulysses and Bear give, especially for brainstorming. Overall, I wouldn't convert from Scrivener to any of these apps, but as supplements, they work great.

Pros of Evernote:

  • Sync notes between devices
  • Write as you go
  • Capture ideas

Cons of Evernote:

  • Free plan is limited
  • Becomes clunky as you get more notes
  • Better for note taking than managing a large writing project

iOS Notes  Cost: Free with any iOS device

Get the app here »

Evernote  Cost: Free with Paid options

Ulysses Cost: $45 Note: Ulysses is only available for Mac, either in the App Store or from their website.

Bear Cost: $1.49 monthly / $14.99 yearly Note:  Bear is also only available for Mac, either in the App Store or from their website.

Bonus #3: Hemingway App (Style Checker)

Most writers think their sentences are easier to read than they are. You think you're coming across clearly, that your writing makes sense, but then someone reads it and comes away with something totally different. Hemingway App (sometimes called Hemingway Editor) helps with that.

Hemingway App Purple Prose

Hemingway App is a free website that checks readability. You can copy and paste your writing into the website's input box. Then it will grade your writing based on your used of   adverbs , passive voice , and sentences as units . Hemingway App is useful, but even the best book writing software can’t replace a good editor.

Pros of Hemingway:

  • Fast, easy style advice

Cons of Hemingway:

  • Somewhat arbitrary advice
  • Hemingway himself would fail

Cost: Free!

Try out Hemingway App here »

The 30+ Tools Every Writer Needs

30 Tools to Write, Publish, and Market Your Book

Writing is no different, and while the right software is important, it's just one of the many tools you need as a writer.

That's why we published a list of all of our favorite tools for everything related to being a writer.

You can  download our tools for writers guide for free here .

The Most Essential Book Writing Software

Imagine it's three thousand years ago.

You're sitting around a campfire with some of your family and friends, tired from the day's work. You begin to tell a story. It's one you've told before, told a hundred times. You can see faces around the fire, the children with their eyes wide, the men and women who have heard the story before but still enjoy it because it brings meaning to their lives.

Storytellers—writers—have existed since the beginning of humanity. They didn’t always have book writing software. They didn't have the printing press or the internet. They didn't always even have the alphabet to write their stories down. Instead, storytellers had their imaginations, their voices, and a rapt audience. Y

ou don’t need book writing software to write a great story. Book writing software can make the process a little faster or easier, but the truth is great stories will always exist, no matter what kind of software we have.

The only three things essential to writing a great book:

  • Your imagination
  • A desire to tell your story

That’s all you need. Do you want to write your book? If you do, then do it. Write it. Nothing is stopping you except you.  So go get writing.

What pieces of book writing software do you use?  Let us know in the comments .

The world is full of powerful software to help you write your book. In the end, though, all these tools are just that—tools. The stories you imagine and your discipline to put the words on the page are far more important.

So for this practice, set aside all the fancy software. Eliminate all the bells and whistles and open up your computer's native text editor (TextEdit for Mac or Notepad for Windows).

Take fifteen minutes to write without any distractions.

Continue your work in progress, or start a new story based on this prompt: A student discovers one of their teachers is not what they appear to be.

When you're done, share your writing practice in the Pro Practice Workshop . And if you share, be sure to leave feedback for your fellow writers!

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Joe Bunting

Joe Bunting is an author and the leader of The Write Practice community. He is also the author of the new book Crowdsourcing Paris , a real life adventure story set in France. It was a #1 New Release on Amazon. Follow him on Instagram (@jhbunting).

Want best-seller coaching? Book Joe here.

How to Write a Memoir: How to Start (and Actually Finish) Your First Draft

Join over 450,000 readers who are saying YES to practice. You’ll also get a free copy of our eBook 14 Prompts :

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Penzu

Your private 100% customizable online journal.

Loved by over 2 million journalers around the world..

The #1 choice for journaling for millions of people since 2008

  • Unlimited entries

Unlike other journaling platforms, you can write as much and as often as you like, all for free.

  • Mobile apps

You can write in your journal when not at your computer with our iOS and Android apps.

Saves as you go

Never worry about losing your work — Penzu saves as you type at your computer or on the go.

Custom journals

Choose different covers, backgrounds, fonts and more for each of your journals and entries.

Set daily, weekly or custom reminders to ensure that you never forget to write in your journal.

So much more...

Enjoy unlimited devices, encryption, tagging, search, prompts, journal and entry locking, entry sharing and more.

Built for journaling

Penzu was built specifically for recording your daily life in a reflective journal , keeping track of milestones in a food diary or pregnancy journal , or even recording your dreams in a dream journal — or just write freely.

Customize preview

With you at all times, home or away

Desktop

Unlike other platforms, Penzu works well on every device. You can write in any web browser or use our custom built apps for iOS and Android.

Privacy is our #1 concern

Even when carefully kept, paper journals can be read by anyone who happens upon them. Penzu keeps your journals safe with double password protection and military strength encryption so you can rest easy knowing that your entries are secure in the Penzu Vault.

Loved by millions of people around the world

Sister Joy

@anafricandiva

I really love the emails Penzu sends me about my past journal entries. It's so good to see where I was then and where I am now.

Journaling is life-saving.

Mei

@thisismeihere

On rainy days, Headspace + Penzu are the best combo to tap back into that feeling wherever you are.

