Find the best brainstorming, researching, writing, and editing tools
Whether you’re attempting to weave together a jumble of ideas, fix split infinitives, or nail down that hard-to-think-of word, there are plenty of writing apps to assist you. But vetting those tools and determining which fit best along with your writing style needs time to work.
That’s why we have done the heavy lifting for you. The next 15 writing tools allow you to brainstorm, research, write, and edit better and faster—and they are all liberated to use.
Tools for Brainstorming and Organizing Your Thoughts
Sometimes, the part that is hardest of writing is figuring out what you want to create about. Other times, you realize exactly what you need to write about, but your thinking are way too disorganized to move forward. If you’re struggling with either issue, these tools can help you brainstorm and organize your ideas, getting them out of your head and onto the screen.
MindMeister (Web, iOS, Android)
Best free writing software for expanding your thinking
Mind mapping is a brainstorming that is great for all types of writing projects. Whether you’re capturing thoughts for a phrase paper or thesis, putting together a plan for a blog that is long or ebook, or coming up with ideas for an innovative new novel or book series, mind mapping can help you capture your ideas and brainstorm new ones by triggering associations.
And even though you could create a mind map in some recoverable format or a whiteboard, MindMeister offers more flexibility. MindMeister is an instrument designed specifically to make mind mapping easier, giving writers a simple solution to capture their ideas, organize them, and share all of them with others.
It doesn’t matter what size your mind map gets, MindMeister expands to give you as much room since you need. Capture all of your ideas in a single file, rearrange and organize your thinking by dragging and dropping them, and connect ideas no matter what far apart they are in your thoughts map. With a premium plan, you may also attach files that are related images to reference later.
MindMeister Pricing: Free for approximately three mind maps; from $4.99/month when it comes to Personal plan which includes mind that is unlimited and file attachments.
Want to find out more about mind mapping? Check out our mind mapping tutorial, or discover nine how to use mind maps to jumpstart your projects.
WorkFlowy (Web, macOS, Windows, Chrome, iOS, Android)
Best free writing software for creating outlines that are content
Well-structured writing starts with a well-structured outline. WorkFlowy makes outlining straightforward: the app lets you quickly create an organized summary of any writing project and all sorts of of their parts using bullet points and nested lists.
Begin with the strokes—section that is broad, big ideas, themes—and nest related details and research beneath those bullets. WorkFlowy now offers tagging that is hashtag-based search features, so you do not have to be worried about creating a lot of lists or letting bullet points run wild.
You are able to zoom in on any list by clicking on the bullet point that is corresponding. Plus, if you hover over a bullet point, you will see options to complete, add a note to, share, export, duplicate, or delete that item. Use the Complete solution to tick off parts of your outline as you finish writing them, or drag and drop bulleted lists to arrange your outline into logical sections.
WorkFlowy Pricing: Free for up to 250 list items each month; from $4.99/month for the Pro that is workFlowy plan includes unlimited lists and items and customization options.
If WorkFlowy isn’t right for you, check our guide out towards the best outlining tools—many of which may have free plans—to find the best app to your requirements.
HubSpot Blog Ideas Generator (Web)
Best free writing software for brainstorming ideas
For those who have a broad notion of what you need to write about but need to expand your opinions, mind mapping helps. Them, outlining helps if you have lots of ideas but need to organize. But what about if you want to create something but have no basic idea what to come up with?
In that scenario, HubSpot Blog Ideas Generator helps. Enter as much as five nouns into the generator, and it produces titles for five blog posts (or 250 if you should be happy to provide contact information). Whilst the titles it suggests are somewhat formulaic, it does provide recommendations for unique angles it is possible to take along with your piece.
For instance, say you know you need to write about conferences but they aren’t sure what you need to express about them. Enter conferences to the Blog Ideas Generator, and you will get suggestions like “Conferences: Expectations vs. Reality,” “The Next Big Thing in Conferences,” and “This Week’s Top Stories About Conferences.”
It is possible to take those suggestions and run through them to try and trigger other ideas for topics and angles you’re interested in writing about with them, or read.
HubSpot Blog Ideas Generator Pricing: Free
If you try these tools consequently they are still staring at a blank page, have a look at a few of well known writing tips for generating ideas and overcoming writer’s block.
Once you’ve got an interest in mind, it is time to conduct your research and compile your notes. Whether you ought to transcribe a job interview, access paywalled research papers, or see just what else happens to be published online, these tools can help.
Evernote (Web, macOS, Windows, Chrome, iOS, Android)
Best free writing software for compiling research
You can compile notes for your content if you take screenshots associated with extensive research you need to include and pasting those screenshots in a Google Doc, scribbling down handwritten notes in a notebook, or creating a custom listing of bookmarks. But all of these options are time-consuming and hard to look. Evernote provides a less complicated option.
Using Evernote’s web clipper, you can capture articles that are full in a couple of clicks. The articles are then added to Evernote where you could organize collected research into different notebooks, see the full-text of articles you’ve saved, search all your collected research at a time, and share your collected research with others. Plus, you can easily automate your note taking with Evernote’s Zapier integrations.
With Evernote’s premium plan, you need to use its mobile app to scan in handwritten notes, pages of books, and business cards. Scanned documents may also be searchable, making it simple to find what you are interested in no matter its format. This will make it an excellent place to keep things you may have to reference when you look at the future.
Evernote Pricing: Free for up to 60MB uploads monthly, 25MB maximum note size, and Evernote apps on as much as two devices; from $7.99/month for the app that is mobile, searchable PDFs, higher upload and note-size limits, and Evernote apps on unlimited devices.
If Evernote is not right for your requirements, find an alternative in our help guide to the best note taking apps.
Unpaywall (Chrome, Firefox)
Best free writing software for finding free copies of paywalled research
You conducted a Google search and discovered a result for a research paper or article that seems enjoy it has precisely the data you ought to cite. Unfortunately, you can’t read it because the site you landed on wants you to pay a fee to gain access to the version that is full-text.
Instead of ponying up to see a paper which could or might not have the knowledge you may need, use Unpaywall’s Chrome and Firefox extensions to see if there’s a free copy associated with paper available anywhere online. It to open a free copy of the paper when you land on a result for a paywalled paper or article that’s available for free elsewhere, a green unlocked icon displays; click.
Unpaywall harvests data from sources like journals’ open-access repositories and university and government databases, ensuring you are never infringing copyright when you access a paywalled article for free.
Unpaywall does not work properly on everything—for example, it’s not going to get you at night paywall in your favorite news site—but if you want to reference paywalled scholarly articles from time to time, it is absolutely worth installing to save lots of yourself some time and cash.
Unpaywall Pricing: Free
Best free writing software for transcribing video and interview content
If section of your writing process consist of transcribing audio or video interviews or content, oTranscribe removes a number of the more time-consuming areas of the procedure by putting your audio controls and word processor on a single screen. Simply upload your audio or video file, press play, and commence typing your transcription onto the page that is blank.
This removes all the back-and-forth of playing audio in a single typing and app in another. Plus, keyboard controls let you play and pause the audio easily by tapping the Esc key. Other controls enable you to