Automation to improve your writing
Automated tools can improve your financial writing.
Some of my favorite tools are Speak, PerfectIt, and Grammarly, as I’ve discussed in “My three main software tools for proofreading.” They help me with proofreading. I’ve gone into more detail on one of these tools in “How I use Grammarly to improve my writing.”
If your organization uses Associated Press style, you may like AP StyleGuard, which I discuss in “AP StyleGuard: the answer to your proofreading prayers?” However, having a basic proficiency in AP style, and feeling annoyed by StyleGuard recommendations that didn’t suit my needs, I’ve switched to an online subscription to the AP Stylebook, which offers the ability to add entries customized to your needs, integrated with a subscription to Webster’s New World Dictionary.
If you follow The Chicago Manual of Style, there’s an online version of that. PerfectIt offers integration with that style guide if you subscribe to both services.
Writing more concisely
If you’re looking to write more precisely, check out the Hemingway app and website, which I discuss in “Free help for wordy writers!” Some readers have told me that the simple act of running their writing through Hemingway has significantly improved their writing.
The Writer’s Diet is another tool that tackles similar issues, as I discuss in “Editing tool: the Writer’s Diet.”
“Keep it short with the Fog Index!” includes links to tools that can calculate the Fog Index—a measure of wordiness—of your writing. Alternatively, you can run the readability statistics calculations in Microsoft Word.
None of these tools will make changes for you, but they’ll help you by letting you know that a problem exists.
Using AI to draft articles
ChatGPT, an AI writing tool, seemed to burst on the scene late in 2022. It may turn out to be a useful tool. Before experimenting with it, make sure you understand its limitations, some of which are explained in Brian X Chen’s “How to Use ChatGPT and Still Be a Good Person.”
Integrate automated tools into your writing process
Of course, you’ll enjoy a more productive automated proofreading and editing process if you include your tools as part of a well-developed writing process.
I walk you through every stage of the writing process in my book, Financial Blogging: How to Write Powerful Posts That Attract Clients. Although the book focuses on blogging, its process applies to almost any kind of writing.
For a quick overview of how to integrate automated tools into rewriting, read my “12 steps to rewrite long articles.”
Note: I made a small change to this article on Sept. 30, 2022, and January 20,2023