Deb

@sunoppositemoon

Going to get a work journal this week because I'm really so tired of wondering what happened with my day. I keep trying apps I don't like, but just going to invest in Penzu because I like it the best.

Start your journey today

Journaling is a proven way to completely change your life, especially when you stick with it over time. Each time you write you'll get unparalleled clarity and life perspective.

  • 1. Start writing All you have to do is start. Take 5 minutes to write in your journal about how you're feeling or reflect on the day.
  • 2. Keep it going The more you write the easier it will be. Set reminders to keep a regular daily, weekly, or monthly cadence.
  • 3. Reflect and grow Links to your entries will be sent to you in the future so you can get see through clear window into the past.

Target

Choose your plan

Penzu is always free but our Pro plans offer more flexibility, customization, and features to maximize your journaling experience.

  • Basic journal covers and fonts
  • Simple writing reminders
  • Encryption locking
  • Custom journal covers, fonts & colors
  • Entry tagging
  • Writing prompts
  • Write via email (Penzu Post)
  • Premium handwritten fonts
  • Fullscreen zen-mode
  • Versions & entry recovery
  • Premium support
  • Military grade encryption locking

Start writing today and change your life

People who keep a journal report being happier and healthier. Read more about the benefits of journaling .

Diary and Journal Writing Resources

Journaling basics.

  • What is a Journal?
  • What is a Journal Entry?
  • Benefits of Journaling
  • Journal Types
  • How to Write a Journal
  • Journal Examples
  • Journal Prompts

Types of Journals

  • Bible Journal
  • Dream Journal
  • Prayer Journal
  • Pregnancy Journal
  • Reflective Journal
  • Travel Journal
  • 5 Year Journal
  • Gratitude Journal

Diary Basics

  • What is a Diary?
  • What is a Diary Entry?
  • How to Write Diary
  • Diary Types
  • Diary Software
  • Diary Templates
  • Digital Diaries

Types of Diaries

  • Academic Diary
  • Health Diary
  • School Diary
  • Secret Diary
  • Wedding Diary

calmly

writing with apps

Bard becomes Gemini: Try Ultra 1.0 and a new mobile app today

Feb 08, 2024

Bard is now known as Gemini, and we’re rolling out a mobile app and Gemini Advanced with Ultra 1.0.

Sissie Hsiao_295x295

Since we launched Bard last year, people all over the world have used it to collaborate with AI in a completely new way — to prepare for job interviews, debug code , brainstorm new business ideas or, as we announced last week, create captivating images .

Our mission with Bard has always been to give you direct access to our AI models, and Gemini represents our most capable family of models. To reflect this, Bard will now simply be known as Gemini.

You can already chat with Gemini with our Pro 1.0 model in over 40 languages and more than 230 countries and territories. And now, we’re bringing you two new experiences — Gemini Advanced and a mobile app — to help you easily collaborate with the best of Google AI.

A video announcing that Bard is becoming Gemini.

Access our most capable AI model with Gemini Advanced

Today we’re launching Gemini Advanced — a new experience that gives you access to Ultra 1.0, our largest and most capable state-of-the-art AI model. In blind evaluations with our third-party raters, Gemini Advanced with Ultra 1.0 is now the most preferred chatbot compared to leading alternatives.

With our Ultra 1.0 model, Gemini Advanced is far more capable at highly complex tasks like coding, logical reasoning, following nuanced instructions and collaborating on creative projects. Gemini Advanced not only allows you to have longer, more detailed conversations; it also better understands the context from your previous prompts. For example:

  • Gemini Advanced can be your personal tutor — creating step-by-step instructions, sample quizzes or back-and-forth discussions tailored to your learning style.
  • It can help you with more advanced coding scenarios, serving as a sounding board for ideas and helping you evaluate different coding approaches.
  • It can help digital creators go from idea to creation by generating fresh content, analyzing recent trends and brainstorming improved ways to grow their audiences.

This first version of Gemini Advanced reflects our current advances in AI reasoning and will continue to improve. As we add new and exclusive features, Gemini Advanced users will have access to expanded multimodal capabilities, more interactive coding features, deeper data analysis capabilities and more. Gemini Advanced is available today in more than 150 countries and territories in English, and we'll expand it to more languages over time.

A video with more details about Gemini Advanced.

Gemini Advanced is available as part of our brand new Google One AI Premium Plan for $19.99/month, starting with a two-month trial at no cost. This plan gives you the best of Google AI and our latest advancements, along with all the benefits of the existing Google One Premium plan , such as 2TB of storage. In addition, AI Premium subscribers will soon be able to use Gemini in Gmail, Docs, Slides, Sheets and more (formerly known as Duet AI).

We continue to take a bold and responsible approach to bringing this technology to the world. And, to mitigate issues like unsafe content or bias, we’ve built safety into our products in accordance with our AI Principles . Before launching Gemini Advanced, we conducted extensive trust and safety checks, including external red-teaming. We further refined the underlying model using fine-tuning and reinforcement learning, based on human feedback. You can find more detail in our updated Gemini Technical Report .

Easily use Gemini on your phone

We’ve heard that you want an easier way to access Gemini on your phone. So today we’re starting to roll out a new mobile experience for Gemini and Gemini Advanced with a new app on Android and in the Google app on iOS .

