I am often asked what my favorite “writing tools” are. Sometimes people mean “favorite app” (Scrivener) or just simply “what do I write with?” (MacBook Pro)
To answer these questions, and possibly provide you with some cool apps, services, and tools you may have never heard of, I present this list of writing tools that I’ve had personal experience with and completely vouch for.
Some of these tools are tools I currently use, while others are tools I’ve grown out of, put aside for a “better” solution, or just don’t have time to use. Every item on here, however, has been used personally by me and usually by other writers in my circle, and all of them are amazing at what they do.
The list is organized into categories: Productivity, Planning, Marketing, and Writing, and into groups of “type:” Apps, Software, and Online Tools. I didn’t include “hardware” or offline things that I use regularly, like the Canon 7oD for video or my trusty MacBook Pro, though these items are certainly awesome (the hardware is much more difficult to interchange, and I’ve found that just about everyone’s got a preference of their own already).
In addition, you can organize the list yourself by clicking on the headers.
Finally, you’ll find links to each of these services. Because I’ve used them, tested them, and love them, some links are affiliate links, which means I’ll earn a small commission if you purchase or upgrade the tool using that link. It doesn’t cost you an extra, and it’s just a small way to increase my income from this site!
Have fun, and happy writing!
|Scrivener||Software||Writing||This is the all-in-one planning, research, drafting, writing, and publishing tool you've probably heard a lot about.|
|CoSchedule||Online Tools||Planning||CoSchedule is an editorial calendar, task manager, and social media planner for WordPress.|
|Evernote||Software||Planning||I store my "digital brain" in Evernote. You can save just about anything to it, and it syncs between all your devices.|
|iA Writer||Apps||Writing||Minimalist writing app for iPad. Using Dropbox, you can sync writing in iAWriter between your devices and Scrivener.|
|TweetDeck||Software||Marketing||TweetDeck is the easiest way to keep track of your social accounts without needing to log in every time.|
|Buffer||Online Tools||Marketing||Buffer is a lifesaver. It posts automatically, using a queue-like list of your scheduled updates.|
|AWeber||Online Tools||Marketing||AWeber is a lifesaver for me. It's the #1 mailing list provider, and I use it for all of my newsletters.|
|MailChimp||Online||Marketing||"Sexier" than AWeber, easy-to-use, and free (up to a point), it's only #2 because of feature limitations.|
|Mindly||Apps||Planning||Mindly is a mind mapping tool that I use for planning my world domination. It's super easy to use, but limited.|
|Feedly||Online Tools||Productivity||I subscribe to over 300 RSS (blog) feeds. How? By using a beautiful, easy-to-use tool like Feedly.|
|Skype||Software||Productivity||Skype is my phone when I'm at home (I have no cell service). I use it for interviews, podcasting, and chatting.|
|Things||Software||Productivity||The GTD (Getting Things Done) to-do list for Mac and iOS.|
|Wunderlist||Software||Productivity||Totally free to-do list manager, sleek, elegant, and useful.|
|WordPress||Online Tools||Writing||The blog platform that I (and millions of others) use for blogging.|
|WP Engine||Online Tools||Planning||A hosting platform designed and built exclusively for WordPress users. Safe and secure managed hosting.|
|Basecamp||Online Tools||Planning||I have been using Basecamp for sharing documents and commenting with my editor. It's a simple, scalable platform.|
|Hanx Writer||Apps||Writing||A nifty little typewriter emulator for iPad created by Tom Hanks (yes, that one).|
|A Novel Idea||Apps||Planning||Have an idea for your novel? Use your iPad to storyboard, plan, and sketch out your ideas.|
|Unstuck||Apps||Productivity||This awesome app is a cool way to get "unstuck" on a project quickly. Like a doctor for your productivity woes.|
|Online Tools||Productivity||When I find an article I want to read later, offline, I save it to Pocket. Basically a version of Mac OS's "Read Later" tool.|
|Grammarly||Online Tools||Planning||I've been testing Grammarly lately, and I love the interface and ease-of-use. It's still a little robotic, but is a great way to check for those last-minute typos before print.|
|ACX||Online Tools||Marketing||Produce an audio version of your book, and sell it on Audible/Amazon. For free.|
|Babelcube||Online Tools||Marketing||Want your book to be translated into German or Spanish (or some other language)? Want it to be done for free?|
|99designs||Online Tools||Marketing||I use 99designs for just about all of my book covers. Great price for what you get (design contest with dozens of entries!).|
|Fiverr||Online Tools||Marketing||Fiverr is your one-stop shop for inexpensive, quick jobs. It's helped me find out if my Spanish translation is good or bad, and I've created podcast intros with it.|
|Booktrack||Online Tools||Marketing||A newcomer to this list, Booktrack is a cool way to produce a "soundtrack" for your book's readers.|
|WattPad||Online Tools||Writing||Free stories. A bunch of them. Also, a cool way to get your stories read by beta reviewers.|
|Blubrry PowerPress||Online Tools||Planning||Blubrry PowerPress is a podcasting solution for WordPress that takes the difficulty out of getting your podcast published and live.|
|Libsyn||Online Tools||Planning||Libsyn (Liberated Syndication) is a reliable, secure, and inexpensive host for podcast files (mp3s). It beats hosting them yourself.|
|Woothemes||Online Tools||Marketing||A fantastic resource for WordPress themes, plugins, and professional help.|
|Learn Scrivener Fast||Online Tools||Productivity||A friend of mine runs this amazing course, and it's the BEST way to learn how to use Scrivener (fast).|
|KDP Select||Online Tools||Planning||KDP Select is Amazon's answer to self-published authors. Upload and your book is live on Amazon within 24 hours!|
|Smashwords||Online Tools||Planning||The all-in-one publishing solution for authors, helping you get your work into iBooks, Amazon, Kobo, and more.|
|IngramSpark||Online Tools||Planning||IngramSpark provides the best hardcover POD services for the money.|
|LightningSource||Online Tools||Planning||The best solution for the mid-size publisher (or author of 5 or more books), providing POD services and super high quality.|
|Hostmonster||Online Tools||Planning||Hostmonster is a trusted, proven, shared hosting provider.|
|Midphase||Online Tools||Planning||Midphase is sort of an "in-between" host: it's a little more high-end than Hostmonster, but not as expensive as WPEngine.|
|The Self-Publishing Answers Podcast||Online Tools||Productivity||Kevin Tumlinson and I riff on life, self-publishing, and not making enough money.|
|Gravity Forms||Online Tools||Planning||If you use WordPress, you NEED to be using Gravity Forms. Hands-down the BEST form-building tool on the planet.|
|Persona||Software||Planning||Persona is a great tool for planning characters in your book. Add your character archetypes and watch them interact with one another.|
|The Power 100||Online Tools||Productivity||An annually-updated list, The Power 100 is a list of the BEST blogs and websites for writers.|
|Elegant Themes||Online Tools||Marketing||Great WordPress themes at great prices. I've used them for many websites in the past.|