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Best Writing, Editing, Brainstorming & Note-Taking Tools for Startups

Every website, platform, app or blog needs to be written well to engage visitors. They can have the best design in the world but it means nothing if they're poorly written. Here you'll find a complete list of the top tools to bring out the best writer and note-taker in you.

May 19, 2021 ยท Niek van Riel

When developing content and copy for your startup, writing and note-taking software such as Microsoft Word and Evernote have long disrupted the need for pen and paper. They both still factor as key players in todayโ€™s word processing and note-taking markets, but there has been an explosion of invaluable alternatives in the past five years.

Writing and Editing Tools for Startups

So much of a startupโ€™s brand and marketing is web and media-based, which are the first point of call for current and future customers. Itโ€™s crucial that when they access your product or service, they are presented with an accurately articulated version of what you are offering. If youโ€™re a writing genius, great! But if you are like most of us, sometimes it can be hard to get that perfect description or piece of content sounding the way you want it to sound. Never fear; there are many software and platform solutions to help you create that masterpiece. They can take your ordinary piece of writing and, through clever algorithms and machine learning, can turn it into precisely what you intended and beyond. Move over, Shakespeare, hello you. โœ๏ธ

Writing

Google Docs

In recent years Google Docs has taken the crown from Microsoft Word as the preferred pure writing tool for everyone from students to bloggers and authors too. The ability to easily collaborate and share documents from a web browser along with intuitive functionality has been the reason for its booming success.

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Drafta

Drafta is great when collaborating on a writing project with a team. The best feature is its version control, where you can look back in the documentโ€™s history and find its previous versions. It also doubles as a place to store and share your web and interface design screens too. Pretty neat. 

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Microsoft Word

Yes, weโ€™ve all had some experience with Word; after all, itโ€™s been around since 1983! Thereโ€™s a reason itโ€™s stood the test of time for 38 years and counting; it just simply works. It has also adapted to changes in the market, ensuring itโ€™s still the number one choice to get words onto a document. 

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Editing

Grammarly

Grammarly is like a spell-checking tool on steroids. It will correct all your spelling and grammar errors, offer better vocabulary choices and even detect plagiarism for you. Itโ€™s the all in one writing assistant youโ€™ve always wanted. 

Cliche Finder

Cliche Finder does exactly what it states; it finds, highlights and removes cliches from your writing, so you donโ€™t sound like everyone else. This includes stale and overused word and phrase choices so you can stand out from the pack.

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Hemingway Editor

If you tend to waffle/babble on when you write, you may want to consider getting some assistance. Yes, it can increase the length of your text, but anyone reading it is usually put off by the lack of clarity. This is where Hemingway Editor steps in to ensure your lengthy, complex sentences are reduced to a clear and concise text that is palatable to all readers.

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Ginger Software

Ginger Software offers many tools that the other big players donโ€™t, at a more reasonable price point. As well as providing the usual spelling, grammar and punctuation checker, it has a handy English practice tool for new or non-native writers. Itโ€™s a great feature that can benefit many people whose writing may not be their strong point.

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LanguageTool

LanguageToolโ€™s point of difference over other proofreading tools is its compatibility with over 25 languages. That makes this the best option for a large proportion of startups who choose to use a language different from English. 

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WordRake

WordRake helps improve the brevity and clarity of your writing. It can be used to quickly edit and concisely write documents such as emails, business reports, briefs, correspondence and memos. If youโ€™re looking to write efficient, influential texts, this is your bet.

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ProWritingAid

ProWritingAid is the main competitor to Grammarly and performs many of the same functions; however, it differs by focusing more on the readability and writing style than Grammarlyโ€™s heavier focus on grammar and spelling errors. If youโ€™re looking for a great alternative to Grammarly, this is it.

