Running a small writing business can be a bit stressful. With tight deadlines and multiple clients, it quickly becomes a juggling act. Fortunately, there are plenty of apps for small writing businesses out there to help automate your workflow and boost your productivity.
The following list features our favorite tools that can help you save time with tasks like detecting typos, scheduling social media posts, generating invoices, tracking payments, and monitoring expenses. There’s an app waiting to solve just about any challenge you’ll run into while growing your business.
To help you gain clients and keep things running smoothly, check out the 18 best apps for small writing businesses in these six categories:
- Payment processing
- Time tracking
- Social scheduling
Productivity Apps to Help You Manage Tasks
Every online writer’s best friend, Grammarly is an app and browser extension that checks grammar, spelling, punctuation, sentence structure, tone of voice, and more. It’s perhaps the most essential and versatile app for freelance writers. You can use Grammarly for free or upgrade to the paid version.
Grammarly is easy to install with any web browser. Use it for drafting messages in Gmail, Outlook, Messenger, Google Docs, Slack, Medium, or Twitter. The possibilities are practically endless. An add-in is available specifically for Microsoft Word, and the mobile version (available on iOS and Android) is super convenient to use on-the-go.
One of the best benefits Grammarly offers is the ability to check for mistakes in real-time. It will also provide suggestions for improving clarity and readability. The Overall Score feature provides a detailed performance report that can help identify recurring errors and continuously refine your writing.
While the free version is helpful, you can also subscribe to the premium paid version. A crucial benefit of the paid upgrade is a plagiarism detector that scans over 16 billion web pages to help you avoid duplicating published web content. The paid plan starts around $12/month.
This free app is fantastic for editing content because it uses a color-coding system to help identify wordy passages and provide simpler alternatives. And who doesn’t love some good color-coded organization?
You can also use the Hemingway Editor to help you change from a passive to active voice. By following the prompts, you should end up with a revised draft that’s bold and clear. This editing tool is so visual and straightforward that you’ll be making your writing more engaging in a matter of minutes.
There are many other online resources for writers, but the Hemingway editor is indispensable for saving time and achieving better results for free. And for $19.99/month, you can export your text into a PDF, Microsoft Word file, or a Medium or WordPress article.
Evernote is a free, multiplatform (iOS, Android, Windows) app that serves several purposes. It’s hailed as one of the best tools for capturing your ideas as they arise, wherever you are – no need to feel tethered to your desk. The app is useful for storing digital files, note-taking, or as a project management system. It’s a catch-all note-taking tool, like your very own digital bullet journal.
This app is especially popular with freelance writers because you can hold up to 100,000 notes, adding files of just about any kind, including text, audio, video, PDFs, Microsoft Word, Excel, or PowerPoint files.
Online Payment Apps to Keep Track of Finances
Payoneer provides financial services like online money transfers and digital payments. It’s an electronic wallet that lets you withdraw your money through an ATM or convert it to your local currency.
It’s one of the preferred apps of small writing businesses and independent writers for collecting client payments. You can register for free and receive money from almost anywhere in the world. Payoneer offers a competitive fee structure of two percent per transfer and $2.75 per withdrawal.
One of the most crucial parts of keeping your writing business afloat is making sure you receive payments quickly. Bonus points for services without the added fees. If you’re in the US, Zelle might be your best option for collecting payments.
This online platform enables US-based bank account holders to send and receive money using only an email address or phone number to register. Zelle has quickly gained popularity in the US, with an average of 50,000 users enrolling daily.
The associated fees vary according to your financial institution, so it’s best to check with them first. At the moment, account holders at Bank of America can either send or receive money with Zelle entirely for free.
Azimo is a money transfer service similar to Payoneer. It offers international money transfer services in more than 190 countries and 80 different currencies. So, you can use it virtually anywhere in the world.
As a global, client-friendly app, Azimo is one of the best options for small writing businesses. It’s one of the few that has the capability to exchange funds in your local currency. Costs vary depending on the sum of money the client is sending, as well as the current exchange rate.
Accounting Apps for Writers – Because Taxes
This app makes expense management easy for small businesses. With Expensify, you can easily sort your receipts to track and manage expenses. If you move from being a solopreneur to a growing team, it also lets users submit their business expenses for easy approval and reimbursement.
