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20 Inspirational Apps and Online Resources For Writers

20 Inspirational Apps and Online Resources For Writers

Inspiration is vital for writers and, thankfully, these days you can find it in abundance, especially following a little help from technology. A huge variety of mobile apps exist simply to support the busy wordsmith, with all manner of tools available for assistance with writing, editing, drafting, plotting, note-taking, and researching. This is matched by the vast expanse of information available on the internet, some of which has been created to assist writers through detailed online resources. It’s a very privileged position compared to the quills, pencils, and constant library visits of yesteryear, so to celebrate here are 20 of the very best inspirational sources to help you craft the perfect piece of writing.

Inspirational Apps

The mobile phone/computer devices which aim to make your life more fun and stress free rarely let you down. The following 10 apps should prove to be highly useful in any writer’s collection of inspiration tools.

1. Pages

pages ipad

    Apple’s Pages is a powerful word processing app designed for the iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch. It combines with iCloud storage so you can write, view, and edit your documents across all devices. Along with writing straightforward text documents there is a choice of 16 templates for drafting letters, reports, and designing flyers, cards, and posters.

    Documents created in Pages can be shared with your readers, clients, and publishers by exporting as Pages, Microsoft Word, or PDF files.

    2. Clean Writer

    clear writing

      This one’s aimed at the iPad and designed with a compact, minimalist aesthetic so you can focus on creating texts free from distractions. In full screen mode you are presented with no status bar and no file name – just your clear clutter-free text as if you are writing on a blank sheet of paper. Clean Writer indeed!

      3. Write

      write

        Write is a text editor app designed for Android tablet devices. This app is not aimed at word processing; instead it is a text editor for note taking and journal writing. The texts you create within Write can be exported as HTML for editing in other applications (such as Word), or the texts can be easily exported to email, or uploaded onto blogs and WordPress websites. In this way the app is perfect for recording your thoughts on the go and using them in later drafts of your writing.

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        4. Advanced English Dictionary and Thesaurus

        Advanced English Dictionary and Thesaurus

          The Advanced English Dictionary and Thesaurus emerged from research conducted at the Cognitive Science Laboratory at Princeton University, New Jersey, USA. The comprehensive lexicon contains 140,000 entries, 1.4 million words, and an innovative format providing dictionary definitions. It also demonstrates how words link together, presents synonyms, antonyms, and examples to illustrate word usage. This approach means you can find the meanings of words, discover alternatives, and learn how different words relate to each other.

          5. Evernote

          evernote

            Here we have a note-taking and archiving app perfect for writers to record research notes, thoughts, pieces of text, photos, web pages, scans, and audio. Evernote works across a variety of devices and operating systems so you can record drafts of texts in note form before re-editing in a word processing application. Among the many great features of Evernote is the ability to archive your notes and search for them, so that all-important thought can be found and worked on later.

            6. Chapters

            Chapters

              Chapters is another useful note-taking app which allows you to have multiple virtual notebooks. This means you separate your projects into individual books and chapters, which is perfect for collecting information and notes for your writing work; you can also add photos, make notes searchable, plus it’s easy to back-up your notes and export them as a PDF for editing elsewhere.

              7. Chronicle

              chronicle

                A note-taking app similar to Chapters, but aimed more at keeping an ongoing diary in a simple and accessible journal format. The compact design for Chronicle means that you can write on your iPad without distraction and indulge in the creative process of writing. Your journal entries are searchable and can easily be exported to a website or word processor application.

                8. iA Writer

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                iA writer

                  Information Architects present iA Writer, a minimalist writing app designed to “bring back the pleasure of writing” to iPads and iPhones. The interface features a mono-spaced font against a grey background and no settings or preferences menu. While some may complain the lack of settings means the app can’t be personalised, this is actually one of the key features of the app’s concept – the focus is purely on writing.

                  iA Writer syncs betweens iPhone, iPad, Mac and iCloud storage so you can access and export your writing from multiple devices and locations.

