sly : marketing

11 writing tools for bloggers

OmmWriter

I am still writing by hand. Not as much as I used to, but once in a while, I am using a pen and a paper to take notes and to write blog posts. I am also using my iPhone and iPad to write. And I am using 10 different tools on my computer. What I am doing might not be something you should be doing, but what I have discovered that works for me, is to keep using many different tools in order to stay creative and full of energy.

I love to test new things. And I have noticed that if I keep using one tool only, or just one method of writing, I’ll end up being bored after a while. That’s why I keep switching the tools I use. I never really stop using a tool, I just keep adding new tools, and right now I am writing this blog post using OmmWriter, it’s been months since I used it the last time, and now, because it’s been a while, I can’t believe how awesome it is. It makes me just want to keep writing, and never stop.

Let me just tell you about the 10 writing tools I currently use, and one writing tool that I will buy fairly soon.

The 10 writing tools I currently use

The list is in random order. I am using two of the writing tools more than the others. I am not sure if they are better or not, but it seems that I am switching back to them more often, and by the way, I don’t have a system for using the different writing tools. I just know the tools I have and when I am going to write, I decide which of the tools I am going to use for the specific task. That’s it.

1. WordPress

When I write in WordPress, I am always using the fullscreen editor (using Chrome’s presentation mode, cmd-shift F). This turns WordPress into any other editor, and since I’m always just focusing on the words I am writing, it works perfect.

2. Pages

I am using a Mac, and Pages is just a very easy to use and very powerful word processor. I have installed it on my iPhone, iPad and Mac, and I use it all the time for wirting various documents, but I am also using it to write blog posts.

3. Word

I just had to add Microsoft Word to the list of writing tools I am using. I am not using it as often as the other writing tools, especially when it comes to blogging. I am not sure why, but I am guessing that it’s just too powerful (too many distractions) and even though there’s a fullscreen writing mode, I tend to drift off to some project I have been writing in Word. But, I love to use it, and I still use it for blogging.

4. OmmWriter

Like I said, I am currently writing this blog post using OmmWriter. The reason I bought it (there’s also a free version), was that it was so different. It’s distraction free writing (a fullscreen editor), and there’s background images, and sound. It’s so easy to write, and I feel that I’m calm and very creative when I am using it. Right now, I’m looking at some trees and there’s snow on the ground and I’m hearing this relaxing sounds. I can go on and on, OmmWriter is just awesome.

5. iA Writer

What I enjoy most about iA Writer other than iCould (I have it installed on my iPhone, iPad and Mac) is the focus mode. This means that when I’m writing, it’s not just distraction free writing with a fullscreen editor, but the only words that I am seeing are the sentence I am currently writing. All the other words are blurred. I love this feature. And this is probably why I am using iA Writer more than any of the other writing tools.

6. WriteRoom

WriteRoom was one of the first writing tools I bought for my Mac. It’s not much to say about it. It’s a brilliant words-only word processor. The screen is filled with a single color (I am using black as my background color), and the only thing showing is the words I am writing (I am currently using grey as the color for my words, but I do switch colors from time to time).

7. Day One

I know that Day One is a journal, but I just love the design and the features are amazing. I have it installed on my iPhone, iPad and Mac, and it supports iCould. So when I am writing a blog post (in fullscreen mode), it’s saved to all my devices.

8. Scrivener

I bought Scrivener for writing my novel. And it’s perfect for writing long stories. But I have discovered that I love using it for blog posts as well. It’s so easy to structure the posts, and just by looking at the various “chapters” I get a full overview of the blog post. Scrivener is a very advanced word processor, but like with Pages and Word, I am only using a few features when I’m writing my blog posts.

9. Q10

It’s been a while since I have used Q10. The reason is obvious, for one it’s probably the word processor most similar to WriteRoom. It’s fullscreen, and I get live statistics when I write. It’s free, but it only works on windows and I am using mac. But, when I am using a pc (not that often), I am using Q10.

