Want to take your writing up a notch? Consider using the writing tool Grammarly.
I recently connected with the folks at Grammarly, who offered me a free Premium account for two weeks. I've used it in that time, with the Chrome extension, and loved it. If you want to make sure your writing is grammatically correct, whether you're creating a business email, writing a blog post, or composing a tweet, Grammarly is a writing tool that might work for you.
Grammarly is also offering a free six-month Premium account to one of my readers. You can enter the giveaway using Rafflecopter after my review.
Real-Time Writing Tool
Grammarly offers you the ability to check your writing in real time. The Chrome extension is free, and anyone can add it to a browser to catch a limited number of mistakes. I find Grammarly particularly helpful, since a lot of my work takes place inside my browser.
Whether I'm writing blog posts in a platform or composing an email to a client, the Grammarly writing tool works well. You can also use Grammarly to catch writing mistakes in your social media posts. The app works well in Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. Even though I'm pretty good about writing with few mistakes, none of us is perfect, and I've hit the “enter” button plenty of times only to discover that there's an error in my tweet. Grammarly can prevent this so that all of your communications appear professional.
For those who use Microsoft Office, there is a plugin that you can use to run your writing through. I haven't used Grammarly in this way, but I've heard from others that it works well. My main disappointment is that Grammarly doesn't appear to work with documents on Google Drive.
For the most part, Grammarly is unobtrusive. The app underlines in green and red, depending on the infraction, and keeps a running total of your mistakes at the bottom of your text. You can hover over the number to get an idea of what to expect, and click in the box for a more detailed information on your errors, and how to fix them. If you have a Premium account, Grammarly will help you fix the errors in the box, with explanations as to why you should make the change. If you make changes in Grammarly's editor, they will translate to your original text, changing it for you.
Another cool feature of the Grammarly Premium account is that there is an online plagiarism check. There is also a feature that enhances your writing by suggesting varied vocabulary.
It can be distracting to have the errors underlined as you go along, and it's hard not to keep checking the little circle at the bottom. However, it's not as intrusive as having the corrections on while you use the Hemingway app. When using this app, get used to blocking out the underlined words and ignoring the little circle in the bottom right of the page. You'll feel the urge to hover over each mistake and have it fixed automatically, but that will slow you down. It's almost always better to write the whole thing, and then go back and edit. Editing as you go is a good way to ruin your flow and take FOREVER to get anything done.
While anyone can get the Chrome extension for free, and use it in limited fashion, a Premium account costs money. Here's how it breaks down:
- $29.95 if you pay monthly
- $59.95 if you pay quarterly
- $139.95 if you pay annually
As you can see, when you break it down, you end up paying the equivalent of $11.66 per month if you pay annually. Use this as part of your freelance writing business, and you can deduct the cost on your taxes.
Grammarly offers a seven-day free trial, so you can give the Premium version a try without risk. The winner of the contest I'm running below will receive Premium account access free of charge for six months.
Grammarly is well worth the cost, if you pay for an annual Premium subscription. It works well as a second set of “eyes” for your work. I especially like the way it works with Gmail, since I hate the idea of sending an error-riddled email to a client or potential client.