Writing can be a difficult task for many students. Some have trouble getting started, others have trouble staying on task, and many struggle with both. Staying focused when you’re sitting at your computer and somewhat uninspired can be a disaster waiting to happen – there’s a lot of stuff to waste time with on The Interwebs!
The Internet can be a huge distraction, but it can also be the tool that helps to make you a more efficient and better writer. In fact, there are many online tools you can start using today and start getting the work done more quickly, efficiently, and effectively. Check out some of the tools below that can help keep you focused while your creativity flows!
Citelighter is a great way to build your bibliography simply – so you don’t spend all of your time worrying about correctly formatting a bibliography in APA, MLA, or Chicago formatting. Citelighter also catalogs all the citations people make and groups them in a gallery called “Knowledge Cards,” which contain groupings of information on a particular subject.
Write Monkey helps to make the writing process cleaner by providing the user with a distraction free writing environment, and by streamlining keyboard and mouse use . Instead of switching between keyboard and mouse, the program uses keyboard shortcuts to mimic mouse movements, so you don’t need to use a mouse. It is a basic interface that is easy to use, and they do offer some plugins for things like dictionary and thesaurus use within the program if you choose to use it.
Focus Writer is a great way to keep yourself free of distractions on your screen. You will be provided with a clean space for writing, while the user interface being subtly hidden in the edges of the computer screen. Whenever you need to use the toolbar, you will only need to move the cursor to the edge of the screen. The ability to use full screen mode and completely ignore what you don’t want to see will make your brain more focused. Moreover, Focus Writer also includes a word counter, spell checker, and more great features that will make your work more effective.
Q10 is another online tool that will keep you more focused during your writing. The simplistic user interface includes only a small toolbar showing the page, word and character count for the piece you are working on. If you are feeling distracted even by these few numbers, no problem – you can turn those features off and work in a completely distraction-free environment. You will be able to access all functions through keyboard shortcuts.
This tool is only for Mac users. The simplest way to describe this writing tool is that it’s a zen environment. It provides you with cool features in the most relaxing outline. Omm Writer creates a zen like environment for you to write in- useful whether you’re working on a short essay, a huge research paper, or the great american novel. They also offer a paid version, which comes with a huge variety of themes, but there is also a free option that offers three themes to use.
The thought of losing work drives many of us to compulsively click the ‘save’ icon. WriteRoom will keep you calm, because besides being an awesome writing tool, it also includes synchronization and backup options. The scroll bar and the toolbar will be automatically hidden when you don’t use them, so you will be left with a clean interface that’s free of all distractions. The novel type scroll feature will enable you to be focused on your current writing. The theme and font can be customized to fit your preferences.
All of the tools recommended in this article are free to use. Some can be upgraded to paid versions, but their free features are good enough to improve your writing and help you maintain your focus where it should be.