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Useful Online Resources All Writers Should Know About

Useful Online Resources All Writers Should Know About

There is a simple explanation for the fact that some writers claim to have never used modern writing tools: they are lying! With all those awesome technological inventions that make a writer’s work easier and more productive, it would be madness to remain stuck to the conventional typewriter.

If you don’t try out some of the most effective writing tools available today, you’ll never know how fast and constructive you can really be. Below you’ll find a list of some very cool tools that every contemporary writer should experiment with.

1. Writers Net

Writersnet

    Becoming part of a forum where writers gather to communicate and discuss each other’s work can be a turning point in your career. Don’t get overwhelmed by the critique though; all writers get a bit harsh when assessing another author’s work.

    2. NanoWriMo

    Nanowrimo

      This tool will help you track the progress you make and get you great support from the community of writers. If you want to meet fellow writers online or even in person, this is the right website to help you make contact.

      3. Ninja Essays

      Essay writer

        Ninja Essays’ blog provides easy-to-use advice on academic writing. Essay writers can also hire an expert to make sure that their story is supported by strong facts, and get their content edited by a professional editor for a surprisingly affordable price.

        4. OmniOutliner

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        Omni

          OmniOutliner provides all the features you need in order to start constructing a novel and get it written faster than you expected. You can use the tool for writing, as well as structuring information and creating a focused frame that will preserve the logical flow of your story.

          5. WritingHouse

          Citation generator

            This is the easiest way to implement a proper referencing style (be it APA, MLA, Chicago or Harvard) without having to learn the distracting details and rules required for writing them. All you need to do is choose a style and type of document, fill in the form, click ‘add,’ and download your properly formatted document.

            6. Nisus Writer (Pro)

            Nisus

              This tool holds a prestigious reputation within the writing community. Although it looks similar to the conventional MS Word on first sight, it provides a much prettier design and awesome features that make it one of the greatest word processors you could possibly use.

              7. PageFour

              PF

                This is another choice for creative writers and novelists who are looking for a simplistic interface that doesn’t complicate things with any unnecessary options, but still provides everything they could possibly need. PageFour provides outlining and processing features that will make the creation of your work easier.

                8. Daily Writing Tips

                DWT

                  Daily Writing Tips provides easy-to-use advice on writing, grammar, correct word usage and etymology. The archives and comments sections are great resources too.

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                  9. NewNovelist

                  NN

                    With the help of this writing software, you can take notes of your inspirational ideas whenever they hit you. There is no need to interrupt the process of writing in order to elaborate on a new idea and record it with another tool; NewNovelist will help you take notes within the same outline and make your writing smarter and faster.

                    10. BookBaby

                    BB

                      If you want to find a way to publish your books without much hassle and a huge investment, then you will love BookBaby – the eBook publishing and distribution website that enables you to get your eBooks to many readers and get paid for it. The service doesn’t take any percentage; you keep 100% of the payments.

                      11. WriteRoom

                      WR

                        Distractions are really bad for your daily goals and plans. If you are wondering what you have been doing with all that time without getting any pages completed, then WriteRoom is an essential tool for you. It will enable you to write in a distraction-free environment with simplicity that inspires your brain to stay absorbed by the current task.

                        12. Jer’s Novel Writer

                        Jer

                          This is one of the coolest writing programs available for Mac users. You can use margin notes to annotate text, and keep notes on the entire text in order to prevent your ideas from evaporating and add character information whenever a new concept hits you.

                          13. Padlet

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                          Padlet

                            You may have heard about this website under the name Wallwisher, but it changed its name recently after it underwent a makeover. This website is a virtual board that allows you to stick notes and easily share them with other users. The moderation and privacy settings enable students to become members of their teacher’s board, and have access to important updates about their schoolwork.

                            14. Celly

                            Celly

                              When it comes to posting quick thoughts, questions and comments, there isn’t a tool more effective than Celly. Its concept is similar to Twitter, but the updates are shared with a private group of people (a cell).

                              15. Pinterest

                              Pinterest

                                This is a great tool for writers – you can use it to pin ideas, favorite books, blogs, great websites, or anything else that interests you, and share it with the entire world. The best thing about Pinterest is that it doesn’t oblige its users to follow everything someone pins, so the writers can stay updated with content that truly interests them. The visual nature of Pinterest is a great way of making the writing process more effective.

