There are days when even the best writers need a little assistance getting into their creative flow. So, when one of those days strikes, you want to ensure you have a toolkit of the best apps for writers to rely on.
Writing apps can provide inspiration, improve your writing style, and help you organize your thoughts. They can also help with research, tracking your progress, and sharing drafts with editors, making them a great resource for both aspiring and established writers. Plus, many apps are even available for free!
If you’re looking for some tools to help streamline your creative writing processes, check out our list of eight handy tools.
What kind of list of best apps for writers would this be if we didn’t start with Wordtune?
Wordtune is an AI-powered writing assistant that helps you improve your writing by providing real-time feedback on grammar, punctuation, and style. It can be used for everything from academic writing to business emails and blog posts, making it a brilliant tool for a variety of writers.
Wordtune can also help you to find the right words for your writing. It can provide synonyms, antonyms, and other words related to the topic being written about. It also offers definitions and other contextual information to help writers better understand what they’re writing about. For instance, Wordtune highlights words used in the wrong context, or suggests more suitable words or phrases in its place.
Plus, you can use Spices — these are tools developed to enhance your writing even further. You can ask Wordtune to “explain” the topic you’re writing about to help give your reader further clarification, or “emphasize” to help reiterate your point. These are especially useful if you’re struggling to add further detail to your writing, or if you need some help understanding a topic
Scrivener is a must-have tool for long-form writers. Both an “outliner” planning tool and a word processor, Scrivener allows you to meticulously plan your novel or screenplay by breaking down your writing into sections and ‘outlining’ what each bit will include. You can also organize notes, concepts, research, and whole documents into its “Binder” for easy access and reference.
Scrivener differs from other apps on this list in that it won't assist you with your writing style — but it will provide everything you need to keep writing. For instance, if you’re writing a novel or a screenplay, you can write when inspiration strikes without worrying if it's in chronological order, as the drag-and-drop interface allows you to easily move sections to another place at a later date.
You can also add synopses and overviews to each chapter, which helps when you want to ‘zoom out’ and look at your novel or screenplay as a whole. Plus, Scrivener allows you to keep all your notes and research in one place, supporting photos and audio files, too.
Scrivener also syncs across devices — whether it’s your Mac, Windows, or iOS device — and you can easily compile everything into a single document when you’re ready to export, with popular formats such as Word document, PDF, Final Draft, and plain text supported.
To get started, download Scrivener from the website for a free 30-day trial. Once this is up, you can either purchase it on Mac or Windows for a one-time payment of $49, or on iOS for a one-time payment of $19.99.
The AI language model ChatGPT is a great tool for sparking inspiration and outlining ideas — just ask it a question, or command it to write something, and see what text it generates.
ChatGPT can assist in producing high-quality content that’s grammatically correct and coherent. It also processes and analyzes information quickly, generating text much faster than a human. This can be especially useful if you need to write a large amount of content in a short amount of time — you can ask it to generate an explanation of a complex topic, for example, instead of needing to write this out yourself.
However, as listed in the image above, ChatGPT’s responses can sometimes be factually incorrect or can include biases. Its creator, OpenAI, has also warned users that ChatGPT’s arguments can be logically flawed. And while the tool is known for its supposed versatility, we don’t recommend using it to generate creative writing. There’s only so much an algorithm can do, and thankfully humans win when it comes to being uniquely creative.
Overall, ChatGPT is a great tool for quick, surface-level overviews; idea generation, summarizing information, and creating outlines are all made simpler by the tool. However, if you want an all-round writing assistant that helps you to construct your narrative, take a read of our article on choosing the right AI writing tool.
Most writers carry a notebook to jot down ideas when inspiration strikes. But in the smartphone era, there’s a much simpler and more efficient alternative to capture fleeting thoughts — enter Evernote.
Syncing across all your devices, Evernote automatically saves notes online, allowing you to keep everything that’s on your mind organised and in one place. You can add images, illustrations, and to-do lists, handwrite notes, and tag items with keywords, allowing you to always find anything you need.
Available for free on iOS and Android devices — and accessible from within your browser — Evernote also provides offline access, so you can access your notes even without wifi.
Take notes, plan projects, and find whatever you need at the touch of a button. Evernote is the perfect companion to a writer’s messy brain.
5. Daily Prompt
Need a nudge to write consistently? It’s time to try Daily Prompt: Creative Writing.
Available as both an iOS app and as a web-based writing tool, Daily Prompt encourages you to get creative every day with a new prompt every 24 hours. You can let Daily Prompt provide you with a prompt, or you can browse existing prompts. Choose from genres such as horror, adventure, romance, or crime, and opt for different types of prompts like “story starters” (a creative prompt encouraging you to contine the story) or “writing obstacles” (an instruction designed to challenge you to write more creatively).
You can use a limited version of the app on both your phone or web browser, or alternatively, you can pay a yearly subscription of $19.99. This gives you premium access, with free range over the back catalogue of prompts, early access to new features, and a seven-day money back guarantee if you change your mind. Plus, you get to join Daily Prompt’s community of aspiring authors improving their writing skills on a daily basis, and even read their stories.
6. Power Thesaurus
Every writer needs a thesaurus to lean on now and again. While a lot of AI writing tools provide synonyms as part of the package, there’s no harm in having a dedicated thesaurus app to rely on if you need alternatives to an overused word.
One of the best is Power Thesaurus — available as both an iOS and Android app, and as a website. It’s quick, it’s powerful, and it provides a list of synonyms longer than any other thesaurus I’ve used. Plus, you can find the definition of the word you’re searching for, as well as see it used in a sentence, or choose from a list of antonyms.
7. Hemingway App
Hemingway App is a powerful tool for streamlining your writing style. The free online editor enhances the readability and clarity of your writing by highlighting and correcting grammar, fluency, and sentence structure.
The platform is ideal for editing shorter pieces. If you tend to write longer sentences, Hemingway will encourage you to be clearer and more succinct in your writing by highlighting sentences that are hard to read, or phrases that have simpler alternatives.
As well as being online, you can also download a desktop version of the app. This requires a one-time payment of $19.99 on both Mac and Windows.
Time to write
Using a writing app or two is a great way to enhance your creativity, edit your writing, or just make your writing process more enjoyable (and productive) in general.
Tools like Google Docs and Scrivener are brilliant for keeping you organized and efficient, whereas an AI writing assistant like Wordtune can help you to level up your language and explore ideas you hadn’t previously thought of.
This article was co-written with Wordtune. Wordtune didn’t write the whole piece. Instead, it contributed ideas, suggested rephrasing alternatives, maintained consistency in tone, and of course - made the process much more fun for the writer.