This week I have a Cool Tools post that, while it doesn’t directly relate to our hobby, it is a great tool for us hobby bloggers – or any writing you may do. It’s an online extension named Grammarly, and it has significantly improved my writing.
Spelling has never been my strong point, and grammar has always been a struggle. I have become to rely on Word’s spell checker and doing Google searches just to check spelling.
Why does it matter?
If you spend time writing online, be it a hobby blog or on the forums, using proper spelling and grammar can make a huge difference in your readability and credibility. This may not be as much of an issue with our niche of the internet, being very visual in style, but there have been many posts that I’ve glazed over due to rough writing.
A misspelled word here and there can be glazed over, especially if we are showcasing our latest project or tutorial. But think of bad spelling/grammar as missed mold lines on a model. A few small ones may not be commented on, but they stick out and can derail the entire focus. Something you worked hard on, only to have something so small distract your visitors.
What is Grammarly?
This is why I’ve started using Grammarly. It’s a free tool that has Chrome, Safari, and Firefox extensions as well as native apps for Microsoft Word. So as I type this post in WordPress on Chrome, misspelled words are highlighted and suggestions made as I type.
OK, you might be saying, my browser has a built in spell checker, or perhaps you use Word to spell check. I can tell you from experience, that documents that have been “error free” in Word had multiple suggestions from Grammarly. When a company focuses on a particular issue, they often do it much better than those creating broader tools (like a web browser).
Using the tool is as simple as writing out your post, and it highlights words that need fixing. “Advanced” suggestions are tallied as well, and a red (green if it’s all good) circle sits in the bottom corner. Clicking this changes into a different view where Grammarly shows suggestions for changes or better word choices.
Why Go Pro?
This is where I admit that declined a Getting Started box for a year of Grammarly Pro – not only because I am that rough in the English department but also I am actively writing on this and another blog. I also write a good deal for my job between emails documentation and proposals.
So for me, the extra grammar checks and vocabulary enhancements made the upgrade worth it. But don’t let that stop you from trying and using the free version. It’s not even one of those annoying ransomware programs that bug you every five minutes to upgrade, the most you will notice is it will have “advanced” edits available if you upgrade.
Check It Out
So if you spend any amount of time writing and want to have another pair of digital eyes to make sure your words are spelled correctly, check out Grammarly. If you write a lot, or like me, struggle with writing properly, the pro version might be worth the investment.