What do you do when you start your work day of copywriting? Do you pour a cup of coffee, open your laptop, and begin typing on a blank Word document? I imagine this is a familiar and consistent reflexive action across the industry. But if Word is the only copywriter resource you use for content creation, you could be missing out on some very helpful applications that could make your labor a little bit lighter. What other tools and platforms are you leveraging to help you in your craft throughout your day?
The right copywriting tools are essential for your workflow as a copywriter. Sure, you can write most of your stories, blogs, and eBooks in Word, Google Docs, or Pages, and all of these are tried and tested within the industry. But you want your word processing platform to do more than just the basics! By deploying these applications properly, you’ll create more timesaving in your busy day, and create content that is more engaging and more accurate than with word processors alone. Ultimately, leveraging the right copywriter resources leads to higher productivity and thus higher profitability.
Looking beyond the staple Microsoft or Google platforms, you’ll be able to find more robust features fine-tuned to your copywriting needs. Different word-processing apps offer different attributes to assist you with your craft.
Six copywriting tools you can’t be without!
#1: Hemingway App
The first time you click on the Hemingway app’s landing page, you’ll instantly see how this platform increases your writing productivity and, maybe more to the point, your writing clarity.
Hemingway hosts a capable and user-friendly word-processing space, and it’s fine to use the embedded writing features alone. But doing so would negate some of the most helpful functions in this app! Hemingway offers the writer color-coded highlights of their text, proposing editing and stylistic improvements. Types of suggestions include:
- Edit mode, which tells you information like a readability score, number of letters, characters, word count, sentences, paragraphs, and the average reading time to consume the content.
- Evaluation of your use of adverbs, passive voice, the reading difficulty of the copy, and whether or not you can simplify your prose.
Ultimately, you can just use the writing function on Hemingway, but the writing suggestions are where this application really shines. Like the app’s namesake, Hemingway will help you craft your prose to be direct, simple, clear, and natural. What’s not to like?
In their own words, “Slice makes short work of long-form content,” and we can attest that this boast is true! Slice operates similarly to a project management platform, providing an array of copywriting resources all in one application. With Slice, you can:
- Organize by project
- Slice up the content, and make it more modular
- Swap research files fast and painlessly
- Store secondary sources and consult them as you write
- Utilize multiple viewing panes
- Use the web clipper extension to put web content right into your project
Slice sometimes offers 14-day free trials, so you can give it a spin and see if it is the right copywriting tool for you.
Scrivener has positioned itself to be the go-to for long-form academic, journalist, novelist, and screenplay writers. The app’s appearance is crisp and easy to negotiate for these formats. If your copywriting clients include some of these market segments, this could be a great platform to consider!
- Writing is dropped into a user-friendly project outline, keeping you on track.
- Great for collecting multiple pieces together in one copy project.
- Designed for long-form writing, but works well for short, too.
- Similar to Slice, you can segment everything into modular sub-projects.
- Designed to work well with outside research- open it next to your workspace.
- The focus view for full-screen writing is attractive and reads well.
Take a look at the Scrivener landing page, and see if you feel instantly inspired. If so, I think this is the content tool for you!
#4: Dropbox Paper
Let’s face the facts: there are Dropbox people, Google Drive people, and a few iCloud folks in the mix as well. If you’re already using Dropbox for your file management, Dropbox Paper might be the right copywriting tool for you.
Dropbox is one of the market leaders for file management and integrated cloud storage for good reason. It provides a solid and proven architecture that you can make even better by adding the Dropbox Paper word processor. Not only is the application a solid copywriting tool, but by using the well-known file formatting of Dropbox, you can add files, photos, and apps to your document, with full sharing functionality. The sharing features include comments, due dates, and to-do list functionality, again, taking those trusted and characteristic Dropbox attributes and applying them to a word-processing platform. Depending on your existing workflow, this could be the copywriting resource you’ve been waiting for!
As successful freelancing copywriters, it seems like we always have a million and a half details floating around our heads daily. It can feel impossible to corral them all, stay on schedule, and inevitably we drop a task or two in the confusion. With Evernote, you can keep everything organized, stay on task, and make sure your projects, milestones, and deliverables stay on time!
Organized as separate notebooks, Evernote allows you to cut through the chaos and stay focused. Features include:
- Multi-device syncing with mobile and desktop versions that speak with each other
- Webpage and article clipping functionality
- Project planning, note-taking, and file management features
- A Home notebook that delineates your most relevant tasks and files for quick access
Using the Google Chrome extension with Evernote, you can take great screenshots with text insertions, arrows, and other highlights, and file them in the app’s intuitive architecture.
At some point, a client is going to ask for some images to accompany your copy. If you lack a design background, this can be a daunting (while pretty standard) request! By using this free graphic design platform, you can have a kindergartener-level design background and still deliver professional images for your copy, accompanying social media posts, landing pages, and the like. In Canva, you’ll find:
- A voluminous library of templates to help you start your creative process
- File-sharing functions that curate input from your team and clients
- Scheduling and publishing social media functionality directly from the platform
Real-time collaboration is a signature feature of Canva, allowing for collaboration from team members, clients, and contractors, no matter what time zone they might be in. Team folders allow for appropriate permissions and limit access to only those who need it, but also keep the projects’ assets organized and accessible. Up-to-date comments keep projects moving, and edits or changes can be implemented as they occur.
Copywriting tools help create engaging content.
This list is far from exhaustive, and new copywriting tools keep appearing on the professional landscape almost daily. Keep following the Copywriter Exchange, and we’ll continue to keep you updated on the newest applications that will help you to maximize your workflow and productivity. And let us know what some of your favorite copywriting resources are in the comments below, and maybe we can feature them in a future blog post!
Doug Kenck-Crispin is a podcaster and freelance writer in Portland, Oregon. He pens features for newspapers and magazines, long reads, website copy, landing pages, email campaigns and other marketing mediums. You can find more about Doug on Linkedin, Twitter, or his website.
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