Smart scanning is another valuable time-saving feature. You can snap a picture of receipts or invoices without needing to enter any data, and the app will automatically detect the values.
You’ll start with 25 free SmartScans a month, with additional scans beginning at $4.99/month.
Quickbooks is one of the preferred accounting apps for small business owners, with over 3.4 million users and growing. It helps small businesses organize their accounting information using lists, and it records any accounting movements in real-time.
You’ll know the exact status of your current finances and be able to track all income and expenses related to your writing business. This degree of visibility is crucial when you need to make strategic decisions fast.
With QuickBooks, you can use the following advanced features:
- Sorting and unifying customer, supplier, and employee information (or creating any other relevant categories)
- Connecting your bank account and credit cards to monitor all income and expenses in real-time
- Generating accounting reports for financial visibility and traceability
- Managing user access and defining who can add or modify records
QuickBooks offers a 30-day free trial with paid plans starting at $7/month.
FreshBooks promises to help you spend less time on accounting and more time doing the work you love. This cloud accounting service lets you manage your accounting without needing to be a financial expert. You can easily handle clients’ payments regardless of their location, language, or currency. It can also document billable time, expenses, timesheets, and even notify you when your client has viewed an invoice.
The app is compatible with many different payment processors. Freshbooks accepts credit cards such as Visa and Mastercard, and it also allows payment and collection via PayPal. It also integrates with tools like Basecamp, Autotask, and ClientSpot to assist with invoicing and project management.
FreshBooks has a free version that you can try for 30 days. Different pricing plans are available depending on the number of clients you will input and the features you need. For instance, the Lite Plan is $4.50/month, and the Premium Plan is $15/month.
Communication Apps to Stay in the Loop
Although Workplace is from Facebook, it’s totally independent of the social network. It has the same esthetics but with a different objective, bringing together the members of your business. Facebook Workplace can help you maintain internal communication among your team, share ideas, and keep the communication flowing with clients.
Facebook Workplace is a great tool to use if you have several writers in your writing business. You can use it for free and add up to 50 writers. And, because freelancing is not bound to four walls, Workplace allows you to access the platform both through your browser and your smartphone for communicating on-the-go.
Meet is Google’s video conferencing solution that allows you to host calls and video conferences from anywhere with up to 100 participants for free. The only limitation is that the meeting should last less than one hour. However, this is generally more than enough for small writing businesses, as we all know how long, drawn-out meetings can be a killer of productivity.
You can get the Google Workspace Essentials Plan for $8/month to have up to 150 meeting participants. Additionally, you can join meetings through browsers, the mobile app, Google Calendar, link URL, or meeting code.
All of this makes Google Meet a versatile app for keeping communication fluent within your writing team and, of course, with your clients.
Skype is a great tool that anyone can use to talk face to face, chat, or make a traditional phone call. The app allows you to communicate through individual and group voice or video calls, send instant messages, and share files with your team or clients. Use it on whatever device works best for you – smartphone, computer, or tablet.
Best of all, Skype is free to download and easy to use. You can also upgrade to its premium service, Microsoft Teams, for $5/month. This gives you additional benefits like meeting recordings and technical support.
With these communications apps, you can keep direct communication with minimal, or no expenses. This way, your writing business can use, at least, one of these tools and succeed in the writing industry almost for free. And, you always have access to the Premium versions of these apps for added benefits.
Time Tracking Apps
RescueTime is a multiplatform app that records the time you spend on web pages or apps. You can use it on your different devices after installing it on your operating system (Windows, Mac, or Linux), browser (Firefox or Chrome), or mobile device (Android).
The app allows you to set your working hours and improve your productivity in a given day, week, or month. With the data it receives from you, RescueTime generates a report to determine how much of your time is productive or not so unproductive. It’ll tell you the most productive day of the week, the time of day you work the most, and the websites or apps you spend the most time on.
Here’s an insider tip: RescueTime measures unproductive time by how long you’re spending on social networks. These categories are defined by default, but you can adjust the settings to fit your professional needs. For instance, Social Media Managers can go into the settings and define Twitter or Facebook as “work”.
