Twelve Cool Tools for Writers and Others

cool-writer-toolsAre you looking for tools to help you write more efficiently and effectively?

We’ve written about resources for freelance writers before. But, that list is really just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the tools that are available to help writers (and other freelancers).

What follows is a list of twelve more helpful tools and resources. Whether you’re a writer, a blogger, or a freelancer who owns a website–you’re likely to find something on this list for you.

Twelve Cool Tools to Help You Work

While these resources aren’t all free, they do have the potential to help you write more effectively. They may help your freelance business in other ways as well. Here are some of my favorite tools:

  1. Copyscape–Plagiarism is a serious problem. This tool lets you know if your online writing is being plagiarized. You can subscribe to the service for a monthly fee to protect all of your writing, or you can type in a single URL at the site for no cost to check on a specific document.
  2. Dim Dim–This is a great alternative to meeting with clients face-to-face or purchasing an expensive bridge line. Share documents or URLs. You can subscribe for a low monthly fee and there is also a trial version available for you to try.
  3. Dragon Naturally Speaking or its Mac cousin, MacSpeech Dictate–These speech recognition products let you dictate documents directly into your computer software rather than typing them. Prices for this start at around $100, so I haven’t tried this myself, but my trusted writer friends insist that this product is worthwhile and a timesaver, so it is on my wish list.
  4. Netbook with WiFi subscription–Every freelancer needs to get out of the house sometimes. Fortunately, there are lots of WiFi hotspots around (especially if you live near an urban area). A netbook and WiFi subscription frees you from the confines of your office, which can lead to a boost in your productivity.
  5. ScribD–The site is sort of like a giant online bookstore where you can preview books as well as upload your own documents. ScribD recently updated the site so that documents can be viewed from a mobile device as well. Great for self-publishers out there as well as researchers.
  6. Scribe–This premium WordPress plug-in allows you to maximize your SEO efforts in blog posts and other online documents. I’ve had the good fortune to use this tool in my work for a client and I have to say I’m sold. This application is another addition to my wish list. The downside to this product right now is that it only works on certain platforms or with certain WordPress themes.
  7. Skype–I’ve been using Skype a lot lately. It’s a great alternative for keeping in touch with clients and others who are not local to your freelancing business. I’ve even used Skype to make international calls. At the most basic level, Skype is free, but they also have paid options available.
  8. MS Word Macros–I’ve been a fan of MS Word Macros for nearly a decade now, ever since seeing a demonstration by an expert. While you may not be a MS Word expert, it’s still possible to use MS Word Macros to save time on your most repetitive MS Word tasks. has a tutorial that can help you get started.
  9. Visual Thesaurus–If you’ve ever struggled to find just the right word, this cool tool may be perfect for you. Type in a word to see a visual graphic of related words. A sidebar shows the definitions for related nouns, adjectives, verbs, and adverbs. This is a subscription service (after a free trial), but the monthly subscription cost is low.
  10. Web SEO Analytics Tools–A set of free tools to help you optimize your online documents for search engines. You can analyze a site, look for duplicate content, discover how many incoming links you have (and who the links are from), and much more. In all, there are a total of twelve helpful analytic tools here.
  11. Wridea–Wridea is a free tool that encourages brainstorming and collaboration and brainstorming. If you work in a team or regularly share ideas with your clients. You can categorize ideas and choose whether your ideas should be private, shared only friends, or available to all Wridea users.
  12. Xmarks–This customized bookmarking tool (originally called foxmarks) is an operating system add-on that you can use to sync your bookmarks and passwords. The latest version also has search capabilities. While there is no charge for the application, donations can be made.

What Helps You Write?

Did you find a tool to help you? Which one was it? Do you have another tool that you like? Share your favorite writing tools and applications with the Freelance Folder community.

Leave your answers in the comments.

Image by crespoluigi