60+ Awesome, Free Tools for Modern Storytellers


By the team at ReadThisThing

Writing

  • Hemingway: An app that helps you write better.
  • Grammarly: A smart grammar checker.
  • ZenPen: The minimal writing tool of web.
  • Draft: Easy version control and collaboration

Websites/blogs

  • Medium: Medium is a great writing and collaboration tool, and can be an excellent place to get your writing in front of lots of people.
  • Ghost: Blogging and Publishing. Free. Open. Simple.
  • Wordpress: An oldie but a goodie.
  • Domainr: Fast, free, domain name search, short URLs.
  • Webflow: Create professional, responsive websites. Without writing code.

Getting paid

  • Beacon: Crowdfunding great journalism
  • Kickstarter: Everyone knows what Kickstarter is — but it can be a powerful way to support great journalism
  • Deeper: Another journalism crowdfunding site
  • Cont3nt: Like a distributed newswire
  • Invoice to me: Free Invoice Generator.
  • Book in a box: Book writing and publishing as a service.

Reporting

Staying organized

  • Trello: An easy, visual way to track the stories your team is working on
  • Editorial Calendar: See all your posts, drag & drop to manage your blog.
  • Dropbox: Dropbox keeps your files safe, synced, and easy to share.
  • Sunrise: A great calendar app
  • Slack: The best chat app, for keeping in touch with your whole team
  • Rapportive: See people’s LinkedIn profiles right inside Gmail. (This tool is also great for confirming if you’ve correctly guessed someone’s email)
  • Evernote: Bring your life’s work together in one digital workspace

Staying up on the news

  • ReadThisThing: A newsletter featuring one fantastic piece of journalism each day.
  • Nuzzel: The super easy way to see news from your friends
  • Guardian Open Platform: A real-time API with access to The Guardian’s journalism
  • Reddit: The front page of the internet
  • Twitter: Some people still don’t see how powerful this tool is. Use it every day.

Audio

  • Transcribe: A text editor designed specifically for transcribing interviews.
  • OTranscribe: A web app for transcribing interviews.
  • Audacity: free audio editing tool
  • Overcast: A powerful yet simple iPhone podcast player.

Video

  • Meerkat: Tweet live video
  • Periscope: Explore the world through someone else’s eyes
  • Vine: Create short, beautiful, looping videos in a simple and fun way.
  • WeVideo: The leading online video creation platform for video editing, collaboration, and sharing across any device.

Images

  • Canva: Super simple graphic design tool.
  • Pixlr: Pixlr Editor is a robust browser photo editor.
  • Kraken: Image optimization
  • Unsplash: Free, beautiful, high-resolution photos that you can do anything you want with

Resources

Did we miss something great in this list? Let us know: things@readthisthing.com

Email:

  • Campaign Monitor: Elegantly simple email marketing
  • TinyLetter: A simple way to create newsletters for people who aren’t looking for advanced reporting or features for businesses.
  • Curated: An easy way to curate links into an email newsletter
  • Mailchimp: Send better email.
  • Really Good Emails: A collection of great emails.
  • Email 1K: A 30 day course to double your email list

Social media:

  • Buffer: Schedule posts to Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin, Google+.
  • Storify: The easiest way to find, collect, and share what people are saying all over the web
  • OneShot: Highlight screenshots of text and share them to Twitter.

SEO


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