Online Writing Help: 30 Handy Web Applications and Tools for Writers

About this article
Web applications and other online tools can increase your productivity and give you more time to do what you do best: write! Here are 30 free web apps specifically designed to help writers establish deadlines, plan projects, brainstorm, create outlines, collaborate, write, edit and more.
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Calendars and Project Planners

  • CalendarHub - CalendarHub lets users create free calendars that can be accessed from anywhere. Calendars can be kept private, shared or posted to blogs.
  • Writers Project Organizer - WPO can help you organize every aspect of your manuscript, short story or screenplay. (Note: You can download this app for free and use it for 30 days. When the free trial is over, you have to pay $29.99 to keep it.)
  • Google Calendar - This online calendar helps you track events, make schedules and collaborate with other people.
  • EssentialPIM - This personal information manager lets you create calendars, to-do lists and much more. Anything you create can be synched with Windows, Outlook, mobile devices, iPods and PDAs.
  • College Ruled - This free web app was designed for college students, but it works well for anyone who wants to create color coded schedules.

Brainstorming Tools

  • Wridea - Wridea has a wonderful collection of brainstorming tools for writers. This free service also lets you take and organize your notes online.
  • Bubbl.us - Writers can create color-coded mind maps with this outstanding brainstorming tool.
  • FreeMind - This free mind mapping software, written in Java, also doubles as a productivity tool so you can get more writing done.
  • Free Brainstorm - Free Brainstorm is a collaborative brainstorming tool that allows users to share notes, rate ideas and vote for the best course of action.
  • ThinkFold - This web app is great for writers who want to create and store outlines online.

Name Generators

  • Seventh Sactum - The Seventh Sanctum is the ultimate name generator. Writers can randomly generate everything from evil sounding names to pirate ship names.
  • The Name Generator - With more than 463 billion names up for grabs, there are endless possibilities for writers who use this stupendous name generator.
  • Behind the Name - This random name generator provides first name, middle names and surnames. Writers can also generate witch names, fairy names, Goth names and even Transformer names.
  • Fake Name Generator - Writers can generate a fake name for any nationality with this handy web app.
  • Rink Works - Strictly for fantasy writers, Rink Works can generate serious names, fun names, short names, long names, specialized names, names with dashes, etc., etc.

Writing and Editing Applications

  • WriteBoard - This handy web app lets you save every edit and rollback to any previously saved version. You can also share your work with other people online--great for collaborative writers.
  • WriteWith - WriteWith lets you upload documents and share them with other people. You can track changes, add notes and much more--perfect for writers who are working online with agents or editors.
  • LooseStitch - Loose Stitch is for writers who want to create outlines, brainstorm ideas and get feedback from other people.
  • AutoCrit Editing Wizard - This web app analyzes manuscripts and checks them for errors and weak writing. You can analyze up to 800 words at a time for free or analyze the entire manuscript at once for a small charge.
  • Zoho - Zoho offers all sorts of free productivity and collaborative apps. Writers will like Zoho Writer (online word processor), Zoho Docs (online document management), Zoho Notes (online note taker) and Zoho Planner (online organizer).

Dictionaries, Thesauri and Other Reference Materials

  • Merriam-Webster - Writers can find exactly what they are looking for (fast) using Merriam-Webster's online dictionary and thesaurus. The site also offers a searchable medical reference and a Spanish-English reference.
  • World Wide Words - Writers can use this site to learn the origin of words and phrases like 'take the cake' and 'metrosexual.'
  • SparkNotes Online Guide to Grammar - SparkNotes' online searchable database is a convenient alternative to large grammar references. Writers can find quick and easy answers to their grammar, usage and style questions.
  • Bartleby.com - This site offers a number of free books, including English, usage, style and composition references.
  • Word Lingo - This free online translator is perfect for writers who need to translate from English to another language or vice versa.

Miscellaneous Applications

  • BibMe - If you're a nonfiction writer, you'll love this automatic bibliography maker. It supports MLA, APA, Chicago or Turabian formats
  • Sync It - This bookmark synchronizer will allow you to access all of your favorites regardless of the machine you are working on. Great for writers who work on multiple computers.
  • Grubba - Some writing projects are so large they require a database. This web app allows you to design, create and share a database online.
  • The Awesome Highlighter - The Awesome Highlighter is a must have for any writer. This web app lets you highlight text on any web page and transform it into an easily retrievable link.
  • Jott - Jott lets you capture thoughts with a simple phone call. The web app then transfigures your voice into text so that you never forget a good idea again.

Popular Schools

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    1. Johns Hopkins University

    Program Options

    Master's
      • Master of Arts in Science Writing
      • Master of Arts in Communication
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    2. Regent University

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    Master's
      • Master of Arts in Communication
      • Master of Arts in Communication - Political Communication
      • Master of Arts in Communication - Strategic Communication
      • Master of Arts in Government - Political Communication
    Bachelor's
      • Bachelor of Arts in Communication Studies - Professional and Technical Writing
      • Bachelor of Arts in English - Writing
      • Bachelor of Arts in Communication Studies
      • Bachelor of Arts in Communication Studies - Advertising and Public Relations
      • Bachelor of Arts in Communication Studies - Rhetoric and Public Culture
      • Bachelor of Arts in Communication Studies - Strategic Communication
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    3. Colorado State University Global

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      • BS - Communication
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    4. Queens University of Charlotte

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    Master's
      • Master of Arts in Communication - General
      • Master of Arts in Communication - Integrated Digital Strategy Concentration
      • Master of Arts in Communication - Undecided
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    5. Purdue University

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    Master's
      • Master of Science in Communication
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    6. Penn Foster High School

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    High School Diploma
      • HS Diploma
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    7. Penn Foster

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      • Career Diploma - Freelance Writer

Featured Schools

Johns Hopkins University

  • Master of Arts in Science Writing
  • Master of Arts in Communication

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Regent University

  • Master of Arts in Communication
  • Master of Arts in Communication - Political Communication
  • Bachelor of Arts in Communication Studies - Professional and Technical Writing
  • Bachelor of Arts in English - Writing

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Colorado State University Global

  • BS - Communication

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Queens University of Charlotte

  • Master of Arts in Communication - General
  • Master of Arts in Communication - Integrated Digital Strategy Concentration
  • Master of Arts in Communication - Undecided

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Purdue University

  • Master of Science in Communication

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Penn Foster High School

  • HS Diploma

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Penn Foster

  • Career Diploma - Freelance Writer

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