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10 Cool Free Writing Tools

Boost Your Productivity

Writing is an integral part of many professions. Whether you are a student, academic, journalist, marketer, or business professional, having the right writing tools can make your work much easier and boost your productivity. There are many free online writing tools available that offer useful features to streamline and enhance your writing process. Here is an overview of 10 cool free writing tools that every writer should know about.

1. Google Docs

Google Docs is one of the most popular free online writing tools. As part of Google’s free web-based office suite, it offers many helpful features for writers, including:

  • Document creation and editing tools – You can create documents, spreadsheets, presentations, surveys, and more. The formatting options allow you to customize the look of your documents.
  • Built-in dictionary and grammar suggestions – Google Docs will highlight spelling and basic grammar mistakes and offer suggested corrections as you type. This helps you fix errors quickly.
  • Voice typing – You can dictate your text by speaking and Google Docs will transcribe it. This is useful for getting your initial ideas down quickly.
  • Outline mode – View your document in an outline format to better visualize its structure and organization. Easily rearrange sections by dragging and dropping.
  • Version history – Automatically saves revisions, so you can revert to previous drafts easily. Very helpful for comparing drafts and maintaining an edit trail.
  • Word count – Get an accurate word count as you write, which is essential for meeting submission requirements.
  • offline access – You can access and edit your documents offline after syncing them. No internet connection is needed.
  • Easy sharing and collaboration – You can share your documents and collaborate in real time with editors or co-writers. Very helpful for getting timely feedback.

With its user-friendly interface, advanced features, and offline accessibility, Google Docs is one of the best free writing tools for all types of writers. Sign up for a free Google account to start using it.

2. Scrivener

Scrivener is an innovative writing program designed for long-form writing like novels, screenplays, academic papers, dissertations, and more. Key features include:

  • Project management – Organize your manuscript using a virtual binder with sections, chapters, notes, and more. Easily storyboard and rearrange your content.
  • Visual outliner – Plan and brainstorm using a graphical corkboard and outliner tool. Map out your ideas visually.
  • Metadata tagging – Tag scenes, locations, characters, or research so they are easily searchable when needed.
  • Multiple exports – Export your project in various formats like Word, PDF, Final Draft, and eBook.
  • Revision mode – Review two versions of your text side-by-side so you can easily compare drafts.
  • Focus mode – Block out distractions and zero in on a section of text to keep focused.
  • Split screen – View multiple files, notes, and the outliner simultaneously for efficient writing.

Though Scrivener has a steep learning curve, its robust organizational features make it worthwhile for writers working on complex long-form projects. A free trial is available.

3. ProWritingAid

ProWritingAid is an AI-powered writing assistant designed to help you improve your writing quality. It acts like a grammar checker and writing coach in one. Key features:

  • Contextual grammar and style checker – Goes beyond basic grammar and spelling checks to identify the style, consistency, pacing, and readability issues in your writing.
  • Custom writing style reports – Get detailed feedback tailored to your genre and writing style based on industry best practices.
  • Readability analysis – Provides readability scores using various algorithms so you can assess how easy your writing is to read.
  • Pacing and repetition detector – Flags overused and repeated words and phrases that disrupt your text flow.
  • Integrations – Works alongside popular word processors like Google Docs, Scrivener, and MS Word.
  • Sentence editor – Rewrites long, complex sentences to be clear and concise.

With ProWritingAid’s comprehensive analysis, you can systematically improve the quality of your writing style over time. The free version gives you access to basic checks. Premium paid plans unlock more advanced features.

4. Apple Pages

Apple Pages is a free word processor that comes pre-installed on all Mac devices. It has versatile writing features, including:

  • Pre-formatted templates – Pick from beautiful templates for letters, resumes, reports, and more designed by Apple.
  • Paragraph styles – Design customized paragraph styles with your preferred fonts, sizes, colors, and spacing and apply them with one click.
  • Automatic formatting – Any style you apply is automatically formatted across your document for consistency.
  • Table creation – Easily build tables and format them using different border styles, shading, merging cells, and more.
  • Apple pencil support – Write or illustrate your documents by hand using an Apple Pencil on supported iPad models.
  • iCloud sync – Work seamlessly across your Mac, iPhone, and iPad devices. All your documents are synced via iCloud.
  • Focus mode – Removes onscreen distractions and highlights one sentence at a time to stay focused.

For Mac users, Apple Pages is an intuitive and seamless writing tool. Best of all, you get it for free as part of the Apple ecosystem.

5. Draftin

Draftin provides a clean minimal writing environment to help you stay distraction-free and focused. Core features:

  • Minimalist interface – The simple word processor-like interface removes extraneous buttons and menus. Just you and your words.
  • Tab support – Open multiple docs in different tabs to work on several writing projects.
  • Simplified styles – Apply basic formatting like headings, italics, bold, and lists in a click. No complicated settings.
  • Hemingway mode – Highlights complex and hard-to-read sentences so you can simplify them.
  • Dictation – Use speech-to-text to get your ideas down faster.
  • One-click export – Export your drafts into Word, PDF, Markdown, or HTML documents.
  • Save to cloud – Work from anywhere. Your drafts are automatically saved to the cloud.

