The good and bad of Grammarly: Improve your writing!

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Grammarly is an app and browser extension that drastically improves your writing. It will catch spelling errors, grammar mistakes, and other language issues that you may not notice.

I’ve heard it mentioned on other blogs and decided to give it a shot. I see why this is popular in the blogging community. If you haven’t used it and write a lot, I highly suggest checking it out.

There are some things worth paying for that give you great results, and this is one of them. But it does have some quirks. Below I go into details on what I like and don’t like about the software.

What is Grammarly?

Think of it as a tool that helps improve your writing. It will guide you in making your writing clear and concise. It also catches grammatical and spelling errors. I appreciate its ability to detect things such as passive voice and sentence structure mistakes.

They have several pricing tiers, including a free option. The premium option is $139.95/yr when paid annually, and provides the most suggestions (what I use).

There are several ways you can use their app: Chrome/FF/IE browser extension, their website, Mac app, or MS Office on Windows. I’ve used the Chrome Extension, Mac App and website extensively, but have not tried the other options.

What I Like about Grammarly

If you use Chrome, getting the browser extension is a necessity. Any time you write text in the browser, Grammarly will check for issues. Spelling and fundamental grammar issues are highlighted in red:

Grammarly catches spelling and grammar mistakes in your writing.
Grammarly catches spelling and grammar mistakes in your writing.

It is hard to explain how much this app has improved my writing. I’m prone to certain mistakes, and over just a week, I’ve noticed considerable improvements in my first draft writing. I’m also finding that it takes me less time to proof-read and fix my mistakes since there aren’t as many issues.

You will also start to notice which blogs don’t use a service like this, as there are basic/obvious mistakes that Grammarly catches right away. If you use social media like Facebook or Twitter, it will detect errors there as well. Your writing in emails, Google Docs, and everything done in the browser improves dramatically. It has boosted my writing confidence, and I’m less paranoid about my writing style.

The synonym feature is also useful in improving your vocabulary:

Grammarly's synonym feature is useful.
Grammarly's synonym feature is useful.

What I Don’t Like about Grammarly

The Mac App, Chrome Extension and website give different results, which was frustrating. I found that using the site option provides the best results, so I’ve modified my process to make sure I use that option.

When using Grammarly with Guttenberg in WordPress (using the Chrome extension), the applied changes are not saved with your posts! I spent many hours tweaking blog posts before realizing my changes were not being saved. Finally, I was able to replicate applying Grammarly suggestions directly in the editor and noticed simple changes were not saving after hitting the update button. I don’t know if this is a bug in WordPress or Grammarly, but I scrambled to figure out a workaround. What I do now is first write the full blog post in Google Docs, which has beta Grammarly support. When completed, I copy the text to the Grammarly website and manually apply changes to the Google Doc. Finally, when the article is ready to go, I post into WordPress and apply styling updates (links, headers, etc.). This process is more work, but it ensures I don’t lose changes, and I always have the final version in Google Docs.

At this point, the positives outweigh the negatives, so I will continue to use Grammarly.

Have you used Grammarly? What did you like or not like about it?

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