With Gemini on your phone, you can type, talk or add an image for all kinds of help while you’re on the go: You can take a picture of your flat tire and ask for instructions, generate a custom image for your dinner party invitation or ask for help writing a difficult text message. It’s an important first step in building a true AI assistant — one that is conversational, multimodal and helpful.

On Android, Gemini is a new kind of assistant that uses generative AI to collaborate with you and help you get things done.

If you download the Gemini app or opt in through Google Assistant, you'll be able to access it from the app or anywhere else you normally activate Google Assistant — hitting the power button or corner swiping on select phones, or saying “Hey Google.” This will enable a new overlay experience that offers easy access to Gemini as well as contextual help right on your screen — so you can, for instance, generate a caption for a picture you've just taken or ask questions about an article you're reading. Many Google Assistant voice features will be available through the Gemini app — including setting timers, making calls and controlling your smart home devices — and we’re working to support more in the future.

On iOS, we’ll roll out access to Gemini right from the Google app in the coming weeks. Just tap the Gemini toggle and chat with Gemini to supercharge your creativity, create custom images, get help writing social posts and even plan a date night right from the Google app. We can’t wait for you to try it.

Gemini is rolling out on Android and iOS phones in the U.S. in English starting today, and will be fully available in the coming weeks. Starting next week, you’ll be able to access it in more locations in English, and in Japanese and Korean, with more countries and languages coming soon.

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The 6 Best Journal Apps for 2024

These apps help gather your moods and thoughts into one place

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With the right journal app, you can make a journal or diary entry truly yours by adding images, tagging locations, setting reminders to write, password protecting folders , and so much more.

Here are the best journal and diary apps you can use both online and offline, either from a web browser or on a mobile device.

The Most Secure Journal App to Protect Your Information: Penzu

An incredibly secure journal for ultimate protection and privacy.

Fully customizable journal features for personalized journal covers, backgrounds, and font faces.

You can easily insert images between text in entries.

You'll have to upgrade to a $4.99 a month plan or a $19.99 a year plan if you want access to its full offering of customization features.

Some users report issues with saving entries and the app crashing.

Last updated in 2017.

Many journal apps offer security and privacy features, but Penzu is one that excels at it. This great journal app keeps your entries 100% safe with double password protection and military-grade 256-bit AES encryption.

Download For:

Most Intuitive Interface and Best Looking Layout: Journey

The ability to attach multiple images and videos to journal entries.

You can protect your journal with Touch ID, Face ID, or PIN-protected journals.

Automatic backups in Google Drive .

You'll have to upgrade to a recurring $3.99 monthly or $29.99 annual fee if you want access to more features.

You'll have to pay a separate fee for each different platform version if you plan to use the app on different platforms.

Whether you're keeping a dream journal, a gratitude journal, a work journal, or any other type of journal, Journey is simply one of the best apps out there. Its crisp, clean layout is a pleasure to use for crafting your journal entries so they suit your personal journaling style.

Simple and Beautiful Design With All the Right Features: Day One

You can create multiple journals if you upgrade to a premium account for $2.99 a month or $24.99 a year.

There's a nifty dark mode for writing in lower light.

You can take advantage of  IFTTT integration for creating automatic journal entries.

It's available for Android. Previously, it was only available for iOS devices.

It's inaccessible from a web browser.

There's a Mac app, but no options for PC users.

Similar to Journey, Day One features an interface that's clean, minimal and very pleasing to the eye. Despite its simple look, it packs all the features you'd want in a powerful journal app–including search, tags, maps, photos, and so much more.

Great Diary App for Quick, Short Journal or Diary Entries: Diary

Fully customizable background colors, text, and fonts.

The ability to share diary/journal entries with friends via email and other platforms.

You can insert popular emojis directly into your entries.

Only available on Android and via the web. No iOS app.

Occasional pop-up ads with no premium version to upgrade to if you want to get rid of them.

If you're looking for an app that makes it as quick, easy, and effortless as possible to start and keep a diary or journal, Diary has you covered. It's a simple, yet powerful journal app that combines an easy-to-use interface with more advanced features like password protection,  cloud storage , reminders, and more.

Use Grid-Style Templates to Encourage Yourself to Write: Grid Diary

Inspirational questions and prompts to help give you ideas for what to journal about.

The freedom to pick what you want to write about and personalize journal entries with images, etc.

Only available on iOS. No access via the web or from an Android device.

Features like password protection and cloud storage syncing are only available to Pro users for either a $1.99 monthly subscription or a $4.99 one-time purchase.

Grid Diary puts a unique spin on journaling by displaying a series of different questions in a grid-style layout, essentially making it easier for you to keep a diary or journal. It has a built-in library of suggested prompts so you never get stuck with writer's block.

Capture Your Exeriences Without Having to Write Anything: Daylio

Ideal for people who want to journal without having to write anything.

A smart interface and beautiful icons.

If you do want to write more, you can always add notes to your entries.

No traditional diary/journal writing options for wordier entries.

Not so much into writing, but want to find a super quick and easy way to record the things you experience in a day? Daylio is a micro-diary app that lets you simply pick your mood state and activities so you can spend more time doing things and less time writing.

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  • Want a Productivity Boost? How to Use Copilot Pro AI With Microsoft 365 Apps

Looking for an AI assistant to help you write, edit, and analyze content in Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and more? Microsoft’s Copilot Pro can help.

