At a recent Q&A, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg was asked about his signature look: a plain, somewhat ill-fitting, grey T-shirt. His response? “I feel like I’m not doing my job if I spend any energy on things that are silly or frivolous.”
With more people creating content than ever, the quality of writing has often deteriorated. Luckily, I’m going to let you in on a secret. With the right tools, you can improve your writing, too. The first step is getting started. Here are five FREE writing apps that can help better your emails, blog posts, tweets and more.
I use the Hemingway writing app on a daily basis. Think of it as your automated English teacher. It points out simpler adjectives, uses of the passive voice and sentences that are hard to read. All you need to do is enter your selected text and, in return, you’ll receive a score on how ‘readable’ it is. There’s no magic number, but as a rule of thumb I aim for an 8.
Never put on a telephone voice when you write. If you wouldn’t feel comfortable saying it out loud, don’t put it down on paper. Dragon Dictation, a hands-free, automated transcriber, can help. You’ve spent your whole life learning how to communicate with that voice. Why change when communicating with text?
I know. Groan. But grammar does make a significant difference. Picture this sentence — yes, the one you’re reading right now — without any punctuation. Crazy, right? We’re all time-poor. Add the free Grammarly plug-in to your browser and let it do the hard work for you. You even get email updates on how many words, mistakes and improvements you’ve made each week. Genius.
The more you write, the more consistent you become, and the better a writer you’ll be. Yet a big part of actually sitting down and doing said writing is the environment. When I need to focus, I opt for one of my favourite writing apps: ZenPen. It’s aesthetically-pleasing and works wonders. Trust me, I wrote this post with its help.
Finding your vocabulary a little repetitive? Try VisuWords, a modern thesaurus that maps out words and their alternatives. Perfect for lateral thinkers, this graphical writing app moves beyond synonyms and finds other kinds of relational connections. What’s more, it helps discover new concepts and ideas in ways you can’t with traditional materials.
So, there you have it. Let’s go and make the internet a better place, one well-written sentence at a time.