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Basic List of Productivity Tools & Software Every Writer Should Have



Last Updated on September 13, 2022 by Ben Oakley

There are many productivity tools on the market, but which ones do you really need?

Basic List of Productivity Tools & Software Every Writer Should Have

Do productivity tools help with getting things done? The answer is simple – yes!

With the right productivity tools, you can get so much more done, regardless of which technique you use.

And I’m not purely talking about writing, whether articles or fiction, I’m talking about everything.

Productivity tools can help with:

  • Writing.
  • Creative writing.
  • Email.
  • Blogging.
  • Invoicing.
  • Reporting.
  • Scheduling.
  • Management.

Let’s look at where to begin and what to look for.

This is a small snapshot of what I use, that has helped me increase productivity ten-fold over the years.

Microsoft Office

Sure, Google Docs and Libre Office come in a close second as free options, but Microsoft Office is where it’s at.

I use the £7.99/month set-up and wouldn’t live without it now.

Did you know you get Microsoft Editor included as part of the package? No need for Grammarly when MS Editor has the same basic functions.

Adobe Creative Cloud

I hear you! Adobe is pricey and has a steep learning curve but if you’re doing anything online that requires image manipulation then you should have Adobe set up and installed.

It will help see your productivity soar!

The Spark software is worth the monthly fee alone, and with additional features landing on a regular basis, it’s worth getting back into. You only need to know the basics of Photoshop to succeed!

There are cheaper alternatives to Adobe but you get a lot here with the full package.


Vital for anyone who wants to host their own website or create sites for other people. I went through a process of trial and error and ended up settling on Bluehost.

For domains, Namecheap is king. Good and reliable hosting is needed for good productivity.

I flittered with Dreamhost and GoDaddy, but Bluehost came in better on speed and usability.

A second computer screen

Even if it’s used purely to dump text on a notepad, the addition of a second computer screen has been invaluable.

Sure, it’s easy to switch between tabs but it’s even easier to look over to the next screen!

My main screen is a 27-inch Xenta which works well, though don’t try and move it as it won’t like you!

My next screen over is an old DGM monitor, which does the job for what I need, was good value for money, and helps me increase my productivity.

Tweet Deck

When you have multiple Twitter accounts, you should use Tweet Deck. A free alternative to the pricier social media management software’s on the market.

For Instagram and Facebook schedulers, there are other alternatives.

Microsoft To Do

This is included in your Microsoft Office package, but I couldn’t live without it now. It’s a simple to use task manager, scheduler, and list program that helps you track your daily work and projects.

It syncs to your phone, so you can make a list before you go to bed, and it will be on the main computer in the morning. Productivity booster deluxe!

Mega Cloud

There are many cloud-storage companies out there and for me personally, Mega is the top dog.

I do use Google Drive on occasion but fell out of love with the awful Microsoft OneDrive.

Mega has a simple set up that automatically updates your files in the clouds.

Google Site Kit

This is the new name for Google Webmaster Tools and is available as a plugin on most WordPress sites and other website builders.

It includes the two powerhouses of productivity and research – Google Search Console and Google Analytics, which have a steep but manageable learning curve.

Once you learn how to master the information that’s pouring out of both, you’ll never need to pay any company for overpriced SEO packages again!

Gaming Keyboard

But I’m not a gamer! However, if you’re writing most of the day, like I do, then you need a keyboard that can take constant abuse.

Gaming keyboards are designed to be hammered hard and withstand long-term use. It improves my writing speed as the input is quicker. I use a HyperX keyboard for speed and stability.

This means the keyboard doesn’t skip letters, no matter how fast I type!

Ecosia Search Engine

Wait, what? How does a different search engine make me more productive? It’s simple – I find Bing to have more reliable search returns than Google.

I know, controversial, but I’m a researcher by trade and I go where the more reliable info is!

Ecosia uses Bing as their search engine provider. The difference with Ecosia is that it is an environmentally friendly browser that makes me feel good about searching!

They use 80% of the ad profits to plant trees around the world. Why would I use any other search engine when I get good results AND help the planet!

Don’t overextend with too many productivity tools

I’m guilty of it too – I used to see a new productivity app or tool on the market and jump at it in the hope my productivity would increase.

Turns out, you can have too many productivity tools!

The list above I cite as the basic tools that someone should have when sitting in front of a computer all day.

There’s no need to have 101 additional productivity tools when they either not going to be used, put a strain on finances, damage mental health, and end up diminishing productivity.

A good basic productivity tools list should help you achieve maximum productivity.

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Ben Oakley is a bestselling author, researcher, publisher, blogger, and mental health advocate from Camden, England. Usually found on Twitter or in the bars and parks of Camden. Agathokakological is his favourite word!