Writing is already challenging. There’s no need to make it any more difficult. That’s why I rely on these tech writing tools to make writing, publishing, and promoting content a little bit easier.
14 Tech Writing Tools You Need
Before starting the list, let’s clarify the value of writing tools. The tools on this list are meant to enhance your writing and improve the writing process. They don’t allow you to leave your brain at home or do the work for you. Also, most of these tools are free or have free versions because many of us can’t afford to pay for a whole pack of fancy tools. Finally, they’re in no particular order, although I tried to make sense of my method by presenting them as I use them.
A huge part of writing regular content is having ideas. To make sure the ideas are always flowing, I read a ton of blogs. Feedly is a free tool that helps me subscribe to and organize them all. I subscribe to some newsletters, but only if the writer adds a lot to their content there. Many of those blogs also go into my Feedly feed, so I’m sure not to miss anything.
2. Apple Notes
When I’m reading and get an idea, I never assume I’ll remember it. Instead, I’m prepared to embrace creativity. I use my Apple Notes, the free notes app on every Apple device, to keep a running list of ideas for blog posts, along with any helpful links or books I need to pull when writing. This approach works for me because my notes sync across my devices, making them available to me wherever I am.
Confession: I sometimes get a great idea and immediately start typing it out on my phone… kinda like I’m doing with this post.
I know this will be scandalous, especially since I’m a full-time content director, but I don’t have a formal SEO keyword plan for my blog. Instead, once I land on an idea, I research keywords to make it work. Semrush is my go-to tool because it’s what we use for work.
Semrush isn’t free. It starts at $119 a month. There are free options out there.
4. Google Sheets
Before you think I don’t follow any best practices on this blog, know I have a content calendar. It’s a simple spreadsheet I tend to update at least a month ahead. I ideally plan three months ahead. I’ve found that’s as far as I can go without making many changes.
And, of course, Google Sheets is free.
5. Google Docs
Google Docs is the writing platform we don’t deserve. If I dreamed up a writing platform that would allow teams to work together on writing and editing projects, it would be Google docs.
I write and store all of my blog posts and freelance writing there. I also do all of my editing work there. And, again, it’s free.
6. Spell check
I’m a terrible speller. Spell check is my friend. I will never take it for granted, even though it’s a free part of every writing platform. It’s a tool I need and always use, typically more than once per piece. If you don’t appreciate spell check, you probably aren’t as old as I am. You don’t remember a time without it.
Grammarly is a perfect example of a tool that can improve your writing as long as you still use your brain. It helps me with comma usage, sentence structure, and habit words. I ignore it when warranted. Overall, I don’t understand why anyone wouldn’t use it.
Pro tip: The site works better than the plug-in. Copy and paste your work.
Grammarly has a free version that probably fits many people’s needs. But, if you write an edit a lot, you may need the premium version, which is $12 a month.
Readable is a Grammarly-like tool that seems to catch unique things. I also like that it gives Readability and complexity scores. It makes a game of dumbing down your writing to make it simple for everyone.
Readable gives you so many free uses per day. If you need more, plans start at $4 a month.
You must have visuals with your writing. No one is going to pay attention to it otherwise. There are a lot of great Creative Commons sites out there with photos you can use for free. Pixabay is probably my favorite. It seems like I can always find what I need there.
If I can’t find what I need on Pixabay, Unsplash is my next choice. It’s probably helpful to have several photo sites on your list of favorites… just in case.
Hopefully, everyone knows about Canva’s plug-and-post graphic design capabilities by now. I use Canva more for creating slide decks for teaching than I do for writing, but sometimes you need a quick, easy graphic to really hammer in a point. I find that the free version is plenty for me.
WordPress is my content management system of choice. While it’s not necessarily a writing tool, it does help so many of us share our writing with the world.
I use WordPress.org to have greater control of my website’s design and development. Pressable hosts my site.
Yoast is the best on-site SEO checker, in my opinion. I use the free plug-in version to ensure my posts are optimized for search. I love some of the features of the paid version, but I’m too cheap to buy it, so I make do.
Your title is everything. It determines whether someone will click on your post or scroll on by. CoSchedule’s headline analyzer tool is top-notch for helping you massage headlines. I use the free version.
You have to help your posts succeed by sharing them on social media. Buffer is my favorite social scheduling tool. It’s so intuitive to me and has a helpful Chrome extension. I pay $10 a month for ample sharing.
Embrace Tech Writing Tools
It’s always a good idea to make a process easier. These tech writing tools simplify writing, editing, publishing, and sharing. If you aren’t already using these tools, I recommend them. Have a tool you think is worth trying? I’d love to hear about it! Comment below.
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