What's the Best Writing Software?

Looking to upgrade your writing software? There are tons of options out there beyond the standard word processor, programs designed specifically for writers. There is no ultimate writing software, but different programs offer different tools and features to benefit different writers.

In this video, I tried five different writing softwares to test their features, usability, whether they’re worth it for their price.

Software Details:
-Scrivener: https://www.literatureandlatte.com/scrivener/overview
-Hemingway: http://www.hemingwayapp.com/
-Novlr: https://novlr.org/
-Reedsy Book Editor: https://reedsy.com/write-a-book
-FocusWriter: https://focuswriter.en.softonic.com/

0:00 – Intro
1:38 – Scrivener
3:33 – Hemingway App
4:26 – Novlr
5:42 – Reedsy Book Editor
6:52 – FocusWriter

Blog: https://blog.reedsy.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/wearereedsy/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/ReedsyHQ
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/reedsy_hq/

Book Editor: https://reedsy.com/write-a-book
Reedsy Discovery [indie book reviews]: https://reedsy.com/discovery
Webinars: https://blog.reedsy.com/live/
Bestseller Podcast: https://blog.reedsy.com/podcast/
Prompts & Writing Contest: https://blog.reedsy.com/creative-writing-prompts/
Plot Generator: https://blog.reedsy.com/plot-generator/
Character Name Generator: https://blog.reedsy.com/character-name-generator/
Pen Name Generator: https://blog.reedsy.com/pen-name-generator/
Book Title Generator: https://blog.reedsy.com/book-title-generator/
Writing Exercises: https://blog.reedsy.com/writing-exercises/
Writing Contest Directory: https://blog.reedsy.com/writing-contests/
Literary Magazine Directory: https://blog.reedsy.com/literary-magazines/
ePub to MOBI Converter: https://blog.reedsy.com/epub-to-mobi-converter/
Reedsy Learning [free courses]: https://blog.reedsy.com/learning/


  1. Samantha N on June 24, 2021 at 7:56 pm

    I use wavemaker In my opinion, it’s pretty good. It’s completely free. It has mind maps, a planning board, a grid planner, a timeline, challenge mode, and note cards.

  2. Kiran Reddy on June 24, 2021 at 7:59 pm

    I have added typewriter simulator to Kiran’s Typing Tutor for Windows (It is completely free)

  3. Robert Edney on June 24, 2021 at 8:01 pm


  4. FalloutUrMum on June 24, 2021 at 8:03 pm

    I write in Google Docs, but I’d like to back up my stuff somewhere else so if something happens with Google or specifically my email I can have it somewhere else. Is the Reedsy editor good for this?

  5. MuSi on June 24, 2021 at 8:04 pm

    WritingPal – is free app for any kind of writers. Novel, Essays, Poem, Blog anything…Voice to text and read aloud, many different languages, picture-stories. Organizes all the projects in Folders. Share projects with anyone. Makes prints. Reminds your deadline.

  6. mwj5368 on June 24, 2021 at 8:06 pm

    Can you adjust Scrivener from simple to more complex. I read often that it is very complex to learn how to use it. I’d rather have less stress and not face a steep learning curve with Scrivener. The only thing is, after a lot of research, I find more writers liking Scrivener than any other novel writer’s software brand. Can you adjust Scrivener to different levels of sophistication so it’s simpler, like a "basic" mode. I have a trilogy and want to load in all three books and have it do a plot arch analysis, and if not that point out awkward sentences, redundant words, plot holes, faulty characterization, paragraph structure, be a copy editor, like that… some editing feedback and grammar too. I just want one more once-over before I self-publish.

  7. Ondřej Krčmář on June 24, 2021 at 8:07 pm

    FocusWriter is basically a notepad that can be customized with font, indents, colour schemes and of course the full-screen focus mode. Used it for shorter stories and notes. For longer works I consider myself self-harming person for writing those using HTML. Just gives me the control over the look of my output.

  8. Tanya Agarwal on June 24, 2021 at 8:07 pm

    Samsung Notes and Google Keep <3

  9. Star Inn Academy on June 24, 2021 at 8:08 pm

    Thanks for sharing this

  10. Noemi Rios-Bonilla on June 24, 2021 at 8:10 pm

    Have you tried Living Writer or Dabble?

