What are the Writing Tools Freelance Writers Need?

I think it’s safe to say that every freelance writer has sat and stared at their screen with absolutely no idea where to start.

Whether working on a client project or building your portfolio through guest posting, every freelance writer struggles with the actual process of writing once and awhile.

What are the Writing Tools Freelance Writers Need?

Not to mention…everything else!

Even the most experienced writers need a little extra help with writing sometimes.

When it comes to being a freelance writer, there are about a hundred different things you have to learn to master. From time management, to customer service, and even accounting (blah!).

So anything to make the process of writing a little bit easier is a huge help!

When it is time to focus on the actual writing, there are a few things that come in really handy. Writing tools for example.

Specifically, writing apps.

Mobile and web writing apps can save you time, improve your writing, and help to keep all of your projects organized.

In this post I am going to go over the 11best writing apps for freelance writers in 2020 and beyond.

Why You Should Be Using Writing Apps

Let’s face it…

Even the most experienced writers need a little extra help with writing sometimes. Whether it is with their client relations, time management, or brushing up on their grammar, no freelance writer is perfect.

The point of using writing apps is to help you streamline your processes and ever improve your writing skills.

So let’s take a look at the best writing tools for freelance writers.


Of course I have to start off this list with Grammarly! Every freelance writer has been beaten over the head about using the Grammarly writing app to improve their writing. Here are a few reasons why you should be using this writing tool (if you aren’t already).

Even the best writers mess up sometimes and overlook things. You don’t want to tarnish your writing reputation by submitting projects with silly grammar mistakes.

With a writing app like Grammarly, it makes proofreading and editing your work that much easier. You don’t have to worry about silly misspellings or having the wrong punctuation or lack there of. So add this on as a chrome extension (if you’re using chrome) and don’t make another silly mistake.


ProWritingAid is a pretty cool app, similar to Grammarly. This app boasts itself on being a “style editor, grammar checker, and writing mentor all in one package.”

A free chrome extension that helps to point out aspects of your writing that can be improved. From fixing style issues to enhancing readability, this is a great app for any novice or experienced writer to help them step up their game.

While the free version is loaded with features, the paid version offers a bit more. Although if  you are not writing academic papers or are writing A LOT, the free version should be more than enough.

Dragon Dictation

Do you ever have those times when you are waiting in the car to pick up the kids and inspiration strikes? While it’s not really convenient to bring your laptop with you everywhere, it’s certainly easier to talk into your phone.

Think about it, we use talking apps all the time, at home, in our cars, and on our phones.

Dragon Dictation is an incredibly easy writing tool where you just tap the app and start talking.

The app easily dictates with up to 99% accuracy. This is great for those that get sick of typing or would rather move around a bit while they are working. There is a small monthly cost to the app, but totally worth it for not being physically tied to your computer all day.

You can also get some pretty cool tech to assist in your dictation, such as microphones, bluetooth headsets, and headphones. Although these are not required to use the app, they can certainly be helpful if you are often on the go.

Two really neat features of Dragon Dictation is that you can add industry specific words to improve your dictations. Also, you can easily import and export from your favorite cloud-based writing apps, like Evernote and Google Drive.


Evernote is a multipurpose tool that works great for freelance writers. There are a couple main features of Evernote:

  • A web clipper for clipping articles, sales pages, ads, and any other resource for your writing.
  • Tagging to easily help you search your notes and web clips.
  • Audio to dictate or record any thoughts about your projects.
  • Capturing photos, which is helpful for “clipping” physical articles or bits of books.
  • Scanning, also helpful for scanning physical documents.

Evernote even offers a bunch of different templates to help keep things like your client contracts and proposals streamlined. With a paid subscription, you can even create your own templates. They also have handy to-do lists for keeping your tasks organized.

Evernote allows you to create notebooks, which is great for keeping your client work separated and organized.


Working from home or writing in your favorite coffee shop can be distracting enough sometimes. ZenPen is a distraction free writing tool that completely minimizes your distractions while writing. It’s a crazy simple writing app for those who want to drown out the noise and just get down to business.


ZenWriter is pretty much the same thing as ZenPen with a few different features. While they share the same goal (distraction free writing) ZenWriter is set up a little differently. There is a dark and light mode, which is nice if you do a lot of writing at night and want to give your eyes a bit of a rest. It is also a fully focused, full screen writing app. While ZenPen still allows you to keep your tabs up, which can be distracting all in itself, ZenWriter eliminates that.


Calmly Writer

This is another distraction free writing app that allows you to just get down to business. It also has a dark and light feature and includes a few other features:

  • The ability to zoom in and out of your document
  • Turn off and on the typewriter sound
  • Smart punctuation
  • Full screen mode
  • And even a word counter

Of the distraction free writing apps, this is probably the most robust of the three. And of course, free to use!

Hemingway App

Cut out the middle man and be your own editor with the Hemingway App. If you’re a great writer but kind of suck at editing, then this is the app for you. The Hemingway App allows you to be your own editor without actually having to know that much about editing and proper grammar.

Either type right inside the app or copy and paste into the writing section. Then click over to editing. The Hemingway App helps to improve the readability of your documents.

Here are the main features of the app:

  • Yellow highlighted sentences are too lengthy and difficult to read. You should shorten or split these sentences to improve readability.
  • Red highlighted sentences are similar to yellow, only worse. These sentences are going to confuse your reader. They need to be split up and less complicated wording used.
  • Purple means that you can use a shorter variation of that word in the sentence. For example, replace “utilize,” with “use.” (As you hover over, it gives you suggestions).
  • Blue means you need to switch up your adverbs.
  • Green highlights passive phrases. While it is acceptable to use passive voice once in a while, try to use an active voice in your writing whenever possible.

The app also shows your word count, and the readability grade level. There is also a handy little toolbar for formatting your text.

Headline Analyzer

The headline analyzer is a very useful tool to help you write those click worthy headlines. It is very simple to use, type in your headline and check your score. The goal is to get a 70% or above. The analyzer checks a few different components:

  • Common words
  • Uncommon words
  • Power words
  • Emotional words

It also looks at the length of the headline through the number of characters and words, along with a few other cool analytics. Unless you are already an expert at writing headlines that people can’t wait to click on, I highly suggest you use this tool in your writing. When writing for clients, you can even provide them with mini reports on your suggested headlines for the article (Hint: you can use this as an upsell).


Part of writing is creating an outline for your project. Whether it is a few hundred or a few thousand word posts, you should have an outline to make sure you cover all of your talking points. Coogle is like a mind map on steroids. With cool icons and the ability to download images and PDFs to the platform, you will never find yourself struggling to deconstruct all those awesome brainstorming sessions. If you are looking for something a little simpler, MindMesiter is another great, user friendly tool.

Social Message Optimizer

While this isn’t a traditional writing app in the sense, I wanted to include it as it can still be very helpful. The social message optimizer is the cousin to the headline analyzer. Much like the headline analyzer, it gives you scores for your social media messages. This can be helpful if you write social copy or are working on promoting your own articles.

There you have it, 11 of the best writing apps for freelance writers. I hope that I was able to introduce you to some new resources for your writing to help improve your skills and your productivity.

Elna Cain is a B2B freelance writer  for SaaS businesses and digital marketing brands and the co-founder of Freelancer FAQs. She's been featured on Entrepreneur, The Ladders, The Penny Hoarder, Leadpages and more. If you want to learn how to freelance write, check out her free course, Get Paid to Write Online.

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