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The 9 Best Digital Tools for Every Professional Writer

To curate an efficient and seamless writing experience, you need more than a good word processor. In this article, we’ll share some digital tools for each step of the writing process, from organising your research and ideas, to navigating writer’s block while completing those first and final drafts, right through to showcasing your finished work and building professional networks.

Tools for Collecting and Organising Content


Milanote (Desktop and Mobile Application) 

This functional and versatile tool provides a virtual canvas for creating moodboards, mind maps and visual brainstorms. You can gather all your resources into one place from notes and articles to images, video or audio. This will allow you to connect the dots between your ideas, and form interesting insights. You can easily update and re-organise a board as you get into the flow of your creative process, there’s no need to scribble things out or start from scratch. Find out more about how to create outlines, plans and mood boards for your written work using Milanote’s guides


Raindrop.io (Desktop and Mobile Application)

Overtime, we collect many resources, from interesting content to writing tips and tricks. However, you might find that these resources get lost in bookmarks or remain as open tabs on your phone browser. Raindrop is a bookmark manager, available to use across desktop and mobile. This means you can organise bookmarks in a meaningful way for various projects, using tags and collections. But even better, you can access bookmarks on the go, making it easier to work from anywhere without losing pace. 


genei (Web Application)

Researching content for your work can be time-consuming and tiresome. You might read through several articles, papers or book extracts to find the best and most relevant information. Even if you skim read, this can still take up a significant amount of time, and you might miss important information. In genei, you can organise reading material into projects, and even search for relevant content using genei’s search feature. You’ll save time weeding out irrelevant material by using the AI summarisation features, that will signpost you to links and references from within the document. Finally, you can get a head start on the writing process using the note-taking features. Add the generated summaries to your notes, or add paraphrased versions of chunks of text directly into the notes section with a few clicks. Once you’ve added to your notes, genei can help to get you writing, by expanding, rephrasing or summarising the content in your notes. Find out more here.

 

Tools for Writing 


Flow.rest (Web Application)

Using this minimal tool, you can overcome writer's block through unfiltered writing. There’s nothing more frustrating than sitting down to write and encountering writer's block. But do we really have nothing to write about? Sasha Chapin suggests otherwise, we have things to write about but these aren’t what we want or need to write about. However, you need to weed through the clutter to get to the good stuff. This is why flow is the perfect tool. You can write your thoughts into their clean interface and watch them disappear (you can access them later). Clear your mind and let your thought process roam free without worry. 


Reedsy Book Editor (Web Application)

Being able to see the final product of your work can be incredibly motivating. Even if you’re publishing work online, how satisfying would it be to see your written work in print? Reedsy’s Book Editor is a word processor that formats your written work into a real and publishable manuscript. This is brilliant for practical reasons, such as needing to create a polished manuscript, but also to motivate you during the writing process. 


Draft

If you’re looking for a simple yet powerful text editor, Draft is for you. This distraction free editor is both minimal and extremely functional, truly taking into account the needs of a writer. You can collaborate with others seamlessly, tracking their changes alongside your original document, and can compare your own new and old drafts of the same document. Other features include ‘Hemingway Mode’ which prevents you from deleting work as you write, encouraging the concept of write now, edit later. This is perfect for writers' block and first drafts. When you reach the editing stage, there’s the ‘auto-simplification’ feature which will help you delete less important sentences. These are just a few of the incredible features of Draft, read more here


Tools for Sharing Your Work and Networking


Contra 

This platform provides a space to create a project-based profile that showcases your work, and the services you offer. Contra is a free network for professionals to collaborate on projects and be matched with flexible work opportunities. You’ll also be able to share your Contra profile with others, providing an easy way to share writing projects and your rates of pay in one simple yet aesthetic space. Check out some Contra profiles here and learn more about the platform here


Read.cv 

Alternatively, if you need something closer to a CV than a portfolio, read.cv is perfect. The founders have described it as: “Something easy to share, less garish than LinkedIn, and more dynamic than a static PDF. Non-visual, more akin to a text oriented personal website.” You can create a digital CV that includes projects, side projects, work experience, awards and any features you’re included in. This provides the flexibility to share everything you do, with easy to access links, and you can highlight other members' profiles if you collaborated on a project together. 


Polywork 

A step away from CVs and portfolios, Polywork is a professional social network. This platform aims to bring all that we do, personal and professional, into one space, where we can connect and share with others. You can share recently published work onto your timeline of updates, organised into collections, and select tags for your profile that encompass all your interests and talents. Check out the founder's profile here


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