• Dan

Become a Better Writer: Essential Writing Tools & Tricks

Updated: Jun 12, 2020

The ever-evolving world of writing is almost impossible to navigate. I feel your pain, so I thought I would help you out and share the most used (and most effective) resources and tools.

These goodies are out there, free and ready and waiting to be used.

With the age of the internet and online marketing comes a huge availability of innovative tools, to make your writing process easier and more efficient.

These resources will be vital to your success, especially since many are free and easy to use.

Refer to this list regularly, as I will be updating it often.

Let’s go!

Online communities:

I previously wrote about the importance of community for writing in my post write to change the world, and frankly, I think this is the most important of all. Nevermind finding your reason to write, as without the community to give your writing meaning and context you might not write at all!

Having a sense of community in your writing, and a support network to feedback critique and input is critical to your sustained writing and reason for doing so. There are some excellent communities out there for support and motivation. Additionally, Whenever you can surround yourself with like-minded, creative people, especially writers, it’s always a good thing.

The best industry advice for writers and artists as well as writing services for every stage of your writing journey.

Freelance Writers Den has helped many writers accomplish their goals with an active writing support forum, exclusive job board, accountability partners, useful training on writing, marketing and more. I personally use this and subscribe to the site. It is full of fantastic resources and a supportive community. It is highly recommended!

National Novel Writing Month, is an annual, Internet-based creative writing project that takes place during November.  Well-known authors write “pep-talks” to keep them motivated throughout the process.

An online writing group, writing workshop, and writing community where writers get quality critiques and feedback on your writing.

Wattpad connects a global community of 65 million readers and writers.

The web’s largest poetry writing group – from beginners to experts. Improve your poetry, create a fan base, and read the best poetry of our generation. All poetry is home base for poets.

A place by and for freelance writers of all kinds to discuss and share every facet of freelance writing.

Tools & Tricks:

There are near limitless tools online and offline to boost your creative writing ability, and to make it overall a little smoother. Maybe you need help naming characters, organising your work or a trustworthy spellchecker, there are so many tools available to save you from a headache.

The more I’ve written over the years, the more I’ve come to rely on the help of various tools.

Instead of using precious time trying to force inspiration, organize writing documents or deal with eye strain, you can make use of writing tools to make your life easier.

I’ve compiled a list of my favourite tools that will supercharge your writing efficiency and productivity.

You have probably heard of Grammarly by now. It is a fantastic online writing assistant, checking for common errors and offering helpful suggestions. It is not always 100% right, but it is worth using at least for the free version, to save you from some embarrassing mistakes, in tweets, emails, documents and more.

An excellent alternative to Grammarly. Hemingway makes your writing bold and bright. It’s like a spellchecker, but for style. It makes sure that your reader will focus on your message, not your prose.

Too often, our words are like our thoughts — innumerable and disorganized. Almost any bit of writing could use some cutting. Less is more

You can write books in Google docs. You can get it on your phone, tablets and more. It is free, it is also fast, on the cloud and has a few fancy little extra features inbuilt like note-taking and theme templates and more. It can be a great alternative to Microsoft word. And somehow it just feels cleaner and more beautiful and more responsible than Word. Try it out for yourself, and be sure to search around for some advice on how best to use it for your needs.

Well respected among authors, Scrivener is a word-processing program and outliner designed for authors. Scrivener provides a management system for documents, notes and metadata. This allows the user to organize notes, concepts, research and whole documents for easy access and reference.

Infinitely flexible. Incredibly easy to use. Great mobile apps. It’s free. Trello keeps track of everything, from the big picture to the minute details. This is the tool to use to keep yourself organised, track progress and collaborate with teammates.

I have used Evernote more than any other app in my life. It is essential for an organisation. It is an app designed for note-taking, organizing, task management, and archiving. It is indispensable. My highest recommendation on this list! Take notes anywhere. Find information faster. Share ideas with anyone. Meeting notes, web pages, projects, to-do lists—with Evernote as your note-taking app, nothing falls through the cracks.

This app is fantastic for keeping track of many websites easily. A good idea is to save all your favourite websites and feeds into an easily accessible folder so you can keep track of the latest writing news. Or whatever news that takes your fancy. organize, read and share what matters to you. Organize, read and share what matters to you.


We all need a bit of inspiration now and then to keep our creative juices flowing. Personally, I keep an inspiration journal and lists of things to refer to when I am feeling low on creative energy. This can be in the form of a journal, notebook or online document.

Here are a few ideas for finding inspiring content to keep your creative practice going:

A subreddit focused on original creations, not photographs of already-existing places. Overgrown jungles, barren planets, futuristic cityscapes, or interiors are some of the creative landscapes you can find here. Search for one that reminds you of your book or short story you are writing.

Writing prompts are a fantastic way to get your writing going. This page is an excellent resource on them because frankly, i am too lazy to write up so many myself.

This place is full of some fascinating things. It won’t fail to ignite your curiosity. Definitive guidebook and friendly tour-guide to the world’s most wondrous places. Travel tips, articles, strange facts and unique events.

Indulge in some classic short stories to inspire and motivate you. Learn from the masters.

Project Gutenberg is a library of over 60,000 free eBooks. Choose among free epub and Kindle eBooks, download them or read them online. It is an excellent free resource of enduring classics from for anyone.

Damn Interesting is a small, independent, award-winning, and award-losing project dedicated to the dissemination of fascinating-yet-obscure true stories from science, history, and psychology. We reject the fashionable trends of quantity over quality and hyperbole over accuracy; we simply tell intriguing true stories as often as we can.

So there we have it, sharing is caring! Drop me a line if you found this list useful.

Happy writing!

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