If you’ve been writing and self-publishing for any length of time at all, you’re sure to know about the massive array of products and services vying for your attention as well as your wallet.
It can be tiring to face the bombardment of promotional emails and ads trying to sell you the latest shiny object in the world of writing.
This promotional onslaught can cause some writers to shut down and reject each and every tool out of hand as a scam or something not needed. While understandable, this is mistaken.
Amidst the noise, there exists a range of tools which offer incredible value and utility for writers. The best thing about them? They cost absolutely nothing.
If you agree that the best price is free, read on to discover three awesome writing tools which won’t cost you a penny.
Probably the best known of the three tools on this list, Google Drive is an incredible resource. As well as offering an easy to use cloud storage system, with a generous 15GB of storage space, Drive also consists of a full range of functional tools. Google Docs is a fully fledged word processor app which makes collaboration and editing in the cloud a breeze. The other apps, such as Google Sheets for spreadsheets, are less obviously useful for writers, but serve a range of important functions such as gathering and organizing research.
Key Uses and Benefits
Google Drive can be used for almost anything and everything related to your writing. However, over years of use, I’ve found some of the most useful features from a writer’s perspective to be –
- Easy to collaborate with others such as editors, co-authors and proofreaders
- No risk of losing your work as everything is backed up by Google
- Easy integration with Gmail and other apps like Slack and Trello for project management
Thanks to the generous storage offered by Google Drive, you can also use it to store any media or research related to your writing project. This allows you to avoid clogging up your Hard Drive. It’s also super easy to organize all of your research and writing on Drive, with easy color coding and other similar functions.
If you’ve ever lost your work, had a frustrating experience collaborating, or failed to easily locate your writing files, I think Google Drive is a solution you’ll love.
Ywriter is a very specialist tool which most computer users will never encounter.
It’s a specialist writing app which has been created by a novelist with fellow writers in mind. As well as offering the full range of usual writing capabilities, it offers special organizational and structural options which are intended just for novelists.
If you use a standard writing tool, such as Word or Google Docs, for a longer writing project, you probably already know it isn’t exactly ideal for structuring your work, rearranging scenes or chapters, or the other things needed to create novels and full length books. That’s where Ywriter steps in. Ywriter is arguably the best free book writing software on the market.
Key Uses and Benefits
Some of the most useful features found in Ywriter that aren’t apparent in basic writing apps include –
- Allows you to break your work down into chapters, and then further into scenes
- Option to store specific data within the app for characters, locations, items, and other information which would otherwise have to be saved in a separate file
- Has a nice layout which is easy to understand and use
If you’ve ever found it frustrating to keep track of and organize all of the material needed for your books, Ywriter could be the answer to your prayers.
Perhaps the best reason to try Ywriter is the fact a novelist created it. This is far better than some anonymous programmer who has never written a book. The creator of Ywriter knows the pain points and frustrations of writers and has offered a solution to them.
One of the key differences between high and low quality writing is the level of editing carried out.
Sadly, many promising writers overlook editing, wrongly assuming it isn’t needed if they have rewritten their own work. Other writers would love to have their work edited by a pro but can’t justify the cost.
Hemingway is a great free solution which allows you to tighten up your own work and make it read a lot better without having to spend any money in the process.
Key Uses and Benefits
Some of the coolest things about using Hemingway are –
- The color coded way Hemingway works makes it super easy to spot your errors
- Hemingway is fully automated so it will pick up writing quirks you probably won’t spot with your own eyes
- By using Hemingway over time, you will gain an understanding of your strengths and weaknesses as a writer, and the type of errors you tend to make
I’m in no way saying that Hemingway is a substitute for a pro editor.
However, if you want to have clearer writing without spending money, Hemingway is the way to go.
Free Writing Tools Recap
Hopefully you’re now a believer in the concept of worthwhile writing tools existing which won’t cost you a thing.
In summary, I’d suggest using…
- Google Drive for easy storage and cloud collaboration
- Ywriter for free and easy novel organization
- Hemingway to improve the quality and readability of your work
If you know any other free tools worth using, please feel free to let me know!