BlogThe Writing ProcessOur Top 10 Free Tools and Apps for Writers

Our Top 10 Free Tools and Apps for Writers

Hayley Milliman

Hayley Milliman

Content Lead

Published Jul 20, 2020

10 Free Writing Apps and Tools

Writing isn't easy. Thankfully, there are all kinds of apps out there to make the process easier by helping you stay organized and focused. Whether you are writing for a living or just writing a grocery list, these free apps for writers will help you complete your project with ease.

  1. 1. ProWritingAid
  2. 2. Hubspot's Blog Ideas Generator
  3. 3. Canva
  4. 4. Milanote
  5. 5. LibreOffice
  6. 6. Scribus
  7. 7. FocusWriter
  8. 8. Evernote
  9. 9. Diaro
  10. 10. Todoist
  11. Make Writing Apps Work for You

1. ProWritingAid

Come on. You were expecting this. But our writers really do believe that ProWritingAid should be at the top of this list. ProWritingAid is an online editor, writing coach, and style guide, all rolled into one. It highlights a range of potential pitfalls in your writing that your average grammar checker misses, like overused words, transitions, vague and abstract words, and more.

The free ProWritingAid online editing tool allows you to upload your documents and access more than 20 in-depth writing reports, which will help you improve the strength and clarity of your texts quickly and easily.

You'll get an overview of your writing, with tips on how to make the most improvement in the shortest amount of time. You'll also keep learning while you write with informational videos and blog articles that pop up as part of ProWritingAid's suggestions.


Check out this review and tutorial by bestselling author, Joanna Penn:

ProWritingAid also has more software integrations than any other editing software, including MS Word, Google Docs, Scrivener, Open Office, and Chrome so that you can edit wherever you write.

Ready to try it for yourself? Click the button below to get started.

Start editing like a pro with your free ProWritingAid account now

2. Hubspot's Blog Ideas Generator

Even the best writers run into blocks sometimes. Hubspot's Blog Topic Generator can help you when it feels impossible to come up with new content.

Hubspot's Blog Topic Generator

Simply input three nouns into the generator and get a week's worth of topics in seconds! Now, THAT was easy!

3. Canva

As writers, we don't just have to worry about the words we put on the page (or screen). Many of us have to create images for our work, whether that's a cover photo for a blog post or a graphic to promote your book on social media. Canva is an amazing, powerful free tool to help create beautiful images.


Canva's drag and drop templates can help you create everything from a Pinterest graphic to a book cover. If you're hesitant to learn Photoshop, Canva is an amazing alternative to help you create rich, high-quality graphics.

4. Milanote

Milanote is an easy-to-use tool to organize your ideas and projects into visual boards. As a writer, visualizations can help you keep track of everything from character relationships to the order of scenes.

Milanote mockup

Milanote's flexible interface allows you to do things like:

  • Write notes and to-do lists (handy for keeping yourself on track with your book writing plan)
  • Upload images and files (useful for keeping visual inspiration for everything from scenery to character outfits)
  • Save images, texts, and links from the web

and even more!

5. LibreOffice

LibreOffice is an amazing word processor option for people who are looking for a free alternative to Word.


LibreOffice has a number of great features, including a clean and sophisticated word processing layout and support for a vast number of file formats. You can create everything from a simple memo to a complete book using the online editor, which makes it a great choice for people looking for a word processor for all types of projects.

A grammar guru, style editor, and writing mentor in one package.
Try it for free!

6. Scribus

Do you need to create beautiful layouts for your words? If so, Scribus may be for you!


Scribus is a free, open source platform that allows you to create rich, professional layouts for everything from one-pagers to magazines. While it takes a bit of learning to get started, Scribus is both easier to use and cheaper (since it's free!) than tools like Adobe InDesign.

7. FocusWriter

Distraction is Enemy #1 to many writers. Facebook never looks as enticing as when you're on a tight deadline or trying to meet a goal. If this sounds like you, FocusWriter is here to help.


FocusWriter minimizes your work into a clean, distraction-free word processor interface, so you can simply write without worrying about the clutter on your computer screen. FocusWriter isn't the best tool for going through your second or third draft, but it's great for getting through that first run so you can do the in-depth editing elsewhere later.

8. Evernote

Evernote is an amazing "second brain" which allows you to flexibly take notes and capture ideas in a variety of areas.


You can do just about everything in Evernote, from creating to-do lists and checklists to drawing out specific notes to capturing receipts for tracking business expenses. Evernote offers up to 60 MB of space on its free plan, which is plenty if you're just using plain text notes. If you'd like to add more graphic or larger files, you can upgrade your storage for small fees.

9. Diaro

Your life is precious, and if you’re the documenting type, you want to remember every moment, good or bad. Diaro is an advanced diary application, but it can be used for keeping a journal or simply writing notes.