                                16. TutorsClass

                                TutorsClass

                                  TutorsClass is a great way for writers to reach out to a greater number of readers and earn a rewarding payment during the process.

                                  17. Infogr.am

                                  Info

                                    If you are a blog writer Infogr.am is for you! This tool offers various templates that provide a quick way for writers to represent their information visually.

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                                    18. Easel.ly

                                    Ease

                                      This tool provides themes that blog writers can drag onto bank canvases and get an easy start to add, edit, and size icons to represent their information visually. The tool doesn’t require advanced computer knowledge, so anyone with basic tech skills can use it.

                                      19. Delivr

                                      delivr

                                        Share your links to your books with Delivr! This tool enables its users to create QR codes, which can be easily scanned by a mobile device and trigger a website or an image.

                                        20. Wiggio

                                        wig

                                          This tool is the easiest free way for writers to work in groups. There is a reason why over 100,000 groups are using Wiggio for different purposes: it offers a great deal of tools with no age restrictions (provided there is permission by a parent for young students).

                                          Get ready to explore a new world of opportunities

                                          As a creative writer, how could you not appreciate the new inventions that are meant to make your job easier? There are many tools, websites, and resources that turn you into a better, faster writer. You will fall in love with your profession all over again as soon as you start exploring the tools listed above.

                                          Featured photo credit: Jay via flickr.com

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                                          Last Updated on September 16, 2019

                                          How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

                                          How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

                                          You have a deadline looming. However, instead of doing your work, you are fiddling with miscellaneous things like checking email, social media, watching videos, surfing blogs and forums. You know you should be working, but you just don’t feel like doing anything.

                                          We are all familiar with the procrastination phenomenon. When we procrastinate, we squander away our free time and put off important tasks we should be doing them till it’s too late. And when it is indeed too late, we panic and wish we got started earlier.

                                          The chronic procrastinators I know have spent years of their life looped in this cycle. Delaying, putting off things, slacking, hiding from work, facing work only when it’s unavoidable, then repeating this loop all over again. It’s a bad habit that eats us away and prevents us from achieving greater results in life.

                                          Don’t let procrastination take over your life. Here, I will share my personal steps on how to stop procrastinating. These 11 steps will definitely apply to you too:

                                          1. Break Your Work into Little Steps

                                          Part of the reason why we procrastinate is because subconsciously, we find the work too overwhelming for us. Break it down into little parts, then focus on one part at the time. If you still procrastinate on the task after breaking it down, then break it down even further. Soon, your task will be so simple that you will be thinking “gee, this is so simple that I might as well just do it now!”.

                                          For example, I’m currently writing a new book (on How to achieve anything in life). Book writing at its full scale is an enormous project and can be overwhelming. However, when I break it down into phases such as –

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                                          • (1) Research
                                          • (2) Deciding the topic
                                          • (3) Creating the outline
                                          • (4) Drafting the content
                                          • (5) Writing Chapters #1 to #10,
                                          • (6) Revision
                                          • (7) etc.

                                          Suddenly it seems very manageable. What I do then is to focus on the immediate phase and get it done to my best ability, without thinking about the other phases. When it’s done, I move on to the next.

                                          2. Change Your Environment

                                          Different environments have different impact on our productivity. Look at your work desk and your room. Do they make you want to work or do they make you want to snuggle and sleep? If it’s the latter, you should look into changing your workspace.

                                          One thing to note is that an environment that makes us feel inspired before may lose its effect after a period of time. If that’s the case, then it’s time to change things around. Refer to Steps #2 and #3 of 13 Strategies To Jumpstart Your Productivity, which talks about revamping your environment and workspace.

                                          3. Create a Detailed Timeline with Specific Deadlines

                                          Having just 1 deadline for your work is like an invitation to procrastinate. That’s because we get the impression that we have time and keep pushing everything back, until it’s too late.

                                          Break down your project (see tip #1), then create an overall timeline with specific deadlines for each small task. This way, you know you have to finish each task by a certain date. Your timelines must be robust, too – i.e. if you don’t finish this by today, it’s going to jeopardize everything else you have planned after that. This way it creates the urgency to act.

