We know that the best advice to get started with writing is just to write. But there are definitely tools that help make the process less arduous (see our favorite books about writing here). Writing software is one of those tools. Such software can help you organize your ideas and notes, as well as minimize distractions. While it won’t write the book (or paper) for you, it might help make the road to completion a little less difficult.

Here are some software programs, both free and paid, that might be of interest to you. Remember, what works for one person may not work for another, no matter how amazing it is. Some people swear by Scrivener, while others throw up their hands in frustration with it. Try out different kinds if the first one doesn’t quite work.


If you’re working on a book, no doubt you’ve heard of Scrivener. Scrivener is a writing software that was specifically made for long writing projects. It has all the basic word-processing software like Word, but it also lets you upload your research, pictures, online links, outlines, notes, and more. It’s sort of like a big three-ring binder…but electronic. That being said, one of the drawbacks of Scrivener is the same thing that makes it wonderful: the complex, multi-faceted nature of it. It can be confusing and difficult to learn, although there are many interactive tutorials. The cost is $45, although there is a slight discount for students and academics (you have to be affiliated with an institution).

Microsoft Word  

This was the original writing tool, and is widely used today. It’s simple, easy to use, and straightforward. If you have a Mac, there can sometimes be issues with formatting, but for the most part, Word is the bread and butter of writing software. It’s not cheap, though, running about $80.00.


Do you get distracted a lot while trying to write? Are you constantly checking Facebook or your email? It might be worth using the Freedom program. While not a writing program per se, it’s a productivity app. It blocks social media sites during a session time of your choosing, and you can customize it to block email, social media, shopping sites, and more – on all your devices. The monthly cost starts at only a few dollars (if you sign up for a year; otherwise it’s around $7), but you can get lifetime access for $129.00.


Evernote is a note-taking app that is super helpful to keep on your phone, and though you can write chunks of content, it’s best when used as something to jot down thesis ideas, storylines that come to mind in the middle of the night or while you’re doing something else, or something like that – even questions about your dissertation that you might want to address or discuss with your advisor. The best part about it? It’s free, although you can upgrade to Premium for $8.00. There’s also a business version that can help organize projects and deadlines.

Once you’ve found the right software for you, we can help with editing and formatting! Contact us today to learn more about our services and how we can offer personalized assistance to help you achieve your goals.

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