The Best Writing Tools Online (and which ones are free!)

There are a lot of online tools that can help writers with their work. Whether you are looking for a thesaurus, a grammar checker, or a tool to help you create outlines, there is an online tool out there to fit your needs. In this article, we will discuss some of the best writing tools available online.

What types of online writing tools are there?

There are a variety of online tools that allow for different types of writing. Some are more suited for academic papers, while others are designed for creative writing. Some are versatile enough to be used for multiple purposes, while others have more specific functions.

No matter what your needs may be, there is likely an online tool that can help you get the job done.

So what specifically are the categories of available online writing tools?

1. Thesaurus

A writer will benefit from using an writing tool like an online thesaurus in many ways.

  • First, it can help them to find the right word for their writing.
  • Second, it can help them to better understand the meaning of words they are using.
  • Third, it can help them to improve their writing style by teaching them new words and phrases to use.
  • Finally, it can help them to avoid using the same words over and over again.

A writer’s goal is to produce content easily understood by readers. A good thesaurus tools helps achieve this by improving comprehension and readability. Of all the online writing tools we’ll be discussing today, this one is likely the most commonly overlooked. But it’s a good one to keep handy.

2. Grammar checker

This online tool that helps writers identify and correct errors in their writing. It scans text for mistakes in grammar, spelling, punctuation, and style, and then provides feedback on how to fix them.

While all writers make mistakes occasionally, using a grammar checker can help to minimize the number of errors in a document. This is particularly important when submitting a paper for publication or when applying for a job. A well-written document with no errors gives the impression of being well-educated and professional.

With the number of free online grammar and spellchecking tools on the market today, there’s no excuse to produce content with avoidable errors.

3. Outlining tool

Many writers looking for online writing tools can make the mistake of just focusing on content editors and content management systems. But there is an important step to producing high-quality content. And that’s outlining tools.

How does an outlining tool work?

Outlining helps writers organize their thoughts before starting to actually produce content. It makes it easier to see the relationships between ideas, enabling better flow and connections when tackling the subject.

What are some other benefits of these online tools?

Outlining writing topics can help writers find holes in an argument or story before getting started, allowing for better ideas ultimately making it onto paper. It can also help writers avoid repeating themselves. Producing a thoughtful outline can make online writing pieces more concise and clear.

It can also help writers stay on track while writing. We find outlining extremely useful as it makes a long piece of content digestible. After creating an outline, we can work on each section in pieces and see great progress, avoiding overwhelming thoughts when staring at a blank page.

Ultimately outlining helps a writer produce a better piece of writing

4. Plagiarism checker

Another online writing tool writers should consult, particularly when producing certain types of content, is a plagiarism checker.

What exactly is a plagiarism checker?

These tools that help writers identify and avoid plagiarism in their writing. It scans text for similarities to other sources, and then provides feedback on how to fix them.

Why is this tool important to use when writing online?

Plagiarism can be a serious problem in academic writing, and can lead to expulsion from school or loss of a job. A plagiarism checker can help writers avoid these consequences by identifying any potential problems in their writing.

The use of a plagiarism checker is highly recommended for writer who wants to ensure the quality and originality of their work.

look for opportunities to integrate with other online tools

Many online writing tools even include integrations with popular plagiarism checkers, such as AI copywriting tools. So the use of this online tool to avoid issues with content continues to be even easier.

5. AI copywriting tools

AI copywriting tools are online writing tools that help writers create content quickly. They assist writers in producing work that is more persuasive and error-free.

How do these online writing tools help?

These online writing tools work by scanning text for keywords and phrases, and then providing feedback on how to improve them.

How much can a writing app like this do?

AI copywriting tools can also produce work from scratch. For them to accomplish this, a user must become skilled at providing good, quality input for this online writing tool to work from. Of all the online tools we are reviewing here today, these writing apps have garnered the most attention as of late.

Are there other features they include to improve your writing?

AI copywriting tools typically incorporate built-in editing tools. An obviously important component of any writing process, having editing tools right there, paired with content suggestions, can really speed up and improve the quality of work.

Are there any free online writing tools that use ai?

As we discuss in this article, there are numerous free online versions, or at least free trials, for the leading AI copywriting tools. These writing tools also commonly incorporate all of the above online tools we’ve reviewed so far.

What writing tools are writers actually using today?

As noted above, many tools incorporate various features, enabling writers to choose only a select few online tools for their needs while receiving all of these features.

So let’s discuss which online writing tools commonly viewed as market leaders, and how they fit into a writer’s toolkit.

Content management system

A content management system, or “CMS”, helps writers publish and manage their work. While there are various version of this, in the online writer’s world, the most common example would be the platform used to house content accessed by website visitors.

A good CMS will help writers easily create and edit content, as well as manage their workflow. It can also help writer’s optimize content for search engines, and ensure that it meets all applicable compliance regulations.

The most notable example of a content management system is WordPress. WordPress is the “O.G.” of content management, and the most widely used platform on the web for writers. So when thinking of the online writing tools most in use, we have to start here.

No matter what writer’s use to ideate and generate content, it’s extremely likely it’s published and managed on a WordPress platform.

While there is a “for-profit” version of WordPress (wordpress.com), most sites are built on the open-source version (wordpress.org).

To use the open-source WordPress, content writers need to find a good webhost to actually host the site. Many have WordPress built right in and offer specific hosting solutions for WordPress users.

Free online readability tools

Why do I need to worry about readability?

