Writing, writing, writing…

We all are writing down stuff all day long, from the most urgent report to the latest comment on our favourite social network.

Being able to collect ideas intelligently and render thoughtful information has always been a mandatory prerequisite for those seeking to reach the highest professional mandate.

In this framework—believe it or not—I come from a small country with three different official languages and none of them is English…

Anyhow, my professional environment requires English one way or another.

That’s just fine!

Taking English lessons early in my education and after several years of intercultural immersion, I now bear an excellent level up to a point I started dreaming, eating and yelling in the Shakespeare language. Nevertheless, no one—be it a native speaker or an advanced bilingual—is immune to a grammar typo.

Therefore, while writing can be a tedious and time-consuming process, gathering the most powerful digital tools gives oneself a competitive advantage in a fast-paced world to run a successful activity.  

Technology improving, making smart choices in terms of copywriting/technical writing/translation toolbox is a go-to mindset for—science—writers seeking to increase their productivity without leaving efficiency on the side.

Here are 12 useful tools to enhance further writing projects.

01. Evernote

Keeping tabs on files, images, blog posts, videos, and web pages is what Evernote does.

With additional notes which can be filtered, tagged, edited, commented on a master notebook, files are easily regrouped around one chosen theme and retrieved through a dedicated search engine.

Such a cloud-based note-taking and file-storage application, which synchronizes data across multiple devices, is available for free. Paid versions, at €6.99/month and €13.99/month, provide—to name a few perks—increased upload capacity, offline access, and AI-suggested content, respectively, for solo users or teams


02. DeepL

Backed with a repository of 11 languages, DeepL is quite a powerful AI-driven machine translation service converting chunks of texts online.

Detecting automatically the language input, the smooth translation output relies on neural networks revolving around billions of high-quality translation segments from the Linguee database—the company’s legacy—which main contributors come from reliable sources: the European Parliament, UNESCO patents and literary works. Therefore, while indeed offering fewer language pairs than direct competitors, DeepL yet outperforms in quality.

Always free, premium features are available within the €5.99–€39.99 monthly price range, including text confidentiality, editing of translated documents, CAT tools integration and API access for further app development


03. SDL Stratos

CAT (Computer-Assisted Translation) tool providing a professional and robust framework, the software enables a wide range of features including—but not limited to—editing, reviewing, and management of multiple translation projects. Onboarding an intelligent memory technology, the interface allows scouting previously translated and approved content to further improve productivity and consistency.

Free for a 30-day period, the freelancer starter package tops at a €99/year tag price, up to €695 (currently discounted down to €365) for a complete version, not accounting for all available features.

SDL Stratos

04. Repetition Detector 2

Lightweight software, Repetition Detector 2 detects close and distant repetitions in a text while preserving initial formatting. Through extensive reporting, the application highlights each occurrence of a selected word and is perfect to track adjectives, adverbs and overused auxiliaries, and even goes further while spotting overused sentences.

Fully compatible with the main European languages (English, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, German, Dutch, Danish, Norwegian, Swedish, Finnish and Icelandic), Repetition Detector 2 provides flexible sensitivity to determine own acceptable distance or similarity degree between occurrences.

Free for a 30-day period, a one-time license fee barely costs $7.40.

Repetition Detector 2

05. Grammarly

Online software, browser extension, Microsoft Word® integrated add-on, Android, and iOS apps, Grammarly is an AI-driven proofreader sprawling across various platforms. Highlighting contextual spelling mistakes, grammatical errors, incorrect punctuations, and misused words, the software enhances one’s vocabulary in a blink of an eye while providing tailored-made suggestions.

Available in American, British, Canadian, and Australian English, Grammarly adapts to desired language technicalities. Depending on a targeted audience, it can also propose the more suitable writing tone one is looking for. Catching plagiarism from ProQuest databases and over 16 billion web pages, the software also provides regular statistical insights on the writer’s performance.

Free for use. Advanced features ask fees up to $11.66/month for individuals or $12.50/month for teams.


06. Toggl

Simple and agile time tracker, Toggl provides a time management overview of each project and task. Available across both offline and online platforms, this lightweight software is an opportunity to optimize teams’ workflow.

Free of charge in its basic version, paid subscriptions—whose respective costs elevate to $9 and 18$ per month and inform on deadlines— provide transparent client reporting, and time tracking reminders.


07. Zotero

Open-source reference management software, Zotero manages citations for bibliographic data and related research materials ranging from URLs, DOIs to ISBN embedded in books and scientific publications.

Some interesting features include the automatic redirection to institutions’ proxy for paywalled publications and a pop-up notification whenever reference comes from retracted publications. Furthermore, through word processor integration into Word, LibreOffice, and Google Docs, the citation writing process is facilitated.

Developed by an independent and non-profit organization, Zotero is a local program that only stores data on one’s computer and, therefore, can be used without sharing data with any other third party.

Free of charge.


08. PhraseBank

Designed primarily for academic and scientific writers, PhraseBank is a library containing English sentences ready to use in scientific papers and academic reports.

Containing categorized ideas on how to start introducing work, referring sources, describing methods, reporting results, discussing findings, and writing conclusions, the content collection may require some amount of creativity and adaptation but remains overall neutral and generic by nature. As such, there is no risk of plagiarism.

Free for use online, an enhanced and expanded version is also available as a Kindle download.


09. Zoom

Popular online communication tool, Zoom is a cloud-based platform focused on video and audio conferencing, collaboration, and more.

While bearing interesting features including digital hand-raising and background customization, secure end-to-end encryption is currently on the path toward perfection. In this regard, the most recent Zoom encryption upgrade notably gives meeting holders the ability to control which geographical data regions it avoids.

Free of use for video conferences of up to 100 participants, with a 40-minute time limit. Monthly paid subscription packages cost $13.99 to $18.99 per user to increase the duration limit up to 24 hours as well as the online meeting capacity.


10. Otter

Otter is a web-based application that provides live voice-to-text transcription. Trained with machine learning on millions of hours of audio recordings, the software automatically generates rich notes for meetings, interviews, lectures, and other important voice conversations while keeping separate the multiple speakers.

Bundling directly with Zoom, Otter can handle, this far, the English language. Still, it takes into account a wide variety of accents, including (southern) American, Canadian, Indian, Chinese, Russian, British, Scottish, Italian, German, Swiss, Irish, Scandinavian, and other European accents.

Free for use with up to 600 minutes of recording per month, advanced features including custom vocabulary, Dropbox live synch, and bulk import/export racks up $8.33 to $20.00 a month for solo or team licenses, respectively.


11. Coggle

Providing a visual representation of ideas and how they all relate to one another, Coggle is an interesting mind-mapping tool for brainstorming and keeping ideas organized.

With the possibility to add text labels and images that aren’t part of the diagram tree to annotate parts of one’s map, loops and joint branches. This online software further renders a writing project as smooth and agile as possible.

Free for up to 3 private diagrams and already quite interesting perks, a $5/month upgrade improves privacy features, provides additional item shapes and lines while increasing private projects unlimitedly. Teams pay up to 8$/month per member.


12. DataWrapper

Implementing charts, maps, and tables in a full-responsive mode, DataWrapper enables complementary data visualization to a compelling story.

Without coding skills required, the software thus provides expanded explanation and outreach in a matter of minutes, not hours.

A free—and already extensive—package offers full app features, more than 1000 administrative regions to build maps on, team collaboration, embedded codes for responsive charts, API for automation, and CMS integration. Alternatively, a paid €499 monthly subscription extends featured options including extra themes, additional export formats, and print-ready graphics.