These are my favourite writing tools and hacks. They help me to stay sane and organised.
Disclosure: Many links on this page are affiliate links. This means that abidemi.tv will earn a commission if you decide to purchase one of the products below - at no cost to you. Please understand that everything below was chosen because I either use it or it has been highly recommended by other users. As always, do make your own judgement before purchasing.
Libreoffice. Not many people realise this, but there’s a big ol’ world out there outside of Microsoft Office. And in this world, free, open source office software like Libre Office triumphs them all. Try it and you’ll have a hard time going back to standard office applications.
Google Docs. Helps you create and edit documents online, for free. Also great for collaboration (you’re not still sending email attachments, are you?).
Scrivener. Authors seem to have a love/hate relationship with Scrivener. Some swear by it, and others? Not so much. It bills itself as a ‘powerful content-generation tool for writers that allows you to concentrate on composing and structuring long and difficult documents.’
There’s a free trial, so you can take it for a test drive.
Like all our courses, it’s risk-free (comes with a 30-day action-taker guarantee).
Bear. A flexible writing app for crafting notes and prose on iPhone, iPad, and Mac.
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focus booster. This is a great tool for freelancers especially or those who also want to record the details of their workday.
FocusWriter is a simple, distraction-free writing environment. It utilises a hide-away interface that you access by moving your mouse to the edges of the screen, allowing the program to have a familiar look and feel to it while still getting out of the way so that you can immerse yourself in your work.
Focus is a Mac app that blocks distracting websites (like Facebook and Reddit) on all browsers (Safari, Chrome and Firefox). Focus can also block other Mac applications like Twitter, Skype or Mail.
If you would like to sell your products (for example, ebooks), on your website without feeling like you need a PhD in coding, then all you need is Selz. Seriously.
I discovered Selz on a fellow writer's website and an hour later (yes, it was that easy, and yes, I did it myself), I had my own Selz store in which I sold my ebooks, inspirational quotes and business templates.
All well and good. But what is Selz? I hear you ask: Essentially, it's an all-in-one solution that makes it ridiculously simple to sell stuff from your website or social media channels.
Get started for free and you could be up and running in minutes.
ProWritingAid. Bills itself as your personal writing coach. Just think of it as your grammar guru, style editor, and writing mentor in one package.
I use this tool. Sure there are others, but 700 thousand authors, editors and other professionals can't be wrong.
Editing your work
I'm often asked this a lot, so here are my recommended sources for professional editors.
Reedsy. Allows authors to find and work with the best professionals. Check out their vetted editors.
Sfep. Society for Editors and Proofreaders directory.
eBook Partnership. Highly recommended, with a five star rating from yours truly (that's Abidemi Sanusi, owner of this website). They offer ebook and print services, and their customer service really is superb.
Want to write a book? Check out this free cheat's guide.
You might have written the greatest book in the world, but it means nothing if your book cover sucks. Here are two book cover designers we highly recommend.
Ana book designer. Creates beautiful, visually striking images. Check out her portfolio.
Jo Laycock. An intuitive designer, Jo's book covers tell a story. Email her, here.
Growing your mailing list should be your number one priority as a writer. A healthy mailing list gives a you a ready-made audience of readers and fans who want to hear from you and buy your books and services. To do that, you’ll need an email service provider.
Missinglettr. By far the best blog campaign tool around (and our preferred tool). It helps you drive highly strategic and targeted social campaigns for your blog for a year. It even does social media, too. Seriously, highly recommended.
Active Campaign. If you want to scale your online business, there really is no better option than Active Campaign. It’s email marketing on speed, and really does give you more bang for your buck.
Opt-in forms (such as the one used on this website) are a great way to build your mailing list. Because they literally ‘pop up’ on your website, interested parties can opt-in to hear from you.
Mailmunch. Provides opt-in forms and landing pages, and are fully integrated with most email service providers. Free.
Sumo. This is probably the industry leader. The forms are free and they integrate with most email service providers too.
In an ideal world, our social media feeds would be filled with live updates. But alas, we have jobs to go to and other responsibilities too boring to go into, not to mention the lack of time, that prevent us from doing this. Enter social media management tools. These allow you to schedule your updates, thus freeing you for some much-needed writing time.
Buffer. Allows you to share and schedule social media updates to all your networks. Their social media marketing blog is also one of the best. Easy to use. Free version available.
ContentStudio. Basically, a social media scheduling tool on steroids. I use this.
Need help with Twitter? Here's our guide to mastering Twitter like Trump and JK Rowling.
Need help with social media in general? Try the 'Best social network for writers: Twitter or Facebook?'
Blue Host. The preferred website host solution for a lot of people in the business.
Fasthosts. Offers the best Wordpress hosting deals, according to TechRadar.
Not sure which blogging platform is best for you? Read the best blogging platform for writers.
Need images for your blog? Read where to find images for your blog and social media.
Our solution templates are designed for freelancers who have much better things to do (like making money) than creating a business system from scratch. They are tried and tested, with templates ranging from email pitches, to getting paid (and even, firing clients).
In short, everything you need to make your freelance business a success. Even better, they all come with a lifetime guarantee.
Asana. Easy way to manage your projects and track their progress with your clients. All project-related notes are captured on the platform, so you don’t have to deal with email overload. Free.
Basecamp. Not free, but there is a 30-day trial. Think of it as Asana’s rich cousin.
Trello: Best described as a visual project management and collaboration tool. Its boards, lists, and cards enable you to organize and prioritize your projects in a fun, flexible and rewarding way.
Harvest. A time tracking app that helps you to track your project time and bill your clients correctly.
Toggl. Affordable and easy-to-use time-tracking software for freelancers.
Dropbox. Great for document collaboration and storage. And the great thing is, the more people you refer to Dropbox, the more storage space you’re allocated, so in theory, you could have the service for free ;-)
These freelance sites are a great way to market your services and build your portfolio.
Upwork. Global freelancing site. Create a profile and bid for jobs.
PeoplePerHour. Has more of a UK focus, but you can still use it to get gigs from all over the world.
Fiverr. Lots has been said about this site, but if you’re just getting started as a freelance writer, it’s probably one of the best places to start and build your portfolio.
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