10. Google Docs

I should probably write Google Drive, but I am not sure if Google Docs have switched name to Google Drive, or if Google Drive is the feature similar to Dropbox. Anyway. I am using the word processor from Google to write blog posts, and I started out using it when I needed to share documents. It’s perfect for sharing, and if I need to write in the same document as other people.

I am going to buy Byword

That’s all the various writing tools I am currently using to write my blog posts. But, there’s one that I still haven’t used, that I have decided to buy. The name is Byword, and even though it’s a simple text editor for Mac and iOS it has markdown too. And I have thought a lot about testing markdown for my blog posts.

Your turn

You might find me weird, because I’m using so many different writing tools, but that’s what works for me. I’d love to hear your thoughts and especially on what works for you. What are you using to write your blog posts?



94 responses to “11 writing tools for bloggers”

  1. Wow Jens!

    You surely do use a lot of tools! Doesn’t it confuse you as to what to use and what to leave out? I just wouldn’t know which is right for me from such a list. πŸ™‚

    Honestly speaking, I had heard of only half these tools and would be checking out the others. However, I wonder if I can really use anything other than good old Word. I just love it’s simplicity and i’m so used to it. πŸ™‚

    Thanks for letting us know about so many of these writing tools πŸ™‚

    • Yes, I love writing and I love testing, and when you combine those two, well, I end up with lots of tools πŸ™‚

      I don’t have any problems with using them or finding the folders and the documents. I am using dropbox for close to everything or iCloud, so either the documents are in icloud or dropbox, and I am always working on several projects at a time… but as long as I have a system for where I save the files I don’t have a problem working with lots of different tools.

  2. Carolyn says:

    Hi Jens, My goodness, you sure use a lot of tools! I remember before you wrote about iA Writer. I haven’t tried that out yet but it is intriguing.

    I write in WordPress because I like to switch back and forth between visual and HTML views. Seeing the codes really helps me know what’s going on behind the scenes.

    For my Inquirer articles, I write them in WordPress then I copy and paste them from HTML view into Word and share the files using a shared Dropbox folder I have with my editor. That works great.

    I used to use WordPerfect software. I loved that because it showed codes and I could write macros for it (shortcuts). But that became obsolete, even though it was much better than Word.

    You got it right with Google Docs. Google Drive is like Dropbox. I prefer Dropbox because it syncs with so many other platforms.

    Thanks for this comprehensive list of writing tools. You’ve definitely made me tre-think my writing tools!

    • iA Writer is still my favorite. It’s so plain and simple, yet the focus mode makes it so powerful. But, I’m really looking forward testing Byword. I’ve heard so many great things about it, and since I’m also thinking about using markdown, I bet Byword can help me save a lot of time.

      I have also used Wordperfect, I’m not sure when, but it was probably more than 20 years ago. I remember the bright blue screen πŸ™‚

      I combine dropbox and icloud for close to all my documents. iA Writer supports iCould and it saves it automatically, and that means that I get access to them on all my mobile devices and that’s awesome.

      • Carolyn says:

        I clung to WordPerfect until about 10 years ago when it stopped being supported. Of these tools you discuss in the article, do any show the codes as WordPerfect did?

        It’s much easy for my Inquirer editor to receive my articles with the codes revealed but that isn’t an option in Word. Writing them in HTML in WordPress and then copying and pasting them to Word works, but I’m wondering if there is a better way based upon the tools you mention here.

        Any suggestions?

        • I believe that Byword might be the one for you. I haven’t tested it myself yet, but I’ll be buying it tomorrow. I have watched several videos on YouTube and I’ve read a lot about it, and the thing is that the Markdown language seems to be very easy to use and perfect when you’re going to send your articles to editors with codes.

  3. Josh says:

    Hi Jens,

    Sometimes I use Ommwriter, but most of the time it is easier for to just write in WordPress. If I am not writing there it is because I am using Word, but I don’t do that too often.

