7 free writing resources

These gratis online tools can rev up productivity, catch embarrassing typos, track keywords, eliminate distractions and snuff out jargon.


Would you like your content to have fewer errors?

Wouldn’t it be great to type more quickly and accurately? Want to stay focused and minimize distractions?

These free online resources can help you on your productivity journey:

1. Reduce mistakes with Grammarly.

We all hate typos—especially the kind you catch after sending your latest creation out into the world. Grammarly can help you avoid that next embarrassing error.

Billed as the “world’s leading online proofreader,” this is a must-have for content developers who are doing more work online, away from the shelter of Word’s spelling and grammar checkers. Grammarly offers free extensions for Chrome, Safari or Firefox that provide as-you-write-it assistance.

Once you install Grammarly, it will monitor whatever you type in Gmail, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn as well.

2. Write more clearly with Clarity Jargon Buster.

Corporate-speak, buzzwords and jargon have no place in great content.

Like a thief in the night, jargon can sneak into sentences and render writing dull or confusing. Head off those readability killers by popping your text into Clarity Jargon Buster. With a simple click, the app will instantly search for dubious words and phrases.

You can experiment with a free version on the site, but a “basic” version is only $2.99. Clarity Jargon Buster can be installed as a macro in Word.

3. Keep track of keywords with WordCounter.

Sure, WordCounter will let you know how many words you type or paste into its interface, but it also identifies the top 10 keywords you use, as well as your ” keyword density.”

Doing this “can prevent you from over-using certain words or word combinations and check for best distribution of keywords in your writing,” according to the site.

WordCounter also tells you how long it would take to speak your piece aloud, which could come in handy for reports or presentations.

[FREE DOWNLOAD: 10 punctuation essentials]

4. Eliminate distractions with StayFocused.

Whether it’s Twitter, Facebook, cat videos, games or news, we all face a daily distraction battle. Even those of us with laser-like focus can be derailed by shiny internet objects. StayFocused can help.

This Google Chrome extension won’t prevent you from picking up your phone, but it can keep you from wasting time on your favorite websites. To use StayFocused, type in which sites you are most tempted by, then set a daily limit for how much time you can spend on them. Once that limit has been reached, you can’t access that site for the rest of the day. (If the extension is helping you stay too focused, you can always adjust the settings.)

5. Learn to touch-type with TypingClub.

One way to write faster is to type faster. Brilliant, right?

If you have swift texting thumbs but clunky keyboard fingers, why not learn how to touch-type? You’ll amaze your friends and quite possibly become more productive.

Try joining TypingClub, a free online typing tutor that offers 650 typing games, tests and videos. Typing is a skill we often take for granted, yet it’s worth an investment.

6. Increase your output with Tomato Timer.

Taking regular breaks is essential for maintaining productivity.

Tomato Timer uses the Pomodoro Technique, which slices your day into 25-minute chunks of work followed by five-minute breaks. This is a great way to boost efficiency and prevent burnout.

7. Manage your editorial flow with Trello.

We’ll let Blogging Wizard’s Adam Connell describe this one:

I’m always coming up with new content ideas, and while I’ve tried keeping these organized in spreadsheets, they’ve never really made the process easy. I use Trello to keep everything organized. It’s a free tool that allows you to make lists of lists and easily drag them to a new list. I have a separate board for each project and whenever I get a new blog post idea, it’ll go on the post ideas list, then I’ll move it over to the in-progress list as soon as I start writing.

We communicators disagree about plenty of issues. Whether to take advantage of free resources that can heighten efficiency, accuracy and organization shouldn’t be one of them.

Kristen Dunleavy is Movable Ink’s senior content marketing manager. A version of this post first appeared on the Movable Ink blog.

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