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9 Online Tools That Will Make Your Writing Shine

Woman writing on a diary
Big Cheese Photo via Getty Images
Woman writing on a diary

Seems like, the only time we use a pen nowadays is when we have to sign a document. Receiving a handwritten note fills us with warm feelings of nostalgia. For a longtime now, writing has meant tapping on the keyboard and, increasingly, it has meant keying emails, status updates, documents and reports online.

Naturally, there are now many tools available online to help you with your writing in different ways. Here is how you can use, and benefit by using, some of these handy writing software:

Spell-check and grammar-check have become indispensable tools for writing any kind of text, be it a three-word WhatsApp message or an 80,000-word long novel. To help you with writing across platforms, Grammarly has a website, a desktop app and browser extensions. This tool helps you with basic spellings as well as sentence structure. It is great for running a quick overall check of your text and for first-hand proofreading.

One of the best note-taking apps, Evernote too is available across all the platforms. It provides the functionality of an advanced text editor, such as Microsoft Word and, importantly, saves your text as you are typing it. You don't have to bother with saving your work on Evernote. The tool also allows scheduling and integrating with other apps such as To-Do List and Blogger. The premium version of Evernote has advanced features such as PDF annotation and word recognition in images.

Want some stats about what you have written? Word counter is a simple website where you can upload your document or just copy paste the text to see how many words it contains. And that's not all, the website will give you information about characters, sentences, paragraphs and spaces in the text, and how much time it will take for someone to read it or read it out loud. The word counter also analyses documents to measure the word density or how many times a particular word has been used.

It is universally acknowledged that writing regularly is a tough habit to develop. To help your writer-ly ambitions, Writing Streak is at hand. This software comes to your aid by motivating you to write a 1000-word story every day. It will give you multiple prompts or themes to write on, and you have to pick one. Once you have chosen the prompt you will be redirected to an editor (i.e. a word processing software, much like Microsoft Word). There you can see the progress of the story and how far or close you are to the 1000-word mark. Your streak of writing stories will also be displayed on the side. This 'streak', basically, indicates the number of days you have been writing stories for.

It is a common complaint among writers, and a challenge for them, to convey to readers what they want to say. Part of the trick is to avoid using words that are uncommon or obscure. Easy Write will only let you use words that are commonly used. If their word engine feels that what you are writing is too complex or complicated, it will highlight the offending words and ask you to replace them with simpler words.

6. Alex

It is important while writing to be mindful of gender and race neutrality. It is not uncommon for online posts to contain material that might be insensitive toward some or many readers. To ensure that you are not crossing the line, even inadvertently, you can put your text in the Alex engine which will then check it for any kind of oversight or insensitivity, and then suggest better ways to phrase what you want to say. Alex can integrate with workday communication tools such as Slack, so you can use it in office too.

It is essential that, while writing, you are in an environment that is conducive to writing. Distracting sounds and noise, that disturb your stream of thoughts, are a common peril. Noisli is at hand to create white noise around you, that will help you concentrate. The website has many options for the kind of sounds you would prefer -- rain, thunder, the wind, fan and much more. It enables you to create an environment of your choosing and hopefully increase your productivity. Or, if you are in a different frame of mind, it can help you to just relax.

To eliminate other kinds of distractions while writing, there is ZenPen. This tool enables easy and quick formatting, such as making the text bold, italics or underlined. You just have to select the text and the options will appear on a hover bar.

An inverse of sorts of the dictionary, this tool helps you find or pinpoint a word if you are aware of the concept or meaning behind it. For example, you can search for "fear of heights" and you'll have all the options made available to you. You can also search for words which start or end with a particular letter.

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This article exists as part of the online archive for HuffPost India, which closed in 2020. Some features are no longer enabled. If you have questions or concerns about this article, please contact