13 Tech and Marketing Tools Successful Writers Touch Every Day

We writers love to read about what other writers are doing — their processes, their goals, and the tools they use. As I was sitting down to write today, I listed in my head all the software and platforms I employ as a writer to create professional and polished essays, articles, and stories.

It had me wondering, what are the tools that other writers use every day? What do they consider necessities in their writing process?

There are things I’ve learned that I cannot live without, tools that make my life as a writer easier and more carefree. What are the necessities I use every single day, and why do I use them?

Here is the shortlist:

1. Microsoft Word

I know many writers use Google Docs, but I spend the extra $10 a month and get Microsoft Office 365 because it’s what I’m most comfortable using, and I’m not the only one:

“1.2 billion people across 140 countries and 107 languages use Microsoft Office.” — Microsoft

Word offers a Grammarly plugin so you can spell and grammar check while you write and it comes with a 1TB One-Drive for backing up all your work.

Microsoft Word. Image by Author.

I love the power of Word, and even though I’m all for saving money, I don’t feel guilty spending it on this program. It proves its worth every time I open it. Say what you want about Microsoft but they have perfected word processing.

2. DropBox

I already mentioned I have OneDrive to back up all my writing, but being the anal-retentive person I am, I go even further and back up to an external solid-state and Dropbox 1TB. If you’ve had hard drives go out in the past, there is no better feeling than knowing your work is on the cloud, and for less than $10 a month, it’s a no-brainer.

You don’t have to go as far as I did to be safe, but at least back up your work to one other source.

3. Grammarly

I started using Grammarly when I got a free premium subscription from the online college I was attending. I pay for it now, but it’s become such a huge part of my proofreading and editing process that I couldn’t live without it and neither can a whole lot of other people because the company has 6.9 million daily, active users.

Yes, it makes some mistakes and follows a lot of the old rules from the Strunk and White days, but as a double-check, there’s no better program for picking up mistakes you may have missed. Some have told me that ProWritingAid is better, but I haven’t tried it yet because Grammarly makes me happy.

4. Hemingway Editor

Recently, many people have spoken out about Hemingway Editor, but I’m going to go against the grain and say that I bought this program for $25 a year ago, and it has become invaluable to me. It’s now a permanent part of my writing process.

Hemingway Editor. Image by Author.

It checks for overuse of the passive voice, and too many adverbs, and judges the complexity of your sentences. I’ve been aiming for about a sixth-grade reading level, so Hemingway helps me decide which sentences to keep and which to simplify.

If you don’t want to pay for the app, they have a free online version.

5. Sharethrough Headline Analyzer

Few things are more important to your engagement than a great headline, so make sure you try a few different options. It’s key to the success of your article.

“…a headline changes the way people read an article and the way they remember it. The headline frames the rest of the experience. A headline can tell you what kind of article you’re about to read — news, opinion, research, LOLcats — and it sets the tone for what follows.” — Maria Konnikova, The New Yorker

I’ve tried a few headline analyzers, like CoSchedule, but they want a bunch of information from you to use it. For a free option that gives more information about your headline, than you’ll ever need, I like to use Sharethrough Headline Analyzer.

Sharethrough Headline Analyzer. Image by author.

Not only will it tell you the strengths and weaknesses of your headline, but it’ll also give you an engagement score and impression score to see how likely it is someone will interact with your article. For a free option, it’s still one of the better apps out there.

6. Adobe Photoshop

I’ve been using Adobe Photoshop for over 20 years, and it’s become indispensable for me. I use it to create social media banners, logos for publications, and to crop or simplify images I use in my essays and stories. I barely touch the surface of what Photoshop can do, but I’ve become so comfortable with it that it’s hard to do without it.

“Over 90% of the world’s creative professionals use Photoshop.“ — Adobe Fast Facts

Adobe Photoshop. Image by Author.

If you don’t want to learn how to use another program, Canva seems to be much easier to use, but also much less powerful.

7. Evernote

I’m constantly coming up with ideas, and I need a place to store them. Evernote has been my go-to for many years because it’s so easy to use, and your notes get stored in the cloud and can be accessed from any device. I keep it open on my laptop and phone so I can flip over and record anything that sticks in my brain.

