60+ free tools for modern storytellers

In the Web age, being an exquisite wordsmith sadly no longer guarantees people are going to read you write. The writer today must also master photography, SEO, coding, and how to extract money from commissioning editors loathe to help out. There’s also the small matter of staying focused in our ever more cluttered world. But, don’t fret. We’ve compiled a list of the easiest, most effective tools you need to maintain your writing doesn’t get lost in the Internet ether.


  • Hemingway: An app that helps you write better.
  • Grammarly: A smart grammar checker.
  • ZenPen: The minimal writing tool of web.
  • Draft: Easy version control and collaboration.


  • Medium: Medium is a great writing and collaboration tool, and can be an excellent place to get your writing in front of lots of people.
  • Ghost: Blogging and publishing. Free. Open. Simple.
  • WordPress: An oldie but a goodie.
  • Domainr: Fast, free, domain name search, short URLs.
  • Webflow: Create professional, responsive websites. Without writing code.

Getting paid

  • Beacon: Crowdfunding great journalism.
  • Kickstarter: Everyone knows what Kickstarter is — but it can be a powerful way to support great journalism.
  • Deeper: Another journalism crowdfunding site.
  • Cont3nt: Like a distributed newswire.
  • Invoice to me: Free Invoice Generator.
  • Book in a box: Book writing and publishing as a service.


  • Silk: A tool for data journalism. Go from spreadsheet to analysis to publish-ready visualizations in minutes.
  • Google Alerts: Monitor the entire internet for keywords.
  • This Quora post with a list of 65 public data sets.
  • Google Trends: See what searches are trending.
  • NewsDiffs: NewsDiffs tracks changes in articles after publication.
  • The Research Browser: A web browser designed specifically for research and reporting
  • MediaToolkit: Get notified immediately when your brand, beat, or another topic you follow is mentioned anywhere online.
  • Typeform: Free beautiful online survey & form builder.

Staying organized

  • Trello: An easy, visual way to track the stories your team is working on.
  • Editorial Calendar: See all your posts, drag & drop to manage your blog.
  • Dropbox: Dropbox keeps your files safe, synced, and easy to share.
  • Sunrise: A great calendar app.
  • Slack: The best chat app, for keeping in touch with your whole team.
  • Rapportive: See people’s LinkedIn profiles right inside Gmail. (This tool is also great for confirming if you’ve correctly guessed someone’s email).
  • Evernote: Bring your life’s work together in one digital workspace.

Staying up on the news

  • ReadThisThing: A newsletter featuring one fantastic piece of journalism each day.
  • Nuzzel: The super easy way to see news from your friends.
  • Guardian Open Platform: A real-time API with access to The Guardian’s journalism.
  • Reddit: The front page of the internet.
  • Twitter: Some people still don’t see how powerful this tool is. Use it every day.


  • Transcribe: A text editor designed specifically for transcribing interviews.
  • OTranscribe: A web app for transcribing interviews.
  • Audacity: free audio editing tool.
  • Overcast: A powerful yet simple iPhone podcast player.


  • Meerkat: Tweet live video.
  • Periscope: Explore the world through someone else’s eyes.
  • Vine: Create short, beautiful, looping videos in a simple and fun way.
  • WeVideo: The leading online video creation platform for video editing, collaboration, and sharing across any device.


  • Canva: Super simple graphic design tool.
  • Pixlr: Pixlr Editor is a robust browser photo editor.
  • Kraken: Image optimization.
  • Unsplash: Free, beautiful, high-resolution photos that you can do anything you want with.



  • Campaign Monitor: Elegantly simple email marketing.
  • TinyLetter: A simple way to create newsletters for people who aren’t looking for advanced reporting or features for businesses.
  • Curated: An easy way to curate links into an email newsletter.
  • Mailchimp: Send better email.
  • Really Good Emails: A collection of great emails.
  • Email 1K: A 30 day course to double your email list.

Social media:

  • Buffer: Schedule posts to Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin, Google+.
  • Storify: The easiest way to find, collect, and share what people are saying all over the web.
  • OneShot: Highlight screenshots of text and share them to Twitter.


Credit: The Next Web and Medium


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Posts on this account are made by various editors.
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