Lance Whitney

Microsoft Copilot is an AI assistant built into Windows and available on the web, but there's also a premium version that kicks in a few extra benefits. If you pay $20 per month for Copilot Pro , you get built-in AI support for Word, Excel, Outlook, and other Microsoft 365 apps.

Using Copilot Pro, you can ask AI to help you write and edit text or summarize documents in Word, generate formulas and analyze data in Excel, create presentations in PowerPoint, create notes in OneNote, and draft replies and summarize emails in Outlook. Here's how it works.

How to Add Copilot Pro to Microsoft 365 Apps

First, you need a subscription to Microsoft 365 Personal or Family . For $69.99 per year, the Personal plan offers access to Microsoft's collection of apps and other features for one person on up to five devices. The $99.99 Family plan allows up to six people to access these benefits.

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Next, you’ll need to sign up for Microsoft Copilot Pro, if you don’t already have it. While you can get Copilot Pro on its own, you need a Microsoft 365 subscription to use it with 365 apps.

To sign up, head to Microsoft’s Copilot Pro web page and click Get Copilot Pro . At the subscription page, confirm your payment method and click Subscribe . After the payment goes through, click Get started . You’re taken to the Copilot web page, where you’ll see Pro as part of the Copilot logo.

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How to Use Copilot in Word

Now when you launch a blank document in Word , you should see a small window on the screen called Draft with Copilot . If you don’t see the window, click the Draft with Copilot icon in the left margin or use the Alt-I shortcut. The message in the window prompts you to describe what you’d like to write. Think about the type of document you want to create, enter a description in the appropriate field, and then click the Generate button.

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Copilot generates a draft of the document you requested. At the bottom is a small window where you can respond to the draft. Click Keep it to retain the draft as it currently appears. You can also select the Regenerate icon to request a new version of the draft from scratch or click the trash can icon to delete it.

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If you want Copilot to make a change to the existing outline, click the text field and type something like “Make it more formal” or “Make it shorter." After Copilot revises the draft and displays the new version, click the left and right arrow to switch between the initial draft and the new one. You can request as many drafts as you need. You can also click in any blank area of an existing document to get Copilot’s help in writing a new sentence or paragraph.

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Copilot can also be used to revise existing text. Select the written portion that you want revised, then click the Draft with Copilot icon and select Rewrite with Copilot . The new version appears in the text window. Choose Regenerate to request another version or click Adjust Tone , select a different tone, and then hit Regenerate to try again. Click Replace to overwrite the existing text or Insert Below to add the new version below the existing one so you can compare the two.

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Ever create text in a Word document that you think might look better in a table? Ask Copilot for help. Select the text you want in a table, click the Draft with Copilot icon, and select Visualize as a Table . After the table appears, you can opt to discard it, regenerate it, or keep it.

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You can also summarize and ask questions about an existing document. Open the document you want to use and click the Copilot icon on the Ribbon. Copilot suggests some requests you can make regarding the document, such as summarizing it or asking specific questions about it.

writing with apps

Submit the request to summarize the document, and Copilot generates and displays a summary in the sidebar. You can also use the text field at the bottom of the window to ask more specific questions about the content in the document. You can then copy any response from Copilot and paste it elsewhere.

writing with apps

How to Use Copilot in Excel

Unlike Word, Copilot in Excel imposes certain restrictions before you’re able to use it. Your Excel files must be saved in the .xlsx or .xslm format and the data should already be formatted as an Excel table . You can also only work with files stored in OneDrive or Microsoft 365 SharePoint with AutoSave enabled.

To enable AutoSave, open your spreadsheet and go to File > Options > Save , then enable AutoSave files stored in the Cloud by default in Excel . You can also open a spreadsheet that is saved locally, save it to OneDrive or SharePoint, close it, and then reopen it from the cloud.

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Ready to use Copilot to analyze your data? Select all the cells that you want to include and click the Copilot button on the Ribbon. You may see a message in the sidebar asking if you want to convert this data range to a table. Click the Convert button, if prompted, and the data is formatted into a table with a header row at the top and sample requests you may want to submit.

writing with apps

Select any of the requests that you find useful. For example, you could add a column that contains a formula, highlight certain cells, or sort and filter the data in a specific way. You can also analyze the data. Click the Analyze button and then select one of the suggested requests or type your own. In some cases, Copilot may create a chart that you can add to the spreadsheet.

writing with apps

For different types of data analysis, close the Copilot sidebar and click the Analyze Data button on the Ribbon. At the sidebar, you can ask a question about the data, request a pivot table, or add a chart. Choose your preferred action to see the results.

writing with apps

How to Use Copilot in PowerPoint

In PowerPoint , Copilot will help you create a brand new presentation or refine an existing one. To start with a new one, create a blank slideshow and click the Copilot icon on the Ribbon. Click the Create a presentation suggestion and then enter the topic of your slideshow. After you submit the request, Copilot generates the title slide and a few subsequent slides.