This is one of the best time-saving apps for small writing businesses on the market – and you get a 14-day free trial. After that, prices start at $6.50/month.
Monitoring the time you spend working is important, and Everhour helps you count the time spent in your professional day-to-day life. This way you’ll know the hours committed to your work and be able to improve your routines. Particularly, it allows you to track the time spent on each task by each team member. You can also obtain reports by time periods or make estimates of previous hours.
Register for an account on the website, or install the official extensions for Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox. Everhour also integrates with development tools like GitHub, as well as task managers like Trello and Asana.
By default, Everhour is free, and you can count the hours worked by up to five users. So, among the apps for small writing businesses, Everhour is a solid choice. However, if you want to take advantage of Everhour’s integrations with tools such as Trello or GitHub, you must use a paid subscription, starting at $5/month.
Another great time tracking tool for freelance writers, Clockify can help you balance your time between work and life. You can track the hours worked and check what you’re spending more time on, as well as determine which schedules are the most effective for your day-to-day work.
How does Clockify work? It tracks the time you spend working and analyzes your workweeks in short reports. You can also invite your clients to follow and analyze your time together. For example, if you’re working with multiple clients who pay you by the hour, keeping track of your time spent on projects becomes important.
Clockify lets you create projects, create tasks, and enter hourly rates to avoid undercharging or overcharging your clients. However, if you have several users at the same time, monthly payments range from $9.99 to $29.99. No matter what industry you work for, it keeps track of writers’ working hours, project completion, reports, schedules, and more.
Post Scheduling Apps to Set It and Forget It
HubSpot is a software used to implement inbound marketing strategies. It organizes contact information, sales opportunities, and each client interaction through different channels like website, email, phone calls, social networks, among others. It’s particularly useful for social media post scheduling.
By automating your social media posts, you save precious time that you’d lose otherwise. In fact, with so many different social networks to manage, it’s difficult to decide what content to publish and on what platform. That’s why HubSpot’s allows you to plan your networking activities in advance, and have more control over your social media and marketing strategy.
You can, as a writing agency, manage all the social media of your clients with the post scheduling tool while you focus on other tasks. It will automatically publish for you and guide you through the publishing process. It gives you guidance on things like character count limits on Twitter and ideal sizes for images on Instagram.
Hubspot is a great solution to accelerate the growth of your business and achieve your goals in just one platform. It’s definitely one of the most reliable apps for small writing businesses as it has 95,000 customers worldwide. However, its free version is limited compared to other social media post scheduling apps like Hootsuite. You have to pay to get social media functions on HubSpot, starting at $45.
CoSchedule is a tool (or plugin) that offers a clean and easy to manage publication schedule. This task management platform is specially designed for the marketing sector. With it, you can invite your team members and set responsibilities and dates for each post.
Within the platform, you indicate what you want to publish and classify your posts with color labels. It helps you identify your posts’ categories and dates. You can also publish the content automatically in your social network profiles. Additionally, it will highlight comments on each task to adjust details, automate posting, integrate with WordPress or Google Docs, view statistics, integrate Google Analytics, etc.
The one drawback is that CoSchedule does not have a free plan. The cheapest plan is $14/month for individual use, but you can test it out for free for 14 days.
Sprout Social is a post scheduling app that gives you an overview of all the interactions and conversations happening around your writing business. It easily connects with Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin, and Instagram, allowing you to manage all of your social media accounts from a single platform.
In fact, you can see how people are interacting with your writing services via new followers, comments, and likes. The interesting thing about Social Sprout is that you can see a report of your content and participation habits in your social networks. Surely, it does an excellent job at post scheduling on the most important social networks, publishing messages simultaneously to your online profiles. You don’t lose your weekly planning with Social Sprout!
Regarding pricing, the standard plan costs $99/month, but you’ll have a 30-day trial period to get started.
Add New Apps to Your Writing Arsenal and Grow Your Business
Taking advantage of modern apps for small writing businesses is a must. You can get more work done in less time, which is what you really need to make your business grow. This way, you can reduce stress and have more free time to assist your clients.
Having apps like Grammarly, Payoneer, HubSpot, or Facebook Workplace will help you simplify your workflow and achieve your financial goals. What are you waiting for? There is a perfect app to help with the time-consuming tasks of running a writing business.