Good writing is clear, concise, and easy to understand.

When content writers produce work that is difficult for readers to comprehend, they are doing a disservice to both themselves and their audience. Not only does this type of writing make it more difficult for people to learn and understand the information being presented, but it can also lead to misunderstandings and confusion.

In order to be an effective writer, it is important to remember that clarity is key. To this end, there are many tools available today that help turn your first draft into content that anyone can follow. This is casually referred to today as “explaining like I’m 5”.

What is an example of a writing app helping with readability?

One of the best online tools for this purpose is the Hemingway editor (hemingwayapp.com), named after the famed author.

Ernest Hemingway is known for his simple, direct, and plain language. He believed that the best way to communicate with readers was to write in a clear and concise manner.

By focusing on writing simply and plainly, Hemingway was able to ensure that his readers would understand what he was saying.

Additionally, by avoiding flowery language and unnecessary details, Hemingway was able to keep his writing concise and easy to read.

Screenshot of Hemingway editor in action

We use this tool ourselves all the time. It’s easy to understand and provides instant feedback. This allows us to turn our original thoughts into content others can read well. When we first started using this tool, it was actually quite eye-opening.

One of the best outcomes of our time with this so far is that we find ourselves catching issues it would point out on our own. It’s trained us to be better writers even without being fully dependent on it.

AI Copywriting tools

While we have reviewed many of the market leading players in this space, we will briefly discuss several of these writing tools here.

What do these online tools accomplish?

AI copywriting tools run the gamut from creating the content with a user’s input, to reviewed and suggesting edits to existing content. They are all intended to save time, increase quality of work, and improve the effectiveness of a writer’s work.

Many are focused on copywriting, both due to the high demand, but also given the inherently creative nature of the craft (AI copywriting tools tend to be best suited for created, vs. factually-focused, work).

Copy.ai

Copy.ai is a well-known writing tool in this space. In addition to being very easy to use, it also offers a free online plan and free trial of it’s pro plan. When we first tried Copy.ai we were up and running in under 2 minutes.

Copy.ai dashboard

Jasper ai

Jasper ai is another huge player. It takes a little longer to get accustomed to in our experience than Copy.ai. BUT it’s a very powerful, flexible tool that ultimately is worth the few extra minutes. It does not include a free online version. But it does allow a free trial for 5 to 7 days, allowing you to get a full experience before committing to a paid plan.

Jasper ai template options screen

Which online copywriting tool do we recommend?

It really depends on your needs.

For the casual, curious user, Copy.ai is the easiest first step. It can also be a good option for true copywriting (short-form) needs.

If longer-form copy is going to be a consistent need, or the integration features helpful for your purposes, Jasper.ai is probably the way to go.

The good news is, as both offer free trials, users can easily see for themselves and proceed with confidence in their choice.

How should a writer choose which tools to use?

As an online writer, you know that there are a lot of online tools out there to help you with your work – as we’ve reviewed so far. Choice is great. But it can also be overwhelming. So which writing tools should you use? And how do you decide which online tools are right for you?

Where do I start?

The first step is to figure out what kind of writing you do. i.e. start with the end in mind. Ask questions like:

  • What output do you need to achieve?
  • What is the process you follow to get there today?
  • Are there larger bottlenecks in one part of the writing process then others?
  • Are there certain areas of the researching, writing, proofreading, promoting part of the writing process that you are not as strong in (or just don’t enjoy much?).

Start with the low-hanging fruit in your writing process and try to solve for those first.

As quick examples: Are you a reporter who needs to gather information from different sources? Are you a fiction writer who needs to create characters and scenes? Are you a blogger, researching and writing about specific content? Once you know that, the next step is to find the right tools for the job.

What should I be looking for once I know my needs?

Some tools are general-purpose and can be used for all kinds of writing, such as content management systems. Others are more specialized, such as diagramming tools for creating charts and graphs or mind mapping tools for brainstorming ideas.

You may also find specific tools designed for certain types of writing, such as screenplay software or poetry generators.

The important thing is to find the tools that work best for you and your writing style. Experiment until you find the ones that make your job easier and help you produce better results.

How can I find online writing tools that work for my needs?

A great source of information on which tools work specifically for you is your peer community. Whether reddit, facebook groups, in-person meetups, etc. ask what others are using!

Another great resource is g2.com, which offers a treasure-trove of reviews of technology tools from actual users. This site has been around a long-time and is a respected database of “Software-as-a-service” options, descriptions, and these reviews.

Many tools work great for certain users, but not so much for others. Many are designed specifically for a niche and all features, current and to-be-released are geared towards solving those issues. If you belong to one of these niches, and can find a tool that is geared towards you, it will be significantly more effective than just trying the “most popular” or general purpose.

Once you find these tools, their impact on the quality and efficiency of your work can be powerful.

Summary

We’ve reviewed here which online writing tools are out there, which online tools are the most commonly used, and how to go about finding the tools that will work for you.

In the end, each search is somewhat unique based on your needs, purpose of your writing, and the process you have in place today.

But no matter what, the number of online writing tools available continues to grow in quantity and quality. And we’re excited to see those options continue to evolve.

Using these online tools only improves the quality of information available to the readers, and allows talented writers the ability to better fulfill their responsibilities.

Do you have any thoughts on the state of online writing tools today? Any specific suggestions for tools you use and swear by? Feel free to drop us a note – we’d love to hear from you!

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