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You can add to the presentation by submitting another request. For example, you might tell Copilot to add more slides that cover a specific subtopic. You can also ask for a summary about a particular slideshow.

writing with apps

Copilot also allows you to ask specific questions about a presentation in order to dig up certain details. Write a request that asks for key information contained in one or more of the slides, and the AI will respond with the information it finds in the slideshow.

writing with apps

How to Use Copilot in OneNote

With OneNote , Copilot will try to help you generate ideas and create notes for a notebook. Open OneNote and click the Copilot icon on the Ribbon. If you’re stuck coming up with ideas in the first place, click the Give me ideas suggestion, then add the topic that you want to capture. You can then copy Copilot’s response and add it as a note.

writing with apps

Ask follow-up questions to flesh out your topic and add more ideas. You can then organize these ideas into different notes to comprise your overall notebook. You could also try asking Copilot to summarize the information based on the notes you’ve created. Select a specific section in your notebook and ask Copilot for a summary of the key data.

writing with apps

How to Use Copilot in Outlook

To try Copilot Pro in Outlook, you’ll need the correct version. The AI doesn’t work in the classic Outlook for Windows, which is part of the Microsoft 365 suite. Instead, you need what Microsoft calls the new Outlook. To get this new version, head to its Microsoft Store page and click Download .

writing with apps

Open the new Outlook app and sign in with your Microsoft account. First, you may want to get Copilot’s help to draft a new email . Click the New Mail icon, enter an address, and add a subject. Once you’re in the body of the message, click the Copilot icon on the toolbar and select Draft with Copilot .

writing with apps

In the Draft with Copilot window, describe the type of email you want to write. For example, maybe you want to send an email to your manager thanking them for approving a recent raise. Click the Generate button, and Copilot creates a draft.

You can then regenerate the response to get a different version, discard the draft, or keep it. You can also ask Copilot to revise the draft by adding further guidance, such as telling it to make the message more formal, more casual, longer, or shorter. When you find a draft you want to keep, you’re able to revise and personalize it.

writing with apps

Copilot can also be used to summarize an email you’ve received. After you select the message in your inbox, a Summary by Copilot prompt should appear. Click that, and Copilot generates a summary with all the key points in the message.

writing with apps

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About Lance Whitney

My experience.

I've been working for PCMag since early 2016 writing tutorials, how-to pieces, and other articles on consumer technology. Beyond PCMag, I've written news stories and tutorials for a variety of other websites and publications, including CNET, ZDNet, TechRepublic, Macworld, PC World, Time, US News & World Report, and AARP Magazine. I spent seven years writing breaking news for CNET as one of the site’s East Coast reporters. I've also written two books for Wiley & Sons— Windows 8: Five Minutes at a Time and Teach Yourself Visually LinkedIn .

My Areas of Expertise

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Create a form in Word that users can complete or print

In Word, you can create a form that others can fill out and save or print.  To do this, you will start with baseline content in a document, potentially via a form template.  Then you can add content controls for elements such as check boxes, text boxes, date pickers, and drop-down lists. Optionally, these content controls can be linked to database information.  Following are the recommended action steps in sequence.  

Show the Developer tab

In Word, be sure you have the Developer tab displayed in the ribbon.  (See how here:  Show the developer tab .)

Open a template or a blank document on which to base the form

You can start with a template or just start from scratch with a blank document.

Start with a form template

Go to File > New .

In the  Search for online templates  field, type  Forms or the kind of form you want. Then press Enter .

In the displayed results, right-click any item, then select  Create. 

Start with a blank document 

Select Blank document .

Add content to the form

Go to the  Developer  tab Controls section where you can choose controls to add to your document or form. Hover over any icon therein to see what control type it represents. The various control types are described below. You can set properties on a control once it has been inserted.

To delete a content control, right-click it, then select Remove content control  in the pop-up menu. 

Note:  You can print a form that was created via content controls. However, the boxes around the content controls will not print.

Insert a text control

The rich text content control enables users to format text (e.g., bold, italic) and type multiple paragraphs. To limit these capabilities, use the plain text content control . 

Click or tap where you want to insert the control.

Rich text control button

To learn about setting specific properties on these controls, see Set or change properties for content controls .

Insert a picture control

A picture control is most often used for templates, but you can also add a picture control to a form.

Picture control button

Insert a building block control

Use a building block control  when you want users to choose a specific block of text. These are helpful when you need to add different boilerplate text depending on the document's specific purpose. You can create rich text content controls for each version of the boilerplate text, and then use a building block control as the container for the rich text content controls.

building block gallery control

Select Developer and content controls for the building block.

Developer tab showing content controls

Insert a combo box or a drop-down list

In a combo box, users can select from a list of choices that you provide or they can type in their own information. In a drop-down list, users can only select from the list of choices.

combo box button

Select the content control, and then select Properties .

To create a list of choices, select Add under Drop-Down List Properties .

Type a choice in Display Name , such as Yes , No , or Maybe .

Repeat this step until all of the choices are in the drop-down list.

Fill in any other properties that you want.

Note:  If you select the Contents cannot be edited check box, users won’t be able to click a choice.

Insert a date picker

Click or tap where you want to insert the date picker control.

Date picker button

Insert a check box

Click or tap where you want to insert the check box control.

Check box button

Use the legacy form controls

Legacy form controls are for compatibility with older versions of Word and consist of legacy form and Active X controls.

Click or tap where you want to insert a legacy control.

Legacy control button

Select the Legacy Form control or Active X Control that you want to include.

Set or change properties for content controls

Each content control has properties that you can set or change. For example, the Date Picker control offers options for the format you want to use to display the date.

Select the content control that you want to change.

Go to Developer > Properties .

Controls Properties  button

Change the properties that you want.

Add protection to a form

If you want to limit how much others can edit or format a form, use the Restrict Editing command:

Open the form that you want to lock or protect.

