Are you confident that every piece of writing you put out into the world has perfect spelling and exceptional grammar? There is no reason your answer shouldn’t be yes, and here is why. Grammarly.

We have been using a Premium Grammarly account at CUE Marketplace for a year and a half. In the beginning, it was to double check the spelling in our blogs and clear up internal disputes about comma placement. Since then, not only has Grammarly been expanding their functionality, but I find myself integrating their product into everything I do, from my email to social media posts.

The CUE product experts and I write comprehensive, unbiased software reviews about the top products in the industry. This blog will focus on my personal experience of using Grammarly for the past year and a half, and how it turned me from a perpetual mistake-maker into a writing perfectionist. And why I would recommend it to every small business owner and freelancer.

 

What is Grammarly and how much does one spend on it?

Grammarly is a writing enhancement software that corrects spelling, grammar and also provides suggestions to improve your writing. Red and yellow underlines, very similar to Microsoft Word, flag spelling and grammar errors and also provide word choice suggestions to enhance your writing. Over the years, Grammarly has re-positioned their brand from a super-accurate spell checker, into a software whose tools encourages writing improvement. What this means for the user is that not only does the Premium version check your writing, but you can also set goals, track your progression, enhance your vocabulary, and detect plagiarism.

Their most recent ad is slightly sappy, but it gives a great visual of how the product works.

 

Why use the Premium version? Because I have the free version at home and I’m always worried that I am missing out on a glaring error. The free version will check your spelling and some grammar, but hints at other mistakes you’ve made. Premium is $29.95 per month per user, which is lower if you do an annual purchase.

Grammarly scores incredibly well against competitors like Whitesmoke and Writers Workbench, for the functionality of its editing and reference tools. And has earned the Top Ten Reviews Silver Award.

Grammarly is available in several different forms including for MS Office, for your Chrome web app, as a Chrome plugin, as an app for Mac, Windows, iOS, and Android.

How I use Grammarly and why I love it

My top favorite uses for Grammarly are all pretty basic functionality, but they have really made my writing life more manageable. The basic functionality I use every day includes flagging misspellings, sentence structure, punctuation, verb usage, or commonly used words.

The Document Checker

Until recently, once I’d finished writing something, I would just open up Grammarly from my desktop or browser application and paste the finished product in there. I check my document within the application, copy and paste it back into the location where it will be published. The app stores all of your previously reviewed documents and gives you a score on how well you wrote. This is where a user can set writing goals and use more extended functionality like checking for plagiarism. The design makes the Document Checker easy to use, and there is a lot of space to simultaneously view my document, and the grammar or word choice suggestions from Grammarly on the right-hand side.

Chrome Plugin

For me, what improved this tool from a ‘nice-to-have’ into a ‘need-to-have’ is the Chrome plugin. I now use Grammarly not just in my Word documents, but in all the places I usually make the most mistakes, like my emails or social media posts. Grammarly has a small circle in the bottom of each text box or field that spins red until your writing is 100% correct. Unobtrusive, and if I want to check anything I can. You don’t get all the bells and whistles of the document checker, but it is enough to feel confident.

 

Google Docs and Medium

Grammarly is now in Beta with Google Docs and Medium, meaning that it is not only integrated into my browser but also the document I’m writing in now. This is helpful because it enhances Google Docs and gives it the spell-checker functionality that is improved from Microsoft Word. However, the Google Docs Beta functionality just checks incorrect spelling and grammar. If you want synonym or further writing suggestions, use the document checker.

Things that irk me about Grammarly

It is hard to come up with things I truly dislike about Grammarly. It is hard to get irritated by something that makes me better at spelling, grammar and not making the tiny mistakes that used to make me seem like I couldn’t proofread. That being said, there are a few quick things that become annoying:

  • You still have to exercise your own judgment (aw man!). Sometimes Grammarly will flag word choice or use of the passive voice with suggestions that are useless or don’t fit within the text. Don’t feel compelled to accept all their corrections
  • Sometimes I choose a word, and Grammarly suggests another word that doesn’t quite fit or is a less-fancy choice. I don’t like not getting a 100% score on my documents, but I don’t always agree with their suggestions.
  • The Grammarly document checker doesn’t keep the formatting once you’ve copy/ pasted it in there. Annoying, but not the end of the world.

An example of a suggestion that made no sense within the context

Features I don’t use, but probably will start using after researching them for this blog

Grammarly is not just a writing correction tool, their unique selling point is actually their educational tools that help the writer improve their writing an encourage a long-lasting and positive effect on your language. Grammarly has been releasing a lot of new features over the past year, and while I don’t currently use any of them, here are two that could be useful.

Setting Writing Goals

When you open a new document, you can set a goal for your document that includes the following:

  • Intent: do you want to inform, tell a story?
  • Audience: Who are you addressing? General plebs or an expert?
  • Style: Formal tone or informal?
  • Emotion: mild or strong (not sure what this means, it is in a pilot)?
  • Domain: Where will this be published, academic, business, technical?

Useful in order to allow Grammarly to give you better suggestions, and help you create writing that is better suited for your intended audience and goal.

The Personal Writing Handbook:

This feature tracks and analyzes every document you edit and provides a sort of detailed report of your strengths and weaknesses. If you are aiming to track improvement or work on certain writing problems this is a great feature. Given that we use Grammarly on a company account and it is checking the work of multiple people, this is not something I’ve used.

Final Verdict

I would recommend Grammarly Premium for to any freelancer or small business owner, simply because it saves you time. I’m now completely free of the small heart attack I used to have just after sending an email when I’d wonder if I didn’t catch an error. Now I don’t even have to spend my brainpower wondering, and I can move on to the next task. Grammarly allows me to be more efficient. If you write a lot or make mistakes when checking your own work, I can’t recommend this product enough.

If you are are looking for a blow-by-blow review of all Grammarly features, I recommend you check out this article or this one.

Want to try Grammarly Premium for free? Click here.

 

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