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Five Free Apps That Helped Me Write Better Articles Faster

Cover photo for 5 Free Apps That Helped Me Write Better Articles

Improve the structure and form of your articles with five new writing tools.

People will never solve the quantity versus quality conflict. And if you are a content creator, you may wonder on which to focus. But you will never find an answer.

Some think you will produce bad articles if you focus too much on quantity. And since nobody will read them, you will never succeed.

Others think you need to focus more on quality to create enough content. Otherwise, you will have limited reach and never get discovered. So the result will be the same.

But what is the correct answer?

In such a competitive and doubtful environment, the success road stays between quantity and quality. And if you want to succeed, you must produce more high-quality content. So here are five free apps that helped me write better and faster articles.

(I already selected five other productivity apps for content creators before. Do not miss them.)

1 — XTiles

Writing with XTiles  for Five Free Apps That Helped Me Write Better Articles Faster
Writing with XTiles 

XTiles is a newly released software with a unique concept: working with mobile blocks. And for a creative content creator, moving, shifting, resizing, and adding new blocks of ideas to their blog post is an incredible feeling.

With XTiles, you can create a versatile work environment on the go for each of your articles. You can shape it in different forms every time. And based on your needs and research, you can split pieces of information and move them freely on the board to make them fit better.

But you can use XTiles for other things too. For example, it could be perfect for an ideas collector. You can create a tile for each of the topics you want to write about and keep ideas separated. Or you could create a content planner to schedule your posts.

Whatever you can do with other software, you can do with XTiles, but with more freedom. And they also have many templates from which you can start to create your next project.

Using Templates in XTiles 
Using Templates in XTiles 

What I Love

The tile structure is genius because it gives you the highest level of freedom possible.

For example, once I collect my ideas in tiles, I reorder them to create my first outline. Then, I work on each tile singularly. Therefore, I can maintain a simple structure and progress faster.

While editing, I can rearrange big paragraphs if I notice they could fit better in another order. Also, I avoid cutting and pasting text, risking forgetting parts of text or anything like that.

What Needs Improvements

Since it was just released, I do not expect everything to be flawless. But I would love it if the developers would complete the smartphone app in the future.

At the moment, it only allows adding quick notes to your diary. But I wish to create entire projects directly on my phone.

Also, I use a lot of nested lists to write my outlines. So please, remove the two levels limit.

(You can use my referral link to reward me with some more monthly free tiles to use.)

2 — Effie

Writing with Effie  for Five Free Apps That Helped Me Write Better Articles Faster
Writing with Effie 

Effie is a text editor with automated mind-mapping integrations I have been using for a while now. And I keep using it for complex articles when I need to clarify them.

For example, my last two articles were over 2000 words. So I used Effie to track every topic I wanted to discuss. Then, I generated a mind map that helped me control the complex structure of the article and its many nuances.

Top content creators value clarity over anything else in their craft. So if you want to connect with your audience, stop confusing them. Or they will search for someone better.

Therefore, write an outline to make sure you are hitting your target. List all your ideas and put them in a mind map. Cut the useless parts and split the complex ones. And then, after all that work, you will be ready to write better articles.

Creating mind maps with Effie
Creating mind maps with Effie

What I Love

I love Effie for its simplicity.

You don’t have to be a professional writer to get your hands on the tools and understand how they work.

Effie uses markdown language. So you can write and format your articles faster.

Also, you don’t need a graphic design degree to create your first mind maps and use them in your articles. You only need to write a list of ideas. The built-in generator will transform them into mind maps. And then, you can export and use them however you wish.

What Needs Improvements

At the moment, you can synchronize your account only with iOS. So if you want to use Effie to take notes and modify your mind maps from your phone, you need an Apple product.

I hope they release an Android version as soon as possible because, at the moment, I have to use another software to keep my notes synchronized.

3 — QuillBot

Improving fluency with QuillBot for Five Free Apps That Helped Me Write Better Articles Faster
Improving fluency with QuillBot

QuillBot is a multi-toolbox that every writer should have in their pocket. Using Grammarly made me lazy because I stopped editing my articles manually. So I am testing it a lot as an alternative grammar corrector.

With QuillBot, I broke the habit and started editing by hand again. Moreover, the software has some unique features that helped me write better articles over the past few months.