Select Developer > Restrict Editing .

Restrict editing button

After selecting restrictions, select Yes, Start Enforcing Protection .

Restrict editing panel

Advanced Tip:

If you want to protect only parts of the document, separate the document into sections and only protect the sections you want.

To do this, choose Select Sections in the Restrict Editing panel. For more info on sections, see Insert a section break .

Sections selector on Resrict sections panel

If the developer tab isn't displayed in the ribbon, see Show the Developer tab .

Open a template or use a blank document

To create a form in Word that others can fill out, start with a template or document and add content controls. Content controls include things like check boxes, text boxes, and drop-down lists. If you’re familiar with databases, these content controls can even be linked to data.

Go to File > New from Template .

New from template option

In Search, type form .

Double-click the template you want to use.

Select File > Save As , and pick a location to save the form.

In Save As , type a file name and then select Save .

Start with a blank document

Go to File > New Document .

New document option

Go to File > Save As .

Go to Developer , and then choose the controls that you want to add to the document or form. To remove a content control, select the control and press Delete. You can set Options on controls once inserted. From Options, you can add entry and exit macros to run when users interact with the controls, as well as list items for combo boxes, .

Adding content controls to your form

In the document, click or tap where you want to add a content control.

On Developer , select Text Box , Check Box , or Combo Box .

Developer tab with content controls

To set specific properties for the control, select Options , and set .

Repeat steps 1 through 3 for each control that you want to add.

Set options

Options let you set common settings, as well as control specific settings. Select a control and then select Options to set up or make changes.

Set common properties.

Select Macro to Run on lets you choose a recorded or custom macro to run on Entry or Exit from the field.

Bookmark Set a unique name or bookmark for each control.

Calculate on exit This forces Word to run or refresh any calculations, such as total price when the user exits the field.

Add Help Text Give hints or instructions for each field.

OK Saves settings and exits the panel.

Cancel Forgets changes and exits the panel.

Set specific properties for a Text box

Type Select form Regular text, Number, Date, Current Date, Current Time, or Calculation.

Default text sets optional instructional text that's displayed in the text box before the user types in the field. Set Text box enabled to allow the user to enter text into the field.

Maximum length sets the length of text that a user can enter. The default is Unlimited .

Text format can set whether text automatically formats to Uppercase , Lowercase , First capital, or Title case .

Text box enabled Lets the user enter text into a field. If there is default text, user text replaces it.

Set specific properties for a Check box .

Default Value Choose between Not checked or checked as default.

Checkbox size Set a size Exactly or Auto to change size as needed.

Check box enabled Lets the user check or clear the text box.

Set specific properties for a Combo box

Drop-down item Type in strings for the list box items. Press + or Enter to add an item to the list.

Items in drop-down list Shows your current list. Select an item and use the up or down arrows to change the order, Press - to remove a selected item.

Drop-down enabled Lets the user open the combo box and make selections.

Protect the form

Go to Developer > Protect Form .

Protect form button on the Developer tab

Note:  To unprotect the form and continue editing, select Protect Form again.

Save and close the form.

Test the form (optional)

If you want, you can test the form before you distribute it.

Protect the form.

Reopen the form, fill it out as the user would, and then save a copy.

Creating fillable forms isn’t available in Word for the web.

You can create the form with the desktop version of Word with the instructions in Create a fillable form .

When you save the document and reopen it in Word for the web, you’ll see the changes you made.

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1. SplashLearn

2. abcmouse.com, 3. endless alphabet, 4. iwritewords, 5. grammaropolis, 6. toontastic 3d, 7. storybird, 8. little writer – the tracing app for kids, 9. mad libs, 10. writing wizard – kids learn to write letters & words.

Writing isn’t just about using a pencil and paper anymore. Today, there are lots of writing apps for kids that can help them write better. According to Reading Rockets , in literacy and education, writing tools have traditionally been “low-tech,” with simple aids like pencil grips and graph paper being staples in the educational toolkit.

SplashLearn: Most Comprehensive Learning Program for PreK-5

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SplashLearn inspires lifelong curiosity with its game-based PreK-5 learning program loved by over 40 million children. With over 4,000 fun games and activities, it’s the perfect balance of learning and play for your little one.

However, the landscape of writing assistance is rapidly changing. The integration of AT in writing extends to computer platforms as well, with desktops, laptops, and mobile devices offering various interfaces, such as keyboards and touchscreens, to accommodate different preferences and requirements. This versatility in writing technology caters to children’s diverse needs and opens up new avenues for learning and creativity. In this blog, we’ll dive into the best ​​writing apps for kids designed to make writing engaging and accessible for kids of all ages.

Curious about high-tech writing tools?

Here are our top picks of writing apps for kids:

Splashlearning App Screenshot

SplashLearn is not just about numbers; it also offers a kids writing app section where children can engage in story-based learning, which helps them practice writing through interactive games and worksheets . It covers topics like letter tracing and sight words , which are crucial for early literacy. What makes SplashLearn a standout as one of the best writing apps for kids is its interactive and playful approach to learning. The app encourages children to practice writing through games that capture their attention, making it a great tool for young learners to develop their writing skills in an enjoyable and stress-free way.

