14 Writing Tools to Help You Get More Done in Less Time 90

writing tools for better productivity

This is a guest post by Kenneth Waldman – a passionate content writer, copy editor and English tutor.

Everyone, no matter what job they perform, have the exact same 24 hours in a single day. So why is it that some folks are highly productive, reaching all their projected goals and effectively managing their time, while others get nothing done?

In this day and age, it’s important to stay on task and streamline projects in order to reach daily goals.

Some people use their time and talents efficiently through organization, concentration and self-discipline, while others struggle every day to complete a few tasks.

Writers are especially vulnerable in terms of time management. A writer’s tool for work may also be his or her biggest time suck: the computer and Internet access. Sometimes when a writer works on a project, distraction occurs. Researching a subject may lead to helpful information, but there’s a blinking link on the page and the next thing you know, the writer is reading about celebrity relationships or viewing videos of cute puppies. What started out as a 10-minute break, turned into hours of playing around online, checking social media sites or surfing the web.

Thankfully, there are writing tools available for the distracted, unorganized procrastinator. The following writing tools may be the answer for you.

14 Time-Saving Writing Tools for Better Productivity

1. Bubbl.us

It allows for clear and concise presentations and organizes thoughts. The “mind maps” allow for creative ideas and sharing content. The basic package is free for writers. However, for $59 USD per year, unlimited backup, storage and file and image attachment are included.

2. Cherrytree

That’s an excellent note-taking app that stores all of your data.
It’s a free service, however, a donate button is available for those who wish to contribute for continued website maintenance. The app comes in multiple languages with English being the default setting.

3. Google Cloud Storage

Allows users to collaborate and edit information through Google and Dropbox. It also backs up files and allows unlimited space and access to documents.
This is a free service. For business accounts, there is a monthly fee.

4. Compfight

Writers use the Flickr search engine to find high quality, free images for use in articles and websites. Images are original.
With this tool, it’s no longer necessary to search and use Stock Photos again.

5. Convert Case

This tool automatically corrects capitalization. It lets the writer enter text into the tool or copy and paste from an existing document.
Although this site is free to use, a donate button is there if you wish to show support.

6. Essaymama.com

Writers may check number of word and character, and avoid overuse of repeating words and phrases within a document.
It’s a superior tool for keyword control and distribution. The cost starts at $19 USD for 275 words. Premium additions are available, including an editor if desired.

7. Google Apps for Work

Send e-mails from your website without having to change pages.
It’s free for a 30-day trial then increases to $5-10 USD/month depending on package selection.

8. Hootsuite

Manages social media in one place, including Facebook, Twitter, G+, You Tube, LinkedIn and other platforms.
They offer a free 30-day trial. After that, monthly packages start at $10 per month and increase depending on specialty services.

9. Plotbot

Specifically aimed towards screenwriters. It’s a free text editor that automatically converts formatting. It allows sharing, contributions and comments on content among invited users.

10. Quabel

This free minimalist text editor decreases distractions. It keeps word counts, tracks goals and allows multiple file uploads including DOCx, ODF, PDF and plain text. Presently this is for desktop computer users only.

11. Scrivener

Word processor software that manages projects and work in one place. It converts content to e-book format. Available on Windows and Mac from $10-45 USD.

12. Stayfocused

This is a free service that blocks distracting websites while you work. It is available only on the Google Chrome browser.

13. Write to Die 2

This “consequence driven” service is the most popular distraction tool manager for writers.
It is available for Mac, Windows and Linux. Writers may interact with each other and encourage one another to meet deadlines. It allows the writer to set rewards when a goal is met (soothing music or a pleasant photo). However, if the writer procrastinates, something they dislike (ear piercing sound, horrid images) appears.
The cost is $20 USD. Trick or Treat!

14. Wridea

Established in 1999, this tool stores, prioritizes, organizes and shares ideas with invited friends. It’s a free service.

Time management is a crucial element in the field of writing. Deadlines loom, projects sit piling up on the desk and the urge to procrastinate can be overwhelming at times if tasks aren’t broken down into smaller projects. Writers must possess three characteristics for success: concentration, self-discipline and effective time management.

