Here are the 7 tools that will make you a better writer

This article is republished with permission from “Wonder Tools”, a newsletter that helps you discover the most useful sites and apps. Subscribe here.

I spend a few hours a day typing emails, documents, and journal entries. In this post, I share some useful little writing aids that I love, following on from a previous post highlighting useful writing resources.

Get a boost to write 750 words a day with

Writing requires motivation. If you like setting goals, you might enjoy 750 words. The site encourages you to type 750 words a day as often as you can. It tracks your daily and monthly progress, like a fitness tracker marking your walks or runs. Its slogan: “private, unfiltered, spontaneous, everyday”. You can copy and paste anything you write here into an email, Google doc, newsletter, blog, or anywhere you like. To benefit from cohort/peer pressure, you can join the monthly challenge for December to write 750 words a day. 750 Words is a free trial – after that costs $5 per month.

(Here are some good alternatives to track writing progress, including Scrivener, who I wrote last week. Writing Series looks like another great option, although I haven’t had a chance to test it yet.)

Analyze your writing:

Paste your text into the word box and choose an analysis approach. I like to check what percentage of my sentences use the passive voice. It helps to see passive phrases highlighted so I can consider edits.

You can also use Analyzemywriting to highlight repeated words and phrases. This helps avoid overusing a must-have word or phrase. It looks for repeated pairs or triplets of words – did you notice any repeated phrases in this message? — then lists them by frequency. It is useful for editing. It’s free and instant.

Refine sentences with Wordtune suggestions

wordtune helps you rewrite individual sentences by providing alternatives generated by artificial intelligence. You can paste text into the site edit box or install a Chrome extension to check the writing in the online writing tool of your choice. It does not work offline.

It also offers several options to translate a sentence into English. Unlike larger ladies like Grammar which focus on tone, style, and grammatical errors, the purpose of Wordtune is simply to rewrite sentences.

The free plan offers 20 suggestions per day. Or pay $10/month to expand your options to shorten or lengthen sentences and to enable unlimited suggestions.

Overview of synonyms in context with

Are you looking for a synonym to avoid repeating a word? start with Thesaurus.comthe search synonyms bar. Then type a sentence you’re working on using the word you want to replace. The site will offer a bunch of phrases with synonyms. This helps you choose a synonym in the context of a sentence, rather than focusing on a single word.

Find shorter words with Thsrs

Avoid 12 letter words. Find short and sweet with Thsrs. Replace use with use. Or pugnacious with hard. Strunk and White’s classic Elements of Style advises us to “avoid fancy words”. And Orwell’s Politics and English language protests against “pretentious diction”. Thsrs is a tool they would appreciate.

Translate your writing and use voice typing with Google Docs

Instantly translate anything you write in any of 104 languages. You will get an instant translation of the essentials, not a perfect transfer into the language of your choice. Simply type or paste anything into a Google Docsthen select Tools > Translate Document and select from the list of languages, from Afrikaans and Arabic to Yiddish and Zulu.

When I’ve been typing all day, I appreciate switching to voice typing. This is another hidden gem in Google Docs. To activate it temporarily, go to Tools > Voice input. It works in a wide range of languages. It’s surprisingly fast and accurate.

I find it particularly useful when I want to think or write freely. I can just talk about ideas while looking out the window. It keeps the critical word in my head from cluttering my writing flow.

Develop a thought automatically with artificial intelligence using

Initially, I expected to dismiss AI writing apps as a fancy tech trick. He was surprised to find that Copy.aiThe auto-generated text was actually helpful. You start by giving the algorithm a few sentences or paragraphs to rely on. Then it writes for you like magic.

This article is republished with permission from “Wonder Tools”, a newsletter that helps you discover the most useful sites and apps. Subscribe here.

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