Here are some of the things I used the most:

  • The fluency tool helped me introduce variability in my writing and create sentences that keep the reader interested. Sometimes, you need to repeat the same concept more than once. For example, you may want to promote a product many times in a single article. So this tool can become valuable.
  • The grammar checker is the main reason I use QuillBot to find errors in my piece. I hate spotting them in other articles, and I do not want people to feel the same about mine. So it must be as curated as possible.
  • The summarize mode helps me extract the key points from any text. And usually, if there is a long article to research, I pass it through the summarizer to understand if it contains any valuable information first. And if it does, I read it. So QuillBot helps me become faster.
Text Summarizer with QuillBot
Text Summarizer with QuillBot

What I Love

Comparing the two versions of the same sentence is the feature I love the most about QuillBot and one of the reasons why it is part of the free apps that helped me write better articles.

After generating or correcting a new paragraph, you can click the Statistics button to check the improvement. Therefore, you could compare the following statistics:

  • The tone of the paragraph. It can be casual or formal, friendly or unfriendly, and complex or simple.
  • The average words per sentence.
  • The readability score.
  • And the differences in terms of the number of sentences and words between the two versions.

What Needs Improvements

The premium version of QuillBot includes a plagiarism checker and many forms of generators. But unfortunately, some of these features generate sentences that worsen readability instead of improving it.

For example, I tried the creative writing tool, and it created a more complex paragraph. So, for now, I will use the tool as an idea generator and then rephrase the sentence myself. Or I will use a combination of tools to find the perfect fit that enhances readability and introduces variability in my article.

4 — Trello

Planning with Trello  for Five Free Apps That Helped Me Write Better Articles Faster
Planning with Trello 

You all know how much I love Notion. But most people hate creating custom templates for their projects. And sometimes, searching for a template is challenging since you can find so many on the official store.

Trello is the perfect alternative. When you create a board, the software sets most components for you. So you can focus more on working instead of setting up the environment.

Also, if you need it, it has many customization possibilities as Notion. So even if you want a more customized environment, you can create it.

Streamlined activities and team projects are the best fit for Trello. The developers built and promoted it as a team management system that allows people to cooperate at best. But I often used it to streamline my writing habit and split between outlining, writing, and editing, for example. Or I created a board to separate my ideas for multiple audiences and publications. So every time I want to write an article in a specific niche, I know where to pick it.

What I Love

Trello simplifies the setting up phase of your project. So you can create the bare environment and start working as soon as possible. And since it limits the setup time, it enhances productivity. So you will become faster at collecting ideas and managing them so you can focus on writing.

But you can always focus on customization later. For example, you can automate some repetitive tasks. Or you can connect each board with many external applications like Slack, Gmail, or Google Drive.

What Needs Improvements

The style of the organizer prevents you from creating other types of templates like Notion. You can only use many lists with cards inside, and there is nothing you can do about it.

They have multiple templates like Notion, but the core remains a list of tabs.

5 — Hemingway

Editing with Hemingway for Five Free Apps That Helped Me Write Better Articles Faster
Editing with Hemingway

Hemingway was my first English teacher when I started my writing career. And I have kept using it since then. So it is the last of the five free apps that helped me write better articles faster.

Services like QuillBot can help you correct most of the errors in an article and spot grammar mistakes. But Hemingways is different because it focuses more on the style and readability of your piece. And this is the main reason why I am still using it today.

My editing pattern follows two steps:

  • First, I check my article in QuillBot to fix all the errors it found.
  • Then, I paste it on Hemingway and check the complex sentences to enhance readability.

What I Love

I have a confession: I love the color system Hemingway uses to notify errors. It is simple but effective. And, based on the colors, you can understand what kind of problem it found in your text and how you should fix it.

Grammarly adopted the same system, but it underlines the text. Hemingway highlights it instead, so it is even faster to recognize.

Also, the software gives you two limits:

  • One is for the adverbs, which makes your article complex to read.
  • And one for the passive voice, which makes your article less vivid and pale.

And if you do not want to support them and download the software, you can use it online for free.

What Needs Improvements

There is a reason why I never left Hemingway from the moment I started writing online: it does few things, but it does it perfectly.

But there is an annoying feature they never solved that still bothers me. Every time I use the auto-correction feature, the software brings me to the top of the page. So I have to search my way back from where I left off and reread some parts. And sometimes, it is exhausting, so I hope they will fix it soon.

Final Thoughts

Quality may be the reason why you make it as a content creator. Or you may overwhelm your niche with the amount of content you produce.

Whatever the reason, if you want to succeed, you need to produce more and better. So these were five free apps that helped me write better articles faster.

You cannot use them simultaneously. You have to make a choice. But lately, they have been helping me in my content creation quest to success. And they all give innovative tools that creative minds can use for their projects.

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Cover photo by Zen Chung from Pexels for Five Free Apps That Helped Me Write Better Articles Faster.