A pen, a notebook, and an amazing imagination are enough ‘capital’ to begin an adventure in writing. However, there are several other writing tools you should consider trying out. These writing tools could help us write better, but for the most part, these tools make writing easier or more comfortable. They don’t improve our writing, but they do improve our writing process.

Your awareness and use of helpful tools in any profession or vocation enables professionalism and improves productivity. When you are fully equipped with the writing tools and resources you need to get your job done, you’ll do your job better.

Just think about it. What would a mechanical engineer do without his/her spanners, screwdrivers, jacks and so on? What can writers do without their writing tools and resources? From cheap pens and notebooks to expensive word-processing software; from thick reference books to online databases packed with facts and information, a writer’s tools and resources are both bane and boon.

Love them or hate them, one thing is certain: if you’re a writer, you need them. Regardless of how basic they are, writing is impossible without them.

However, technology has opened up a wider range of tools that we can use. There are now tools in form of software and Apps to aid style and grammar, keyword research and idea generation. Let’s consider a few style and grammar tools.

Hemingway editor

Ernest Hemingway, admired for his succinct writing style, is the namesake for this handy editing app. It allows you to paste your content into the tool and it will analyse the piece of writing, sentence by sentence. The point is to give your writing both elegance and clarity. It’s like a spellchecker, but for your style. It makes sure that your reader will focus on your message, and not struggle through your complex prose.

ProWritingAid

This writing tool features a large number of checks on your writing, from vague words to sentence length and overused words.

Grammar girl

Are you in doubt of when it should be effect or affect? Struggling with semicolons? Grammar girl has your back, with a library of clearly worded tips that will help clear things up.

UK vs US spelling

For anyone educated in the UK but writing for the US market, here is a comprehensive list of the variations between the two versions of the English language.

Wordcounter

This tool ranks the most frequently used words in any given body of text. You can use it to discover words you have overused or to extract the keywords from a great piece of content you’ve found.

Thesaurus.com

If Wordcounter has revealed you are overusing some words, head over to Thesaurus.com to find alternatives.

Grammarly & Correctica

While human editors will be able to catch most grammatical errors, editing tools like Grammarly and Correctica are great tools for triple-checking. Both free tools check for grammatical errors — and Grammarly even checks for plagiarism. Grammarly says it corrects over 250 types of grammatical mistakes. It also covers contextual spelling errors and poor vocabulary usage.

Meanwhile, no matter how fascinating these tools are, don’t put too much pressure on yourself about collecting them. The lack of the proper tools is not an excuse not to write. All you need to get started is a pen and notebook. You probably already have access to a computer. Remember that, ultimately, writing is about getting the words down. The tools we collect just make the process easier or more comfortable.

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