                  9. My Writing Spot

                  My Writing Spot

                    Clearly this app is aimed at providing a distraction-free writing environment for novelists and freelance writers. Originally it was a popular piece of software on the iPhone and iPod, but now My Writing Spot has now undergone a complete redesign for writing on the iPad. Handily it twins up with a free online account so your text can be synced and stored with password protection.

                    10. Urban Dictionary

                    urban dictionary

                      Urban Dictionary rounds off this selection of apps! It’s the official app version of the popular website which provides definitions, descriptions, and examples of slang and cultural words from the modern lexicon. It’s a fantastic way to discover just what exactly BTW, FYI, NSFW, YOLO, LOL, and many more all mean.

                      Online Resources

                      The internet has changed the world over the last decade, and largely for the good! The 10 websites listed below are a mixture of the finest online databases and resources, all of which can help your writing reach new levels.

                      11. The Free Dictionary

                      free dictionary

                        Dictionaries, thesauruses, and encyclopaedia in their paper form have been essential tools for writers for centuries, but now it is possible to have an enormous wealth of language and information resources at your finger tips with The Free Dictionary. The website’s comprehensive dictionary is presented in English, Arabic, Chinese, Dutch, French, German, Greek,  Italian, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, and Turkish, along with medical, legal, and financial dictionaries. To add to this there’s also an extensive list of abbreviations and idioms, encyclopaedia, a literature reference library, a search engine tool, and access to Wikipedia. In addition to this fountain of knowledge, The Free Dictionary also presents words, articles, and quotations of the day along with word-related games such as Hangman and a spelling bee!

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                        12. The Guardian Style Guide

                        guardian style

                          The Guardian Style Guide is used by journalists who write for The Guardian, The Observer, and at guardian.co.uk. If you’re unaware of those media outlets, The Guardian is a leading broadsheet newspaper in England. This site is a great tool for any writer who wants to learn and understand the rules of grammar and correct use of words, phrases, and acronyms. The guide is compiled into a regularly revised book, but a selection of some of its most useful entries are also available online. It’s also a fun read as The Guardian‘s journalist are well known for their witty and interesting articles, and it’s as well researched as you’d expect from top reporters.

                          13. Daily Writing Tips

                          Daily writing tips

                            Daily Writing Tips provides a daily dose of advice on grammar, vocabulary, and spelling. The blog is particularly helpful for freelance writers working in digital and business contexts with guidance on crafting clear, intelligible writing, along with tips on topics such as captions and writing for specific audiences.

                            14. Oxford Dictionaries’ Better Writing

                            oxford_dictionary_betterwriting

                              Oxford Dictionaries are referred to as “the world’s most trusted dictionaries,” and they’re represented online with an extremely useful website providing complete dictionary definitions, along with a variety of other helpful resources, including the guide to Better Writing.

                              15. Grammar Girl

                              grammar girl

                                Grammar Guru Mignon Fogarty presents her award-winning writing website Grammar Girl which is full of “quick and dirty” tips on achieving better writing. The site is full of useful advice on grammar, word usage, spelling, punctuation  and style guides. Grammar Girl is friendly and irreverent, strong on modern writing contexts, and users can subscribe to a newsletter and submit grammar and language-related questions.

                                16. Copyblogger

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                                Copyblogger

                                  This is a web-based educational resource designed to teach copywriters how to produce superior online texts for content marketing, avoid writing webpage filler, and instead create valuable, attention-grabbing content. Copyblogger provides a regularly updated collection of articles about writing great content, a free 20-part internet marketing course, and an ongoing e-mail newsletter provided free of charge to subscribers.

                                  17. Google Drive

                                  gdrive

                                    Google Drive, formerly known as Google Docs, can be a very beneficial tool. Firstly, as many people work across multiple devices – from desktops and laptops to tablets and smartphones, and in multiple locations – Google Drive allows you to access and edit your writing wherever you are and whichever device you are working on.

