With most skills, there are numerous tips and tools available from experts, professionals and people who practice the craft that can shed light on the some of the challenges with an undertaking. Writing is no exception. There are useful tools, available mostly for free on the Internet that can help any writer become more productive, effective and keep their audience engaged.
Time Saving Tools
Your computer, where most people do the majority of writing today, has many capabilities to ease some of the problems associated with the time consuming task of writing.
StayFocusd – If you are easily distracted while at the screen, look at some of the means to track your time through Plug-Ins available through Chrome. On Firefox the LeechBlock is the tool that will do virtually the same thing, which is help you program the time you dedicate to research, writing, proofreading, editing, whatever you choose.
Quabel – Word processors have many capabilities from formatting tools to insertion of charts, table and images. You won’t need a degree in computer science to learn the basics of shortcuts that let your computer do a lot of the detail work for you.
CopyScape – Plagiarism is a huge problem on the Internet, and it is critical to ensure anything your produce and post is original. Using a plagiarism checker will help you avoid claims that your work is not your own, and ultimately help you with developing a good reputation.
EssayMama – This is one of many useful writing services that can assist you with developing a thesis or topic, effectively include the sources in your work and to help with overall structure of the piece. It provides a step-by-step method to help you develop from topic to submission.
Write or Die – Got writers’ block? A deadline or just find you are a terrible procrastinator? If you need a gun to your head to get the work done, try a very radical program that will force you to keep writing. In essence, if you set the timer in Write or Die, for a certain amount of words, and you stop writing, your work will slowly fade and then disappear. It’s drastic, but for some, very motivating.
When your piece requires images, charts, tables and other inserts, it can be quite an overwhelming task to get just the look you want the material to present. Looking at the plethora of website choices and designs is just a glimpse of the enormous range of ways to present material.
Jing – To help with screenshots and capturing your own original video, this tool clearly helps with making the use of these images always ready. The ability to share the images is simplified. There are also tips on adding these visual elements to online conversations. Another useful program is ThingLink. It can add content with any images for you.
Design of your content can be as easy as using a design tool like Canva because these experts have made customization quite simple. It will give your work the professional edge you desire with plenty of choices.
For an all-encompassing approach, a product such as PicMonkey will help you create customized design, as well as be a photo editor, that can create collages and manipulate graphics.
Piktochart – For using infographics (charts, graphs, tables) or creating them, this is an easy app that produces high quality graphics to complement your content.
When your content reads well, is error free, and does not cause confusion in your reader or audience, the chance of response is much higher. Readers are easily distracted by poor uses of fonts, cluttered design and code or links that don’t send them where they want to go. Before publishing anything, use any or all of these “checkers” to ensure your feed is working.
HTML Link Generator – to ensure you are optimizing your html content and properly linking to other websites, affiliate links or internal links to any other page on the website, if that is where you are posting content. It will also help you to specify the Link Display Text, the font, color of the link the text decoration, the mouse-over title and more options.
Notepad++ – This is just the free tool you need for source code editing. It supports many languages. In the environment of MS Windows it is governed by a GPL License. This program is written in C++ and uses a higher execution speed and smaller program size while optimizing many routines in usage.
Fonts – It can be very impressive to use a font that reflects the mood or tone of your content. There are numerous fonts to choose from at http://www.dafont.com/ and http://www.google.com/fonts, to enhance and improve the quality of your message.
Don’t underestimate the value of improving your blogging or writing from time to time, but don’t obsess about it to the point that it stymies your creative process. True, in today’s landscape blogging can be tough since it can seem very crowded. But that can be a positive when you consider that some, or many of them, might be your link networks. You can be successful with blogging and writing if you keep on top of the tools that are available to help you. Mixed with the right elements of effort, dedication, passion, and the ever important – time, it can be done!
Author bio: Jessica Millis, an aspiring writer, savvy editor and JMU writing professor assistant. Her passion is writing, blogging and freelance journalism.
Feature image curtsey of Ryan Putnam