Productivity hacks for editors

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Cliff Weitzman
By Cliff Weitzman Dyslexia & Accessibility Advocate, CEO/Founder of Speechify in Blockers on June 27, 2022
Using a text-to-speech program is one of the top productivity hacks for writers and editors. Learn more about how this can help improve your workflow.

    As an editor, you must read through thousands of words daily. You need to make sure that the content you’re reading is clear of errors and has the right flow. You’re looking at syntax, grammar, and other elements that make a piece of writing stand out.

    The amount of time you spend editing can easily add up to a full-time job, and that job can seem never-ending if you’re not careful. That’s why we’ve put together some productivity tips that we think will help you get through a first draft, rewriting, and other aspects of your work more quickly.

    Writing productivity hacks 

    To be a great editor, you also need to be an excellent writer. You have to know high-quality work when you see it. Many people use voice-to-text technology to write faster, because it does allow them to record their thoughts quickly. However, voice-to-text programs aren’t always perfect, and they can end up leading to additional edits.

    Productivity hacks for writers start with setting aside the idea of time equaling hard work. You need to put in time, but you also need to get down your ideas quickly. One of our best writing tips is to consider using a voice-to-text program and then having a text-to-speech program on hand to review the content quickly and easily during the editing phase.

    Rewriting tips  

    There are dozens of excellent tips you can use when you are focused on rewriting your content. Sit down with your cup of coffee and begin the editing process with these helpful tips.

    1. Using a Pomodoro time to stay on schedule is an excellent tool to prevent procrastination and improve your workflow. A Pomodoro timer schedules your work in 25-minute intervals. Once you complete 25 minutes of work, it gives you five minutes to yourself, so you can cut back on editing and writing time.
    2. Many bloggers agree that sticking to a specific word count helps. Knowing that you can edit 1,000 words an hour and making sure you do will keep you on track. If you start to fall behind, you know that you need a break or need to reconsider how much you can do each hour.
    3. A freelance writer often uses speech-to-text and text-to-speech programs to write and edit. These have helpful keyboard shortcuts to add grammar and syntactical elements. It takes less time to write a book or to review the work you did to get through writer’s block if you use these helpful services during the creative process.


    Speechify is a text-to-speech program that helps you edit your work by listening to it being read to you. It’s excellent, because you can choose to have your content read to you in a number of accents and at different speeds.

    Whether you’re focused on novel writing and editing or your want help editing a batch of social media posts, having Speechify read you the content out loud makes it simpler to identify errors and figure out when the flow of a sentence isn’t quite right.

    Speechify can be used with a number of writing projects ranging from school papers to white papers. Professional writers and editors can review short story content, bestseller novels, and more without as much eye strain or time spent on the process itself.

    Use templates in the writing process 

    Using templates in the writing process is a great tip for beginners. You can also use apps like the Hemingway app to ensure your content is captivating after each review.

    Writing process templates can help you complete a personal narrative, organize a podcast, write a simple letter, and more. So, whether you’re planning to publish content on Amazon or you want to become a bestselling author in the future, these templates can be a great place to start.

    Graphic organizer template

    There are dozens of templates available to help you write and edit content. To get started, one option is the graphic organizer template. This is a type of concept web.

    To create one, you start with the main idea in the center. Then, branch out into more refined concepts for each section of your book. For example, if it’s about dogs, the main idea, dogs, goes in the middle of the web. Then, each breed may branch off in a different section.

    Write a personal narrative story template

    A personal narrative story template is different than the graphic organizer template. This one starts with a title, image, setting, the names of characters, and a general overview of the beginning, middle, and end of the story. Think of this as a simple outline that can help you get your ideas down on paper.

    Informational writing graphic organizer template

    A third kind of template you could try is the informational writing graphic organizer. With this, you start with a topic sentence and then break down the content into the main ideas. You build up each section with details and evidence. Then, you add your conclusion.

