I have just discovered an app to make me look smarter. It’s called Grammarly and it’s awesome. Why? Because it makes me look smarter and more accurate than I really am. Gotta love that, right?

Since I run a website called Women At Woodstock and am working on my first novel in addition to my ghostwriting gigs, I generate a ton of words. So, Grammarly helps me a lot!

Plus, Grammarly pats me on the head occasionally, and at my age, a pat on the head doesn’t occur very often.

Remember that feeling back in first grade when your teacher put a gold star on your paper? Or wrote “Good job!” in red pencil at the top of the page? Yep, Grammarly will do something very similar for you.

How Does Grammarly Work?

Like Microsoft Word, Grammarly highlights your spelling and grammatical errors, but then it sprinkles some technological magic dust to make it do Word better. Way better. Like off the charts better.

First, it highlights errors, just as Word does, but when you hover over the mistake, a popup will appear right where you are with a suggested correction.

You don’t have to type in the new spelling or move over to a separate area on the screen to choose a correction. Want the correction? Just click it right there and voila; it’s done.

Second, I swear Grammarly finds more esoteric grammatical mistakes than Word does. I don’t have proof of that, but it seems true to me.

Third, Grammarly finds far more than just misspellings and problems with grammar. It also finds punctuation errors, including things like missing commas, too many commas – my constant problem – and extra spaces.

Often, it also finds words that are spelled correctly but aren’t right for the sentence, such as ‘here’ instead of ‘hear.’

Finally, Grammarly will work online! Let’s say you have a blog. When you’ve installed Grammarly on your browser, it will check your posts and pages for all the problems described above: spelling, grammar, punctuation, spacing and context. Awesome, right?

What About Grammarly’s Pat on the Head?

When you sign up for Grammarly, you will start getting a weekly email from the service telling you how hard you worked, how well you did, and how productive you were compared to others. Talk about a motivator.

If you were one of those kids who lusted after the special gold stars and “Good job!” notes in grade school, this kind of weekly email will bring those old thrills back.

Not sure whether I’m proud or ashamed to admit this, but I was one of those kids, and lately I’ve gotten some nice warm fuzzies from Grammarly’s weekly reports.

What About the Cost of Grammarly? Or Other Downsides Like Annoying Ads?

Grammarly offers a free version and a premium version. I use the free Grammarly, as I consider the premium version pricey at $29.95 per month or $139.95 for an annual plan.

As for annoying features on the free version, I do not get pop-up or sidebar ads when I use the service. It’s nice and clean. The only advertising I see is a simple notice at the end of each weekly email. This is an obvious marketing effort to get me to sign up for the paid service.

How to Get Grammarly?

Install Grammarly for Microsoft Office. Click ‘Download’ and follow the instructions. Grammarly will work for you in Word and Outlook.

The other way you can use the service is to install Grammarly on your browser: Chrome, Safari, Firefox, Edge. Search in your browser’s extension store for Grammarly and click to install.

Grammarly will go to work for you in Gmail, Facebook, WordPress, LinkedIn and anywhere else you write online. Good luck, and happy – accurate, correctly spelled, properly punctuated – writing!

Do you do any writing… either for yourself or for others? What writing tools or technologies do you use? Have you ever heard of Grammarly? Please share your thoughts below!

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