Grade: Pre-K to 5th Grade

Features: Over 8000 games and worksheets, adaptive learning, personalized for each child’s pace, with a strong focus on math and reading and writing comprehension

Why We Love It: It integrates writing into a broader educational context, reinforcing literacy through a variety of subjects

Price: Free with in-app purchases

Availability: Available on iOS, Android, and web

App store page of AbcMouse

ABCmouse.com offers a rich, interactive curriculum that includes a wide range of activities from tracing letters to writing full sentences. It’s designed to help children grasp the mechanics of writing and understand the context behind their writing. The app’s colorful animations and rewards system motivate kids to progress through levels, reinforcing their writing skills with each step.

Grade: Pre-K to 2nd Grade

Features: Includes a comprehensive step-by-step learning path with over 850 lessons across 10 levels

Why We Love It: It’s a thorough educational tool that covers all the bases of early writing skills in an engaging and systematic way

Price: Subscription-based with a free trial

app store page of endless alphabets

Endless Alphabet is one of the best writing apps for kids that introduces children to the alphabet in a world of playful monsters and unique puzzles. Each word features an interactive puzzle with talking letters and a short animation illustrating the definition. This approach not only teaches letter recognition and vocabulary but also enhances kids’ understanding of word usage in writing.

Grade: Pre-K to 1st Grade

Features: Over 100 words to play with, each with interactive puzzles and animations

Why We Love It: The app makes learning new words and their spellings a delightful experience, which is crucial for developing writing skills

Price: One-time purchase

Availability: Available on iOS, Android, and Amazon Appstore

App store page of iWriteWords

iWriteWords is a handwriting app that teaches the fundamentals of letter and number formation through guided tracing. Its playful interface, complete with a friendly crab guide, encourages kids to practice writing while they drag a character to follow the tracing lines. This method helps improve hand-eye coordination and prepares children for traditional writing.

Grade: Pre-K to Kindergarten

Features: Handwriting practice with a focus on proper stroke order and letter shapes

Why We Love It: It’s a tactile experience that translates digital interactions into real-world writing skills

Availability: Available on iOS

App store page of Grammaropolis

Grammaropolis uses animated characters representing parts of speech to teach grammar engagingly. Each character’s personality and role in the grammar world helps children remember the functions of parts of speech and how to use them effectively in their writing. The app includes various educational content, from music videos to quizzes, ensuring comprehensive grammar instruction.

Grade: 1st to 7th Grade

Features: Animated lessons, quizzes, music videos, and an integrated book series

Why We Love It: It turns the often challenging subject of grammar into a fun and memorable experience, laying a strong foundation for good writing

App store page of Toontastic 3D

Toontastic 3D is a storytelling app that allows kids to create their own animated stories. By moving characters around on the screen and narrating the tale in real time, children learn the structure of stories, character development, and the expressive power of language. The app’s 3D drawing tools also enable them to design their characters, further personalizing their writing and storytelling experience.

Grade: K to 12th Grade

Features: A fully customizable 3D animation tool, complete with a variety of settings, characters, and story arcs

Why We Love It: It encourages kids to think critically about the storytelling process, which is a fundamental aspect of writing

Price: Free

Availability: Available on iOS and Android

Play store page of Storybird

Storybird stands out as one of the best English writing apps for kids that inspires children to write their own stories using an array of stunning illustrations. It provides a platform for kids to become authors, encouraging them to construct narratives around professionally drawn artwork , which can then be digitally published into books.

Grade: 1st to 12th Grade

Features: A vast library of images, collaborative writing options, and the ability to publish stories

Why We Love It: It fosters creativity and the love of writing by blending visual art with storytelling

Price: Free with premium features available for purchase

Availability: Available on web

app store page of Little Writter

Little Writer is a tactile kids writing app that serves as the best letter writing app for young children learning to write the alphabet. It includes fun tracing games that teach kids how to write letters, numbers , words, and shapes .

Grade: Toddler to Kindergarten

Features: Customizable for names and words, fun animations and sounds to keep kids engaged

Why We Love It: It’s a hands-on app that makes learning to write letters and numbers exciting and interactive

Availability: Available on iOS.

App store page of Mad Libs

Mad Libs brings the classic word game to digital life, offering an app for writing letters and creating stories that can be hilariously unpredictable. It’s a great tool for teaching parts of speech and sentence structure in a way that’s full of laughs and learning.

Grade: 2nd to 8th Grade

Features: Thousands of stories, new ones added regularly, and the ability to play solo or with friends

Why We Love It: It turns grammar and sentence construction into a fun game, which is a clever way to practice writing

App store page of Writing Wizard

Writing Wizard is an app designed to help kids learn how to write letters, numbers, and words through a fun and interactive interface. It offers a range of customizable writing activities that make learning to write engaging and enjoyable. The app uses animated stickers and sound effects to provide feedback , encouraging kids to improve their writing skills.

Features: Customizable word lists, ability to create your own worksheets, fun animations and sound effects, and a system that teaches proper stroke order

Why We Love It: Writing Wizard stands out for its highly interactive approach, which transforms writing practice into a game-like experience. The app’s engaging and intuitive design ensures that children are not only practicing their writing skills but are also having a great time doing it.

11. SentenceBuilder

app store page of SentenceBuilder

SentenceBuilder aims to help elementary-aged children learn how to build grammatically correct sentences with an emphasis on connectors. By using this app, kids can enhance their writing fluency and complexity, making it a valuable tool for young writers.