    Whether you’re writing or editing, having these organizers can help you stick to the right outline, so you end up with a written piece of content that is easy to understand, grammatically accurate, and flowing the way you wanted.


    What’s the difference between an editor and proofreader? 

    Proofreaders are a kind of editor, but there is a difference between what someone will do when they do a full edit of a piece versus if they only proofread the content.

    Editing corrects issues that affect the core piece. For example, an editor may correct sentences for their construction or clarify language that doesn’t seem to work with the content. Thorough editing helps improve the text’s readability, so it flows nicely and is easy to understand.

    Proofreaders are a little different since they focus directly on inconsistencies in grammar and punctuation. For example, the proofreader will look for misspellings, missed or incorrect punctuation, differences in the grammar handbook used (MLA, APA, AP, Chicago), and other issues that need to be corrected to make the grammar correct and consistent. 

    How do you get efficient with time?

    When you’re an editor, you can get more efficient with time. One of the great ways to do so is by using a text-to-speech program like Speechify, which allows you to listen to the content and make sure you’re not missing errors that are easy to miss when reading quickly.

    Some other ways to help you get more efficient over time include:

    1. Setting goals that you can attain as well as stretch goals that you can reach as your speed improves.
    2. Prioritizing your work, so you’re handling difficult or tedious aspects of a job first and then handling the easier aspects of the work later.
    3. Setting a time limit. You can “race” yourself to finish by a certain deadline by using a Pomodoro timer (or another type), which keeps you on track and focused.
    4. Take regular breaks. You need to take breaks between tasks or risk getting burnt out. Realistically, how many words can you read an hour and be accurate with editing? Your eyes can get tired, so make sure you switch up using TTS and reading normally. Take breaks for a few minutes every half hour or so to rest your eyes.
    5. Plan ahead to make sure you finish on time. Procrastination can make you cram hours of edits into a shorter timeframe. That can also lead to errors. Plan ahead, setting aside a few hours at a time to do your work, so you don’t get overwhelmed and end up making mistakes.
    6. Remove non-essential tasks from your to-do list. If you are only asked to proofread content, for example, don’t do a full line-by-line edit. Stick to the job at hand and set aside other concerns for later. 

    How do you write prolifically?

    To write prolifically, you have to have a solid process and a good idea about the amount of time you want to spend on a particular piece. A few tips to help you write more often include:

    1. Dividing and conquering, moving on to different sections if you’re stuck, or handling only one part of a piece at a time.
    2. Starting right away to make sure you’re not procrastinating on the work you need to do.
    3. Finding a way to work without a computer so that you can rest your eyes. You can also adjust your position more often, making it more comfortable to work for hours at a time.
    4. Boosting morale and getting organic inspiration by heading to a park or other place you enjoy. If you work better in a coffee shop or prefer the silence of a library, head there during your work day.
    5. Setting a timer. Using a Pomodoro timer will help you stay on task and get regular breaks away from the computer.
    6. Learning to prioritize parts of the process rather than trying to do several things at once.
    7. Stopping multitasking, which can lead to distractions.
    8. Repurposing your time, making sure to add time for writing and editing throughout your day
    9. Daydreaming. While you won’t be writing while you daydream, some of the best ideas can come to you when you’re at your most relaxed.

    How can productivity be improved when writing? 

    To become more productive, you have to start with getting your ideas down on paper. These might not be the final ideas you work with, but you’ll be able to organize them, along with sources, quotes, links, and other details, as you continue the writing process.

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    Cliff Weitzman

    Cliff Weitzman

    Cliff Weitzman is a dyslexia advocate and the CEO and founder of Speechify, the #1 text-to-speech app in the world, totaling over 100,000 5-star reviews and ranking first place in the App Store for the News & Magazines category. In 2017, Weitzman was named to the Forbes 30 under 30 list for his work making the internet more accessible to people with learning disabilities. Cliff Weitzman has been featured in EdSurge, Inc., PC Mag, Entrepreneur, Mashable, among other leading outlets.