Top Productivity Apps for Writers

As writers it can be really difficult to actually sit down and write. Here is a list of a few applications and software that might make life easier to finish your next great novel.


Get Motivation

Coach.Me– This multi-platform app that uses community encouragement and digital coaching to help you build new habits. It stands out from similar apps with its dedicated tracks for writers. These specialized journeys not only hold you accountable to write every day; they also provide encouragement from other writers building a habit just like you. To further maximize motivation, when you check in everyday, add your word count in the “Add a note” section to stay accountable.

Staying Focused

Pomodoro Technique: Instead of trying to complete your work in a long, overwhelming sprint, you break projects down into manageable, 10, 15, 20 or 25-minute chunks. The goal is to stay on one task for the entirety of each time block until the job is done.

Similarly, there’s WriteOrDie. Summer 2016 Grad Jessica Love highly recommends this. It’s a web application that promotes you to keep writing. You can set a timer and word goal and if you slow down or stop certain “punishments” are given depending on the level you set, most notably, any writing you have done starts being deleted. It’s a great way to push away your inner critic and just get words on the page.

Focus is a true example of the nuclear option for blocking access to apps and websites. It’s hard — really hard — to shut it off once you’ve enabled a block for a certain period of time.

AwayFind– Away is an app that will filter the emails that you get notifications for. That way if you’re waiting for an important message, but don’t want to be distracted by spam or just email that can wait until later, this will filter it for you.

Getting Organized

Trello is a great writing tool that most writers have never heard of. It’s a web-based productivity app with a premise very similar to the old school method of using index cards on a cork board. For a writer, the possibilities are endless. You can use a Trello board to make to do lists, prioritize submissions, even to track research.

OmniFocus– This all-in-one tool helps you keep track of your tasks. From grocery lists to yard work to finishing writing, you can keep all of your tasks here and have reminders pop up when you need to get things done. You can share with a partner, search for tasks, mark a calendar, and back up files. Syncs across all apple devices. PAID. $39.99

Things-Similarly (put less complicated) is Things. You can create projects and separate to-do lists for each. You can set priorities for the tasks for when they need to be taken care of. When you’re done just cross it off and you’re on to the next. On iOS. PAID.

Freemind: Mindmapping software that helps organize your thoughts.The layout reminds me of wikipedia.

Zotero: Firefox extension that allows you to capture bibliographic information from web pages, organize citations and documents, and create bibliographies in Word. Great for online research.

Sonar: Software for submission tracking. Great to keep track of your markets and submissions easily.



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Mackenzie Jervis is a Summer 2016 Graduate. She lives in Texas with her husband, two cats, and puppy. She has way too many books, more cameras than she knows how to properly use, and a never ending need to keep moving. She write about her life and adventures at home and around the world at A Wandering Scribbler.

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