    I keep looking for the “killer” app that makes writing easier for me.

    • Hey Josh,

      I thought you had already found the killer app. It seems that you’re doing great when it comes to having the right app, you’re one of the most productive people I know, that’s for sure.

      Are you using a PC? If you are, you should test q10. It’s completely free, and it’s so easy to use.

    • Carolyn says:

      Wow, Josh. As prolific as you are, I can’t even imagine what would happen if writing was easier for you! πŸ™‚

  4. Man, what a tool box πŸ˜‰

    I love the simplicity of WriteRoom and use it every day, first thing, for creative, uninterrupted writing. Then I transfer to Text Edit for tweaking and editing.

    Heard great things about Scrivener and might give that a go, as I start to work on a book or two.

    Thanks, Jens!

    • Thanks Craig. I have been using WriteRoom for a long time, and I believe it’s one of the first fullscreen editors I bought. It’s still one of my favorites. I’m actually thinking of buying FoldingText from the creators of WriteRoom.

      You won’t regret buying scrivener for your project. It’s close to perfect for writing a book. I usually just buy the tools before I start any planning πŸ™‚

  5. Adrienne says:

    My goodness Jens… You sure have a wide variety of tools you use. I know you research a lot to find the best one for you and probably on the different devices you use.

    I know you love your Mac and then you went and got the iPad and of course we can’t forget your trusty iPhone.

    Besides Word and WordPress, I don’t use any other editor and the only reason I’ve heard of a few of these was because you shared them with us in another post.

    Don’t think I’ll be giving any of them a try in the near future but if I decide to go in search of another tool for writing I definitely know the first place to come. Your blog, the place to be.

    Thanks Jens for sharing these with us. I’m sure there will be others who will be so happy they found your post.

    ~Adrienne

    • I really do love my apple devices. And, I know that I am using more tools than most people, but this is what helps me stay focused and productive. The best part is that the products are cheap, well, except for Microsoft Word πŸ™‚

  6. Ruth Zive says:

    I’m a low maintenance writer, I suppose. I use Word and WordPress, and I LOVE Dropbox for sharing. I still use pen and paper once in a while, to take notes during meetings. But less and less. I’ve often thought that I would be more productive if I used something like OmmWriter or iAWriter, but I’ve never given it a try. I like to stick with what is familiar :-). Great list though Jens! Thanks!

    • I have heard that sticking with what’s familiar is a good thing and that it makes us more productive and that it means higher quality. But, I get bored so easy, and that was why I started to test different software for writing. Now, I have discovered that it doesn’t really matter what I use as long as I keep using new things and going back to the old once in a while. On the other hand, if I am going to write a document with lots of tables, and images etc.. I would still use Word or Pages, that’s the two I am most familiar with.

  7. Hi Jens,

    This is quite an inclusive list!

    I think I’ll look into that Q10 – it looks pretty neat.

    Changing up writing tools might be just the thing I need right now πŸ™‚

    I think when you’ve been writing so long with just a couple tools, it does start to get mundane – if a change in environment can work wonders, then a change in writing tools must work the same way, right?!

    Thanks for sharing your toolbox!

    ~Christine

    • You should try Q10, it’s a great way to focus on your writing. I am about to try Byword and maybe even a brand new one called FoldingText. I keep chaning my environment to keep having fun, but I’m not changing it that often, if I did, I wouldn’t get much done πŸ™‚

  8. Stacy says:

    Hi Jens,

    That is quite an impressive list of writing tools! I’m a new convert to Scrivener and I love it! Though I’ve only used it for writing my novels up to this point. I haven’t used it for a blog post yet, I think that it would be overwhelming because of all of it’s features! I’m happy with WordPress for my blog posts.

    I was using google drive for a while but now I’ve moved over to dropbox. I love that I can save directly to dropbox. I save my novels there and then I create my backups on my laptop.