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Brainstorming & Note-Taking Tools for Startups

Brainstorming and note-taking are all part of the writing process, so to get the best out of your writing, you should have all the right tools at your fingertips. But thatโ€™s not all! Current brainstorming and mind mapping software are designed for collaboration to work together with your team to write the perfect piece of content or copy. It also helps with teamwork on projects, clarify thinking, and manage complex information. Take a look below at the best software to get your creative juices flowing.

Brainstorming

Mindmeister

Whether you are a first-grader or a CEO, Mindmeisterโ€™s intuitive design makes it the perfect mind mapping tool to get all ideas down. It can be used across multiple devices so you can brainstorm and jot down ideas on the fly. 

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Coggle

Coggle is a simple and straightforward way to communicate complex information. It helps with note-taking, brainstorming, planning and creative pursuits and can be collaborated on in real-time so you can share and work on ideas with your teammates in a flash. 

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Miro

Whether you are co-located, distributed, or fully remote, miro allows an engaging, intuitive, in-person collaborative experience. Here you can work together on ideation, research, design, strategy, planning, mapping and everything else you need to collaborate in writing with your team successfully. 

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Xmind

Xmind offers a full-featured mind mapping tool designed to generate ideas, inspire creativity and bring efficiency to your work. Itโ€™s a fantastic tool, especially for those working from home, to organize personal and team thoughts and ideas in your writing process. 

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Scapple

Scapple is a straightforward, stylish brainstorming tool. Its clear and intuitive design does one thing very well. It enables you to scribble ideas down on a piece of virtual paper and then draw lines between related concepts. Itโ€™s great to organize your thoughts, especially when writing a piece of content. 

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Lucid Chart

Lucid Chart allows you to work directly in your web browser, without the need for downloads, to create powerful and professional flowcharts and diagrams. It also features collaboration functionality and the ability to work across all platforms, whenever and wherever you want.

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HubSpot Idea Generator

Yes, this is as simple as it sounds. If you are writing many articles and blogs, the HubSpot blog topic generator can help you with blog ideas if you are struggling with what to write about. All you have to do is enter up to 5 different nouns related to your topic, and it will generate a bunch of potential blog headlines for you to work with.

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Wisemapping

Wisemapping touts itself as open-source software, enabling a completely free, web-based mind mapping tool for individuals and businesses alike. You can share and collaborate, link with documents, embed into web pages and blogs, and export your mindmaps, all for free!

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MindNote

MindNode is a mind mapping app that lets you put your ideas on paper and think them through. If you're a sucker for visualizing ideas in a sleek way, MindNode is definitely worth a try.

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Mindly

Mindly helps you organize your thoughts and boost your creativity. The mind mapping app is built to increase your focus and make sure your ideas never get lost.

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Note-Taking

OneNote

OneNote is considered the Microsoft equivalent to EverNote. It is part of the Microsoft 365 suite, so if you work in the Microsoft ecosystem, this will sync well with the other apps available on its platform. OneNote keeps your thoughts organized through notes, recorded audio, screenshots and saved links and syncs across all devices and platforms.

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Google Keep

Similar to OneNote, Google Keep is a great tool if you prefer the Google ecosystem for your writing needs. It does all the basics of a note-taking app while also having a useful automatic transcribing tool for your voice memos to help make your note-taking processes more efficient. 

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Apple Notes

It would be rude not to mention Apple Notes while weโ€™re working through all the note-taking apps for each ecosystem. Itโ€™s fast, free and simple to use and the perfect accompaniment if you are entrenched in the Apple ecosystem. You can sync across all Apple devices and incorporate it into other Apple apps such as Pages. 

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EverNote

Evernote is one of the original note-taking applications to help everyone from executives, entrepreneurs, and creative people capture and arrange their ideas. It can also store helpful things such as boarding passes, receipts, articles to read and recipes, and sync everything between your computer, smartphone, and tablet.

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Joplin

Joplin is an alternative option to the big note-taking players from Microsoft, Google and Apple. Its open-source note-taking and to-do software can handle a large number of notes organised together in notebooks, where you can search, copy, tag or modify them from any platform you wish. 

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