Hi all! I recently polled a bunch of people on Twitter, and here are the different tools writers are using:


This is the most popular tool outside of MS Word. It offers a lot of functionality, most popularly the ability to keep your scenes in chapter folders and move them around easily. Gone are the days of cutting and pasting scenes in Word! It also has a Research area where you can keep research notes, links, unused scenes, etc. without affecting your word count. Also, and maybe most importantly, Scrivener compiles manuscripts into a variety of different formats, including novel, screenplay, ebook, and more.


Insert crying emoji because this only works on PC.

MS Word:

Probably the most common tool in usage and the format in which you have to send your draft to agents, MS Word proficiency is a must for modern writers. I've had my agent ask me to turn on "track changes" in my manuscript for her for revisions, something I never really paid attention to learning...Shh don't tell her I had to Google it.

MS One Note:

I don't use this, but I've heard people rave about it. Its functionality reminds me of Evernote in that it's a compilation and collaboration tool, useful for gathering documents in different formats.


Some people talk about this like they're spreading the Gospel. You can use its camera to take pictures of your handwritten notes, which then become searchable through its interface. Perhaps it's my handwriting, but I have found this less reliable than I'd like. That said, it's worked for my husband much better and he has the handwriting of a 90YO stroke victim. I've heard writers rave about this tool, as it works very well across devices.

Google Documents:

Who doesn't love you, Google Docs? Everyone loves you. You're simple, you work immaculately on any device, you're clean, your storage system is really comprehensible. Hey guess what, though, Google Docs? I can't get you into Standard Manuscript Format to save my freaking life! So I'm always having to save to MS Word at the end of the journey anyway. Here are some huge advantages that Google Docs has: Free, storage forever and ever, looks like you're working because everyone uses GDocs at work, and did I mention free? And works on any device?