Skip to content

66 best writing tools and tips 2021

Links to the best how tos, lists, videos, blog posts and writing tools that I've plucked from the internet over the last 12 months.

Iain Broome
Iain Broome
5 min read
66 best writing tools and tips 2021
Photo by Markus Winkler / Unsplash

Just in the nick of time, here is your final edition of the Draft Mode newsletter of 2021 sent by me, Iain Broome, author type, content bod and festive fatigue sufferer.

I hope you’ve had a good break of some kind. Our holiday period has been mostly lovely and completely full on for about two weeks solid. There’s been barely enough time to do anything but eat, sleep and tend to the needs of many, many children.

Anyway, I’ve just about mustered the strength to go back through every Draft Mode from the last 12 months and pull out the bestest articles, videos, tools and tips. You can see them all below – just the titles, no comments from me. There should be plenty that tickles your fancy.

I’ll be back soon with your regular programming, but for now I wish you a happy new year and all the time in the world to write your thing and make good progress.


Every issue I collect and share the best advice, apps and other shenanigans that I find on my internet travels. Find something useful? Subscribe for free.

How tos

  1. How to write an award-winning bestselling first novel
  2. How to run a successful membership/subscription programme
  3. How To Build An Author Platform
  4. How To Get More True Fans
  5. How to get your first 1,000 email subscribers
  6. How to grow your audience without selling your soul
  7. How to Write a Book in Ten Days
  8. How to write a good first page
  9. How to overcome writer's block
  10. How to Write a Novel in the Present Tense
  11. How To Use Trello To Write A Book (Or To Survive As An Author)
  12. How to build a short story collection
  13. How to stay motivated when writing your novel
  14. How to move past a creative block
  15. How I Wrote My Novel Using Index Cards
  16. How to make it as an artist: Stop following the rules
  17. How to never face a blank page
  18. How to tell a story according to Marvel
  19. How to get into ghostwriting
  20. How to Harness Community to Build Book Sales and Platform
  21. How to write consistently
  22. How to start a successful membership business without a huge audience
  23. How to Write a Synopsis
  24. How to design your ebook like a pro with these 5 simple steps
  25. How To Build Your Audience When Your Topic Is You
  26. How to increase your word count

Lists, lists, lists

  1. 13 Strategies For More Than 1,000 Words Per Hour
  2. 25 Ways to Sign Someone Up For Your Newsletter
  3. 10 books to help you finish your writing
  4. 10 strategies to use YouTube and TikTok to build your online presence
  5. 8 Things I Wish I Knew When I was Writing my First Novel
  6. 12 Fundamentals Of Writing "The Other" (And The Self)
  7. 10 websites every writer should know about
  8. 6 Tips for Finding Your Book's Audience
  9. 9 Ways to ‘Rewild Your Attention’
  10. 5 Fun Writing Exercises To Deepen Your Characters

Best of the rest

  1. Should Writers Write Every Day?
  2. The thing about focus – we are all different
  3. Tools and tips for writing on the go
  4. Indexing, filing systems, and the art of finding what you have
  5. A Simple Manifesto For Making Good Sh*t
  6. How Hilary Mantel goes about writing a novel
  7. The art of working in public
  8. Why authors should keep the day job
  9. What's it like to write a song?
  10. What Do Literary Agents Do?
  11. Why not organise your own writing retreat?
  12. A thread of funding opportunities for writers
  13. Everything You Need to Know About Book Advances
  14. What it's like to revise a book for its second edition
  15. The Pros and Cons of Outlining
  16. Should I Quit My Job to Focus on My Writing?
  17. The best books every aspiring writer must read
  18. The key elements of a great novel synopsis

Tools of the year

  1. WordCounter: track your daily word count across all your apps
  2. Write Every Day: develop a daily writing habit
  3. Miro: visual whiteboard for mindmapping and outlining
  4. Zenkit Hypernotes: a new way of collaborative writing
  5. Plottr: plan your books the way you think
  6. Craft: a fresh take on documents
  7. Obsidian: A second brain, for you, forever
  8. Freedom: Block Websites, Apps, and the Internet
  9. Reader & Feedback Management for Authors & Publishers
  10. Whimsical: plan and organise your writing with sticky notes
  11. Aeon Timeline: build a narrative, outline or mindmap
  12. FocusList: daily planner and focus timer based Pomodoro technique

Tweets of the year

Tweets are but unpleasant days in a year of many challenges. But some of them are quite good. You can follow @iainbroome and @DraftModeHQ on Twitter.

First-time reader?

Draft Mode is a weekly newsletter by Iain Broome, author of the novel, A is for Angelica. Join 1300+ subscribers and start receiving tools and tips that help you improve your craft and promote your writing. Subscribe for free.

Draft Mode

Iain Broome Twitter

I'm the author of the novel, A is for Angelica. Every week, I send Draft Mode, a newsletter full of tips and tools that help you improve your craft and promote your writing.

Related Posts

Read terrible books

Home desk setups, George Saunders on social media, beating creative blocks, and the power of simple writing.

Read terrible books

Comments are on

Audio-editing and transcription software, how to submit to literary agents, editing your novel, and subscription marketing for authors.

Comments are on

Say hello to Draft Mode Bookmarks

350+ ace writing resources, creative writing workshops, fast writing, make your own blackout poetry, and another book tracker.

Say hello to Draft Mode Bookmarks