16 Best Writing Tools in 2024: Everything Writers Need to Succeed

Rachel Baker

Oct 04, 202312 min read
Writing Tools

TABLE OF CONTENTS

We’ve put together a list of our favorite writing tools for marketers. 

From crafting copy to creating blog posts, these tools can help you with all aspects of writing. Research, organization, SEO, editing—you name it.

Writing Tools

These online writing tools help you with the physical writing of your text. They can analyze and optimize existing writing. And some can compose text for you using AI.

(AI tools have been known to generate misinformation. So make sure you do your research and fact-check any claims AI generates.)

1. SEO Writing Assistant

Semrush’s SEO Writing Assistant is a handy writing tool that helps you create quality, SEO-friendly text.

It analyzes your writing and suggests improvements in real-time. This includes tips on readability, tone of voice, and keyword placement.

The tool can also compose text snippets for you thanks to the AI Smart Writer functionality. Plus, the handy Rephraser tool lets you rephrase, summarize, or expand sections of text.

SEO Writing Assistant editor

Google Docs and MS Word add-ons let you analyze and improve your text wherever you like to write. So you can seamlessly improve your writing and boost your SEO without needing to load any extra software.

Pricing

Semrush’s SEO Writing Assistant comes with Guru and Business plans, with prices starting at $208.33 per month (billed annually).

These plans give you access to a huge suite of SEO tools, including Position Tracking, Keyword Manager, and the Link Building Tool. You can try out SEO Writing Assistant and all the other tools with a free seven-day trial.

2. ContentShake

ContentShake AI is Semrush’s all-in-one content writing tool. You can generate ideas, draft content, and publish it from the app in a few easy steps.

First, enter your topic. ContentShake uses competitive market data to generate relevant content ideas with high search volumes.

ContentShake AI "Ideas" page

Then, write the text yourself or use the AI feature to compose the text. You get scores for readability, tone of voice, and more on the right-hand side. These update as you write.

You can also ask the tool to optimize sections of text. For example, by expanding or simplifying the text.

ContentShake AI editor

When your content is ready, publish it directly to WordPress using the ContentShake AI plugin. Or share it through the app or Google Docs.

"Publish and share the article" window

ContentShake makes the content creation process seamless. You can do everything in one place. Making it quicker and easier to create quality, optimized content.

Pricing

There’s a free version of ContentShake. That gives you access to all the basic features. Or the paid version is $60 per month. It gives you 25 new content ideas each week, unlimited articles, unlimited AI rewrites, and one-click publishing to WordPress.

3. AI Writing Assistant

AI Writing Assistant is an AI-driven kit of writer tools. It helps you create quality content for websites, blog posts, ads, social media posts, and more. 

You can choose from 75 AI-generating tools to start creating content. These include a blog title generator, article generator, content rewriter, and more.

AI Writing Assistant dashboard

There’s even an AI image generator. So you can quickly create unique images to go with your blog and social posts.

AI Writing Assistant image generator

AI Writing Assistant is designed with marketers in mind. So it has a tool for every part of the content creation and writing process. 

Pricing

The free version of AI Writing Assistant gives you 1,500 credits that you can use in exchange for generation of text or images. The paid version costs $25 per month and gives you unlimited credits.

4. ChatGPT

ChatGPT is a generative AI tool that can be used for a range of purposes, including writing. For example, writers can use it to generate content ideas, create blog outlines, and rephrase content.

ChatGPT's response to "Please create a blog post outline on the topic of marketing fundamentals" prompt

You can modify your prompts and ask ChatGPT to include certain information or use a certain tone of voice.

For example, you could ask it to write you a blog post introduction with a light-hearted, jokey tone-of-voice. Or using short sentences and plain English.

The handy thing about ChatGPT: It remembers your conversation history. So you can keep altering your prompts until you get it right.

Pricing

The basic version of ChatGPT is free. ChatGPT Plus costs $20 per month. It uses the more advanced GPT-4 dataset. You typically get faster response times and access to the latest features with the paid version.

5. Perplexity.ai

Perplexity is a generative AI chatbot similar to ChatGPT. But, crucially for writers, it provides sources for all the information it provides.

Perplexity.ai's response to "What causes the Northern Lights?" query

This allows you to quickly get summaries of topics, which you can use as the basis for your content. And click through to relevant articles to learn more.

Perplexity also provides follow-up suggestions to help you delve further into a topic.

Follow-up suggestions in Perplexity

And as a generative AI tool, Perlexity can write content for you. (Just remember to fact-check and edit.)

We find the best use of Perplexity to be for research. It makes it easy to explore a topic and bookmark key resources as you go.

Pricing

Perplexity has a basic tool that’s free to use. There’s also a premium intelligent version called Copilot that is powered by GPT-4 or Claude 2—more advanced AI models. You have a limited number of free queries on Copilot. But for more intensive use, it’s $240 a year.

