Content creators are always looking for the latest and greatest tools to inspire, save time, improve writing and stay organized. We’ve got a list of six free or inexpensive online tools you should know about now to help you become a more effective and efficient writer.
To inspire ideas:
Hubspot’s Blog Topic Generator: Feel uninspired or having a tough time brainstorming content ideas? Enter Hubspot’s Blog Topic Generator. Enter three terms (nouns are preferable) around the topic you’d like to write about and Hubspot will churn out five potential blog headlines. For example, I plugged in the terms content, content creation and writing and this is what Hubspot recommended.
[EDITOR’S NOTE: We’re really pleased that Jessica did not blog about Miley.]
Look at blog topic number 1…sound familiar?
To improve your writing:
Hemingway: This new app, which has been getting attention from media sources like ABC News, Mediabistro and Lifehacker, helps writers clean up and simplify their writing. Copy and paste your text into the web tool and within seconds, Hemingway marks up your prose, giving your writing a score for readability, points out sentences that are difficult to read and highlights adverbs and use of passive voice.
To maximize time and energy:
RescueTime: Want to know how much time you’re really wasting checking Facebook and refreshing Twitter when you should be writing? RescueTime provides writers a reality check by tracking the time you spend on applications and websites and provides a report to help you understand your online habits based on your activity. The Premium version can actually block distracting websites to help you stay focused!
Cost: FREE for the Lite version, $9 per month or $72 per year for the Premium version
To stay organized:
Evernote: This extremely popular tool has been around for a few years, but is still consistently mentioned by content creators as one of the top tools for writers. Evernote has many features including taking notes, saving and sharing links, collaborating with others and most importantly, keeping that information synced to all your devices.
Cost: FREE or $5 per month or $45 per year for the Premium version
To enjoy content later:
Pocket: If you ever have one of those days where you open 10 different articles on your browser, but don’t have time to read them just then, Pocket is for you. Pocket allows you to save articles, videos or blog posts from any device (or social media site) and later access them from any device (phone, tablet, computer). You can even organize the posts you save by category for easy finding later.
To promote your posts:
CoSchedule: We already know how important it is to promote your content after it’s published, but that’s often easier said than done. Promotion can be time-consuming; CoSchedule makes it easier. CoSchedule is an easy-to-use drag and drop WordPress editorial calendar that allows content creators to schedule their blog posts and social media posts at the same time to save time and increase site traffic.
Cost: $10 per month
What other tools would you add to this list? Share in the comments below!
Jessica Lawlor is a public relations professional and freelance writer in the Philadelphia area. Her work has been published on Ragan’s PR Daily, Muck Rack, Brazen Careerist, Mediabistro, Business Insider and AOL Jobs. She blogs at JessicaLawlor.com about getting gutsy- stepping outside your comfort zone to live a life that makes you truly happy. Connect with her on Twitter.