                                    Secondly, Google Drive allows you to share your writing across the internet. This provides a method for presenting drafts and finished pieces to clients and publishers and also allows multiple users to access, edit and contribute to documents. This has a great deal of potential for collaborative writing projects, with two or more writers bouncing ideas off each other, sharing their thoughts, and collectively editing and refining texts.

                                    18. Basecamp

                                    Basecamp

                                      This is a rather excellent online project management app with the potential for collaborative writing. Multiple users can write together, collaborate, and edit documents, brainstorm ideas, write press releases, contribute to blog posts and company newsletters, and write collectively on practically any type of writing. Basecamp‘s a very handy business writing tool, then.

                                      19. The Well Fed Writer Blog

                                      The Well Fed Writer blog

                                        Peter Bowerman is a veteran commercial writer and author of books explaining how to succeed as a freelance writer. His website contains numerous resources related to surviving and thriving as a commercial writer including his Well Fed Writer blog, which presents an ongoing series of thought-provoking articles that explore the life, trials and benefits of working for yourself as a freelance writer.

                                        20. Goodreads

                                        goodread

                                          And finally we have Goodreads, the site being a tremendous way to share recommendations and reviews of books and authors you love. You can discuss literature and promote ideas whilst connecting with like-minded people. Of course, one of the best ways to improve your writing is to read lots of good literature, so with recommendations from fellow writers you’re onto a real winner here.

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                                          40 Top Productivity Apps for iPhone (2018 Updated)

                                          40 Top Productivity Apps for iPhone (2018 Updated)

                                          Over the years here at Lifehack, we’ve discussed plenty of apps that you can use to improve your overall productivity.

                                          There are certain ones that many of our contributors and editors (past and present) have adopted over the long-term — there are always the stalwarts that stick around. But there are also new apps that crop up every day, adding more and more depth to the app category.

                                          Some of the apps are incredibly plain and simple, while others are more robust and offer more features than you can shake a stick at. And everyone has the one they prefer.

                                          It’s been our job (and still is our job) to keep abreast of all of the productivity-type apps out there. As a result — and as a bit of a refresher — we’ve put together a list of 40 best productivity apps for iPhone to provide you with an all-in-one resource for you.

                                          Productivity apps to help you get things done

                                          1. OmniFocus

                                          This app is, while pricey, considered to be one of the (if not the) most robust and full-featured productivity apps on the market.

                                          Download it here.

                                            2. Forest

                                            Train yourself to put your phone down and stay focused on the task at hand by playing with this planting game. It’s fun and will help you achieve more.

                                            Download it here.

                                              3. Things

                                              Another robust choice, this app is a favorite amongst “productivityists”.[1]

                                              Download it here.

                                                4. 30/30

                                                Recently covered here at Lifehack

                                                , 30/30 is a newcomer to the game that incorporates lists and timing of tasks into an elegant and easy-to-use interface.

                                                Download it here.

                                                  5. Any.Do

                                                  A beautiful-looking app that is both easy on the eyes and your wallet.

                                                  Download it here.

                                                    6. PocketLife Calendar

                                                    This calendar app is specifically designed to be stylish and super easy-to-use. You can organize your life easily with different modern features.

                                                    Download it here.

                                                      7. Asana

                                                      We’ve covered Asana here at Lifehack

                                                      , and it is being actively developed by a strong team committed to making collaborative task management a more efficient and effective experience.

                                                      Download it here.

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                                                        8. ToDoist

                                                        This app keeps track of everything – from simple errands to your most important projects – so you can get it all done and enjoy more peace of mind along the way.

                                                        Download it here.

                                                          9. FlowTasks

                                                          From the folks at MetaLab, Flow is a gorgeous collaborative task management app that is easy-to-use and incredibly functional.

                                                          Download it here.

                                                            10. Calendars 5

                                                            This calendar app focuses on events that help you to keep track of upcoming events and tasks easily. It has everything you need to organize, track and complete your to-dos.

