From the Blog
- Under: Marketing & Communications Strategy
From talented branding copywriters to marketing collateral mavens and SEO-centric web content developers, CHIEF’s band of writing whizkids all have one thing in common: our love of online writing tools to help us get the very best out of ourselves. Read on to learn what we use and why:
I truly don’t know what I’d do without this app. Following in the illustrious footsteps of (my favorite) writer Ernest Hemingway, this web-app takes any piece of content and identifies overly complicated sentences, confusing structure, the ever-dreaded passive voice and adverbs (Hemingway’s least favorite part of speech). And all this in the name of simplification—a must when following government-mandated plain language standards.
A favorite of Senior Digital Strategist, Marc Rambeau, Read-O-Meter is a web-friendly writer’s best friend. Marc says it best when describing how it works, “Feed it content, and it'll spit out the estimated reading time. Compare that with a user’s time on page and you can draw some pretty compelling conclusions about how much they're actually reading—and what length [of content] might be more appropriate.”
Described by Associate Director Alden Leonard as, “Your thesaurus on steroids,” WordNik does the job of a dictionary and thesaurus and then some. By sharing curated associated word lists, word clouds and reverse dictionaries, the tool will help you uncover the perfect word that’s been hiding on the tip of your tongue.
Another personal favorite tool of mine, this site provides prompts to help you get over writer’s block. Some (slightly insane but always fun) favorite prompts of late include, “The rookie jockey dropped the letter in the junkyard after the snowstorm for the FBI,” and, “The hungry mountain climber grew flowers a dark alley before the storm for the doctor.” The possibilities are endless.
However, at the end of the day, sometimes the best advice is as traditional as it gets. There’s a reason these “tools” stick around:
- Get up and walk away: No, this isn’t the name of a fancy app. It’s old school, it’s analog and it works. Give your brain a breather and come back to your writing. As Associate Director, Karine Bailly put it, “Even if you can only manage a 15 minute break, it helps to walk away and then come back to the piece with fresh eyes.”
- Peer review: And speaking of fresh eyes, lean on your talented coworkers! Here at CHIEF, we’re quick to lend a hand. Copywriter Justin McCarthy puts it better than I ever could, “The real writing tools are the friends we make along the way.”
What about you? Any favorites you can bring to our team? Check out the Careers page and drop us a line!