Editing Tools

Need a little help with finishing touches like spelling and grammar? Check out these writers’ tools for editing:

6. Grammarly

Grammarly is a writing assistant that helps you with accuracy and style. It’s like an enhanced version of Microsoft Word’s spelling and grammar checker.

Grammarly highlights words and phrases and suggests edits for spelling, grammar, and punctuation. It also offers improvements for clarity, so your writing is easier to read.

Grammarly writing assistant

Grammarly has recently launched an AI writing assistant called GrammarlyGO. This lets you quickly change the tone of your writing and make other edits like simplifying and shortening.

We like that Grammarly’s so easy and convenient to use. Once you’ve installed it, you get automatic prompts in MS Word, Google Docs, and web browsers. Plus, there’s a standalone app where you can paste and check your work.

Pricing

The free version of Grammarly provides basic writing suggestions and 100 AI prompts per month.

Premium and Business plans offer more AI prompts and enhanced writing suggestions. Premium is for individuals and costs $12 per month, while Business plans start from $15 per month per user.

7. Hemingway App

Hemingway App is an in-browser editing tool and desktop app. You copy and paste your text and it color-codes various opportunities for improvement, explaining how to improve each part.

You also receive a readability grade. It’s updated in real-time as you edit the text.

Hemingway App editor

We find the color-coded highlighting in Hemingway App really speeds up the editing process. At a quick glance, you can see which sentences are too long, where you could use simpler phrasing, and more.

Pricing

Hemingway App is free to use. However, it’s not available on mobile and can’t be used in word processors.

8. ProWritingAid

ProWritingAid is an advanced editing tool that’s available as a browser extension, desktop app, online web editor, and add-on for MS Office and Google Docs.

It was designed as a tool for authors but works for any type of writing.

Like other editing tools, it color-codes sections with different ways to improve. It’s also started using AI for style improvements and rephrasing suggestions.

ProWritingAid editor

We like how seamless ProWritingAid is—you can use it wherever you’re writing and as you switch between different programs.

Pricing

There’s a free version of ProWritingAid where you get limited suggestions—a 500-word limit and 10 rephrases per day. Or the Premium version costs from $120 per year.

Research & Ideation Tools

There are also tools that help you generate ideas before you start writing. Here are our favorites:

9. Topic Research

Semrush’s Topic Research tool generates content ideas with an SEO focus. It works with you intuitively as you explore ideas for your content marketing and create content plans. 

To find ideas:

Go to the tool, enter a topic, and click “Get content ideas.”

You’ll see a list of cards showing one content area each. As well as search volume for the topic and a few example headlines.

Click “Show more” at the bottom of a card to explore a topic further.

"Content ideas" tab in Topic Research

This shows you further information, such as frequently asked questions, related searches, and more competitor headlines.

You can save content ideas to come back to. To save a headline or question, click “Add to your favorites.”

When it’s time to create your content, you can view your favorites on the Topic Research home screen.

Topic Research home screen

Pricing

You get unlimited usage of Topic Research with the Semrush Guru and Business plans. Or two free searches per lifetime with a Free or Pro plan.

10. SEO Content Template

Semrush’s SEO Content Template instantly combines competitor research and actionable tips all in one place. To make SEO content creation quicker and easier.

Here’s how it works:

Enter your target keywords and click “Create content template.”

The tool then provides you with a wealth of information for creating optimized content. This includes the top competing content pieces for each keyword. So you can see what’s already working well on Google.

"SEO recommendations" tab in SEO Content Template

Plus, you get concrete recommendations for semantically linked keywords, word count, target readability score, and more. All based on competing content.

"Key recommendations (based on your Google top 10 rivals" section

You can export your template, including all recommendations, by clicking “Export to DOC” at the top of the page.

“Export to DOC” button highlighted

Pricing

SEO Content Template is part of Semrush’s Content Marketing Platform, which is included with Semrush Guru and Business plans

Organization Tools

Organizational writing tools help you keep your writing on track.

From to-do list tools to virtual scrapbooks, keep on top of everything with these tools:

11. Todoist

Todoist enhances your to-do lists for maximum productivity. Perfect for when you’re juggling writing, research, editing, emails, and more.

Categorize your lists with various labels and filters—so you can make lists for different projects and clients.

Plus, set recurring tasks and reminders. And assign tasks to other users. 

This lets you focus on writing, safe in the knowledge that your to-do list is taken care of.

Todoist "Inbox"

We like that, in Todoist, you can view your tasks in different formats like Kanban boards and calendar view. This flexibility lets you use the format that works best for your brain.

Pricing

Todoist is free to start, and you can add up to five projects and five guests.

Beyond that, the Pro plan is $4 per month. And you can have up to 300 projects, 25 guests, and unlimited filter views and activity history.

12. Evernote

In the Evernote list app, in addition to creating classic checklists, you can easily add webpages, PDFs, and screengrabs to your lists. 