                                                            Download it here.

                                                              11. Clear – Tasks, Reminders & To-Do Lists

                                                              A fun and innovative list-making app that relies on swiping and pinching to make things happen. Clear created a lot of buzz when it launched, and might be the perfect to-do list gateway app for many.

                                                              Download it here.

                                                                12. Due

                                                                A robust reminders app that lets you store and maintain reminders of all types. It’s replaced Reminders for me when it comes to the basics, and it’s worth a look if you want to keep the mundane stuff out of your head and cluttering your mind.

                                                                Download it here.

                                                                  13. Checkmark 2

                                                                  I use this app

                                                                  for location-based reminders (such as groceries I need to get or single items I need to pick up from various locations). Checkmark is simple to use and a valuable addition to my productivity arsenal.

                                                                  Download it here.

                                                                    14. TeuxDeux

                                                                    Created by Tina Roth Eisenberg and Fictive Kin — Teux Deux is simple and incredibly stellar in terms of design. If you like lists (including the popular “Someday Bucket”) and want to associate dates with tasks, then Teux Deux will be right up your alley.

                                                                    Download it here.

                                                                      15. Wunderlist 

                                                                      Another incredibly popular choice is Wunderlist. Part of 6Wunderkinder’s software family, it sports a gorgeous design and is incredibly functional. We’ve talked about the app a couple of times here at Lifehack, so check those posts out here.

                                                                      Download it here.

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                                                                        16. Nirvana

                                                                        For the GTD enthusiasts, there’s Nirvana. Straight from the source: “Nirvana frees your mind to focus on actually getting things done. If you’ve had enough of generic to-do lists, it’s time for Nirvana.”

                                                                        Download it here.

                                                                          17. Priorities

                                                                          An elegant-looking task management app that has received decent reviews,[2] this could be the one for you if you’re not a fan of OmniFocus or Things — especially if you need (or want) to share tasks with others.

                                                                          Download it here.

                                                                            Productivity apps that help you build habits

                                                                            18. Productive

                                                                            With this app, you can plan your habits with an easy-to-use interface, schedule habits for any time of the day, set smart reminders for each time of the day and stay on track with useful feedback. This app is perfect for anyone who wants to build a habit that sticks.

                                                                            Download it here.

                                                                              19. Habitica: Gamified Taskmanager

                                                                              You can complete tasks and build habits in a more fun way with this app. Input your Habits, your Daily goals, and your To-Do list, and then create a custom avatar. Check off tasks to level up your avatar and unlock features such as armor, pets, skills, and even quests.

                                                                              Download it here.

                                                                                20. Streaks

                                                                                This app follows the model of the popular “don’t break the chain method” in that you use the app to track how you are donig in the pursuit of your goal. Great for goal-setting — and an easy and elegant interface to boot.

                                                                                Download it here.

                                                                                  21. Remember The Milk

                                                                                  Another popular to-do list app, Remember The Milk has a huge following. It has plenty to offer, including the ability to share tasks with others.

                                                                                  Download it here.

                                                                                    22. Day One Journal

                                                                                    When it comes to journaling, nothing really beats Day One. Its latest update added a slew of features that will make you want to start making journaling a habit.

                                                                                    Download it here.

                                                                                      Productivity apps that makes organization easy

                                                                                      23. Evernote

                                                                                      Touted as the world’s most widely-used productivity app, Evernote an be used simply as a notetaking app or can be customized to be your GTD app of choice — among other things.

                                                                                      Download it here.

                                                                                        24. Pocket

                                                                                        You can save an article, video or link you want to read or watch later to Pocket from anywhere including your computer, Safari, email, and your favorite apps like Facebook, Twitter, Flipboard, and Feedly.

                                                                                        Download it here.

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                                                                                          25. Sync.Me

                                                                                          This app identifies unknown phone calls, warns you from annoying spam calls, and adds a caller picture to your contacts from Facebook, Twitter and Google+.

                                                                                          Download it here.