  11. Michael Rush on June 24, 2021 at 8:11 pm

    Where do you stand, please, on writing a book by hand vs. typing on a computer? As you know, many choose to write out long-hand. Plus, the science that the brain is "wired" to work better writing by hand. Thanks.

  12. tenestetubo on June 24, 2021 at 8:12 pm

    Scrivener? they can’t even update the windows version, they are still running ver 1.0. they been promising their customer that an update is coming since 2018, maybe even before that, not sure. Its now 2021, and they are still waiting. Lol what a joke of a company.

  13. Sapphire Leya on June 24, 2021 at 8:12 pm

    Dabble is also a good writing platform but after 14 days you have to pay

  14. Patricia Faithfull on June 24, 2021 at 8:13 pm

    Thank you, for saving me the analytical time!

  15. Suvidya Mhatre on June 24, 2021 at 8:14 pm

    I created my outline of my story in Evernote with its amazing three act structure template and type my book content in Google docs. Even when my phone hangs sometimes, the progress is still saved, something which I am truly grateful for. Plus, everything is free!

  16. Warren Furst on June 24, 2021 at 8:15 pm

    Hi Shaelin
    Your view on Grammarly?

  17. CP on June 24, 2021 at 8:16 pm

    Great video. Taking the dreaded step to pull out a novel I wrote years ago and begin the editing process and was looking for software that might help. This video has been a great help and getting to know what is out there! Thanks a million x

  18. Elke Effler on June 24, 2021 at 8:17 pm

    It was very interesting to learn about the different writing programs, so thank you for that. I have scrivener and yes, it is a huge learning curve. Currently, I use it at its most basic level only. I do have one complaint about the presentation though. It was such a fast and seemingly wild clicking, it was very hard to keep up and get a sense of the material. Perhaps just a little slower next time?

  19. Ty Library on June 24, 2021 at 8:17 pm

    windows notepad is my favorite word processor because its never bugs, and it’s ultra durable. The handy features of other word processors can be used in conjunction with notepad, because you can copy and paste from notepad into virtually anything.

    Some machines do have auto save, so if your working on a document in notepad and the power goes out, you can actually get it/them back. I was really surprised by this.

    The save system is very analog, but if you are organized, and date things, and create folders then keeping track of everything that you write isn’t that difficult.

    Writing in windows paint is a bit of a hassle,. If you create a text box in windows paint you can type to infinity and change the font, and colour of the text along the way. But if you make one miss-click then only the text in your window frame is captured in image form, and everything else you wrote vanishes and disappears to I don’t know where.

    Writing in command prompt is the worst of them all. If you trip over the enter button, or the up arrow it prints the text you’ve written onto the window, and there is no undo button, the command prompt is read only so you can’t copy any text, and you can’t paste any text.

    Command prompt is the worst word processor. Windows paint isn’t that great either. Windows notepad is like an electronic piece of paper in terms of the reliability and function so I like it the most.

  20. Pauline Florsch on June 24, 2021 at 8:19 pm

    Scrivener is better on the mac – from what I remember, the last version isn’t obtainable on pc

  21. Stratos I on June 24, 2021 at 8:22 pm

    Great video, straight to the point and very useful

  22. RHJ GOLD on June 24, 2021 at 8:23 pm

    Your really sweet but try slowing down there’s no time limit on YouTube per-say. You talk so fast your words clash together. I could not zero in on anyone’s software to use. I can tell you understand the software so well that you’re not taking time to explain it to us dummies. Respectfully Mike.

  23. Bonnie Hoke-Scedrov on June 24, 2021 at 8:26 pm

    Great video! Thanks!

  24. Lizmol Antony on June 24, 2021 at 8:26 pm

    I like MS Word and OneNote as i can feed autocorrect words like names, frequently used terms in it and that save lots of time. It is this feature that kept me hooked with Microsoft application. Also Onenote lets me make different sections for particular book and has cloud storage….
    Libreoffice also has same feature.

  25. Bibi Rai on June 24, 2021 at 8:29 pm

    What about Ulysses?

  26. lipsohlips97 on June 24, 2021 at 8:31 pm

    I hate online programs. This is why google docs and word online are annoying to me. They glitch and freak out with the wifi. My offline subscription to word sadly expired and now I’m scrambling to figure out what to do :/

  27. Ray on June 24, 2021 at 8:33 pm

    Have you ever tried YWriter7?

