Best apps for writers: 12+ FREE Tools to Excel in 6 stages of the writing process

Looking for the best apps for writers – and that too free of cost? 

We’ve got your back.  

The act of writing has different stages, and each stage has its own challenges – Ideation, Outline, Writing, Editing, and more. But that’s no reason technology can’t help you become a better writer.

Whatever stage you’re at, as a modern writer you can ace each of the phases through free writing apps. 

In this article, we’ve compiled a list of best writing tools that can help you throughout the journey – from finding the best story ideas to its written conclusion.

Stage 1: Idea Generation (Best apps for writers)

1. Plot Generator 

About: Plot Generator, as one of the best writing tools, can help you find inspiration for your next novel, short story, fantasy tales, or blog headlines. And also be a saviour if you get stuck in between.

Platform: As of now, it is a browser-based tool. Works on all major browsers and devices. 

Cost: Free of Cost. It doesn’t require any sign-up or registration. 

Features: I’ve tried Plot Generator for over a month and it never failed to surprise. There is an exclusive range of prompts and ideas for every genre thinkable – Romance, Science Fiction, Horror, Fantasy, Mystery, Dystopian, and more. 

Best apps for writers: OakWords



Different types of generators are available, including: 

  • Character Name Generator 
  • Character Generator 
  • Poem Generator 
  • Song Lyrics Generator 
  • Short Story Generator 
  • Story Ideas  Generator 
  • Opening Lines Generator 
  • Twist Generator 
  • Headlines Generator 
  • Twist Generator 

Pros: There are options to customise your searches. For example, if you want to generate story ideas, you can customise the search by choosing your preferred conflict, resolution, emotions, occasion, adjectives, and more.

Cons: Plot generator is still not available as a mobile app. 

2. Reedsy Plot Generator

About: Reedsy’s Plot Generator has over 1 million combinations of plot ideas to help you create a promising beginning. 

Platform: Browser-based

Cost: Free

Features: It generates a combination of ideas for the protagonist, a secondary character, and story plot. 

Best apps for writers: OakWords

Pros: Easy and Intuitive interface that offers a one-click solution. All you’ve to do is choose the genre and click on the ‘generate’ button to find ideas and inspiration. 
Cons: No option to customise the search except the genre filter. 

Stage 2: Outline (Free writing tools)

3. Time.graphics

About: Time graphics is a great visualization tool that can be used by writers to create an understandable and visually appealing map of events and trends from their story. 

Platform: Web-based 

Cost: Both Free and paid versions are available. 

Feature: Flexible online timeline creator that can be used by authors to create a visual representation of the storyline. Users can toggle between a visual view and simple events sequence.

Pros: Timelines are easy to create and can be done within minutes. The complete export option is available for offline viewing. You can also download and print the timelines. 

Cons: Free version has limits  

Best apps for writers: OakWords 

4. Trello

About: Trello is an information or event organising tool that can be used for writers and authors to create an outline of their books, and keep track of the changes. 

Platform: Web-based and Mobile app for iOS and Android users 

Cost: Free with Unlimited cards and tasks

Feature: 

  • Create columns of lists (or chapters) containing cards (events or incidents that happen within your story) and give each chapter and event its own title and description
  • Collaborate with other writers and editors who can add comments, attachments, and due dates
  • Custom Card & Board Buttons
  • Calendar Commands

Best apps for writers: OakWords

Pros

  • Drag and Drop interface
  • Easy to understand layout 
  • Easy to define hierarchy of events 

Cons: Card linking between the boards is not simple. Image editing tools are unavailable 

Stage 3: Writing (Best apps for writing a book)

5. Google Docs

About: Google Docs is a free writing app by Google. It is a cloud-based word processor. 

Platform: Web-based, Mobile Application for iOS, Windows, and Android  

Cost: Free 

Features: 

  • Constant-saving of written words 
  • Rich-history of changes 
  • Share access via email and link 
  • Word-track changes 
  • Add comments, review, accept or reject changes. In short, easy to collaborate with others 

Pros

  • Offers simpler sharing options for a recipient to view, edit, and comment on a shared file 
  • Full-screen feature to enable distraction-free writing 
  • Revision history available so you’ll never lose content after editing 
  • Simple formatting options
  • Table of Contents – Great for navigating within a book-sized content 
  • Secure – Files are stored in the cloud. 

Cons

  • Requires Internet Connectivity all the time

best writing apps by OakWords

6. Drafts

About: Time 

Platform: Web-based and Mobile apps for iOS and Android

Cost: Free to use, with features to create, edit and sync drafts. The premium plan supports additional features 

Feature: 

  • Go hands-free with Dictation
  • Send a task off to Reminders
  • Archive texts or chapters for long-term storage.
  • Set up a custom text editing experience

best writing apps by OakWords

Pros

  • Opens lightning fast 
  • support for text capturing via Siri and other widgets
  • File import, share extension, and dictation 
  • Can be integrated with different apps 

Cons: Could use a colorful interface 

Stage 4: Productivity (Free Writer tools)

7. Google Calendar

About: Google Calendar is a scheduling and time-management calendar service created by Google.