                                                                                            26. Droplr

                                                                                            One of the most popular file-sharing apps out there today. Straight from the source: “Stay productive on the go. Droplr for iPhone keeps you in sync and makes sharing on the iPhone natural.”

                                                                                            Download it here.

                                                                                              27. Dropbox

                                                                                              Before iCloud, there was Dropbox. And there still is Dropbox, which is still widely used by both Mac and PC users all over the globe. It’s like having a flash drive in your iPhone. A must-have.

                                                                                              Download it here.

                                                                                                28. iDolly 

                                                                                                In conjunction with Dolly Drive and DollySync, iDolly allows you to edit and share your documents from your iPhone.

                                                                                                Since all your changes sync automatically to all your devices, the current version of a document will always be accessible because Dolly Sync keeps everything in sync. Very handy.

                                                                                                Download it here.

                                                                                                  29. Soulver

                                                                                                  It may seem odd that a calculator app shows up on this list, but this is no ordinary calendar app. Ben Brooks over at The Brooks review describes Soulver as follows: “It is what calculators would have been if they were invented at the same time computers were, instead of what we have with most calculator apps.” [3]

                                                                                                  Download it here.

                                                                                                    Productivity apps that help you work smart

                                                                                                    30. Captio

                                                                                                    A simple capture tool. Straight from the developers: “It’s simple. Open Captio and start typing. When you’re done, hit Send. The note is immediately delivered to your email inbox.”

                                                                                                    Download it here.

                                                                                                      31. Drafts

                                                                                                      A tremendous capture tool that allows for simple capture, followed by sending items to various applications such as OmniFocus, Things and more.

                                                                                                      Download it here.

                                                                                                        32. NoteShelf 2

                                                                                                        This is a perfect note-taking app for you. You can take beautiful handwritten notes, type, annotate PDFs, record audio & create lists. You can organize them into categories or groups.

                                                                                                        Download it here.

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                                                                                                          33. Doodle

                                                                                                          This app links directly with the Doodle service, which is one that allows you to plan and organize meetings far more efficiently and effectively. Lifehack contributor Steve Dotto has written about Doodle more in-depth here.

                                                                                                          Download it here.

                                                                                                            34. TextExpander (Legacy)

                                                                                                            I have saved countless hours of time with TextExpander, and despite its inability to be as robust on iOS as it is on the Mac, it is still a worthy app to have in your arsenal.

                                                                                                            Download it here.

                                                                                                              35. Launch Center Pro

                                                                                                              A quick launcher for the iPhone that doesn’t just launch an app…with some of them it can do much more. This app saves you time by launching complex actions in a single tap.

                                                                                                              Download it here.

                                                                                                                36. GoodReader

                                                                                                                This may seem to be an odd one to make this list, but here are plenty of reasons why it is here with this article.

                                                                                                                Download it here.

                                                                                                                  37. LogMeIn

                                                                                                                  Want to be able to control your Mac from wherever you are? Then get this app.

                                                                                                                  Download it here.

                                                                                                                    Productivity apps that improve security

                                                                                                                    38. 1Password

                                                                                                                    There is simply no better password manager out there. I’ve even put together a 1Password Emergency Kit worth looking at here.

                                                                                                                    Download it here.

                                                                                                                      39. LastPass Password Manager

                                                                                                                      You can store passwords and logins, create online shopping profiles, generate strong passwords, track personal information in photo and audio notes.

                                                                                                                      All you have to do is remember your LastPass master password, and LastPass autofills web browser and app logins for you.

                                                                                                                      Download it here.

                                                                                                                        40. Truecallers

                                                                                                                        Identify and block spammers, search for unknown numbers and call friends easily with this app. With a community-based spam list from over 250 million users, you’ll need this app.

                                                                                                                        Download it here.

                                                                                                                          There are plenty of other options out there (and we’ve heard from readers in the past as to what they enjoyed using), but these 40 are among the best.

                                                                                                                          Reference

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