Draftin is perfect for when you need to zero in and focus on the writing without the bells and whistles of fancier word processors. It’s free to use online.

6. Evernote

Evernote is much more than a writing tool. This popular productivity app allows you to take notes, save web clips, create to-do lists, write, brainstorm ideas, and much more in one place. Key features for writers include:

  • Note organization – Organize your notes into logical notebooks and use tags to associate related ideas. Great for gathering research and sources.
  • Templates – Create Frames with formatted sections to structure your writing projects like reports, pitches, and more.
  • Web clipper – Clip any webpage to reference and cite research sources directly in your notes.
  • Image uploads – Store images alongside your notes. For example, upload maps when writing a travel scene.
  • Tables – Create tables to organize complex data and research into neat columns and rows.
  • Reminders – Set due dates and reminders on your writer’s to-do lists so you never miss a deadline.

Evernote is free to use but to access premium features, various paid subscriptions are available.

7. FocusWriter

FocusWriter lives up to its name by offering a minimal distraction-free writing environment. Key features:

  • Simplistic interface – No formats, fonts, styles, etc. Just a blank page and your words. Hit the escape key to make the menu disappear.
  • Typewriter sounds – Can enable vintage typewriter sounds for immersive writing.
  • Goal tracker – Set your desired word count goal and track your daily progress.
  • Themes – Choose a minimalist theme with calming colors like black, gray, or sepia.
  • Focus mode – Hides extra lines to view only one or three lines at a time.
  • Portable mode – Runs off a USB drive so you can write anywhere.
  • Auto-save – ensures you’ll never lose your work.

For writers who struggle with distractions, FocusWriter eliminates on-screen clutter so you can simply write without fussing with formatting. It’s 100% free for Windows, Mac, and Linux.

8. MindMeister

Mind mapping tools like MindMeister can help writers visualize their ideas and structure writing projects. Useful features include:

  • Customizable templates – Select from premade mind map templates for books, articles, presentations, and more. Or start from a blank canvas.
  • Brainstorming – Quickly brainstorm ideas around your core topic and add visual notes. Great for outlining without the constraints of formal outlines.
  • Mind map themes – Apply colors and images to categories to make them more visual.
  • Structure changes – Easily drag-and-drop nodes to experiment with different organizational structures.
  • Map history – View previous versions of your map as it evolves.
  • Collaborative editing – Give access to editors or co-writers so multiple people can work on the mind map together.

Mind mapping works well for visual thinkers and can be a refreshing alternative to traditional out Copy lining when planning a writing project. MindMeister has a robust free version.

9. WorkFlowy

WorkFlowy offers an interesting freeform approach to writing and organizing ideas. Its key features include:

  • Infinite zoomable nodes – Start with one core idea and keep drilling down into more and more detailed sub-points and tasks.
  • Flexible organization – Nodes can be arranged linearly like an outline or hierarchically like a mind map. Structure how you want.
  • Drag-and-drop – Seamlessly reorder nodes and entire node branches using drag-and-drop.
  • Topic hashtags – Tag nodes with #topics so related content is linked. Great for tracking research sources.
  • Cloud sync – Access your WorkFlowy documents from multiple devices.
  • Daily journal – Use for stream-of-consciousness journaling. Write down random ideas without worrying about the organization. You can sort it later.

WorkFlowy’s fluid ability to collapse high-level overviews and drill down into details makes it great for spearheading research and gathering sources before writing. The basic version is free online.

10. BlindWrite

For writers who struggle with perfectionism and editing before getting words down, BlindWrite removes editing capability so you can draft freely. Key features:

  • No editing – Words automatically save as you type. No deleting or editing until the timer is up.
  • Timed writing – Choose your desired writing duration and focus on typing continuously without worrying about editing until time expires.
  • Word counter – Watch your word count go up as you draft without limits.
  • Zen sounds and ambiance – Relaxing background sounds like rain help you get into the flow.
  • One-click export – When the timer stops, export your draft into Word or text file.

By preventing editing during the initial drafting process, BlindWrite forces you to get your raw ideas and words down on paper first before you can start self-editing. This helps break perfectionism tendencies. BlindWrite is free for browsers.

Boost Your Writing Productivity

Writing is often an iterative process that involves planning, drafting, reviewing, and editing. The free writing tools featured above can aid writers through each stage of the writing process to help them work smarter. Whether brainstorming ideas, structuring content, streamlining editing, or boosting focus, integrating one or more of these cool writing tools into your workflow can save you time and significantly boost your productivity as a writer.

Most importantly, choose tools aligned with your writing style and needs. For example, mind mappers benefit visual thinkers, minimalist interfaces help eliminate distractions, and writing assistants aid with editing. Find the ones that feel natural and supportive of your unique writing approach.

While no writing tools can replace putting in the work, having the right support can make writing much easier and more enjoyable. So explore these free options and see which boosts your writing superpowers! Just be sure to use them judiciously along with other proven writing strategies. With the help of technology and a little self-discipline, you can optimize your productivity and accomplish your writing goals.

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