- Google Drive (Google Docs) – Web, Phone App – Free
First and foremost, my favorite writing tool to date. I have talked about Google Drive and Google Docs a number of times on the blog, but I cannot stress enough how easy Google makes it to not lose anything you’ve written.
Their auto save feature quick-saves every time you pause typing for a second. It counts every time you open the document as a new revision on that document, and you can view previous versions, revert changes made, and see version history in one click.
More than that, if you are used to using Microsoft Word, Google’s word processing functions similarly (and with better fonts, if you’re asking me).
And maybe best is that you can access and edit all of your documents (for free, by the way), anywhere you happen to be.
- Scrivener (with Dropbox backups) – Desktop App, iPhone App (Android coming soon) – $49
Get onto any search engine and start looking for the tool that writers recommend more than any other tool. Made specifically for story writers, Scrivener is that tool, and it is built with the every-writer in mind.
Need to plot out a novel? Cool. Scrivener’s interface allows you to create notecards, traditional outlines, character sheets, and more, which you can then drag and drop into place at any time. Maybe you’ve got your plot and are ready to write? Awesome. Scrivener’s text editor might be a little basic, but it gets the job done. Ready to edit? Use the highlighter to call attention to passages, or use the notes section to take notes as you go.
Assign your own background to inspire you in fullscreen mode, or get rid of everything distracting. It’s no problem. With Scrivener, you can configure every little aspect to show it the way you want it to be shown.
There is a free trial you can download, if you are interested in trying this software for 30 days of use.
- Liquid Story Binder (with Dropbox backups) – $45.95
Want a Scrivener-like experience, but don’t want to pay for Scrivener to feed your writing habit? You should try Liquid Story Binder. I used it for a while because I found myself in a weird in-between space where Scrivener was being glorified to the heavens but 30 days was not enough time for me to figure the steep learning curve of Scrivener out, and I couldn’t really afford to buy it.
There is a 30 day trial which is completely free, with no restrictions or limitations on its use.
- Microsoft Office (Microsoft Word with One Drive backups) Web, Desktop App, Phone App – $100/year
The tried and true method of many authors is still Microsoft Word. This app is the powerhouse for editors because they will often use the “track changes” feature to give edits and suggestions on your work without interfering with the actual work itself.
Designed to help process any type of words you might need to write, Microsoft Word is not made with writers specifically in mind, but it is often the go-to program that people are most familiar with. Ease of use is a huge sell, especially when the program comes with your computer. Otherwise, the pricetag is a little steep–
- Open Office – Free
Like Microsoft Word, Open Office is a word processor that is made for every type of writing someone would need. Slightly less flashy than Word, the appeal of using Open Office can’t be denied. It is a free, open-source software that can be used on as many computers as you’d like, for any purpose, and on any operating system you’d like to use, including Linux and Solaris.
It comes with the same types of programs as the Microsoft Office Suite, all of which I have used and can say function similarly to the Microsoft counterparts, making them extremely intuitive and easy to just pick up and use.
What writing Apps have you used and recommend? Let me know in the comments below!
Want more from this series? Check out the links: