Suzanne, I have the perfect online writing tool for you.”

11 Fantastic Online Writing Tools Free


I receive many emails from people telling me about an excellent new app, tool, or website for writers or students. And since I tutor academic writing online, I try all kinds of writing tools and resources to see how they work, and experiment.  My goal? Find things that make the academic writing process easier and improve the quality of an essay, paper, or another project.

Only a small number of resources and websites are my go-to choices because I’m looking for online writing tools that make your writing life simpler. I don’t want to recommend online tools that are challenging to manage and require a lot of training to use. The writing process doesn’t need to be harder. 

Today, I’m sharing my top 11  online writing tools for free that will help you achieve your writing goals.

Let’s look at how they can help you.

11 Online Writing Tools for Free in 2022


11 Fantastic Online Writing Tools and Resources Infographic

Online Tools for the Writing Process

#1 Jamboard for Prewriting


Jamboard    Jamboard is a Google Extension you can use to help you develop and plan out your writing ideas. It is perfect for prewriting because you can brainstorm and organize ideas using “sticky notes.” There are 2 ways I use Jamboard for writing. 

The first way is to come up with writing ideas.  To do this, start with an open-ended question like: What can I write?  Type every idea you have on an electronic sticky note.  You can change the color and size of the sticky notes and move them around in any order.  Here’s an example of a Jamboard with my ideas for writing a personal narrative. 

Jamboard for Brainstorming

Jamboard example for Brainstorming Writing Ideas

The second prewriting activity you can use Jamboard for is to develop ideas on a topic.  You can use the boards for creating blog posts or essay content.  Create sticky notes for main ideas using one color; then, add supporting details to each of those main ideas on sticky notes of a different color. 

Here’s an example of some ideas I have for a blog post.  You can see all my supporting details are in yellow, and my main topics are in aqua. 

Jamboard for Organizing Writing Ideas

Jamboard Example for Writing Organization

There are other fun things you can do, such as change the background color and draw a line with a pen. Jamboard is simple to use, flexible, and creative. 


#2 Internet Archive for Online Research


Internet Archive  is an online public library with free books, videos, articles, websites, and audio files.  It has millions of sources from libraries all over the world.  You can find excellent credible primary and secondary sources. 

Type into the search bar your topic, title, or author, or perform an advanced search where you can specify the words contained, date range, author, and types of media.  This screenshot shows you results for the search term “Kennedy Assassination.”

Internet Archive Screenshot of Search Results

Internet Archive Search Results for the “Kennedy Assassination.”

I use Internet Archive to find a lot of sources for teaching and writing.  My students love using it for research because they have access to many different types of media.  When I create Google Classrooms for my students, I always include Internet Archive as a top resource.


#3 Google Docs for Writing and Revising


Google Docs  is similar to MS Word when it comes to composing, revising, editing, and publishing writing.  In Google Docs you can write, comment, and edit a document with other people at the same time.  

You can use Google Docs with every aspect of writing, from brainstorming to publishing a final draft.  In this image, you can see the menu and document and comment on the side. 

Google Docs Example with comments

Google Docs Example 

Since you can share a document with another person via a link or email, writing is interactive.  Another feature of Google Docs is that it is easy to download a file in a PDF or MS Word format (which is handy when you need to submit a piece of writing as an MS Word or PDF document). 


#4 Google Classroom for Collaboration and Writing Groups


Google Classroom has been a favorite tool of mine ever since it was available to anyone with a Google Account.  Before 2017, you could only use Google Classroom if your school district used it. 

Since anyone with a Google account can create a classroom, writing groups can use a Google Classroom to share resources organized by topics and add writing for others to read. You can post anything in the stream from an attachment, video, link, or something in Google Drive and email members of a group.  

I use it with my tutoring students as a place to upload resources, share documents, and communicate with them through the stream. Below is a glimpse of a writing classroom I created. 

Google Classroom for Writing

Google Classroom Example, “Online Writing Class Resources and More.

To create a class:

  1. Go to, or select your Google Classroom app, go to the right side and click on the + sign and select “Create a class.” 
  2. A box will pop up where you can create the name of your class or writing group.  T
  3. Type your information and select “create.” 
  4. Next, invite group members by sending them an email, copying an invitation link, or sharing the class code.
  5. Start adding materials for your group.

Check out this post and see how to create an amazing academic writing group



Writing Tools for Focus and Productivity


#5 Calmly Writer


If you find it hard to concentrate on writing and keep stopping to edit or “look something up,” try Calmly Writer At the Calmly Writer website, you’ll see 2 choices: 1) The free online version and 2) The Desktop App, which costs #14.99. This blog post describes the free online version (not the desktop app).

Calmly Writer does not have a toolbar like Google Docs 
or MS Word. It lets you write without complicated buttons that highlight any mistakes. Which means you aren’t stopping to fix and correct things. Instead, you can focus on composing and turning thoughts into writing. The online program has a blank space.  In the example here, you’ll see a word count tracker and “time to read tracker” at the bottom of the page.

Calmly Writer Example Text

Calmly Writer Example Text

You can choose a light or dark background setting. As you change paragraphs, you’ll see the previous ones fade; it forces you to move forward in your writing. You can set up simple preferences, such as font size, background, and noise (none or a typewriter sound). When you finish writing, you can download your document as a text, HTML, or Word Document file, or you can save it to Google Drive.


#6 Write More


Another tool that blocks distractions and keeps you on track with your writing is Write More More is a brand new tool (as of January 2022). I set up my account with Write More (currently free). Write More asked me questions about my preferences for a theme (my font style and background color) and word count goal. Other features I could select were whether or not I wanted to have creative writing prompts and email or text reminders at certain times of the day.

