The work of an indie writer is difficult because you have to do everything yourself – we understand that. However, right tools can make even the most complex processes exciting and more manageable.
In this blog post, we want to share 10 free tools for indie authors to help you organize your work, research, edit your manuscript, find the right word, and even get in the mood for writing. Let’s take a closer look.
Being an author is a full-time job, even if you write books at night and work as a lawyer in the daytime. Therefore, you should not treat writing as just a hobby. If you want to succeed, take it seriously. In particular, organize your workspace.
Notion is an excellent free tool that will come in handy for this purpose. You can build the workspace as you like: Add separate pages for writing, editing, valuable materials, or book marketing plan. Each page will contain links to working files. Notion also allows you to add calendar, bulleted, numbered, and to-do lists, images, audio, video, quotes, tables, etc.
While writing a book, you most likely need to save helpful information all the time. After all, high-quality research is behind an exciting and valuable book. Try Evernote, a convenient online notebook to avoid missing a thing and getting lost among all the files. Installing the browser extension saves web pages with the necessary articles in two clicks.
You can write notes, make lists, or set tasks with notifications. Evernote offers diverse ready-made templates, for example, creative writing ones:
- Story Premise, a simple one or two-sentence explanation of what your story is about
- Novel Plotting: 3-Act Structure, a classic method of storytelling with a clear beginning, middle, and ending phases
- Story Dashboard, a quick overview of your novel, story, or other writing projects
- Character Profile, a detailed description of your heroes.
Pinterest is an endless source of images for creating mood boards. You can find inspiration and references for describing your characters, costumes, settings, and more. Create private folders with visuals for your books or share them with readers to better understand the story. This is what indie author Sara Cate does, for example.
Moreover, today Pinterest is also a platform that allows you to find valuable articles, templates, checklists, lists of tips, and tools.
IT workers often use such programs to organize different project processes effectively. However, you can use Miro to create mind maps for your book as a writer. Moreover, you can plan the plot and characters and enter individual parts of the story.
Add images of heroes and settings for visualizing. Miro offers ready-made brainstorming templates that you can use to work on the book when you’re stuck.
You are not a robot, so mistakes and typos are expected when working on a book. Fortunately, there’s Grammarly, a dedicated tool that finds spelling, punctuation, and grammar mistakes and tells you how to fix them. That extra pair of eyes is indispensable when editing your manuscript.
6. Voice Notebook
Inspiration often comes unexpectedly and at an inconvenient moment: For example, when you are out for a walk and have no notebook at hand. Sometimes the flow of ideas is so crazy that you don’t have time to write it down. Of course, you can use a voice recorder, but decoding the text takes a long time.
Here is the solution to the problem: Use Voice Notebook, which immediately converts voice to text. You can take notes on the go and write a book. Then you just need to copy the text from the application window and paste it into the main file. By the way, this tool recognizes more than 50 languages.
7. Natural readers
To find weak points in your manuscript, it is necessary to change the form of its perception. Instead of the text on the computer screen, you can print it out or listen to it. For the latter, it is convenient to use Natural readers. This tool recognizes the text and reads it out loud.
In this way, you can find moments in your story that are too difficult to perceive, make sure that dialogues have sense and strength, evaluate the text from the side, etc.
Sometimes it isn’t easy to find the right word, or the term we use seems too simple and unpoetic. Maybe you’re describing a garden, and you’ve already used ‘green’ 5 times in a row, which isn’t good. But how to replace it?
Use the OneLook dictionary, which will help you choose the perfect option. Here you will find word meanings, synonyms, antonyms, and all related words. In addition, you can see an example of usage for each unit.
9. 750 words
It’s a platform based on the Morning pages method described in the book The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron. This technique helps to generate inspiration, organize thoughts, tune in to writing, and overcome writer’s block. It involves writing three pages of text (or about 750 words) every morning.
It is convenient to use 750 words for this purpose. The platform automatically counts the written words and records the exercise’s regularity.
How often do extraneous sounds distract you and prevent you from focusing on work? Or vice versa: Maybe you don’t like to write in silence, but music disrupts the train of thought. There is a way out!
Try Noisli, where you’ll find neutral background sounds to work with. For example, the playlist includes the sounds of rain, wind, railway, rustling leaves, etc. You can set your background sounds or try the proposed Productivity set.
In addition, Noisli suggests using a timer for focused work according to the Pomodoro principle. You need to work concentratedly for 25 minutes, then take a rest break and start working again.
We hope you will enjoy your writing work even more with these free tools. Using Notion and Evernote, you can better organize your processes. Pinterest and Miro are indispensable tools for creative inspiration. Grammarly, Natural readers, and OneLook will help with editing, and Voice Notebook will allow you to write anywhere. If it is difficult to adjust to working, use 750 words and Noisli.
And what is your favorite tool? Please share with us in the comments.