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The Best Online Screenwriting Tools: Software, Notes and Apps for Screenwriters

By January 28, 2021July 17th, 2023No Comments

The Best Online Screenwriting Tools: Software, Notes and Apps for ScreenwritersA professional screenwriter has many different responsibilities in addition to the actual creative writing, from outlining and creating treatments or pitch decks, to file organization, to networking documentation, to financial efficiency. All of these tasks can be streamlined online and shared easily with coworkers, friends or personnel like your accountant during tax season. Staying organized can help streamline your process, which will make your creativity easier to access. It will also make running your screenwriting business more efficient (and, hopefully, profitable). Here’s a rundown and review of some of the best online, mobile, or cloud-based screenwriting tools writers recommend.

Screenwriting Software

Ah, the most essential screenwriting tool!

Emerging writers should use the screenwriting software they have access to (I personally love John August’s Highland 2) — but know that if and when you are hired to work in a writers room or for a studio project, you will most likely be expected to learn to use whatever program your boss uses. Chances are, that will be number one on the list below, but it doesn’t hurt to familiarize yourself with multiple screenwriting tools before you get in the room).

Final Draft

There are a lot of different screenwriting software out there, but Final Draft still remains the industry standard. The newer versions also have a Collaborative Feature that allows multiple users to edit a document, just like in Google Docs. Whether you are writing with a partner or sending your script to a reader for feedback, this is a game changer.

Final Draft also has a mobile platform that allows you to write and edit your screenplay on the go, send or share your files between multiple platforms, and always be on the same page with Dropbox and iCloud. 

Final Draft is an expensive option, but because so much of the industry uses it, your draft will be formatted and easy to share with collaborators. 


WriterDuet was created to make it easy for writers to collaborate on the same project. It also has a free version that allows writers to work on up to three scripts but for collaborations and pro tools, you’ll need to purchase one of its packages (monthly, annual, or lifetime).

Fade In

Fade In has real-time collaboration capabilities that allow multiple users to work on the same screenplay simultaneously, with changes reflected in all collaborators’ copies in real-time.

The Best Online Screenwriting Tools

Screenwriting Tools for Note-Taking

Google Drive

This is a pretty essential screenwriting tool. Most screenwriters I spoke to, myself included, utilize Google Docs for their outlines, character sheets, and show bibles. The easy storage file system and editing potential makes it so convenient. 

Meanwhile, Google Spreadsheets make it easy to track things like contest submission deadlines, projects submitted, and so on. I also make my film budgets and track industry connections in Google Spreadsheets.

Google Presentations are just like Powerpoint or Keynote, but stored online — I use them to create pitch decks, press kits, and lookbooks.


Not all screenwriting tools are glamorous — some are jut about file storage. Dropbox is a helpful working-file storage system. Many writers store their working drafts (and previous versions) on Dropbox to easily open the file and continue writing from any device. You can also share Dropbox folders with other users to collaborate with other members of your team.


Evernote is a great note-taking system. It allows you to create “notebooks” and store your “notes” in a visual filing system, while also tagging your documents with search words.

I personally use Evernote not in a creative way, but in a record-keeping way. I track contacts that I’ve met, meetings I’ve had, and essentially keep a journal of professional pitches: date, who I met with, what project I pitched, etc. 


Notion is an organization tool for teams that operates like a virtual connected workspace. From boards that organize different projects, checklists, and files, to shared documents with design options. Notion would be helpful for a creative team with multiple levels of their project, from the outline to the screenplay to the pitch deck and maybe even into production.

The Best Online Screenwriting Tools

Script Coverage & Notes


You can’t have a list of screenwriting tools without including script coverage, and when it comes to script coverage, WeScreenplay offers many benefits. First of all, there are three packages to help you get as specific as you need for your project. All coverages include a 72-hour turnaround so you can get notes quickly. You also get qualitative notes, which help you compare your progress and see where you’re performing compared to other writers. The Bespoke and Comprehensive packages also offer a Marketing Blueprint that is custom-tailored to help you meet your goal for the script. You’ll be able to choose from one of four options:

  1. To use as a writing sample to find representation or submit to a competition/fellowship
  2. To self-produce (financing already in place)
  3. To self-produce (still seeking financing)
  4. To sell to a studio or producer

The Marketing Blueprint is a unique feature that can really help emerging writers, especially ones who are as yet unrepresented, utilize their script to advance in their careers.

