3 (and a Half) Awesome Writing Tools to Improve Your Skills

gold plated pen and nib resting on paper

3 (and a Half) Awesome Writing Tools to Improve Your Skills

Let’s face it. The majority of us haven’t picked up a pen since school. And our array of writing tools doesn’t extend far past spell check on Word. Technology has become such a symbiotic part of our lives that I thought I would let you in on some tools of the trade, so that you too can improve your writing abilities.

typewriter beginning a story with 'once upon a time'Why do I Need Writing Tools?

Why would you want to improve your skills, do you ask? Here are some fun facts.

  • The ‘average American’ reads at a 2nd-grade level.
  • Only 15% of people rank with full literacy skills.
  • In Australia, the result is not much better with a meagre 16% in the top ranking.
  • 46% of Australians are considered too illiterate to operate in society
Sure computers have made us more efficient. Why would you need to know how to spell when your smartphone does it for you? Because at some point, those phones are going to literally be smarter than you. So if you would rather avoid the looming illiteracy in our society, let these beautiful writing tools both correct and educate you!

1. Grammarly

As the name would imply Grammarly fixes all your grammar and punctuating needs. It is a free Chrome extension, meaning it will alert you of mistakes on anything you do inside the browser. Sick of grammar nazi’s correcting you on Facebook? Struggle to send emails to prospective employers? Fear no more!

Writing tools like this literally cannot be any easier to use. Simply keep an eye out for the small green circle (bottom right in the image below) and the extension will have you writing like a pro in no time. Click here to check it out.

Grammarly underlines spelling mistakes as you type

2. Hemmingway Editor

The Hemmingway Editor is one of the best writing tools I have come across for blogging and online posts. It helps to improve the readability of articles and ensures people understand what you’re saying. By improving your readability it makes it easier for people to continue reading your articles (hopefully). It’s also intuitive and easy to use. All you need to do is type into the interface (pictured below) and the editor will alert you of:
  • Complexity of sentence structure and length
  • Hard to read sentences
  • Passive voiceHemmingway App corrects sentence length
  • Overuse of adverbs
  • Readability
  • Difficult phrases
As you can see the red highlights are sentences too hard to read. Yellow for difficult. Blue for overuse of adverbs. Green for passive voice and so on. Sure the Hemmingway Editor will set you back a whopping $30, but if blogging or copywriting is your thing then I can honestly say it’s money well spent.

3. Portent’s Content Idea Generator

Stuck for a topic idea? Not sure how to structure your headline? Your problem has been solved with this nifty little creation. All you do is punch in your topic, and it’ll throw out headline ideas. Check out the example in the image below to see what this article could have been about!

 

Portents content generator suggests that writing tools make you a better lover
Sure some of the titles might not be relevant, and I’ll keep this one in the bank for down the line, but the writing tool does help to get the creative juices flowing. It can also help you to structure your headlines. Head on over to the Portent site to check it out for yourself and start generating better titles today!

3.5 Title Capitalisation

As promised, I’ve thrown in a little half tool to boot, because this used to be an issue for me. It’s easy to be confused about which words to capitalise in a heading, and thankfully you no longer have to be. Using a simple algorithm Title Capitalisation will do it for you. Simply enter whatever your title happens to be, and it will correct it so that all your headlines read identically.

Combine these awesome writing tools and your emails, articles, and general online interactions will be drastically improved, helping you to put out better content, or simply appear that little bit smarter 🙂

 

Did you find this list helpful? What other tools do you use to improve your writing? Let me know in the comments below or on Social Media!

Rhys Skellern, on in Education, Personal Development, Technology

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