50 Useful Google Apps for Writers

Writers, especially those who work from home or who juggle busy schedules around multiple assignments, have a lot to manage–note pads, sticky notes, brainstorming lists, correspondence with clients and editors, and even personal documents and materials that take up a lot of space and time. With its new applications and tools, Google continues to make it easier to manage all that. Below are some of our top picks for the most useful Google apps for writers.

Home Office and Organization

From organizing your calendar to syncing up your BlackBerry and more, these Google apps are great for home office organization.

  1. Desktop: Search your computer easily and efficiently with Desktop, which retrieves e-mails, files and more.
  2. Toolbar: Add buttons so that you can quickly visit different sites. The Firefox Toolbar also finds suggestions for your searches and allows you to share web pages.
  3. Google Health: Writers who manage their own health insurance can use this app to organize their records, learn about health issues and more.
  4. Calendar: This web-based calendar supports document sharing and collaboration. Keep your Colorado vacation and school events in order and within easy access.
  5. Reader: Google Reader makes it easy for you to keep up with the latest information coming from your favorite blogs and feeds.
  6. Google Sync for BlackBerry: This app is especially helpful for writers on the road: sync up your Google calendars and BlackBerry calendar.
  7. Maps: Get directions to your meeting in Nebraska or look up a vendor’s location using Maps.
  8. Product Search: Shop for home office supplies and more using Product Search.
  9. Ride Finder: If you’re flying to Atlanta, San Francisco or Washington, DC for an interview or meeting, use Ride Finder to find taxis and other transportation.
  10. Notebook: Throw out all sticky notes cluttering your desk and use Google Notebook for taking down ideas instead.
  11. Docs: This online word processor lets you share changes in real time with editors and is web-based so you can access it anytime.
  12. SketchUp: Use SketchUp to brainstorm and mock up a project with a co-worker.
  13. Lively: Lively is a 3D virtual world where you can chat with co-workers and visually design a project. It’s also great for inspiration and experimenting with your article or story.
  14. Blogger: Refer clients to your Blogger blog to get updates on how you’re progressing with their project.
  15. Pack: Google Pack includes free services like Picasa uploader, Notifier for the Mac, Desktop, Google Earth and more.

Tools for your Website or Blog

A writer’s blog is vital to expanding his or her brand, advertising services and posting an up-to-date, modern resume. Writers pursuing an online bachelor’s in Visual Communication may find these apps to be informative and useful as they help writers make the most of their online space.

  1. Google Code Search: If you’re looking for code licenses and public source files, use this search engine.
  2. Blogger Mobile: Post to your Blogger blog from your phone with this app.
  3. Feedburner: Market your content, analyze your blog’s traffic and audience, and even make money through the FeedBurner Ad Network.
  4. Sites: Use Sites to create your own website for your own organization or to share with others.
  5. OpenSocial: Create user and developer-friendly social applications for your websites with this app.
  6. Google Checkout: Add this payment service to your website to make it easier for your clients to pay your invoices.
  7. Trends: With Trends, you can compare search terms and figure out what people are looking for online. Then, you can customize your site to match those trends.

Time Savers

Turn to these time-saving apps while you are researching and when you’re on the go. Whether at a meeting in the office or traveling to a conference in Utah, this app can be a valuable addition for saving time.

  1. Google Chrome: This beta browser is supposed to be more secure and much more efficient. You can connect to your favorite sites even faster and even get search suggestions.
  2. SMS for your phone: With this app, you can get business listings, stock quotes and other random information sent to your phone via text message. This app is also useful for students with a bachelor degree in E-Business.
  3. Special Searches: Use the U.S. Government search, for example, to save time on your research and find only what you really want.

Creativity

Here you’ll find Google apps that boost your creativity and help you get inspired.

  1. Picasa: This photo manager and organizer can be used for inspiration, to give your written pieces more dimension or just to share photos with friends and family.
  2. Photos Screensaver: Design screensavers to inspire your current projects with this tool, which will pop up whenever you go idle.

Communication

Use these Google apps when you need to stay in touch with colleagues, clients, editors, agents and even friends and family.

  1. Talk: Google Talk supports IM and VoIP so you can connect with contacts all over the world very easily.
  2. Google Groups: Google Groups is a very easy way to keep track of a project or to keep up with family.
  3. orkut: orkut is a social media site that lets you share videos and photos and connect with co-workers or friends with instant messaging.
  4. GrandCentral: GrandCentral syncs up all your communication tools. One number rings all your phones, one voicemail box keeps your messages organized, and one address book saves all your contacts.
  5. Language Tools: Use this app to expand your customer and vendor base or to translate text from primary sources.
  6. GOOG 411: Connect with businesses and vendors without wasting your phone minutes.
  7. Gmail: Use this free e-mail account that’s searchable and has tons of space for all your files.
  8. Google Mobile: Google’s mobile tools are great for writers who have to do a lot of traveling or who aren’t always at home next to their computer.
  9. Friend Connect: This app lets you implement social tools with your website, encouraging visitors to comment and become more engaged.
  10. Transit: Google Transit makes it easier for you to meet up with vendors, clients, editors and more. You can find public transportation stops in your area and across the country.

Branding and Business

To develop your own brand and grow your business, use these Google apps. You’ll find tools for advertising, meeting new contacts and more.

  1. AdWords: Use AdWords as an online advertising tool for your blog.
  2. Alerts: Set up a Google Alert for yourself so that you can keep tabs on who’s publishing you and who’s reviewing you.
  3. Google Grants: If you do a little writing for a nonprofit on the side, see if you qualify for this system of in-kind advertising.
  4. Knol: Build up a presence on Knol by sharing quality, authoritative posts and reviews as a way to market yourself.
  5. Base: Submit content or your services on Base to “make them as easy as possible for people to find when they search.”

Reference

These reference tools are free to use and can connect you with the information you need faster.

  1. Blog Search: Narrow your search to find material from blogs only with this tool.
  2. Book Search: There’s no longer a need to do your research in a library. Use Book Search to find quotations, inspiration and more in fiction and non-fiction books.
  3. Scholar: Limit your searches to scholarly material only when you use this app.
  4. Video: This app is a simple and clear platform for searching videos online.
  5. Directory: This search tool organizes pages into categories, which is great for your initial search.
  6. Finance: The Google Finance app serves writers in many ways: it’s a great social, political and economic indicator that can provide inspiration and work as a fact-checker. It’s also great for organizing your own investments.
  7. News Archive Search: This search app displays your results in a timeline so that you can better organize your research.

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