Writing can be hard enough without all the various technical distractions or challenges that come alongside as peripheral problems. Here are three tools I use all the time to help me proofread and edit, give me peace of mind, and focus on my writing.
1. Read Aloud in Microsoft Word
You can only proofread a document so many times before you start to miss errors. Plus, sometimes when you’re the one who wrote the document, you just fill in the errors with what you meant to say.
I use Read Aloud in Word to hear my documents read to me. This way, I know I’m not missing any mistakes. It also helps me hear if anything reads awkwardly—sometimes things only sound good in my head.
You’ll find this feature under the Review tab in Word.
2. Emailing Files to Backup
If you’re anything like me, you worry about your computer glitching and losing the latest version of your manuscript—especially after those big revisions or that long writing session.
Of course, you can always save your files on the cloud, but I still worry about some sort of tech error. Another option is a flash drive or external backup, but this can be annoying to do: plugging in the drive, transferring over the file, making sure the file properly moved over…
If you’re looking for a quick backup of that important file, just email it to yourself.
It’s a fast way to have that extra peace of mind that your writing won’t be lost if something happens to your manuscript file.
3. Focus Mode in Microsoft Word
Whenever I’m feeling distracted or overwhelmed by the various menus in Word and general visual clutter, I switch over to Focus Mode.
This setting is in the bottom right-hand corner of Word.
It presents a simplified, clean view of your document so you can focus in on your writing.
Those are the three tools I use to help me write. They make my life easier and help me be a more productive writer. Write on, fellow authors!
What tools do you use when you’re writing?