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There’s a lot of awesome writing software out there. Some of them are web-based, some of them are traditional software downloads.

Check out these writing software options and find the one that will work best for you.

I use Scrivener and I love it. BUT, for this review, I gave the free trials of all these a try. Ultimately, I’m keeping Scrivener. I already own it and know how to use it. 

BUT, you aren’t me. You should test out a few different options and choose the one that suits your budget and writing style.

Many of the options below have free trials, so you can spend a couple of weeks (or a month for some) actually using the software before committing.


Scrivener is my writing software of choice. I bought it years and years ago and have happily used it ever since.

Scrivener Writing Software works across devices
  • Keep everything in one place
  • Built-in templates for fiction, non-fiction, scripts, poetry, and more.
  • Set & track goals
  • Easy to drag and drop sections
  • Customizable to your writing style
  • Easily exports to many platforms
  • One time fee
  • Designed for novel writers, but also compatible for other types of writing
  • Steep learning curve
  • Only syncs between different versions of the software.
  • There’s no Android version.
Trial Period 30 days of use
*trial not available on iOS
*No credit card required for trials
(One-time fee)
  • $49 MacOS
  • $45 Windows
  • $80 Bundle (MacOS+Windows)
  • $19.99 iOS
*You must purchase a license for each version you want to use.
In-Depth ReviewReview: Scrivener is the Best Writing Software
by HerdedWords.


Dabble is a good option. After using it for the 2 week trial period, I was impressed BUT it’s very expensive. $10 a month or $100 a year? I’ve been using Scrivener for YEARS and have paid less than $100 in total.

Dabble is an online writing software
  • Great organization features.
  • Plotting grid, plot lines, and plot points tool.
  • Write from anywhere & auto-sync
  • to the cloud. *This was seamless for me and it was nice to be able to log in and write on any device at any time.
  • Set & track goals.
  • Designed completely for novel writing.
  • The developer is really active and helpful.
  • Subscription services become really expensive over time.
  • It’s not very useful for other types of writing.
Trial Period2 weeks
*no credit card required for the trial.
  • $9.99 per month
  • $99.99 per year
In-Depth ReviewHow to Begin Writing Your Novel Using Dabble App
by M. Gaspary.


After 2 weeks of free trial time, I wasn’t impressed. The software was fine but certainly not worth $10 a month or $100 a year.

Novlr is writing software dedicated to stories
  • Amazing stats. Novlr has the best stats (both in quality and presentation) of all the writing software I tested.
  • Write from anywhere and sync (this was pretty seamless for me).
  • An easy, clean interface.
  • Subscription services become expensive over time.
  • Fewer features than other products.
Trial Period2 weeks
*no credit card required for the trial.
  • $10 per month
  • $99.96 per year
In-Depth ReviewNovlr Review – the Best Book Writing App for You?
by Kindlepreneur.


After a month of playing 4thewords, I loved it. It was FUN and I was excited about new quests and to style my avatar more. I’ve been considering paying for 4thewords but I’m cheap frugal so I haven’t (yet – I think I’ll probably do it).

However, I didn’t actually like writing IN 4thewords so I found myself writing in other programs and pasting into it. Still fun, but I wish it would integrate with my favorite software (Scrivener) somehow.

4theWords is an online writing software with gamification
  • Gamification! It’s fun to use and the game elements keep you coming back.
  • Subscription services become expensive over time, although this is the least expensive subscription option on the list.
  • It’s lacking writing features and organization options available in other programs (although they are constantly expanding and improving in this regard).
Trial PeriodOne month
*no credit card necessary
  • $4 per month
Use my referral code (KJFOD71055) and we’ll both get game crystals.

*payments can only be made from a PayPal account.
In-Depth Review4theWords Review: Turn Writing into a Game!
by Level Skip.


This was probably the hardest of all the software I checked for me to use.

I use Scrivener for all my writing and Storyist is very similar but it’s not the same.

After 2 weeks of forcing myself to use it, I consider it to be a stripped-down and more expensive version of Scrivener.

However, I know there are plenty of Storyist users who think Scrivener is just a bloated version of Storyist. So you should try them both yourself!

Storyist is writing software dedicated to stories
  • One-time fee
  • Comes with 3 templates (novel, screenplay, stage play)
  • A solid outlining tool that’s customizable to suit your needs.
  • Goal setting and tracking
  • Keep everything in one place
  • Apple only. There’s no Windows or Android version.
  • Only syncs between different versions of the software.
  • It’s not as easy to learn as MS Word or Google Docs
Trial Period15 days macOS
14 days iOS
  • $59 macOS
  • $19.99 iOS
In-Depth ReviewStoryist Review
by Software How.

Google Docs

Personally, I don’t use Google Docs a lot. I do use Google Sheets sometimes.

If you’re familiar with Microsoft Office, Google Docs is very similar to Word.

Google Docs is an online writing software
  • it’s FREE!
  • very similar to MS Word.
  • easy to use
  • can be used anywhere on any device.
  • lacking in features – especially ones for writing fiction.
Price FREE!!!
In-Depth ReviewThe Ultimate Guide to Google Docs for Writers
by Eva Deverell.

Microsoft Word

Microsoft Word is the gold standard for text. It’s been around forEVER and everyone is comfortable using it.

  • .docx is a standard file format
  • it’s easy to get started
  • can get the full MS Office suite (I love Excel!)
  • lacks advanced novel writing features
  • expensive
Trial Period30 days
*for Office 365 Home
  • $6.99 per month (and up)
  • $69.99 per year (and up)
*There is a one-time purchase option for $149.99 which includes Word, Excel, and Powerpoint.
In-Depth ReviewUsing Word for Writing a Novel
by CC Hogan.

Use What Works for YOU

Feature Image: How to Write a Love Interest. Learn 5 loving qualities, see modern fiction examples, and get writing prompts & exercises.

While these aren’t the only software options available for writers, in my opinion, they’re the best ones.

So, give them a try and find the one that works best for you!

If you’re interested in learning more about Scrivener (the writing software that I use), check out my complete Review of Scrivener next.

Did I miss your favorite writing software? Share your thoughts in the comments.

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