    Stacy

    • I have also been using Scrivener to write my novel,and I agree that it is overwhelming because of all the various features. But, when I have written blog posts I haven’t used any of the features other than structured the post. It has been working great, even though I like to use WriteRoom and iA Writer better for blog posts πŸ™‚

  9. This article it’s pure gold for any real writer.
    I’m Italian and every day, to make my job, I’m costricted to write in English. Curious, you’ll say!
    Well, tools like Im Writer really saved my life at start, because it killed my procrastination. Now I use Word on daily basis because I’m more focused, also if my English language needs more grammar study for sure….

    Anyway I’m happy to have found this blog, dear Jans-Petter, because now it’s on my reading list!
    Thanks so much and see you soon!

    • Hi Alessandro,

      I was in Italy for a wedding and a vacation last year. I visited Rome and Tuscany and a small village outside of Rome. It was awesome, and the food was wow! and the people very friendly. I want to go back fairly soon πŸ™‚

      I am Norwegian so I need to use spell checking as well, but I never use it when I write. If I did, I would stop writing and look at all the mistakes I have made and probably never finish what I started. So, I usually finish writing, then before publishing I do the spell check. Sometimes I just read it, other times I copy and paste what I have written into a software with a spell checker.

      I’ll end up testing Byword fairly soon and it seems like an awesome tool for writers, and especially when it comes to using the markdown language.

      • Hi Jens P., it’s great you have a way to visit Italy, and you stayed in two of the best Italian places! Tuscany and Rome zone are in fact two of the most artistic areas, with a lot of things to see.

        About checking text, whenever I write some ebooks, I must take the services of a proofreader, otherwise if it’s just a comment, I try to write at my best πŸ™‚

        For Byword, I will wait for your review!
        Thanks so much and see you soon!
        Alessandro

  10. Maja says:

    Hello Jens
    I have used some of tools that you have explained in the post but according to my experience there is no alternative to write with the pen. I really enjoy by this natural facility.

    • I am not writing with a pen as often as I used to. I love to do it, but my problem is that it takes too much time to do both. If I first write with a pen, then I need to add what I’ve written with the pen to the computer, instead of just adding it directly to the computer. On the other hand, it’s not really about the time, it’s about the quality of the writing. And usually, when I write with a pen, I feel that the quality is better πŸ™‚

  11. That is a really good list. I use some of those, myself. If I may, there is a tool I bought for my PC, called Newnovelist 3. It lets me make notes on characters, places, objects, as I write.

    I’ve been known to forget little details and have been forced to dig through the writing to find my answer. This really speeds up my writing by eliminating those moments.

    • Hi Brian,

      That’s the first time I’ve heard of Newnovelst 3. It sounds a lot like Scrivener, the software I am using to write my novel (and some of my blog posts). I have added characters and places etc.. to Scrivener as well, but I don’t look at the notes that often.

      • To be honest I’d never thought about software to help keep track of things for my novels. I think I found them, believe it or not, through an ad on a blog I read about grammar. I was feeling flush and decided what the heck, I’ll buy it, and have used it since. I’m not familiar with Scrivner, but I’m sure you are right, it is likely similar.

  12. Khaja moin says:

    Really good list!
    BTW for online writing I like Tumblr, it makes feel really cool..

    ~@khajamoin1

  13. Amit Shaw says:

    Hello Jens,

    The list of these writing tools is really impressive. I like Writeroom a lot for its unique features. This feature also helps us in staying with our writing and not getting us distracted at all. A good tool for all the serious writers.

    • I have been using WriteRoom for a long time as well, right now I’m looking at Byword and FoldingText, and I might end up buying both even though I probably don’t need another tool to my long list πŸ™‚

  14. Caimin says:

    Hi Jens,

    Here’s another vote for Scrivener. I’ve been using it to write ebooks – I find it really helps to keep longer forms of writing organized. There’s a bit of a learning curve to using it, especially when it comes to exporting the final book, but I like the “pure writing” experience it gives.