Some classic tips for success can help a writer stay on task: don’t edit while writing, don’t format text and don’t stop for breaks when your project is almost complete.

Writing tools are today’s modern answer for writing distractibility. Distraction-free writing allows the writer to perform at a superior level by allowing for increased concentration, organization and goal setting.

Some tools allow the writer to interact with other writers to gain immediate feedback or encouragement. Who wouldn’t want the best writing tools in their repertoire for increased productivity and success?

The term ‘less is more” applies in this case. Simplification of the process permits the writer to lock down into “Do Not Disturb” mode.
Each of the above tools encourages creative individuals to reach their goals distraction free. Out of increased concentration, comes a better product.

And let’s face it, every writer desires to achieve their writing goals through success, hard work and dedication to the craft. Writing tools places them one step closer to perfection.

What do you think? Which of these have you used so far? And which tool would you give a try next?

Get The Lifestyle Designer's Digest
Directly into your inbox every Monday.
Previous ArticleNext Article

How I Make Money from My Freelance Writing Services (And How You Can Do The Same) 20

How I Make Money from My Freelance Writing Services (And How Can You Do The Same)

I’ve been offering my freelance writing services professionally nearly 7 years now. And what started as a one-time project every now and then, has now turned into the online business that allows me to keep working remotely and operate globally, although I’m based in Amsterdam, Netherlands.

Forget about the competition, the broad niche you’re trying to enter and that it takes time to build a name for yourself. We live in the digital era and thanks to all its opportunities you can make a living as a freelance writer if you decide to.

Let me share the things that helped me make money from my freelance writing services. Maybe they can help you raise your prices, get started as a freelancer, or write and publish your first post today.

I started from the bottom.

I believe those following their passion, who are interested in becoming lifestyle designers and finding meaning in their days, should start from nothing.

Even if you have your family to support you, or connections in the field, or are given opportunities already, leave that behind and go ahead and build something on your own.

That’s important because the years you’ll dedicate to learning skills, making mistakes, getting to know your field and finding what works best are priceless. No business degree, internship, parent, easier career choice, or even initial capital, can do that for you.

The only millionaires I respect, for example, are the self-made ones. That’s because I’m all about self-improvement and it means following your own path. But first, defining and creating it.

If you decide you want to be a writer and to make money from that online, you need to invest years to get better at this and be able to call it your craft. You need a new mindset that will help you understand what your clients want and give them exactly that. And you need to be truly invested in doing it right as it’s all about providing value with your content, not making a few bucks.

You’ll build habits, find focus, work from home, ditch distractions, make sacrifices, and eventually start earning a bit. But you’ll be doing what you love. Then, there will be more doubts and challenges to overcome. Again, you’ll stay consistent if you’ve decided to make a living from your freelance writing services and achieve something bigger.

I make sure I cover topics I’m passionate about.

I believe anyone should be doing work they are passionate about. While the way you do it may vary, its main topic should be something you truly care about.

For me, that’s self-improvement, spiritual development and business growth. I have always been reading about this, and so it made sense to also start writing about them on my blog.

Such passion never goes away.

You take it with you whenever you write something, be it for a client, for a social media post, an email, or your own book.

Find your passions in life and make sure you incorporate them into your writing.

I build my portfolio every single day thanks to my blog.

6 Tips for Transitioning from Office to Freelance Work

Building your portfolio is a never-ending process. Leave conventional wisdom aside and think of the way people do business online today.

It’s not about a polished resume or a ton of experience working for other people anymore. I don’t have that. In fact, English is my second language and I have no degree in Journalism or anything. What I have though, is more than 1000 articles on my blog (which eventually turned into an authoritative platform), each of which is written to provide value, to help those who find it through social media or search engines, to give advice and share my thoughts on the issues of life that I care about the most.

Such portfolio can only get better. The more things you publish under your name, including guest posts, then more you’ll have to share with your clients.

The way I do it when promoting my freelance writing services now is this: When I’m about to pitch someone who seems to be a good fit, I give them samples of relevant articles. That means I always make sure he wants me to write about topics that I’ve covered before. So I simply get 2-10 links, share them with the client and tell them this:

If you like any of these, I can provide the same quality for the work I’ll do for you.

