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Five Free Resources for Writers

We all feel the pinch of inflation and soaring gas prices these days. It seems like costs are rising while paychecks stagnate, leading us to be more creative about making better use of what we have and buying less. Today, I’d like to tell you about five free things you have that can make life easier and more pleasant.

The Grammarly Plug-In Extension. We all know that spell check and grammar check functions on Word don’t catch a lot of errors. Enter Grammarly: a powerful editing tool that can save you time and embarrassment. Of course, the paid version is best, but the free plugin extension works well and has been a tremendous help in my life. This extension works on all of your apps, including email, cloud files, social media, and everything you do online. There’s still no substitute for a good proofreader, but this plugin extension has improved all my writing, from general correspondence to my novels, tremendously.

Google Drive. I can’t stress the need to back up your files enough. Take it from somebody who has had three hard drives crash: file backups are critical, and cloud storage is the way to save now. If you have a Google Account, then you have free storage at your disposal on Google Drive. Best of all, you can access your files from any computer, so you don’t have to carry around a storage device with you. If you don’t have a Google account, then it’s free to create one (you get a free email address with it as well).  

Sticky Note App. I’m surprised at how many people don’t know there’s an app that lets you create electronic “sticky notes” for your computer desktop. If you do everything by computer, then this can save you money buying the paper version of sticky notes. Better yet, they don’t fall off your screen or need taping to stay in place.

Note App. This app on your phone is for more than grocery lists. I use mine almost daily for my writing as well. In fact, I have a list of names, and generic social media posts saved in my note app so I can copy and paste them quickly. And, of course, you can create brainstorming and research notes for your writing as well. Worried about security? You can download secure note apps for free as well, with password protection.  

A Library Card. Your public library has tremendous potential, and everything is free. It’s not just books: you can check out digital content as well. A library card not only gives you access to the books, CDs, and DVDs in the local branches, but also gives you access to digital content on OverDrive, Hoopla, and Libby apps (these apps have ebooks, audiobooks, and streaming content). My last receipt from the library said I had saved nearly $2,500 checking out content from the library versus buying it. That doesn’t even take into consideration the classes, courses, and free programs they offer to the public. I  know not all county libraries are created equally, but it’s worth checking yours out. The Internet is a great resource for research, but sometimes you need to back it up with more, and you can’t afford to buy everything you need whether it’s research or leisure reading. You already fund your public library with your tax dollars. Put it to good use in your life!

And a bonus:

Headspace Guide to Meditation (Netflix). Writers have busy minds, and we need to unplug sometimes. If you like to meditate, then this interactive program on Netflix is a must. They’re guided meditations to help you relax, and are the way I finally learned how to bring meditation into my life on a regular basis. The meditations vary in length, from 3 minutes to 45 minutes “sleep stories.”

We often don’t realize how much we have, and what a big help these little things can be. Take a look around, and see if there are other hidden gems you could be taking advantage of to make life easier and more fun.

Written by Readers’ Favorite Reviewer Sherri Fulmer Moorer

Jeanne Holmberg

Thank you for including the "Library Card" on your list. Although I am not a librarian, I truly believe the free and public library is one of the greatest "inventions" of all time!