Write More tracks my word count and saves my writing automatically. Each piece of writing is saved as a page. In the example below, you’ll see the page I used to write this blog post.

Write More OnlineJournal for Writing Page

Write More Example of a Page

Now, I can open it whenever I need to and go back to it. Also, I can download my page as Word Document, Html, or Text File.  But one of my favorite parts is the analytics because I can see how much I’ve written each day over a more extended period. Looking at my analytics encouraged me to keep writing because I know the progress or lack of progress I made with my writing. I wrote my first draft of this post using Write More! 

I’m not sure how much longer Write More will be free, so try it and register for an account if it interests you.

Online Tools for Organization and Planning


#7 Evernote


Evernote lets you write and record notes on your phone that sync with an online app. There is a paid version of Evernote with more features and storage. However, I have a free account. With the free account, You can save your notes to “Notebooks” around a specific topic.  

Evernote Dashboard with Notebooks

Example of an Evernote Dashboard with Notebooks

As you can see, I have notebooks for blog post ideas, fiction ideas, etc. Since I can record my thoughts on my phone, Evernote helps me capture ideas when I’m away from my laptop. It’s perfect for when I wake up in the middle of the night with a writing idea; I can record an audio note and go back to sleep.


#8 Trello


Trello is a popular place for all kinds of planning and collaboration. People can create boards to brainstorm, complete tasks, and keep track of everything they need to do. There is a section for writing where people can create an original board and design it or work from a popular template.

This photo shows you my Trello Dashboard and the templates available.

Trello Workspace Example with Template

Trello Workspace Example

In Trello, you can add cards for different things like checklists, attachments from links, Dropbox, and Google Drive within a template board. You can check off things as you complete them, add bibliographic information with sources, and make sure you finish everything by a deadline.  Here is a card I developed for writing descriptions of academic sources.

 Trello Card Example from a Board

Example of a Trello Card within a Board

There are different types of accounts that include a free option and different levels of paid options. In the free version, you can create 10 boards with an unlimited amount of cards on each board and unlimited storage. However, the free account does not include the features of assigning dates and inviting members.

Writing Resources for Word Choice


#9 Visuwords


Visuwords is more than a visual thesaurus because it also shows you the lexicon around a word. You can see how words fit within a phrase. When you type a word into the search bar, what comes up is a web that shows you both the parts of speech related to a term and the relationship of words (whether they mean the same thing, are examples of, are a type of something, etc.). You can see whole phrases put together.

Visuwords-Visual Thesaurus Example "Curious"

Visuwords Example for the Word “Curious”

In the screenshot above, you can see the parts of speech related to the word “curious.” Each is color-coded: blue for a noun, green for a verb, orange for an adjective, and red for an adverb. The different lines that are solid or dotted note the relationship of a word or phrase to “curious.” For example, the solid blue color circle with the words “curiousness and inquisitiveness” are nouns. The solid gray line shows that they are words for “curious.”  Visuwords is free and runs on donations, so consider making a small donation if you use it regularly.



#10 Power Thesaurus


Power Thesaurus shows you synonyms, antonyms, and definitions for a word. It’s community-driven, which means the words and sentences are gathered from multiple sources online. The benefit of that is it expands your word choices. In the screenshot below, I searched for synonyms for “curious.” There are 394 words and phrases. I selected the word “peculiar” and found its definition.

Power Thesaurus Example for the Word Curious

Power Thesaurus Example for the Word “Curious”

The downside of a community-driven website is that information may not be accurate. You’ll want to check words and phrases you are unsure of in a dictionary/thesaurus like Merriam-Webster. Power Thesaurus is free to use, but the free account includes pop-up ads. Hey, they need to make money somehow. If you want to avoid ads, read more content, and get advanced extensions, you can purchase the Pro Subscription for $29.90 annually.


#11 Merriam-Webster Dictionary and Thesaurus


Every writer or student needs to have a good dictionary. Merriam-WebsterOnline combines its dictionary with a thesaurus. Like its book dictionary, you’ll find the meanings of a word and its variations. 

In the screenshot here, you’ll see the essential definitions and complete definitions of the word “curious.”

Merriam-Webster Definition of the Word Curious for a Blog Post

Merriam-Webster Dictionary Definitions for the Word “Curious”

If you scroll down the page, you’ll see these options

  1. Synonyms and Antonyms
  2. Words From…
  3. Choose the Right Synonym
  4. Did you know?
  5. More Example Sentences
  6. Learn More About…

The third option, “Choose the Right Synonym,” helps you find the perfect word that fits the emotion and context of what you are writing. Here, you can see information about choosing synonyms for the word “curious.”

Merriam-Webster "Choose the Right Synonym Explanation

Merriam-Webster–How to Choose the Right Synonym

Merriam-Webster also has an online thesaurus to help you find synonyms, related words, near antonyms, and antonyms. When you use Merriam-Webster, you know that the words you select come from a credible source. You can use it for free, but Google Ads are on the right side and bottom of your screen. It isn’t enjoyable, but you get used to it.



How to Select Your Online Writing Tools


Try out these free online writing tools to discover which ones will help you write better. Consider what you need overall to brainstorm, plan, write, focus, and enhance your language. Don’t add all these tools at once,  but choose ones that make your writing life easier and even more fun!  

And stay tuned for my next blog post, where I look at the best free revising and editing tools for 2022.

Like this list? Please share it and spread these free online writing tools!