The growth of technology has led to the automation of many things that we do.
This has made it possible for people to work online and make money in the process among other things. Today you can work from anywhere you want and even perform better than office workers.
And that’s because of tools that improve our work by making it much more efficient and less time consuming.
They help you achieve more than you would using manual systems.
And in this article, we’ll cover some of these tools that ensure high productivity for writers, especially bloggers.
These software are designed to expedite and make it easier for writers to create high quality content fast, efficiently.
I’ve been using them for my writing and have seen so much growth as a writer, especially the improvement in my content creation process.
Writing Productivity Tools
Clickup is a project management tool that launched recently and is already a fierce competitor to some of the most established project management tools.
With great flexibility and powerful features, this tool has already grabbed a huge percentage of the market.
It combines functionality of many project management tools such as Asana, Trello, and others into one bundle. With its free version, you can get so much more than what other tools can offer
Click up is excellent in managing tasks. It helps you plan ahead, have an outline of your little tasks and notifies you on upcoming deadlines.
This is indispensable for writers focused on improving their productivity
It has multiple interface views including list, board and calendar views which lets you switch depending on your preference
Custom fields allow you to add extra data on your tasks and to-do lists.
You can also embed images, videos and other files on your plan to access them easily in future.
Without a great project management tool it’s hard to plan ahead. And without a plan, you’re simply headed nowhere. You’ll not know the progress of your writing, and have many days to face writer’s block and lack of creativity.
That’s why a project management tool comes in handy.
If you write well, then it means you are an avid reader.
And often while studying, you encounter great inspirational content or articles, which you want to save for future reference.
Bookmarking could work but what if you want to access using any device, from anywhere?
That’s where Pocket comes in.
It stores a copy of articles on the cloud for easy access whenever you need to.
But that’s not the best part.
Pocket tracks your saved articles and presents them in an ads-free format where you can read without any interruption.
That’s the feature that got me hooked. If I came across a great article on a highly interruptive page, I would save and open it on Pocket and read comfortably.
Pocket allow you to organize your articles using tags, grouping them into topics for easy navigation
If these articles get deleted from host sites, Pocket keeps a copy for you for offline access.
Besides articles you can clip videos and images you find interesting.
Based on the iconic Ernest Hemingway, the Hemingway app is a distraction free editing tool that helps you polish your work.
- unnecessary wording
- confusing sentence construction
- use of excessive adverbs and adjectives,
- excessive passive voice
In short, it lets you edit your work to be more clear and concise.
Great writing is not about using pompous words and glittery grammar. Its all about presenting your ideas in a manner that even a kid in elementary school can comprehend.
And the Hemingway app guides you through achieving that readability score.
Since I discovered this app earlier this year, I’ve used it regularly to proofread my work and it removes a lot of fluff from my writing.
It’s only con is that it highlights the areas you need to change but fails to suggest all the changes to make. That’s a bummer for many who like the easy way out.
But luckily, our next tool does this for you.
You must have heard about Grammarly if you write often. If not then let me introduce you to this standard tool for grammar proofreading.
Grammarly is used by millions of writers to avoid embarrassing typos and grammatical errors
And even if it’s not 100% effective it gets you close enough, especially for writers who do edit their work.
Besides grammar checks, it check for
- Punctuation errors
- Spelling mistakes
- Readability just like Hemmingway App
As mentioned earlier it suggests the edits needed to perfect your work.
The free version of Grammarly gives you enough for any occasional writer to proofread work.
But for business and regular writers, the premium version is worth every penny. You’ll see so many critical errors in your work that you’ll never click the publish button before checking your work with Grammarly.
I have been using Grammarly since I started taking academic writing jobs, and it has never disappointed me.
It ensures my work is void of simple errors and comes out as clear and concise.
You obviously want more attention on your content.
Headlines bring in the clicks.
If you have been focusing on writing content alone and neglected your headlines, then you are missing out on a huge opportunity for growth in your blog.
That’s why you need to focus more on the headlines and make them captivating.
Once the clicks come in, then your content will sell itself.
And that’s where CoSchedule headline analyzer comes in.
It is a simple tool that inspects your headlines based on a word balance score that involves four factors,
- Common words
- Uncommon Words
- Emotions Word
- Powerful Words
To get a good score, your headline must have a good distribution of words classified by these factors.
Top content marketers compose at least five headlines for every blog post they write and then choose the best as titles for their articles.
You should do the same. Include this in your arsenal if you want to use headlines that attract traffic.
But don’t stress on making your headlines perfect. A score of 60% and above is good enough.
The insights you get from this tool should merely be used as a benchmark for your headlines quality.
Meanwhile, take a copywriting course with tips on headlines that sell.
You can make your title more emotional or use uncommon words and generate enviable traffic.
There is no sure formula. It’s a matter of trial and error until you have a system that works for you.
One major impediment to great writing distraction.
Tools such as MS Word and Google docs are great writing tools.
But they have so many features on the interface, which can interrupt your focus.
Spelling mistakes, notifications and features on the toolbar deviate your attention from your writing.
Meanwhile, you’ll experience self-doubting ideas which makes you reread your work over and over affecting your productivity.
This is why I stopped writing content and started dictating.
You need a distraction free writer such as Calmly writer to focus.