Use Diaro to help you keep your thoughts and memories organized and well documented. Attach photos or locations to your entries and share with others via email and social networking sites. With Diaro, you never have to worry about others stumbling across your deepest darkest secrets, because your diary will be password protected.

10. Todoist

The best writers are able to organize and prioritize their work. Todoist is a task management application that helps you create to-do lists and custom schedules so you can work more effectively.


With Todoist, you can create recurring tasks (e.g. "Write every day at 7 p.m.!") to help yourself set and achieve goals. Never worry about forgetting an important task again!

Make Writing Apps Work for You

These apps are never going to replace you as a writer, editor or designer. But they'll definitely help you become a better one. Without the right app, writing is harder than it needs to be. Simplify your life and kickstart your success with these writing apps.

What writing apps do you use? Anything we've missed? Tell us in the comments!

ProWritingAid is a grammar checker, style editor, and writing mentor in one package. Try it free today!

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Hayley Milliman

Hayley Milliman

Content Lead

Hayley is the Head of Learning at ProWritingAid. Prior to joining this team, Hayley spent several years as an elementary school teacher and curriculum developer in Memphis, TN. When Hayley isn't hunched over her keyboard, you can find her figure skating at the ice rink or hiking with her dog.

While I like this piece of advice, I find it hard to follow. Things change a lot and very quickly in the modern world. Beautifully said, nevertheless.
By lisa85 on 20 September 2012, 09:15 PM
Want to write
By Lambrosia7 on 30 January 2014, 07:07 PM
Check out Manu for writing books and novels, screenplay etc... find at and @WrtrStat on twitter.
By C Catlin on 04 September 2015, 02:54 PM
Check out Manu for writing books and novels, screenplay etc... find at and @WrtrStat on twitter.
By C Catlin on 04 September 2015, 02:55 PM
this is nice advice
By John_thomas_woolsey on 29 March 2016, 08:45 PM
Who will help me send text editor or ProWritingAid or any software that will help me edit my novel perfectly well. I need your help and I will acknowledge you for your benevolent patronage. Thanks, you can forward it to my email:
By voughan.mogan on 02 June 2016, 01:15 PM
By magrn2006 on 31 August 2016, 05:30 PM
I really hope this app can help me write better on a computer. I really need to write fast for my homework. I hope this will work. I searched up 13 apps to try and help me write better but, none helped me a lot. So I found this one! I really hope this helps me! Thank you!
By carol_peck61 on 27 November 2016, 04:54 AM
Your comment I have talked to many people about your program and they love it. I am sure I will too. Thank you for your help.
By reed611954 on 02 September 2018, 09:18 PM
I want to add one more tool to this awesome list, which is character and word count online tool.
By adamduzzcount on 07 October 2018, 02:05 PM
I’m a new writer I’m 59 and have had a rich life and varied occupations in Nursing and Teaching I’m now retired and want to document my experiences through the fiction genre. Not wanting to use real nmrs or characters but wanting to document the rich tapestry of my life in India in Adelaide SA and the last 30 years in the Northern Territory:) can I get help with a basic writing guide and just fill in the spaces to start me off???:)
By Maggiejs20 on 13 October 2018, 07:12 AM
The best of everything on this list is ProWritingAid, hands down. Most of these are online programs, and I'd like to see an emphasis on desktop programs. Good article though! Thanks.
By nicholasreicher on 01 December 2018, 03:48 PM
Great information! I really hope this app can help me write better on a computer. I really need to write fast for my homework. I hope this will work.
By warnerjohn19951 on 03 December 2018, 05:33 AM
I didn't know a website like HubSpot exist. It looks very promising
By Aleksandar V on 06 January 2019, 09:47 AM
This was very helpful, thank you.
By smpachar on 10 January 2019, 12:58 PM
By 770896 on 22 January 2019, 02:41 AM
thanks for the pieces of's really helpful
By cherry.mae123 on 08 February 2019, 04:39 AM
I want to say I use Pro Writing Aid and I love it. I didn't know if there were any upgrades. I must give the other apps a try. Thank you! Carol Schoenig
By carol schoenig on 09 February 2019, 01:30 PM
Great list. Freemind and Evernote are already in my toolbox since years. For organizing the writing life on Windows, maybe XPlan can help. Related article here:
By wilcobis on 24 June 2019, 08:12 AM
I am an aged writer. I had a grade six education and never learned the tricks of grammar, spelling, and punctuation. People tell me this is not as important as the story itself, that someone will correct these mistakes. Hard to believe. Who has that type of time? I need a word processor that checks my three weak spots. I used Word for years and Grammarly but I find now I need more. Any suggestions?. Anne R.
By on 06 July 2019, 12:26 AM
