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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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                                          Alex Morris

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                                          Last Updated on July 8, 2020

                                          10 Smart Productivity Software to Boost Work Performance

                                          10 Smart Productivity Software to Boost Work Performance

                                          Productivity is the ability to perform tasks efficiently and in a timely manner. In today’s busy and competitive business world, productivity is paramount for any business, organization or corporation.

                                          Productivity is more than just performing tasks successfully. It is about investing and allocating resources, so the company or business can perform to meet its core goals.

                                          As part of 2019, it is important to commit to new goals. When shopping around for new productivity software keep in mind the following things: cost, reliability, cross-platform compatibility, on the go, technical support, etc.

                                          In the subsequent sections, we will examine the most recommended productivity software in the marketplace. In addition, we will look at what makes them tick and what separates them from the rest of the pack.

                                          Projects and Tasks Management

                                          1. Monday dot com

                                            Monday dot com was founded to create a team management solution so people connect to workplace processes across any industry. The productivity tool is used in more than 140 countries.

                                            The user interface is intuitive and impressive. It makes collaboration productive and fun because of its simplicity.

                                            The tool is deemed to have one of the best user experiences across the mobile and online project and task management platform.

                                            The product includes usability, customization, admin control, group management and control, private or public control, in-group messaging and more.

                                            Check out the software here!

                                            2. Asana

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                                              The mantra behind Asana’s product is to enable teams from across different organizations to work together effortlessly.

                                              The software comes with lots of customizations. When you create a project as a user, you can choose between a traditional task view and the kanban-style board view. The dashboard allows you to see the progress on a project, and it includes an excellent advanced set of search tools.

                                              Also, Asana’s Android and iOS apps do retain the web interface’s clean look and feel.

                                              Check out the software here!

                                              3. Trello

                                                Trello was founded in the summer of 2010 and two years later the platform added 500,000 members. Anyone within sales, marketing, HR and operations can collaborate successfully with this product.

                                                Moreover, the tool has over 100 plus integrations with Google Drive, Slack, Jira and others. The product works flawlessly across various platforms.

                                                Some of the well-known features includes is speed, easy-to-use, and set up. The interface includes due dates, assignments, file storage, checklists and more.

                                                Check out the software here!

                                                4. Jira

                                                  The Jira software is flexible and heralded as the next-generation project.

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                                                  The software allows teams to design and adapt the software to an organization’s needs. This includes having visibility into long term goals, project roadmaps, status of work, real-time release information and more. In addition, the interface is customizable.

                                                  The Atlassian Cloud does not support multiple separate domains, subdomains or domain aliases in Google Apps.

                                                  Check out the software here!

                                                  5. Evernote Business

                                                    Evernote was founded in 2008 and reached 11 million users by 2011. The company was founded on the premise that their product should address the ever-increasing volume and speed of information.

                                                    The product helps bring together groups of teams because of versatility and functionality. It creates documents, collaboration on projects, store information all a single location.

                                                    Moreover, you can find information quickly and includes effective search capabilities and integrations with existing tools you may already use.

                                                    Check out the software here!

                                                    Communication

                                                    6. Slack

                                                      Slack was founded in 2013 and the tool is heralded as a collaboration hub. Slack is where productivity happens. When you start a new project, hire new staff, deploy a code, review a sales contract, finalize on a budget, Slack covers all of these. Some of the major highlights include highly customizable notifications and seamless integrations with other collaboration and office tools. The free version of the software comes loaded with features, but does not archive old message. So, you have to review what are the best options for your organization or business.

                                                      Check out the software here!

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                                                      7. Spike

                                                        Newcomer Spike makes emails more conversational by helping teams maintain productivity, communication, and collaboration. All of these are achieved from within their inbox.

                                                        Spike works on top of any existing email (O365, G suite, and IMAP) turning it into a real-time messenger and making your communication much more functional and efficient.

                                                        Spike’s features include built-in groups and channels, voice and video calls, email encryption, instant access to all your files, and much more.

                                                        Check out the software here!

                                                        Creation

                                                        8. Office 365

                                                          Microsoft’s Office 365 could not be excluded from the conversation and especially as it pertains to productivity software.

                                                          Of course we are all familiar with Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Outlook. But there is more capabilities that come with it.

                                                          You have business-class email, online storage space, and teamwork solutions. These services can be accessed from just about anywhere.

                                                          Within this suite is Microsoft Sway, which is a presentation software and a step above PowerPoint.

                                                          Check out the software here!

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                                                          9. Grammarly

                                                            Grammarly helps to cut down time on editing. Professionals in several industries like law, healthcare, academia, marketing, engineering and journalism use it to provide instant feedback on the accuracy of writing in English.

                                                            Once you install the extension from Google Chrome, you can get corrections when you are drafting an email, using social media and other apps.

                                                            Grammarly is AI powered and it’s a wonderful tool to have to check spelling and grammar before a presentation.

                                                            Check out the software here!

                                                            Team Analytics

                                                            10. ActivTrak

                                                              ActivTrak is a business intelligence tool that allows you to access team behavior analytics. In other words, it is data-driven.

                                                              The pros include two-factor authentication with active directory integration. You can also automate your alerts and it has an intuitive interface with easy-to-use admin controls.

                                                              Furthermore, it comes with Google sign-in, iOS app, productivity track, and more. The bottomline is the product offers employee productivity metrics along with team behavior analytics.

                                                              Check out the software here!

                                                              The Bottom Line

                                                              Depending on the size, budget, resources, and immediate needs of your company, not all productivity software will exactly solve your problem. You will have to contact any of the providers above and probe extensively to find the right product that is made for your business.

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                                                              Featured photo credit: Domenico Loia via unsplash.com

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