50 Online Writing Tools to Improve Your Professional Skills

Beautiful student girl using phone in the library

Writing is not an easy thing—that’s what you’ve probably already figured out. From organizing your ideas to choosing the right online writing tools to technical details such as editing and proofreading, it quickly gets messy and starts looking hopeless.

Here’s the trick:

The Internet today can offer you plenty of tools to help with writing—from simple, accessible apps and websites helping with daily routines to comprehensive multi-purpose solutions used by professional writers.

Now, here is a list of 50 tools that will provide you with useful aid in:

  • Writing
  • Organization
  • Productivity
  • Editing and proofreading
  • Research tools
  • Inspiration

Improving your writing

  1. Microsoft Word
    Admit it: there is no way you can write a quality text without the right word processor. Microsoft Word, part of a Microsoft Office suite, offers you the most comprehensive collection of functions any writer can need—spell checking, visual tools, template use, and much more.
  1. LibreOffice
    One of Microsoft Office’s main competitors, LibreOffice is an open-source software with similar functions. Here’s the deal, however— it’s completely free! LibreOffice is here to help, whether you need a free writing app, a tool to create a presentation or just access to a spreadsheet document.
  1. Google Docs
    One of the best article writing software currently available. Has far fewer features and functions, but makes up with the lean and accessible interface and excellent online functionality. You can share your documents with friends for viewing or editing and access them from wherever you have the Internet connection.

Google Doc top 5 functions

  1. Microsoft Word Online
    An online alternative to its main office product, Word Online allows you to read, edit, format, and create documents compatible with Office Suite. As with the Google Docs, it has a minimal set of functions that will satisfy the basic needs of most professionals, amateurs, or students. It allows you to share the documents online, take part in collaborative work, and, most importantly, comes at no cost.
  1. LaTeX
    Whether you are dealing with a scientific publication or just writing a graph-rich text for your sociology class, you may eventually feel lost in making your paper look comprehensible. LaTeX is a free tool which improves the appearance of your work for you and allows you to focus on the content of your writing instead. The best part? It’s completely free.
  1. LyX
    An effective word processing tool combining the functionality of LaTeX with the impressive simplicity. Its streamlined interface will let you create slim-looking presentations with little effort.
  1. Scrivener
    A combination of a word processor and a tool for organizing the information, Scrivener is best suited for lengthy and large projects. If your project requires managing many documents, template usage, and outlining every stage of your work, this site offers you all this and more.

Journalist working on her blog

  1. ZenWriter
    Instead of concentrating on the functionality or simplicity of the material, ZenWriter offers a selection of means for you to feel comfortable during writing. It allows you to customize the sounds and music to accompany your work and create a background which would inspire you or set you in the right mood.
  1. OmmWriter
    This excellent software also focuses on the state of the writer as a key to successful writing. In addition to providing a simple interface which would not distract you from writing your paper, it also has a whole set of therapeutic sounds and imagery to invoke inspiration and focus.
  1. Final Draft
    An essential entry in this list of writing tools for anyone who is involved in professional screenwriting. It helps you organize your text by accepted standards and provides you with the clues and tips to develop your plot.
  1. Storyist
    One of the most popular tools authors use for writing fiction novels and scripts. In addition to formatting and organizing functionality, it allows you to easily track your key characters and storylines and offers hints about how to improve writing style.

Organizing your writing process effectively

  1. Feedly
    A content-management service which allows you to collect all the information needed for your research in one place. Feedly allows a decent level of security for private information storage and gives you the possibility to share selected content with partners.
  1. Evernote
    If you ever researched before writing a paper, you know how easy it is to get lost in all the little bits of information. Evernote allows you to avoid it by storing and sharing the notes taken in the process. The notes are indexed, easily searchable, and can be used on various gadgets.
  1. Event Countdown Lite
    Essentially a time-management software, Event Countdown tracks your deadlines and ensures that all your papers and exercises are completed and submitted in due time.
  1. Todoist
    Organizing your tasks is one of the most important strategies for successful writing. Todoist is a powerful planning tool with a minimalist approach to appearance and functioning that will ensure that no task is left behind.

Two people are looking at a schedule

  1. Trello
    One of the most versatile free online writing tools on our list, Trello focuses on eliminating obsolete and unnecessary information and prioritizes your writing tasks without cluttering.
  1. Todokyo
    Probably the most minimalist online app for creating and managing to-do lists without delving into menus and options. It may lack some of the functions offered by other programs, but it will be perfect if you prefer perfect simplicity in organizing your writing.
  1. yWriter
    A small yet functional tool that visually arranges your writing in chapters and allows you to intuitively restructure it as needed.
  1. Q10
    A collection of tools to help you organize and streamline your working process. Helps with tracking, managing a schedule, and saving your progress.

Boosting your productivity

  1. Cold Turkey
    A multi-system app that allows you to block web pages that distract you from work, track the time you spend not working, track applications getting in your way, and provide advice on your schedule.
  1. StayFocused
    An extension for your web browser which allows you to control the access to sites that distract you. You can configure it to block the web page completely, limit access to its functions, or set a time limit.
  1. LeechBlock
    Another browser extension to help you in creating an effective timetable. By configuring it properly you will ensure that your working hours are not wasted on leisurely browsing but, instead, spent to produce a quality paper.
  1. Readability
    A tiny app that improves the clarity and readability of the web pages you use in your research. Its functions include removing irrelevant parts, highlighting important points, and creating a more appealing look.
  1. Keybr.com
    Typing is among those effective writing skills which we rarely find the time to develop. Keybr.com is an online service to track your progress in typing and to supply you with valuable advice on what can be improved step by step. It also allows you to compete with other users for the best result, which greatly enhances your productivity.
  1. Habitica
    Ever wondered how to improve writing skills without boring yourself to death? Habitica helps you build useful habits and productive behavior by introducing you to the game-like world where you get rewarded and punished and, hopefully, become more effective in achieving your goals.