Evernote. Image by Author.

I have an idea log that I’ve been keeping for years with hundreds of notes that I can refer to when I’m looking for a new topic to write about. I also use it when starting a new project, and I need to keep my notes in one place.

8. Social Media

I don’t use every social media platform out there because I want to do the best job I can on the ones I have. I use Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn, and have an Instagram account that I haven’t started to use to promote my work yet. I do have LinkTree set up for Instagram so I can share several links from my profile.

“In 2018, an estimated 2.65 billion people were using social media worldwide, a number projected to increase to almost 3.1 billion in 2021.” — Statista

I share all my work on these profiles. I started doing it when I had small followers, and it’s turned into a habit now that I have more followers. Social media is so important for promoting your work or your writer’s brand that you cannot ignore it.

9. Social Groups

One of the great things about Facebook and LinkedIn is the groups. Many allow you to share links in specific threads and promote your publications and newsletters. Some of my favorite groups right now on Facebook are Medium Dreamers, Newsletter Creators, and Read Watch Write Repeat.

10. Substack

If you’re a writer, you need a mailing list and newsletter. I used to use MailChimp but became disillusioned and found Substack. Substack is a mailing list, newsletter, blogging, and podcasting platform that is free and easy to use.

I currently have two newsletters, Beautifully Broken, which includes a paid version, and To Blog Or Not To Blog.

To Blog Or Not To Blog. Image by Author.

Even if they started charging per month instead of only a percentage of paid subscriptions, I would still use them because they have everything I could ask for and more.

11. Gmail + Outlook

Email would always make the list of necessities. I use it as anyone else does but with a twist. In my Medium and a few social media profiles, I include it and you wouldn’t believe the amount of email I get from people and companies wanting to work with me. Yes, some of it is spam, but it’s worth it for people to be contacting me with opportunities.

Because of putting my email in profiles, I’ve gotten two ghostwriting clients, a TV appearance on the Oxygen Network, and connected with many people who deal with mental illness looking for someone to talk to. As a mental health advocate, I need to be able to have easy access to others.

“There are 3.9 billion active email users. More than half of the global population now uses email.” — Campaign Monitor

I use both Gmail and Outlook. Both have strengths and weaknesses but are very similar in power. I’ve tried a lot of other email services, but these are the best.

12. Stock Images — Unsplash, Pexels,

I used to spend a lot of money trying to find the best stock photos and graphics for my essays and articles. I was spending $30 a month with Adobe Stock for ten images, and while the quality was great, the price was not.

Lately, I use Unsplash, Pexels, and Mixkit, the latter specializing in illustrations, which I’ve been using a lot more lately.

The images are great, and most don’t require attribution, but I always give it. Artists and photographers are trying to get their names out there, just as we writers are trying to do, so give credit where credit is due.

13. Publishing Platforms

Last, but never least are the platforms where I share my work. While Medium heads up the list, I also publish work-related articles on LinkedIn. I’ve posted a few of the more new-agey relationship pieces on Elephant Journal, and have also tried out Vocal.Media, also have a payment structure set up based on the number of likes your stories get.

CoFoundersTown. Image By Author.

My new favorite has to be CoFoundersTown. I’ve republished a few articles with them and am planning on publishing brand-new content soon. Í’ve been there a short time and I’m already featured on the website. I love the setup and simplicity of this platform and plan to publish much more with them.

The newcomer to this group is a platform I heard about yesterday called beBee Producer. It looks to be much like LinkedIn as they feature content about career, work, business, and technology. I haven’t spent a lot of time exploring yet, but I will very soon.

What Necessities Do You Use Every Day as a Writer?

So that is what I use every day. What about you? What would you add to this list, and what would you remove?

The fact is we all have tools and processes we use to ensure we’re publishing the best work possible. We get accustomed to using the same things, but if you’re like me, you’re always looking for things to improve the process.

Remember, you can put as many tools and processes in place, but the key to being a successful writer is sitting down and writing something — anything — every day.

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