ScreenCraft Genre-Specific Notes

ScreenCraft now offers very detailed notes provided not by a random reader, but by one well-versed in your specific genre with at least one year of relevant industry experience. The notes are designed to help writers create a screenplay that is sellable in this industry (as opposed to scripts that are created to be proofs of concept or writing samples).

Launch Pad Coverage for Experienced Writers

Launch Pad offers two types of coverage: Development Notes, to help you perfect your script with focused feedback, or Studio Coverage, which helps provide insights into how studios will view your script. These two distinctions are important to understand when looking for paid coverage because they really are two different approaches to a script. Is it really one that you’re hoping to sell or is it one that will demonstrate your voice as a writer?

The built-in Launch Pad Recommends Program is a year-round initiative that works in tandem with their coverage service to identify and showcase exemplary writers to their network of industry professionals.

Coverfly Notes and Coverage Marketplace

Coverfly is a place where screenwriters can host their scripts and easily submit them to contests and competitions. Based on your project’s performance, it is ranked by Coverfly and given accolades or even distributed to industry professionals.

You can also purchase coverage through Coverfly from entities like WeScreenplay, Shore Scripts, or Bulletproof which can boost your project’s Coverfly rank.

The Black List

The Black List offers two main functions. First, it provides coverage on a script as well as a competitive rating that helps industry professionals find and read the script. Second, it hosts an annual list of its top-performing feature screenplays for the year. Scripts that make it on that annual Black List have gone on to win Academy, Emmy, and Golden Globe Awards as well as launch writers’ careers. When writers pay for hosting (and coverage) on the Black List, it becomes easier for competitive scripts to be found by buyers, producers, and reps.



Scriptnotes is a podcast about screenwriting and things that are interesting to screenwriters. Hosted by professional writers John August (Aladdin, Big Fish) and Craig Mazin (Chernobyl, The Last of Us), Scriptnotes covers everything from the business of screenwriting to common screenwriting questions to providing actual feedback on listeners’ scripts. It’s a must-listen.

3rd & Fairfax: The WGAW Podcast

An official podcast of the WGA West, 3rd & Fairfax includes conversations with notable writers making their mark on the industry. Learn about your favorite shows, award-nominees, and industry trends.

Children of Tendu

Javier Grillo-Marxuach (Lost, The Middleman) and Jose Molina (Sleepy Hollow, Firefly) are two of the most generous leaders in the writing community when it comes to sharing their time and knowledge. This podcast includes their hard-earned experiences and straight-shooting advice on breaking into television (and staying there). 

Write On: A Screenwriting Podcast by Final Draft

Write On includes conversations with showrunners, creators, and writers about how their projects were made, behind the hiring process, collaborations, character building, writer’s block, and more. It’s a personal look at your favorite projects.

TV’s Top 5

TV’s Top 5 from The Hollywood Reporter’s West Coast TV Editor Lesley Goldbery and Chief TV Critic Daniel Fienberg — both of whom are delightful — is a weekly podcast that covers industry news, break-out television, conversations with showrunners, and a deep-dive analysis of the television industry. It’s a way to understand the climate television writers are creating in, as well as the showrunners who will be hiring them. It’s also good fun.

Advice for Short Film Screenwriters from Steven Demmler_screenwriter

Final Thoughts 

Remember, to be a successful screenwriter, you will not just have to write great screenplays. You will have to be savvy about the business, your own record-keeping, self-promotion, networking, and collaborating with others. 

Luckily, you can use the screenwriting tools above to stay organized, informed, and productive like the professional you are! 

Did we miss a tool or resource you love? Let us know on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

screenwriting competitionShannon Corbeil is a writer, actor, and filmmaker in Los Angeles with recent appearances on SEAL Team and The Rookie. An Air Force veteran, her articles have been published in Business Insider, We Are The Mighty, and She has written and produced hundreds of digital videos with millions of views. You can read more about her on her website or come play on Instagram and Twitter!