Platform: Web-based, Mobile Apps available for iOS, Windows, and Android   

Cost: Free 

Feature: 

  • Create schedules for specific tasks 
  • Send yourself email reminders
  • Batch alarm notifications
  • Track the number of sessions you’ve completed

Best apps for writing a book

Pros

  • Helps keep things organised and follow schedule 
  • Colour coding to make it visually appealing 
  • Works well as both browser-based tool and mobile application 

Cons: Could get a little cluttered up when you’ve too much tasks or agendas 

8. SelfControl

About: SelfControl, as an open-source writing tool, lets users block all access to distracting websites for a stipulated time period. 

Platform: MacOS

Cost: Free 

Feature: 

  • Block mail servers with one-click 
  • Set a time period 
  • Add as many sites to the blacklist 
  • Until the timer expires, the user cannot access the sites – even if they delete the app 

best apps for writing a book

Pros: A minimalist tool that requires a couple of click to eliminate all distractions 

Cons: The tool is available only for MacOS users 

Stage 5: Writer’s Block (Best writing apps)

9. Writer’s Block cure by Plot Generator 

About: Writer’s Block cure is a great writing tool to help writers with unique ideas to get their stories moving and get them out of a pickle.

Platform: Web-based 

Cost: Free 

Feature: 

  • Generate as many as 50 prompts on one-click 
  • Find ideas by choosing the protagonist’s name and character’s gender 

best writing tools by OakWords

Pros:

  • Quick Navigation  
  • Usable ideas to help with writer’s block 

Cons: 

  • Too many ads that can spoil the user experience 
  • The app could use more combination (other than gender)for idea generation

10. Writing Exercises

About: Writing Exercises provides writing exercises, ideas, and prompts to help you break through writing blocks. This free writing tool can generate plots, subjects, scenarios, random character traits, names, first lines and so much more. 

Platform: Web-based 

Cost: Free of cost 

Feature: 

  • Random First Line Prompts and Dialogues
  • Quick & Random Plot Generator
  • ‘Take Three Nouns’ Generator to make connections between them 
  • Random Scenario, Words, Subject, and Writing Exercises
  • Rhyming Dictionary
  • Random Character Name, Ideas, and Traits
  • Lottery Generator

best writing tools by OakWords

Pros: A wealth of easy-to-digest, unique, and small ideas. The tool is very simple to use and navigation is easy.

Cons: Not every idea is usable 

Stage 6: Editing (best editing apps)

11. Grammarly 

About: Grammarly, when enabled as a browser extension, checks your grammar, spelling, pronunciation, sentence clarity, consistency, plagiarism, and more in real-time on a number of different platforms, including Google docs, WordPress, Writing Sites, Gmail, Facebook, and more.

Platform: Web-based tool and extension for browsers

Cost: Free version is available but for maximum benefit, you’d need to upgrade to the premium plans. 

Feature: 

  • Tone Detector 
  • Mobile Synonyms 
  • Focus on Clarity and Readability 
  • Writing Suggestions for better context, sentence structure, and punctuations 
  • Focus on consistency 
  • Detects Plagiarism 
  • Vocabulary Enhancement 

best apps for writers

Pros: Real-time grammar correction, easy to understand explanations, high accuracy, easy interface, and options to customise language preferences – American English, British, Australian, and Canada. 

Cons: Free version has limited features. 

12. Hemmingway

About: Hemmingway is a proofreading tool for writers that helps them create simple, powerful, error-free, and clear content of high readability. 

Platform: Web-based, Online 

Cost: Free 

Feature: 

  • Gives a readability grade 
  • Colour-coded writing problems 
  • Formatting features 
  • Two different modes: Write and Edit 
  • Highlights passive voice 
  • Cuts dead weight from writing 

scrivener free

Pros

  • Develop Your Writing Style
  • Find hard-to-read sentences 
  • Eliminate adverbs and passive voice 
  • Colour coding to detect the level of errors 
  • Very simple and easy to use interface 
  • Import your text from different files 

Cons

The app hates adverbs. It highlights all of them, which is good, but removing all adverbs can make your writing dull. Hemmingway supports only one style of writing. Requires self-editing

13. ProWritingAid

About: ProWritingAid is an online writing editor that identifies grammar and spelling mistakes, contextual errors, and plagiarized content in a write-up.  

Platform: Web-based and Chrome Extension 

Cost: Free & Paid plan 

Feature: 

  • Grammar & Spelling Checker
  • Contextual Thesaurus Report
  • Plagiarism Checker, Word Explorer, Repeated words 
  • Detailed Explanations & In-Depth Reports
  • Context-Sensitive Style Suggestions
  • Visualize Sentence Lengths and Variation

best apps for writers

Pros

  • Covers punctuation checking, vocabulary enhancement, grammar checking, and contextual spelling.
  • Takes consideration of a writer’s style 
  • Suggested corrections are supported with detailed explanations
  • Different types of dictionaries are available 
  • The intuitiveness of the interface 

Cons: Plenty of editing options can be confusing for a beginner. You’d still need to self-edit your book for eliminating errors. 

Stock your arsenal with the best writing tools!

With these free writing tools at hand, you can excel in all the different stages of becoming an author – and have your writing arsenal fully equipped.  

Above mentioned tools are apparently the best apps for writers – especially for those writers who don’t want to spend money on paid apps like Scrivener. Apart from the no-cost benefit, these tools have got excellent features worth giving a try. 

Have you tried any of these free writing tools — and if so, what are your favourites?

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