3 great tools for improving your writing skills: Grammarly, Hemingway and Writefull

Are you starting a blog? Do you work in content marketing? Well, there is an app for that.

Writing and editing tools can be really helpful when creating content for your company’s blog, website, marketing campaigns or even if you need to proofread that career-changing email that you are about to send. If you are a bit bold, you can also recommend these tools to some of your colleagues and help to improve your company’s internal communication. Yes, those internal emails from the technical teams that don’t make any sense… sounds familiar? I am also guilty 🙋‍♂️

Tools I currently use:

Grammarly

This app can be used as a desktop version or as a Google Chrome extension in your web browser. I find the latter more useful as it provides me with suggestions while I am writing in Gmail, WordPress, Twitter and many other websites. The desktop app can be convenient if you copy your draft and paste it in Grammarly, feedback is provided in just a few seconds.

One cool feature is the email weekly summary (screenshot below) with all your recent achievements. This is one of those feel-good emails that will make you smile #reassurance.

Grammarly email

You can try it for free at grammarly.com

Hemingway Editor

What a great name for a writing app. Kudos to the marketing team.

The Hemingway app focuses on your grammar and it provides you with tips on how to make your writing more readable. It also adds a readability score to your piece which sometimes can be misleading. Grade 10 would be perfect but anything above that, this is not a 10 out of 10 scenario, means your vocabulary is too complex and you are missing the point about communicating clearly and effectively. Even if you are an academic, you should always avoid too many BIG words and jargon, you’ll make the point on how well-read you are but your audience will get lost. It’s all about balance.

Hemingway editor

Using the Hemingway app while writing this article… Ironically, the quote from The Guardian is ruining my readability score so… sometimes, just follow your instincts

 

The Hemingway app is available in two versions:

  1. A free online version hemingwayapp.com where you can paste your drafts and make edits on the fly to get that 10-grade score.
  2. A premium desktop version which can be used offline and allows the user to export content directly to WordPress, Microsoft Word, HTML and others.

Fun Fact: The New Yorker reviewed this app using Ernest Hemingway’s work. 🤔

 

Writefull

Our third guest takes a different approach to the problem. Writefull is about providing feedback on your writing by checking your text against large databases of languages such as Google Books, Google Scholar, Google News and others. It is also available in more than 30 languages which is handy if you are a polyglot 🤓

The app is free in both versions; a standalone desktop app and a Google Chrome extension. More info here.

writefull app

Checking my final punch line with Writefull

 

Beyond editing apps

We’ve all heard about The Rise of the Machines and how they are starting to take our jobs. Automation, Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, etc.

Did you know that there are more than 100 companies out there using bots to write or draft some of their articles? The name of this bot, aka the diligent employee, is Wordsmith. This is how the Guardian portrays it:

Wordsmith – an artificial writer developed by the North Carolina-based company Automated Insights – cherrypicks elements from a dataset and uses them to structure a “human sounding” article. As well as being able to use more emotive language, it varies diction and syntax to make its work more readable. Source: Matthew Jenkin, The Guardian

Today, writing bots are only used for mundane tasks such as:

  • Fantasy Football articles at Yahoo.com
  • Corporate Earnings stories from The Associated Press
  • etc,

In 2016, Wordsmith produced more than 1.5 billion pieces of content. If it keeps improving, it will soon be able to take on more creative assignments. Who knows when we will read our first novel written by an Artificial Intelligence. Will it try to brainwash us and slave humanity?

Probably not 🙏🏻

 

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