Someone is playing darts

  1. Tomato Timer
    A simple and attractive time management technique wrapped up for your convenience in a simple tool. The basic premise is to time 25-minute periods of work with 5-minute pauses in-between, with longer breaks every four cycles.
  1. Unstuck
    You may have encountered this problem before—you are writing a paper, and are suddenly stopped dead in your tracks, struggling to produce another word. Unstuck comes in overcoming this barrier and offering clues on how to get over the ridge.
  1. 750 Words
    An excellent way to develop professional writing skills by participating in a challenge of writing a 750-word text every day. The results can be made public to add a competitive factor.
  1. Write or Die
    In addition to rewards commonly offered by the similar software, this app also has a range of punishing functions, from unpleasant sounds to deleting random words.

Helping you to edit your work

  1. LanguageTool
    If you wonder how to improve written English grammar, this tool might just be the answer. Offered either as a plugin for your word processor or as a standalone application, LanguageTool has an impressive spelling and grammatical functionality. In addition, it offers several languages to choose from. But here’s the kicker: it is entirely free.
  1. Meriam Webster Online
    One of the most renowned and authoritative sources on the web, Meriam Webster Online offers you exhaustive information on separate words and phrases, including examples of usage, audio pronunciation, and lists of synonyms in English.
  1. The Free Dictionary
    The Free Dictionary, Meriam Webster’s main competitor, offers similar functionality and a list of unique features, with a variety of specialized dictionaries, such as legal, medical, and financial, being the most notable one.

people reading books on a couch

  1. Grammarly
    A relatively young service that has already garnered recognition of users worldwide. It has an impressive capacity for spotting errors. What’s more, Grammarly offers suggestions on improving the submitted paper and analyzes the context to find the mistakes overlooked by similar tools.
  1. Rhymezone
    An excellent tool for those of you who enter the world of poetry and wonder how to improve your writing in this field. Rhymezone can provide you with a list of rhymes for any word that you give it, accompanied with examples from famous authors and references to literature.
  1. Autocrit
    Used mainly by professional authors, Autocrit analyzes the text and provides writers with tips to improve writing skills. It is best suited for fiction but can also be adapted to work with other types of texts, including academic writing.
  1. ProWritingAid
    An online tool that can spot a number of popular writing errors, such as repetitive words and needlessly long sentences.

Assisting your research

  1. Google Scholar
    Google Scholar, the most widely known tool for finding academic works, offers the decent functionality of searching scholarly publications. Its additional features will allow you to generate references to the work in the most popular formats and provide an overview of the paper’s credibility by presenting the citation count for each paper.
  1. Data Elixir
    While not strictly a writing tool, Data Elixir offers an excellent opportunity to enhance your academic proficiency. It is essentially a newsletter which updates you with relevant news about the world of science.
  1. Scizzle
    A more streamlined take on the topic of scientific inquiry. Scizzle dismisses the traditional search mechanisms and instead updates you on the most relevant news in a given field.
  1. MyScienceWork
    The best way to improve your writing skills and grammar is to make your work visible to others. MyScienceWork is a resource where you can publish your papers, gain access to the work of others, engage in discussions, and raise your writing to a professional level.
  1. Lazy Scholar
    A simple browser extension with an impressive functionality, Lazy Scholar improves your writing by providing you with necessary data and metrics from reputable sources and generating references to use in your papers.

chart graph finance financial data

  1. Cite This for Me
    Cite This for Me is the most recognizable papers reference manager on the Web and has a large number of academic citation styles at its disposal, all of which are properly updated. It also offers data storage functionality and management of your reference list.
  1. Citation Machine
    Another powerful tool for referencing the sources you used in your paper. Being slightly less demanding for the hardware than Cite This for Me, it will suit those of you who experience technical problems with the latter.
  1. Ottobib
    A simple referencing tool. Convenient if you focus on books rather than journals.
  1. Purdue OWL
    A comprehensive and timely updated source for the situations where the functionality of automated tools does not suffice.

Inspiring your writing

  1. The Story Starter
    One of the best free writing programs thanks to its astonishing simplicity, the Story Starter generates a creative first line for you to set off your creativity.
  1. Imagination Prompt Generator
    A comprehensive database of intriguing ideas and provoking questions used to inspire your writing and boost the imagination.

a group of people is engaging in a creative process

  1. Creative Writing Solutions
    One of the tools writers use regardless of their level of experience. A compendium of useful advice on the everyday issues of writing.
  1. Bubbl.us
    A simple tool that assists you in creative ideas and helps document them in a clear and attractive way.
  1. Write 2 Lite
    A small app for those brimming with ideas. It allows you to store those fleeting ideas that have the best promise for development.

No problems with writing anymore

Writing is an essential skill in the modern world. Whether you conduct research, write an essay for your class, or just compose an email to a friend, the quality of the text defines your success. It is easy to be lost in a multitude of advice and lose track of your work in the process. No wonder most writers feel helpless when confronted with the task. Fortunately, a plethora of online writing tools can aid you in completing it.

What’s the bottom line? Writing has never been easier to master. You just need the right set of tools, and this list provides you with just that.

Alexandr Timofeev
Alexandr Timofeev

Alexander is an experienced blogger and copywriter. He has a Master’s degree in English and German translation. During his studying, Alex started writing short articles for his university’s newspaper. He enjoyed writing and decided to hone his skills in a personal blog. Later he became an editor in a local publishing house. In his free time, Alex usually plays video games. He’s also a fan of Deep Purple and Queen and likes watching Game of Thrones.

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