Grade: 1st to 5th Grade

Features: Over 100 pictures to build sentences around, with three levels of play and a progress tracker

Why We Love It: It specifically targets sentence construction, which is a critical skill in writing development

How to Choose the Most Suitable Writing Apps & Websites

1. user experience.

  • Assessment of the app’s interface: Is it kid-friendly and intuitive?
  • Consideration of the app’s design: Does it engage children without being overly distracting?

2. Age Appropriateness

  • Breakdown of the app’s content and complexity relative to different age groups.
  • Analysis of how the app grows with the child, offering more advanced levels as the child’s skills improve.

3. Features and Functionality

  • Overview of key features such as interactive games, progress tracking, and customizable settings.
  • Evaluation of the app’s unique offerings that set it apart from other writing apps.

4. Feedback and Reinforcement

  • Examination of how the app provides feedback to the user: Is it constructive and encouraging?
  • Insight into the reward systems or achievements that motivate continued practice.

5. Accessibility and Inclusivity

  • Consideration of how accessible the app is to children with different learning abilities and needs.
  • Discussion on the inclusivity of content, ensuring it is culturally and linguistically diverse.

6. Safety and Privacy

  • Analysis of the app’s safety features: Are children’s interactions secure?
  • Review of the app’s privacy policy: How does it handle personal data?

7. Cost-Effectiveness

  • Comparison of the app’s price relative to its features and benefits.
  • Consideration of free versus premium offerings and the value each provides.

8. Parental and Educator Reviews

  • Compilation of feedback from parents and educators regarding the app’s effectiveness and engagement.
  • Discussion of any accolades or endorsements from educational institutions.

9. Regular Updates and Support

  • Information on how frequently the app is updated with new content or features.
  • Availability and responsiveness of customer support for troubleshooting issues.

By addressing these criteria, you can provide a comprehensive overview of why these particular apps were chosen and how they stand out in helping children develop their writing skills.

Finding the right app to support your child’s writing journey can be a game-changer in their educational development. The apps we’ve explored offer a variety of interactive and engaging ways to build writing skills, from mastering the basics of grammar to enhancing creative storytelling skills. Each app has been carefully selected based on its educational value, ease of use, and ability to make learning fun . Whether your child is just starting to trace letters or is ready to craft their own stories, there’s an app on this list that can meet them where they are. Remember, the best learning happens when kids have fun, so encourage them to try these tools and watch their writing flourish.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What age group are these writing apps suitable for.

The writing apps cover a broad range of ages, from toddlers who are just starting to learn the alphabet to teenagers looking to enhance their storytelling skills.

Are these writing apps for kids safe and secure for my child?

These apps have been chosen for their strong safety features and privacy policies, ensuring a secure environment for your child to learn and create.

Do I need to supervise my child while they use these writing apps for kids?

While these apps are designed to be kid-friendly and intuitive, supervision is recommended to help guide your child’s learning and to ensure they get the most out of the experience.

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Don't tell your AI anything personal, Google warns in new Gemini privacy notice

jack-wallen

The Gemini app, formerly known as Bard , is poised to become the next-generation digital assistant on Android devices. This new AI-centric landscape promises to make interacting with your smartphones and other devices considerably smarter and easier.

But those AI apps come with a risk , which Google's new privacy warning illustrates perfectly.

Also: The 3 biggest risks from generative AI - and how to deal with them

This warning comes by way of the Gemini Apps Privacy Hub and states -- very clearly -- that when you interact with Gemini applications , Google collects the following information:

  • Conversations
  • Usage information

Google goes on to state that the collected information helps them provide, improve, and develop products, services, and machine learning technologies.

It's that first bullet point that should be of some concern. Who has access to your Gemini conversations? Google has this to say:

We take your privacy seriously, and we do not sell your personal information to anyone. To help Gemini improve while protecting your privacy, we select a subset of conversations and use automated tools to help remove user-identifying information (such as email addresses and phone numbers).

As for the warning, i n the section labeled Your data and Gemini Apps , you'll find the following sentence:

Please don't enter confidential information in your conversations or any data you wouldn't want a reviewer to see or Google to use to improve our products, services, and machine-learning technologies.

Also: What is Google's Gemini AI tool (formerly Bard)? Everything you need to know

Well below that statement, you'll find information on how long reviewed data is retained, which Google states:

Gemini Apps conversations that have been reviewed by human reviewers are not deleted when you delete your Gemini Apps activity because they are kept separately and are not connected to your Google Account. Instead, they are retained for up to three years.

Three years. That's how long your conversations will be retained, even after you delete your activity from the Gemini app. Google continues with the warning: "Even when Gemini Apps Activity is off, your conversations will be saved with your account for up to 72 hours. This lets Google provide the service and process any feedback. This activity won't appear in your Gemini Apps Activity."

What does it all mean? Simply stated, you should definitely heed Google's warning and never include sensitive information in your Gemini interactions. Ever.  

Also: The ethics of generative AI: How we can harness this powerful technology

This new warning makes it very clear that Google not only strongly indicates you should not add sensitive information to Gemini interactions but that every "chat" you have with the app will be retained on the Google servers for three years. One of the last statements made in the warning is:

Don't enter anything you wouldn't want a human reviewer to see or Google to use.

Ominous? You decide.

Artificial Intelligence

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Meet Gemini 1.5, Google's newest AI model with major upgrades from its predecessor

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Google reportedly rebranding Bard to Gemini, adding 'Advanced' subscription service

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