                                          My goals are broken down into monthly, weekly, right down to the daily task lists, and the list is a call to action that I must accomplish this by the specified date, else my goals will be put off.

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                                          Here’re more tips on setting deadlines: 22 Tips for Effective Deadlines

                                          4. Eliminate Your Procrastination Pit-Stops

                                          If you are procrastinating a little too much, maybe that’s because you make it easy to procrastinate.

                                          Identify your browser bookmarks that take up a lot of your time and shift them into a separate folder that is less accessible. Disable the automatic notification option in your email client. Get rid of the distractions around you.

                                          I know some people will out of the way and delete or deactivate their facebook accounts. I think it’s a little drastic and extreme as addressing procrastination is more about being conscious of our actions than counteracting via self-binding methods, but if you feel that’s what’s needed, go for it.

                                          5. Hang out with People Who Inspire You to Take Action

                                          I’m pretty sure if you spend just 10 minutes talking to Steve Jobs or Bill Gates, you’ll be more inspired to act than if you spent the 10 minutes doing nothing. The people we are with influence our behaviors. Of course spending time with Steve Jobs or Bill Gates every day is probably not a feasible method, but the principle applies — The Hidden Power of Every Single Person Around You

                                          Identify the people, friends or colleagues who trigger you – most likely the go-getters and hard workers – and hang out with them more often. Soon you will inculcate their drive and spirit too.

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                                          As a personal development blogger, I “hang out” with inspiring personal development experts by reading their blogs and corresponding with them regularly via email and social media. It’s communication via new media and it works all the same.

                                          6. Get a Buddy

                                          Having a companion makes the whole process much more fun. Ideally, your buddy should be someone who has his/her own set of goals. Both of you will hold each other accountable to your goals and plans. While it’s not necessary for both of you to have the same goals, it’ll be even better if that’s the case, so you can learn from each other.

                                          I have a good friend whom I talk to regularly, and we always ask each other about our goals and progress in achieving those goals. Needless to say, it spurs us to keep taking action.

                                          7. Tell Others About Your Goals

                                          This serves the same function as #6, on a larger scale. Tell all your friends, colleagues, acquaintances and family about your projects. Now whenever you see them, they are bound to ask you about your status on those projects.

                                          For example, sometimes I announce my projects on The Personal Excellence Blog, Twitter and Facebook, and my readers will ask me about them on an ongoing basis. It’s a great way to keep myself accountable to my plans.

                                          8. Seek out Someone Who Has Already Achieved the Outcome

                                          What is it you want to accomplish here, and who are the people who have accomplished this already? Go seek them out and connect with them. Seeing living proof that your goals are very well achievable if you take action is one of the best triggers for action.

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                                          9. Re-Clarify Your Goals

                                          If you have been procrastinating for an extended period of time, it might reflect a misalignment between what you want and what you are currently doing. Often times, we outgrow our goals as we discover more about ourselves, but we don’t change our goals to reflect that.

                                          Get away from your work (a short vacation will be good, else just a weekend break or staycation will do too) and take some time to regroup yourself. What exactly do you want to achieve? What should you do to get there? What are the steps to take? Does your current work align with that? If not, what can you do about it?

                                          10. Stop Over-Complicating Things

                                          Are you waiting for a perfect time to do this? That maybe now is not the best time because of X, Y, Z reasons? Ditch that thought because there’s never a perfect time. If you keep waiting for one, you are never going to accomplish anything.

                                          Perfectionism is one of the biggest reasons for procrastination. Read more about why perfectionist tendencies can be a bane than a boon: Why Being A Perfectionist May Not Be So Perfect.

                                          11. Get a Grip and Just Do It

                                          At the end, it boils down to taking action. You can do all the strategizing, planning and hypothesizing, but if you don’t take action, nothing’s going to happen. Occasionally, I get readers and clients who keep complaining about their situations but they still refuse to take action at the end of the day.

                                          Reality check:

                                          I have never heard anyone procrastinate their way to success before and I doubt it’s going to change in the near future.  Whatever it is you are procrastinating on, if you want to get it done, you need to get a grip on yourself and do it.

                                          More About Procrastination

                                          Featured photo credit: Malvestida Magazine via unsplash.com

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