The Best Writing Tools of 2020: A Guide for Writers

Let's face it... Writing can be:

  • Frustrating
  • Overwhelming
  • Exhausting
  • Even discouraging

The rewards come when the writing is finished:

  • That feeling of accomplishment
  • Getting published
  • Impacting readers

The good news is that the right tools make writing easier. And with over 40 years as a writer,

"I’ve had plenty of time to find my favorites." - Dave

Writer Tools I Recommend

Some of these are free—some cost.

Best Writing Tools Table of Contents:

1. Editing
2. Organization
3. Productivity
4. Marketing
5. Coaching
6. Courses
7. Helpful Articles

Editing Tools

Cost: Free with premium upgrades available at $29.95 per month, $59.95 per quarter, and $139.95 per year

Notes: Grammarly’s Google Chrome plugin helps catch grammatical errors in nearly everything you write online. The premium plans also offer vocabulary and sentence structure suggestions.

Click here to start using Grammarly.

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Cost: Free with premium upgrades available at $40 per year, $60 per 2 years, $80 per 3 years, or a one-time lifetime subscription fee of $140

Notes: Pro Writing Aid is a desktop app you can use with programs like Scrivener, Word, and Google Docs. It catches grammar errors, suggests style changes, and even checks for plagiarism.

Click here to start using Pro Writing Aid.

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Cost: $40

Notes: Scrivener users call this the ultimate organization tool for writers. It allows you to view your notes, research, outline, and writing all in one place. It comes with several helpful tutorials.

Click here to buy Scrivener.

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Google Docs

Cost: Free

Notes: Google Docs is great for collaboration. It allows you to invite others to make suggestions and comment on your work. My team and I use it for nearly everything we write.

Click here to start using Google Docs.

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Cost: Free

Notes: Evernote helps organize your ideas, notes, research, or any other important information you want to quickly store as you find it so you can easily access it later.

Click here to start using Evernote.

The Novel Factory


Windows desktop version: $39.99 one-time charge

Online version: $7.50 per month, $20 per month, or $60 per month (discounts for paying annually)

Notes: The Novel Factory is an online app that helps new writers complete their manuscripts and experienced writers become more productive. It contains dedicated tools to aid with plotting, character development, and drafting.

Click here to start using The Novel Factory.

Campfire Pro

Cost: $49.99 one-time charge

Notes: Campfire Pro is a writing software that helps you create and organize characters, plots, and worlds for your stories.

Click here to start using Campfire Pro.

1. Editing

2. Organization

3. Productivity

4. Marketing

5. Coaching

6. Courses

7. Helpful Articles

Productivity Tools

If you’ve ever found yourself distracted by everything on your computer except what you should be working on, here’s a way to shut them out while you’re writing:

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Cost: $6.99 per month, $29 per year, or a one-time charge of $119.99

Notes: Freedom allows you to block apps, social media, email, and whatever websites you choose — and on your own schedule.

Click here to buy Freedom.

Qwerkywriter Keyboard

Qwerkywriter Keyboard

Cost: $249.99 - $299.00

Notes: I LOVE my Qwerkywriter keyboard! It reminds me of the manual typewriter (remember those?) I learned on back when the earth’s crust was cooling. Yet the Qwerkywriter has all the modern conveniences upon which we so depend. It has the feel and sound of the classics but does all the work of the moderns. I wouldn’t trade mine for anything. In fact, I have one for each of my computers.

Click here to buy your Qwerkywriter Keyboard.

1. Editing
2. Organization
3. Productivity
4. Marketing
5. Coaching
6. Courses
7. Helpful Articles

Marketing Tools

Published or not, you need your own website to build a following and increase your visibility. A well thought-out website is the most effective marketing tool you can have.

Setting up a website or blog seems daunting, but even if you aren’t technically savvy, you can easily set up one with these resources:


Cost: $2.95 per month for basic hosting (exclusive deal)

Notes: Bluehost provides hosting, domain names, and other tools to help you easily create your author website.

Click here to get your hosting through Bluehost.

If you need help setting up your author website, I created a simple, start-to-finish guide to creating your very own within 30 minutes. Click here to check it out for free.

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Cost: Free with paid options

Notes: Mailchimp is easy-to-use email marketing software that helps you turn website visitors into customers and subscribers — a must for growing your audience.

Click here to start using Mailchimp.

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Cost: Starts at $25 per month

Notes: Leadpages allows you to easily create landing pages (webpages where you can offer free stuff — like a story, a guide, or a free chapter of your book in exchange for a visitor’s email address). My team has used this to grow my email list to over 50,000 subscribers.

Click here to start using Leadpages.

Interested in having me mentor you while you write?

As a member of my exclusive online David Farland's Apex-Writers Group you get:

  • Intensive live online writing workshops with tips you can immediately apply to your writing
  • Interviews with top writing and publishing experts who reveal inside information
  • Live Q&A with me where you can ask me anything
  • A private community where you can connect and interact with fellow writers
  • And so much more!

Registration opens only a few times per year.

Click here to join the waiting list!

Writing Courses

I offer several specialized, self-paced courses to help you hit the ground running with your novel or nonfiction book:

Helpful Guides, Articles, and Writing Sites

MyStoryDoctor In-Depth Guides and Blog Posts

  • How to Write a Novel: A 12-Step Guide

  • How to Publish a Book: My Ultimate Guide from 40+ Years of Experience

    Your Ultimate Guide to Writing Contests Through 20

    How to Overcome Writer’s Block Once and for All: My Surprising Solution

  • The Ultimate Guide to Character Development: 10 Steps to Creating Memorable Heroes

  • How to Write a Short Story in 9 Simple Steps

  • How to Write Your Memoir: A 5-Step Guide

    How to Write Dialogue That Captivates Your Reade

  • Unique Gifts for Writers