For people of Indian area, i would recommend using Loukus News App. I have been using the app for sometimes, what makes it distinct from other apps how it represents news in shorter form without losing any important points, also it makes sure that before publishing any news it checks the source to rectify any fake news.
By allenbruce262 on 22 July 2019, 04:41 PM
Hi i was reading your article on article writing apps i have created an AI app too and it uses the openAI GPT2 model its availble at we are still running beta so layout and presentation is not all there yet. please have a look and please send your critisism and maybe add it to your blog post.
By info12872 on 29 August 2019, 04:54 PM
Great post
By amelia22brown on 05 September 2019, 06:53 AM
Writing from first person to third person
By Ashacud.abdirahman on 20 September 2019, 04:29 AM
You can add "Dictation Pro" in your list of writing tools. I use this app daily and no longer have to manually type. You will just need a good microphone and the work is done quickly. The voice commands feature makes editing and formatting much easier than other dictation products. Excellent app.
By ben.kaufmann01 on 28 November 2019, 01:27 PM
For writers, the best app for writing just with your voice is "Dictation Pro". I use this app daily and get my work done faster. It supports multiple file formats. I think it is an excellent product with an easy to use set of voice commands.
By ben.kaufmann01 on 07 January 2020, 10:27 AM
By 1evansave on 14 March 2020, 05:48 PM
By ashokraj9032 on 30 March 2020, 01:10 AM
I have used Google quite a bit as I was starting out to writ stories. This was a much better and less expensive way to begin. I have also used adobe at first, then found in experimenting with various drawing and lettering text, fonts and color choices that "SKETCH" and then using "Add Text to Photos" app. Where after I have drawn an illustration(s) for the grade school readers animal fiction stories. Sketch is a free drawing app. The text to photo's app has one set of fonts at no charge. Quite a few other fonts that one has to pay a small minimum Price per font choice(s). But not very difficult to learn to use. With these three -four apps before I learned about and have paid to use Pro Writer Aid. Did a great job. Now hoping that both of Pro writing Aid's two programs I will have even better results. Could there be an eBook or say a cheat sheet to one learn quickly how to know what type of words to insert the program/app "KINDLEPRENEUR BOOK DESCRIPTION GENERATOR" please with examples of how to get the best use of this, Angela L.
By lambkina7 on 20 May 2020, 08:34 PM
Hi there! We are so glad you find ProWritingAid helpful. Check out our blog for more free writing tips! If you have specific questions, shoot us an e-mail. :)
By writersneed2 on 21 May 2020, 04:05 PM
As we're talking about 'Free' tools for writers, I'm finding the 'Collections' feature of the new Microsoft Edge browser useful for research. It enables me to search for information on various sites, and add those sites into a collection I can visit later. For example, if I need to describe a New York street (I've never been to New York and probably never will) I could search for that particular street and add all those pages of description to a single collection I could visit whenever I needed to.
By richard67 on 29 May 2020, 03:54 PM
Ginger has a great fluid experience too. You missed that one.
By officialjoinfi on 28 June 2020, 04:39 PM
Good to know!
By writersneed2 on 01 July 2020, 01:23 PM
Greetings Your self-publishing experience will help me a lot in self- publishing my book. After reading your journey have given me more clarity on how can I get my script edited more easily and efficiently. Now have an idea of all the challenges and obstacles that i will encounter while editing and will take all the necessary precautions needed. I also got a clear understanding of what type of editing I need for my book and also the type of editor software that suits my need the best. I now realize the true meaning of editing as it is the most important aspect of self-publishing. Regards
By pulkit96dwivedi on 30 July 2020, 03:36 PM
Hi Very well organised list. These tools are a true game changer for an author and editor. My personal experience with Pro writing aid was awesome.
By chauhanreeta121 on 06 August 2020, 06:11 PM
Thanks so much! We are so glad you're enjoying PWA. :)
By writersneed2 on 06 August 2020, 09:19 PM
I have not practically tested your app,but I love you.
By neelamani45 on 29 September 2020, 03:19 PM
That's great! Just wait until you test the app out! :)
By amy.cohen on 29 September 2020, 07:29 PM
Thanks for sharing. You tips and advice are awesome!
By thewittyfreelancer on 26 November 2020, 07:16 PM
We are so glad that you find them useful! :) Write on!
By amy.cohen on 27 November 2020, 05:11 PM
By Thomasvl62 on 28 November 2020, 09:14 PM
okay! :)
By amy.cohen on 29 November 2020, 03:27 PM
Stunning advice for writing ,however, it's hard to follow all these Apps ,since modern technology is making giant leaps in every field, so one has to practise a lot so as to keep oneself update.with such quick changes.Many thanks
By salihabelhacene25 on 27 May 2021, 07:55 PM
We couldn't agree more with you! We'll do our best to keep up and help you keep up as well! :)
By amy.cohen on 14 June 2021, 05:22 PM

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