A survey carried out by Harvard Business Review found out that most businesspeople agree on one thing: poorly written content wastes their time. Many said that the material they read is often ineffective because it is poorly organized, filled with jargon, too long, imprecise, and unclear.
That’s why your team needs to start producing better content.
Your team members may not be the next Judy Blumes, but if they write better, they’ll help make your brand voice strong and unique. Good writing goes a long way in business and is an essential skill that helps keep all communication—both internal and external—as consistent as possible.
Minor inconsistencies in spelling, tone, or formatting may not seem like a big deal, but they can hurt your organization's credibility.
If less-than-excellent copy is affecting your team's productivity, and in turn affecting your bottom line, it's time to address the elephant in the room. Here are 10 apps your team can use to improve their writing efficiency.
A high-quality spelling and grammar checker that helps your team write better content can make your business thrive. They will feel much better about the content they write—whether it’s documents, emails, web pages, or social media posts.
ProWritingAid analyzes written material for inconsistencies, flaws, and readability. It can generate up to 25 different reports, each scrutinizing your writing for a different flaw. Your team members can choose the style of writing they want and the app will suggest appropriate edits.
ProWritingAid works with any program you use to write, like MS Word, Google Docs, and Scrivener. It also has a chrome extension that monitors all the writing you do across the web. It uses a markup language called Markdown to format posts for HTML, saving your team a lot of time.
The app has two versions: a free one and a premium one. The free version generates 22 of the 25 reports.
Writing does not come easy for everyone, but with a good app, your team can improve their writing skills day by day. If you're a team leader and you're tired of editing your teams’ written material, the Hemingway App can help in the writing department.
The app helps people to write strong, simple sentences. It highlights potential edits in different colours to make content bold and clear. These colours help people to easily spot very dense or long sentences, complex words, incorrect use of passive voice, and unnecessary adverbs.
But unlike other writing apps (like ProWritingAid) the Hemingway App doesn't delve deep into grammatical lessons. What it does is assess the overall readability of written content and give suggestions on how to improve it.
While succeeding at work involves a host of skills, the one most people forget about is writing. Putting pen to paper may be a thing of the past, but the average office worker still does a lot of writing—responding to customer complaints, writing emails, or communicating with colleagues.
Grammarly is a spelling and grammar checker. You can install it as a browser extension and it will check the spelling, grammar, and plagiarism. It works in real time on a variety of platforms, including Gmail, Facebook, WordPress, and Microsoft Word.
However, Grammarly doesn't work on Google Docs, which can be frustrating if your team uses the application all the time. In addition, the free version is very limited and only corrects spelling and grammar. Grammarly is also more suited to casual writing and you should be careful when using it to write professional documents.
Writing business content is not an easy task, especially if your team handles many projects at a go. But thanks to apps like Scrivener, you have an easier way to create amazing copy without getting stressed.
Scrivener helps people write long-form content by offering several unique features. It doesn't tell you how to write, but it provides everything you need to begin writing and keep writing.
It allows you to work on the structure of a document, gather reference information, and type words. When you’re done, Scrivener compiles the work into different publishable or printable formats.
Scrivener’s strong point is that it makes writing a lot easier. It provides step-by-step instructions your team can use to write business documents.
Whether you love them or hate them, emails are vital for sales and company reps must be good at writing them. But they can be very hard to master.
Thankfully, an email writing app like Crystal can help make your job easier. Crystal is a Gmail extension that was developed in the Harvard Innovation Lab to help professionals communicate with empathy.
It displays the personality profiles of people you correspond with. The app offers writing tips such as "be blunt and logical" or "project boldness and confidence."
Crystal provides real time feedback that's tailored to the email recipient. Its "Relationships" feature is very beneficial as it predicts how you can work together with your prospect and gives communication tips on keeping the relationship productive.
Crystal walks the thin line between innovative and creepy, but it is no creepier than the data mining done by companies such as Facebook, Netflix, and Amazon.
As the name suggests, Readable is a readability app that shows how readable your content is (how easy is it to read) on a scale of 0 to 100. A score of 70 and above means that most people can read and understand the content. A score lower than 60 means the exact opposite.
Unlike many readability apps and tools, Readable uses the Lensear-Write Formula—and not the Linsear-Write Formula—to score content. This is because the formula scores writing at a U.S. Grade level.
Readable also uses other algorithms like the Gunning Fog Index, the Flesch Reading Ease, the Flesch-Kincaid Grade Level, the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR), and the Coleman-Liau Index,.
The app checks for grammar and spelling errors in real time and is compatible with all devices— whether it’s a mac or an Android phone.
Quality business write-ups should not be filled with jargon. However, industry-specific buzzwords and phrases are very commonly used. And even if you're a good writer, you can easily fall into the jargon trap if you're not careful.
Jargon Grader was built to eliminate jargon from professional writing. The free web app checks your text against a list of 700+ common jargon terms. Simply paste your content for assessment and it will highlight any jargon that appears.
If your team members do a lot of business writing, Jargon Grader will help them recognize the words that seem clear to them but are considered meaningless jargon by readers. They will be able to identify jargon in their proposals, reports, and even email drafts.
After the Deadline
Writing is hard enough, and editing is no walk in the park. After the Deadline helps make your team's job easy by bringing the full package of editing tools found in Office Suites to blogging software and browser-based applications.
The app doesn't just flag mistakes and give suggestions for grammar, spelling, and style. It also explains the reasons behind the corrections. This means that the longer you use it, the better a writer you become.
After the Deadline’s strength lies in its ability to process sentences and paragraphs to discover whether you meant something else by using another word. This unique feature helps make write-ups more comprehensible.
The web-based app neatly integrates into other programs and is available as an add-on for WordPress, Chrome, Firefox, and OpenOffice.
When it comes to taking notes for work, it's important to have an app that syncs across all devices. Evernote, the granddaddy of all note-taking apps, is a well-organised memory holder with great search capability.
It's been around since 2004 and your team can use it to clip notes from the web, organize pictures of a project, and even store audios about brainstorming sessions. They can create multiple notebooks and tag anything for easy cross-reference.
Evernote has many built-in features designed around taking notes, organising thoughts, and clipping websites. It saves notes to the Cloud, so you never have to worry about hard drive crashes, spilt coffee, or other mishaps that may wipe out your recorded thoughts. However, there is a limit to how much data you can load to the app per month.
Apps Make Your Team Members Efficient Writers
Research has shown that every person is only capable of making a limited number of decisions every day, even the tiny ones. An app offers a way to bypass some of these decisions, which means your team members preserve a valuable resource: their mental energy.
Professional documents that are well-written convey your message effectively and clearly to your audience. Make your team's job easier by getting these apps that will improve their writing efficiency. They won’t have to spend a lot of time writing and editing, they will focus on tasks that will help your business to grow.