If you spend any time on Facebook at all, we’ve all seen posts in our news feed from trending sites like Lifebuzz, Buzzfeed, or Boredpanda such as:
10 Funny Spelling Mistakes.
18 Funny Spelling Errors Children Make That Made Me Burst Out Laughing.
While I find those types of posts typical annoying; sometimes they can give us a good chuckle.
Spelling and grammatical errors are good for a little social media humor, but today I’m going to share with you a tool that can save us, as working professionals, from becoming the next find on Buzzfeed.
I recommended this tool on my Resources page but wanted to explain in more detail why it’s such an important and useful to me as an independent music professional.
Spell Check on Steroids
Growing up, while I took all the AP English classes in high school, I never considered writing my strength. It’s gotten a little easier as I’ve gotten older, especially when writing on topics I’m passionate about, but I’m always trying to improve.
At this point, I couldn’t do that without Grammarly, the world’s most accurate grammar checker – built by linguists and language lovers.
We’re all familiar with Microsoft Word’s grammar and spell-checker. Imagine that but on steroids. Word’s spell-checker is a lightweight compared to this program.
Best Friend Quality – Huh?
There are a couple of women in my life who I would consider my closest friends. They don’t know each other, but they share two qualities. First, I feel like I could tell them ANYTHING and vice versa. Second, they’re able and willing to tell me what they REALLY THINK about me and vice versa.
Bad outfit? Shirt doesn’t look so good on me? My one friend is not afraid to tell me it doesn’t work – but the kicker is that I’m relieved that she does! Many people would just get their feelings hurt, but to me, it shows that someone cares if they’re willing to tell me something that can make me more aware of myself or better and that I care enough about myself to take it with grace and welcome.
It may sound silly, but the analogy works. Grammarly is kind of like my best friend. It’s not afraid to say…
Um, yeah, seriously? Bad choice of word.
Get it right lady, it’s not “affect,” it’s “effect.”
Would you quit writing in passive voice? People don’t like reading that.
How many times have I told you to spell out a small number in word form?!
Your readers are going to be so confused by this run-on sentence.
OK, so maybe it doesn’t talk to me quite like that, but it does like this:
I had no idea until I started using Grammarly over a year ago that I used passive voice so much. Eek! Sigh. It’s my biggest fault, of which Grammarly is happy to remind me. Notice three separate “passive voice” warnings in this one document.
The Only Downside
Nothing is perfect, right? The one little downside to Grammarly is that when you enable it in Microsoft Office (more on that below), you lose the ability to “undo.”
Luckily they at least remind you, lest you forget like me.
The Best Part
Now that we have the one downside covered let’s talk about the best part of Grammarly – integrations.
It’s not just a program for Microsoft Word.
Here is a screenshot where I’m working in my WordPress site on Chrome. You can see the small icon for the Grammarly extension.
What this means is that Grammarly will work in any program on your browser whether you’re writing a post on Facebook, typing an article on your blog in WordPress, writing a post or update on Twitter or Linkedin, or composing a message in Gmail.
This last one is huge for me as I have a serious pet peeve with poorly-composed emails. Take the time to articulate yourself clearly and well, especially in email.
It also integrates with the whole Microsoft Office suite including Outlook.
You can easily download the extensions from your Grammarly home page.
In your web account, the homepage has a clean, simple interface. You can either type documents directly into the web interface, or upload documents. I don’t use this feature much as the integrations directly on your computer and internet browser are much more convenient.
Free vs. Premium
Like most products out there, you can sign up and start using it today for free. With the free version, you get basic critical grammar and spelling error checks, but with Premium, you get so much more.
When this thing called the World Wide Web started moving toward monthly subscriptions years ago, I thought it was ridiculous to have to pay ongoing monthly fees.
We live in a different online world now though, and it’s just a fact of life. I’m much more apt and willing to pay subscriptions – especially when I know I’m getting quality. You really do get what you pay for.
I’m still cautious about monthly subscriptions, but am at the point where I don’t blink an eye when it comes to paying for quality tools like Grammarly.
If it helps me save time, streamline, or improve the quality of my life, business, or professional career, it’s a no-brainer, and this is one of those tools.
That is why I recommend it as one of my top all-around favorite tools on the Resources page. If you pay the annual payment as we do, you get it for $11 per month ($140 per year) – a huge saving. If you were to pay monthly, you would only get four months out of that price.
Improve and polish your communication as a music professional.
This page contains affiliate links which simply means if you choose to purchase, I will receive a small percentage of that sale for the referral at no extra cost to you.