With a minimal and neat interface that covers the entire screen, this app lets you focus on writing without.
It has all necessary features but they are hidden and can only be accessed when needed. You can insert images, add links, use headers and bullet points among other things. But only when you need to.
I advise bloggers who want to improve their productivity to put down all ideas continuously without stopping or rereading. Once done, then you can edit.
Perfectionists are worst affected. Their minds are constantly pestering them to correct mistakes they so wish exist. They seem to enjoy editing more than writing
Calmly writer gives you the space to focus
And if you follow my most important tip in increasing your writing productivity (dictating your content) you’ll have an easy time editing your transcript using the tool as I’m currently doing.
As the name suggests, Cliché Finder identifies clichés and suggest ways to express yourself better
This tool is ideal for writers and journalists who want to achieve an interesting and flowing text by removing banal and overused phrases.
Clichés can be annoying. They show lack of originality and make you seem unimaginative and lazy.
They make your work look average and devoid of personality that keeps readers wanting more.
Which is why you must eliminate clichés from your writing immediately to improve your writing.
It will help you convey your message effectively and not talk around in circles.
Cliché finder will become an indispensable tool as you progress if you desire more professionalism which means more money.
8. Tomato Timer
Back in elementary school, we had limited time to write compositions or articles.
In my case, Kenya, we had 40 minutes to write literature compositions in primary school.
And somehow, in some way, these 40 minutes were always enough for most students to write one and a half pages of content.
How was this possible?
Well, it works by Parkinson’s Law which states, the amount of work expands into the time allotted.
Meanwhile, a technique known as Pomodoro technique, which divides time into sessions of 25 minutes of work and 5 minutes of breaks has shown to improve productivity.
This technique is especially effective among writers who need to write ideas fast to be productive.
Considering these two factors, it becomes evident that you need a time to help you manage your time well
And that’s where the tomato timer comes in.
The tomato timer breaks up your workday into work sessions and short breaks based on the Pomodoro Technique.
It has an easy to use interface that highlights work and break sessions which you can adjust according to your preferences. By default, it’s set at 25 minute of work and 5 minutes short break and 10 minutes long break.
If set on your browser, this timer can improve your productivity by allocating enough time to focus on work while taking break,
It lets you get into the zone in sprints and all the breaks will rejuvenate your mind.
Canva is an online graphic design tool used to create visual content for your articles.
Articles can not be engaging and interesting without visual elements. At least not with online content.
That’s why you need to create visual content that will supplement your articles making it holistic.
In many cases, you would need expensive graphic design software such as Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop to create great graphics for your articles.
But Canva replaces all these tools and saves you money.
It lets you do all photo editing. You can create basic images, such as featured images, memes and infographics for your articles.
It has hundreds of templates and thousands of stock photos, which you can access and use to design with. You can even import your own personal images and do the editing.
Upon my discovery of Canva, I couldn’t believe I used to survive without it. It makes things much easier.
Google prefers blogs with unique customized images, over those that use stock images
Why not use Canva to create images for your content and harness the power of visual elements in creation of engaging and interesting content.
The premium version is even more powerful. It comes with thousands of templates, and hundreds of millions of stock photos free for access and use.
In addition you can create brand kits to brand your graphic design, achieve uniformity and make your blog look professional.
Audios and videos are also available for free use if you want to take content creation to the next level.
Evernote is considered the lead note taking app in the world. Millions of editors and writers who study a lot cannot afford to work without it.
It allows you to clip articles, images and other files and store them on the cloud for easy access.
How different is it from Pocket? You must be wondering.
Pocket is a simple bookmarking tool while Evernote is a complex not-taking tool with features the former can only dream of.
It replaces your entire manual working system and makes it more organized. Through it you can have access to all your notes and study materials whenever you want.
It’s available for all devices and every data is synced as long as you have access to the internet.
The free version especially has enough features to organize all your files online.
Otter is a transcription software and it’s one of the basic tools that formed the foundation of this blog.
When I discovered dictation blogging, I realized how productive I can be using dictation and Otter has been the go to tool for my transcription activities.
Hiring human transcribers is not cheap. So I opted to find an automated transcription service I could afford and still get near perfect transcriptions.
Otter checked all my boxes. If you want to transition into the art of dictation blogging, look no further.
It breaks your transcripts into editable bits; paragraphs and sentences which ease your proofreading work. Though that’s just one of the many advantages it has.
Of all these tools listed here, Otter has been the integral in improving my productivity as a writer. I can create a lot of content consistently and write articles daily without much of a struggle.
Duff Goldman once said, it’s not the wand, it’s the wizard.
Tools can help us improve our productivity, but all the work falls back on us and that you need to discipline yourself.
If you cannot sit down and write then none of these tools will make you more productive.
Productivity tools can only account to 10 percent of your success. Another 10% goes to other factors but the rest, 80% falls on Action. And action is guided by discipline.
Discipline to write 10 headlines and check the best performing title on CoSchedule even if it feels tiresome.
Discipline to set the tomato time and focus in sprints even when it seems unnecessary.
Discipline to plan your tasks on Click-up and follow them through even when you lack inspiration.
Discipline to organize your notes on Evernote and bookmark interesting articles using Pocket for easy access later without hesitation
None of these tools will help you unless you do the work.
So get busy.