Tools of the trade: proof-read your own writings with Grammarly and Hemingway
Useful tools for blogs and websites. Part 5.
Proofreading and self-editing are almost as hard as writing is, and many of us blogging in English aren't native speakers.
Grammarly is an app that checks spelling and grammar. It uses machine learning and AI to offer help with the tone and style of writing, based on the desired audience. The app is free, though it requires an account, and it offers a browser plugin, a desktop app, and a web editor. I like to use Grammarly to make sure that my work emails, blogs and forum posts are free from typos. As a non-native speaker, I also find it useful to spot sentences that would sound “awkward” to a native speaker.
Hemingway has a free web editor (no account required) and offers a paid desktop app, which unfortunately does not support Linux. Hemingway gives feedback based on readability. It checks for adverbs, passives voices, and length of sentences, and it grades text based on how easy to read it is. As I am terrible at brevity, I like to use Hemingway when I realise my text is getting a bit too convoluted. This is especially helpful as a non-native speaker since readability isn't as important in my native language.
My ideal flow for writing blog posts is the following:
- Jot out ideas in Joplin.
- Turn the raw text into a proper blog post in Hemingway.
- Copy and paste the text in Grammarly for final spellcheck.
- Put the finished post back in Joplin where I can add markdown formatting.
- Publish on my blog.
Grammarly does backup your notes, but I use Joplin as my notes tool as it backs them up on the cloud, encrypted, and I can sync them on all my devices.
When I am in a hurry or I want to publish a simple and quick blog post, I write it directly in my blog's editor and use the Grammarly browser plugin. Though I admit to having forgotten to turn it on once or twice, so not all my blogs are typo-free.
Previously in Tools of the trade