I started using Grammarly out of curiosity. As a blogger and freelance writer, I’ve developed a decent eye for catching grammar and spelling mistakes. However, I know that editing one’s own work is typically much harder than editing someone else’s. If Grammarly could help streamline the process, I was all for it! Here’s my Grammarly review.
Grammarly review (short version)
Short on time? Here’s my short and sweet review:
- Yes, Premium is totally worth it
- Google Chrome extension is amazeballs
- Word extension is excellent
- Get the annual subscription for the best deal (less than $12/month)
Keep reading for the full review. Below, you’ll find more about how I’m using Grammarly and the benefits and drawbacks I’ve found so far.
Why I decided to give it a shot
As a freelance writer, I write articles for blogs and magazines, create independently published ebooks for Kindle, and develop online herbalism courses. I also handle social media posts for my blogs. Hello, ridiculous daily word count. By the end of the day, my eyes are crossed.
After wrestling with Microsoft Word’s editor and Google Docs, I was actually pretty skeptical that Grammarly could do a good job. I usually catch more mistakes than Word or Google, and they throw in lots of random suggestions that don’t make a lot of sense.
But being able to let AI handle at least some of my workload was also extremely tempting. So, I signed up for the Premium account and gave it a try for a month.
Is Grammarly any good?
Grammarly is not just good. It’s essential. Especially if you are a one-woman publishing company like your’s truly. It would be nice to have my own personal editor, but let’s be real. Editors are expensive!
And for all of you indie authors on Twitter moaning that no one is buying your ebook – try running it through Grammarly and you may discover why everyone reads the free preview and then runs away screaming. 😉
But seriously. Grammarly is super affordable, which means you can focus on investing in a good developmental editor. Not paying someone to babysit your punctuation.
How does it work?
Grammarly works as a Google Chrome extension that automatically checks social media updates, blog posts, emails, and Google docs. It also works as an extension of Microsoft Office to check Word docs and emails through Outlook.
Before I wrote this Grammarly review, I tried the Chrome app, the Word app, and the app for Microsoft Office. Grammarly is also available as a keyboard for smartphones, but I haven’t tried that one yet.
Here’s an example of what it looks like when you click on the Grammarly icon on a Twitter post draft on a laptop. Grammarly opens a pop-up screen with suggestions and feedback. It will also underline errors in red in the post itself, so you can fix them without leaving the original screen.
Checking social media posts is definitely a handy feature. I write and schedule most of my social posts ahead of time, so a Grammarly check has become part of my scheduling routine.
What Grammarly can’t help you with
Unfortunately, it’s true that Grammarly can’t completely take the place of an editor. As a freelance writer or indie author, you will still need to critique your own work (or hire help) for things like:
- Structural development
- Organization and flow
- Consistent style
- Character “voice”
My only other quibble with Grammarly so far is that it can’t handle large Word docs unless you install Grammarly for Microsoft Office. It’s not a big problem – the version for Microsoft office works great! But it was a little confusing until I figured it out.
Here’s what it looks like once it’s ready to go. Grammarly shows up as a tab and sidebar once it’s installed.
Grammarly has thrown a few oddball suggestions at me when editing in Word, but not nearly as many as Word does on its own. However, I’ve not had any issues with using it online.
What Grammarly does well
Grammarly can also take a lot of menial work off your to-do list by helping with copyediting tasks. Grammarly is excellent for:
- Fixing spelling mistakes
- Catching grammar errors
- Checking for plagiarism
- Analyzing your tone of voice
Checking the tone of voice is a nice extra when you are writing blog posts, social media, and emails. Grammarly displays emojis that reflect how a reader is likely to interpret your work. I know that when I get tired, I may be tempted to write short and sweet responses that. . . maybe don’t seem so sweet.
Having Grammarly working in the background helps keep me positive and professional so I don’t inadvertently ruffle any feathers.
Grammarly review with Novlr
Grammarly also works well with Novlr, which is what I use for fiction manuscripts. Getting the manuscripts ready for Kindle requires that I use Word, but I prefer to do all of my drafts in Novlr.
This is a personal preference. I like Novlr because it saves work more reliably than Word, and also allows me to set and track daily word count goals and monthly goals for multiple projects.
Great tool for freelance writers
So far, I’m really pleased with Grammarly. It helps me move my projects through the editing stage much more quickly than trying to do it on my own. If you are serious about upgrading the quality of your blog posts or your indie author projects, I think you will be pleased with it, too!
Sign up for a free trial or learn more on the Grammarly website
Photo credit: Unsplash
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