  28. 大向アンディ on June 24, 2021 at 8:33 pm

    I really like yWriter 🙂

  29. Theresa on June 24, 2021 at 8:34 pm

    Have you tried Cheetah Software? If so I would be interested in hearing of your experience.

  30. Erik Erosa on June 24, 2021 at 8:34 pm

    Found your video looking for reviews of scrivener… instead you gave me the recommendation for reedsy… which I might end up using to write in now. Thank you!

  31. Turquoise Beach on June 24, 2021 at 8:35 pm

    Thank you for going straight to the point. You helped me…I am writing about something complex and I think scrivener is more indicated.

  32. Rachel Gooden on June 24, 2021 at 8:35 pm

    I LOVE LOVE LOVE her voice!!!!!! Super cute .

  33. Felesoid Writes on June 24, 2021 at 8:36 pm

    Have you heard of Papyrus Author? I would like your thoughts on this writing software.

  34. hezky90 on June 24, 2021 at 8:36 pm

    Thank you, this was fantastic

  35. Wes Penre on June 24, 2021 at 8:38 pm

    I always write in Microsoft Word because I can set it up in a way that looks similar to a finished book. I can add headers and footers and page numbers. I can also have two pages on the screen simultaneously, just like when I’m reading a paperback. This "feel" is important to me to gain more inspiration. None of the other software seems to have these options. I have also tried Scrivener to organize my novel, but I actually prefer Microsoft OneNote. For me, it’s perfect when organizing and outlining my work.

  36. James Ritchie on June 24, 2021 at 8:38 pm

    About 99.9% of wannabe writers would be immensely better off if they forgot all about the word "features". There is no such thing as software that is "too simple", unless you enjoy calling yourself a writer, even when you’re a complete failure.

  37. Samuel Aldrey on June 24, 2021 at 8:38 pm

    It is there at the desk shining with candle-light that some men and women who had been to keyboard-work on the far side of the "Software of Woes" remembered the old ways, the only way: the shimmering white and pure dot text file.

  38. Axel Chungara on June 24, 2021 at 8:39 pm

    Esta rebuena :v

  39. Aless on June 24, 2021 at 8:39 pm

    Has anyone tried Dabble?

  40. Richard B on June 24, 2021 at 8:40 pm

    I tend to swap between iA Writer and Storyist, both on macOS and iOS. I save to iCloud so I can edit stuff on my phone or iPad if the mood takes me or sit down with my laptop or desktop for a full writing session. iA Writer offers a superbly focused experience while Storyist is like a less complex version of Scrivener. Both really good and not expensive.

  41. LegoMaster91 on June 24, 2021 at 8:40 pm

    I remember using FocusWriter a long time ago. I tried two to three times, didn’t stick to it. Guess it was too much, I just wanted to write so went back to OpenOffice or Microsoft Word. They may not be or have all the tricks one "would" need, but they seem to work for me. Maybe someday I’ll try one of these over here 🙂

  42. GRVB3X on June 24, 2021 at 8:42 pm

    No love for Ulysses? It’s what I’m using currently, not a big fan of the fact that it’s Apple devices only though. Might give Scrivener a go as I use both Mac and PC. Thanks for the reviews!

  43. costinvaly1 on June 24, 2021 at 8:45 pm

    you’re such a cutsie

  44. O Palpiteiro Amador on June 24, 2021 at 8:45 pm


  45. Annette Spears on June 24, 2021 at 8:47 pm

    I prefer Novlr to Scrivener because it’s online and accessible everywhere anytime.

  46. Tushar Goel on June 24, 2021 at 8:48 pm

    Could you help me with the software that helps in writing a Mathematics book?

  47. Diablo the Great on June 24, 2021 at 8:48 pm

    Ugh, this girl talks like she’s about to cry.

  48. A. Non on June 24, 2021 at 8:49 pm

    I really appreciate that she got right to the point instead of spending 20 minutes taking us through the emotional journey of each program.

  49. Michael Gilchrist on June 24, 2021 at 8:49 pm

    No Zenwriter? I like it

  50. Yamila Hussein on June 24, 2021 at 8:50 pm

    Thank you! You just saved me tons of time. Thank you!!