For those of you who – like me – make your living with words, here are three free cool tools I use that have helped me as a writer and a thinker. I want my writing to be more clear and more direct, and these tools make it easier to get there. And all of these are my favorite price: FREE!
I almost always struggle with Editing when I should be Writing. MDWA solves that eternal struggle in the most psychologically violent manner possible: if you stop writing for more than five seconds, it erases everything you’ve written.
Lemme tell you, with that kind of motivation, I can absolutely pound out the text when I am using MDWA.
(And it kinda sounds like a drug, doesn’t it?)
If you love words, it’s tempting to get addicted to your own vocabulary.
Bad writer! Bad! Bad writer!
Hemingway highlights the words, sentences and phrases that are difficult to comprehend. And it runs a quick Flesch Reading Ease test on the text to give it a readability score.
When I first started using it, almost everything I wrote scored at 12th grade or above. In just a few weeks of practice with Hemingway, I was able to increase the readability of my copy down to about a 6th grade level.
(Lower is better.)
As an aside, Donald Trump is able to speak at about a 4th grade level. This is astonishingly difficult to do. I think it partially explains his success.
I first discovered outliners back in the old MS-DOS days with a tool called ThinkTank.
A good outliners makes it super easy to capture all your thoughts, and then rearrange and sort them in ways that make more sense. ThinkTank did it better than any tool ever, until Workflowy came along.
NOTE: This is not a mind-mapping tool. Mindmaps have their place, but outliners do an entirely different job.
I’ve been using Workflowy almost every day for the last four years. It’s that good. If you’ve never used an outliner, this is the one to try. And if you wish the outliner you used was better, this is the one to try.
Scrivener isn’t free, but it is free-ish. (You can download a free trial.)
If you write long, complex documents, then this is the tool you want.
My most profitable work is writing webinars and video sales letters, and it would be waaaaaay harder without Scrivener. The learning curve is a little steep, but it’s a brilliant tool. If you write long documents, you’ll hate MS-Word after using Scrivener.
And if after you try it, you love it, (as I did), the purchase price is very reasonable. (I think I paid around $40.)