    • Scrivener is awesome. The only thing I would change for Scrivener is the way it looks when we’re using fullscreen mode. I’d love the font to be more like WriteRoom or iA Writer.

      When I finalized my novel, I exported it to Word and kept using Word for the editing. I am not sure if that was such a good idea or not πŸ™‚

  15. Tim Bonner says:

    Hey Jens

    I usually just use the WordPress editor to write my blog posts, although just lately I have been looking for something else that I can use.

    I’ve been playing around with Evernote as something I can use to write blog posts with. I think it will certainly help with research in that I can keep everything in one place and I can use it on my iPhone as well as the PC.

    I like the look of Scrivener as well though so I’ve downloaded the PC version to take a look over.

    • I have tried Evernote as well, and it should probably have been part of my list. But it’s been so long so I forgot all about it πŸ™‚

      Evernote is awesome for taking notes, and I have used it to write blog posts and articles. I’m not sure why I stopped using it for blog posts.

      I highly recommend Scrivener, especially if you’re going to write long articles or ebooks.

  16. Hi Jens,

    Nice list. I do most of my drafting in Evernote. The mobile sync and offline access work with my schedule, which includes doing most of my initial drafts on my mobile.

    I would love to find something that combined the best of Evernote (offline access, cloud-based, Android and PC-friendly) with desktop-based publishing into WordPress, but to date I keep coming back to Evernote.

    • Hi Eric,

      I have been using Evernote too, and I had a great time using it. For some reason I have stopped using it, but now that you’re mentioning it I’ll be going back to do some more tests.

      Thank you.

  17. Felicia says:

    Hi Jens,
    Those are certainly a lot of word processing software. In fact, I don’t even know where to begin if I had so many. Since I’m running windows, the only word processors that I basically use are Word and Notepad with a little MyNotesKeeper here and there.

  18. Jeevan Jacob John says:

    Wow, that’s a great list of tools, Jens πŸ˜‰

    Obviously, I haven’t used many of these since most of them are mac based (I am PC guy – and of course, android too. Although, it is funny that I haven’t used my android for blogging – I just use it to watch movies and play games).

    Ommwriter is great too πŸ˜‰ I use Zen writer (I have told you in the past, haven’t I? :D). Give Zen writer a try when you use a PC πŸ˜‰ Just like Omm writer, but more options that make it “more” awesome!

    Oh, yes, other tools. I do use notebook – but only for blog planning. And of course, WordPress.

  19. Lisa Olinda says:

    I love Windows LiveWriter. It publishes directly to my blog, has a speller checker, allows me to add video or pictures, tags, categories, etc. I will certainly be checking out your list of tools.

  20. Dmitri says:

    I’m using Evernote app for Android. This is where I make quick notes for my future articles. Reading tech or seo tips online is giving you inspiration and new article ideas. So this note taking app helps to keep things simple and accurate.

    • I have been using Evernote a lot as well, but lately, I have forgotten all about it. I should have added it as part of this list, but since I haven’t used it for a long time (and I had forgotten all about it), that’s the reason why I didn’t include it πŸ™‚

  21. Hi Jens,

    I am really delighted to go through the list of these writing tools. I am acquainted with Write room and Google docs. I have used them and felt really comfortable. The tools are really useful and serve great purpose.

  22. Aayna says:

    Hi Jens,
    A well researched post!! These are a great set of tools. Earlier I used to prepare most of my write-up in Word only,but have recently started using other tools also such as OmmWriter etc. Thanks for the share.

  23. Brankica says:

    I love the list and have tried most of these (although not all). I am waiting for my new Mac to be fixed (yes, it broke after 4 months!) and then plan to get a word processor but I am still on the edge if I should go for Pages or good old Office. I used Open Office on Mac because I could not make up my mind.
    I love Omm writer and it is my go to tool when I need to write several posts in short amount of time. Thanks for sharing!