This makes it easy to save helpful articles and resources for your writing and come back to them when needed.

Evernote also lets you sync your notes and tasks with your calendar. And easily search your lists for what you need.

It’s an app that’s available on desktop, iOS, and Android.

Evernote home screen

We find the web clipper browser extension handy for saving useful writing resources on the go. You can quickly add articles, images, and more to your list without stopping your flow.

Pricing 

There’s a free version of Evernote that lets you take basic notes, sync up to two devices, and upload a limited amount of content.

The paid Personal plan is $7.99 a month. It lets you connect your Google Calendar, add due dates, set reminders, and more.

The Professional version costs $9.99 per month and lets you integrate to Slack, Salesforce, and more.

13. Scrivener 

Scrivener is an especially good long-form writing tool. It lets you write in sections and drag and drop them to rearrange.

So it’s great for getting out your first draft of an article. It helps you organize your ideas and create an effective structure.

You can also keep all your notes and research in Scrivener. So you have everything you need in one place.

Scrivener editor

Image source: Literature & Latte

We like Scrivener’s intuitive and easy-to-use interface. It lets you easily switch between editing small chunks and the whole piece. Which means you can focus on small sections without getting overwhelmed or have an overview of the whole text.

Pricing

Scrivener software is free to download, but you need to buy a license to use it. A standard license costs $49. And it lasts forever.

Productivity Tools

It’s not just tools for writing that help us writers. Productivity tools can help you manage your time, minimize distractions, and focus on writing. 

These are our favorites.

14. Freedom

Freedom is primarily a website-blocking tool, but you can also block your access to the internet for defined periods.

It’s great for those times you need to completely focus on writing or meet a tight deadline.

And you can sync Freedom across all your devices. So there’s no temptation from your computer, tablet, or phone.

Freedom's "My Blocklists" page

We like how you can plan ahead by scheduling periods of blocked access in advance.

And we find that the additional features like ambient music and session tracking—where you can see how much focussed time you’ve achieved—help further boost our productivity. 

Pricing

Freedom costs $3.33 per month if you pay annually, or $8.99 per month if you pay on a monthly basis. Or buy it forever for $199.

It also has a free trial that gives you seven blocking sessions at no charge.

15. Toggl

Time tracking tool Toggl lets you keep tabs on how long you spend on different tasks and projects.

It’s handy for tracking billable and non-billable time as an individual or as part of an organization.

The weekly reports let you see how long you’ve spent writing and how long on other tasks.

Toggl time tracking tool

We like that the Toggl browser extension makes it easy for you to track time spent on different websites and tools. Without having to open a different browser tab. 

Pricing

Toggl is free for up to five users, though some features are locked.

The Starter plan for $10 per month has additional features like billable rates and project time estimates.

The Premium plan is $20 per month and is good for larger teams, with native Salesforce and Jira integrations.

16. RescueTime

Productivity assistant RescueTime analyzes your working behavior and provides tips and tools to optimize it.

This includes setting up “Focus Time” for you, where it blocks distracting websites and apps.

It tracks your time and gives you feedback and suggestions to work more productively.

"Productivity by day" graph in RescueTime

Image source: PCMag

RescueTime sets up your account based on your job. So you can get recommendations that work well for writers.

Pricing

RecueTime is priced at $6.50 per month when billed annually or $12 per month on a rolling basis.

Your first two weeks are free. So you can try it out, but you need to remember to cancel your subscription if you don’t want to continue.

17. Trello

You can use Trello to organize your writing projects in Kanban format—using lists and cards.

For example, your content strategy board might have a list for each content pillar, with a card for each blog post.

Trello board

You can assign cards to different people and archive them when they’re completed.

You could also use Trello for to-do lists, content ideas, and admin tasks. Or even integrate plugins for CRMs (e.g., Crmble) to manage writing clients.

We especially like how you can use Trello Power-Ups to add additional functionalities to boards. For example, you can integrate Trello with Gmail, Slack, and Teams to quickly create boards and cards from emails and messages.

Pricing

Trello is free for individuals.

Small teams pay $5 per month per user.

Larger teams pay $10 per month per user or a bespoke Enterprise price.

Take Your Content to the Next Level with the Best Tools for Writers

Using data-driven writing tools helps you create content that shows up in search engines and attracts users to your site. And makes sure your writing is comprehensible and compelling for readers.

Semrush’s Content Marketing Platform contains a whole suite of writing tools online to optimize your content for readability, tone of voice, SEO, and more. 

Save time and create impactful content with tools like:

  • Topic Research: to find popular content ideas based on Google search data
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Rachel is an experienced copywriter and SEO who’s been working in digital since 2014. She runs her own business, The Ethical Copywriter, working with purpose-led organisations to build brand identity and visibility through content strategy, carefully-crafted copy, and SEO.
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