Simple as that. And I do keep my promise. Also, there are no wrong expectations here as I will do for them what I’ve done before for my own projects.

If you’re wondering how to become a writer and offer your freelance writing services, start a blog today, write about whatever it is you’re interested in and share it with the world.

I make it a win-win situation.

There are many parties involved when you do work for a client. First, there’s you. Then, there’s the client. But there’s also the reader this content will eventually get to.

Whether you’re writing something for a company or an individual, you’re helping them grow their business, improve their online presence, build a following, sell their products or services, or educate their audience. Whatever it is, your content matters. Keep in mind everyone your writing is going to affect and let that inspire you to be a better freelancer.

I enjoy the process.

How To Boost Your Energy and Vitality for A Successful Life

Because I started my freelance career in order to have an enjoyable lifestyle, not the other way around, I do make sure I take a step back every now and then and evaluate the situation.

I’m a lifestyle designer. That’s why I started working online, doing what I love, left my home country and relocated to Amsterdam, Netherlands, but still operate globally and work from home.

I need that freedom and independence in order to be doing my best work, to keep my focus and to have peace of mind. Without them, I won’t be able to make my clients happy.

That’s why you should enjoy the process as a freelance writer. Even the unpleasant moments. It’s a journey with ups and downs. But no one had it easy.

I stopped underselling my freelance writing services.

I wasn’t charging much in the beginning and that’s okay. I believe every freelance writer makes this mistake when they start out. It’s because of the competition, wanting to please every client, being scared you’ll never make more money out of this, not being confident enough in your writing, etc.

The only way to overcome this barrier is to do more of the work only you can do. As your reputation grows and you see you have enough clients, you’ll start saying ‘no’ to low prices and will learn to ask for what you deserve.

I diversified my income.

Is Owning a House and Mortgage Financially Sensible?

Freelance writing goes together with a lot of insecurity. From not getting paid on time (or at all), to not finding new clients, not meeting a deadline, not scaling, or else. If you don’t do something about it, this will cost you your precious focus and creative energy. And as a writer, you need these with you all the time.

So, I made sure to diversify my income. In my case, it was thanks to my blog, growing it and monetizing it by offering sponsored posts.

For you, it will be different. I sell my books on Amazon too, do affiliate marketing and many other things on the side. But these aren’t a significant part of my monthly income.

I make half of my money by selling my freelance writing services. Which means that even if I don’t necessarily find enough clients soon, or something else happens, I’d still make it until I get back on my feet.

Find your other income stream that will help you stop worrying too much and focus on doing what you do best.

I’m picky with my clients.

Saying ‘yes’ to every project that comes your way means you’re desperate to make some money, don’t have priorities and are trying to please everyone. I made big changes to my approach when I started being serious about selling my freelance writing services.

For a start, I ditched the clients who didn’t pay on time. From then on, I set the right expectations from the very first chat we had and discussed all the details such as payment, deadline, whether they would require me to make changes to the articles, etc. All these matter and after doing it for years, you start noticing recurring issues. But when you talk about each one prior to working together, it’s all good.

I’m absolutely okay with rejecting clients or projects that seem big or tempting in some way. It’s because I know exactly who I want to be working with and can feel whether we’d be a good fit from the first few emails we exchange.

That’s been a game-changer for my work and freelance writing business. Some amazing individuals reach out to me personally because they liked the story I share on the About page of my site and decided to work together. Or because they saw my name on another platform, liked my work and now want something similar for their blog.

From clients like that, I get positive feedback, an enjoyable working experience, no pressure, honest communication, regular payments, good mood, and referrals. These are the people I can do a good job for. And while it’s not always easy to find them, it’s worth the wait.

These are the things I did to be able to make a full time living from my freelance writing services. It took me years and a lot of mistakes, but you can do it differently. Stop being afraid to ask for more. Go build your portfolio, learn everything you can about the topic you’re covering. Be confident when you pitch potential clients and see how big opportunities are coming your way.

If you have a question about this, or if you’re interested in hiring me to help you out with content creation for your business, don’t hesitate to reach out.