    • Hi Brankica,

      My biggest “problem” right now is buying a new Mac. I can’t decide whether I should buy the new 13″ rMBP or the 11″ or 13″ MBA. My head is a mess πŸ™‚

      When it comes to deciding Pages or Word, I believe it’s about the price as well. To me, Pages can do everything I need a word processor to do and it’s a lot cheaper than Word.

  24. Joy says:

    Hi Jens! Thanks for these suggestions, I’ll make it a point to look into them as soon as possible. It’s always been my goal to enhance my productivity as a writer.

  25. Kristine says:

    Hi Jens! You sure do have a lot of tools but I guess what’s important is the fact that they are making you productive in every way possible πŸ™‚ I would definitely want to check them out myself. Thanks!

    • I love testing new tools, and like you said, the reason I am testing them is because I want to find the best possible tools and I want to be as creative and productive as possible.

      Thank you so much for the feedback.

  26. Sonia says:

    I have heard of a few, but I like the way you write so I am not surprised in the different methods you use. For me, I consider word old school, but I use it religiously when I need to edit my work. Another tool I use to gauge how many words I am writing is 750words.com. What I like about this service is ts is free, counts my words for me and auto-saves my work.

    Since I don’t own an Mac, I won’t be able to check out the other products, but I like the idea of trying new things and if it keeps my creativity going, I am all for that. Thanks for sharing this cool list!

  27. Veronica says:

    What do you know, these writing tools are all new to me, except GoogleDocs and WordPress. I’d definitely try one of them these days.

  28. Kelly says:

    I never thought there are so many writing tools aside from the generic WordPress! Thanks for this article, I’m thinking of trying them all!

    • Hey Kelly,

      You should definitively try out tools like iA Writer and Omm Writer and WriteRoom. I am going to buy Byword fairly soon.

      Let me know once you’ve tried any of them. I’d love to hear your thoughts.

  29. Calra says:

    I only use Worpdress until now. I might as well try some of these writing tools. Thanks!

  30. Elaine Salt says:

    These is a great list of writing tools for bloggers. Omniwriter is a wonderful stuff.

  31. Stacey says:

    This article is bursting at the seams with useful info! I’ll try these tools for my blogging endeavor!

  32. I completely agree with you about the benefit of using Google Docs. The added benefit of the cloud service lets me edit my writing through multiple devices, so I can continue working on a piece even when I’m away from my PC.
    WordPress is also one of the strongest writing tools from a blogger’s perspective. With numerous plug-ins to help with optimization, it’s excellent for bloggers at all stages – from the beginners to the pros.

  33. hi,
    really a nice and helpful post. I am new in blogging so it so helpfull for me. thanks for sharing .. πŸ™‚

  34. Hey…
    Nice post. Really appreciable great work by you. This tool are really helpful for anyone it make one to efficiently done blogging.I am thinking to try iA writer tool.

  35. Irwin says:

    This is really insightful for writers like me. I like that your experience in using these tools is something other writers can use. I have used Ommwriter but I am more comfortable using Pages. I also tried one called WriteMonkey. I have used Day One for a while because I meant to use that for one of my blog ideas but got busy and neglected it for a while. I’ll definitely use it again.

  36. ranee says:

    In the world of technology few numbers of peoples use pen or paper to write but still you are using them it’s really appreciating and i also agree that there are so many tools to write like – OmmWriter , microsoft word and iA writer etc..

  37. Holly Berry says:

    Thank you for the article. I myself am involved with a small business which provides high quality fencing to Northeast Ohio residents. I have been trying to find ways to get the word out about this business, and I am now trying my hand at blogging. Though I have nothing to add as far as the tools you suggested, I just wanted to say thank you for sharing and providing such useful information. I will definitely being giving these tools a shot.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Subscribe: rss | email | twitter | +