Paper. That's my one-word review of Grammarly Pro. Which, of course, makes no sense whatsoever – so I'll expand it to three. It saves paper.
That's still not much to go on, so here's a whole sentence: Grammarly Pro stops you from having to print out stuff to proofread – saving paper and also positively impacting the environment.
Before I bought a premium subscription, I would check things a couple of times on Word, press print, proof, make some tweaks and then sometimes print out whatever I was working on again for a final proof.
That's a lot of paper.
This, I imagine, is the way that most freelance copywriters who started working 20 or more years ago do things. That's because the paper version is where you'll spot mistakes you missed onscreen.
Then came Grammarly Pro.
Reeled in by clever SaaS pricing
Like many copywriters, I tried the free version before upgrading. The Grammarly boffins give you more than enough to whet your appetite, but as with all clever SaaS pricing models, they stop short of giving you exactly what you need if you write for a living.
So, I upgraded about a year ago. And I stopped printing stuff out.
That's because Grammarly Pro is like the best sub-editor/proofreader I've ever had (apart from one I worked with named Bingo, who was unbeatable). I'm pretty sure I could print something out now and give it the all-clear, only for Grammarly to read it with a fresh pair of eyes and find a small error.
Or, more likely, an inconsistency.
Have you used the Oxford comma once but then failed to repeat it? Have you capped up Health and Safety in the first par but then forgotten to do so at the end?
Perhaps it's an unfamiliar name that you've got wrong. Or the spelling of a large corporation.
Grammarly Pro spots all these for you.
What you get for your upgrade
If you've not tried the Pro version, it goes deeper than the free option, which is basically just a grammar and spell checker.
It tells you how many errors it has spotted (in red). You won't always agree with these, but it's right at least 90% of the time.
These red 'Correctness' errors are the ones I pay closest attention to.
For Pro users, Clarity errors are highlighted in blue. These can help turn a clunky sentence into something snappier. I tend to (begrudgingly) agree with the suggestions about half the time. Nuances, it should be noted (as well as rhythm and metre) can evade Grammarly Pro entirely.
I tend not to agree with suggestions about delivery (in purple), but I may acquiesce to one in 10 or so,
Engagement – in green – always gets a "very engaging" score when I write, thank heavens, so I must be doing something right. There's also a plagiarism checker available, but I can't say I have ever used it.
Less hemmed in than Hemingway
I thought I'd scribble this quick review to give any fellow copywriters the nudge they needed to make the switch. If you want to deliver quality work, I think Grammarly Pro is well worth it.
And it has probably almost paid for itself in paper and ink costs, too.
Hemingway – another bit of writing software – wasn't for me. It really hemmed me in and made writing feel like a chore. Grammarly, though, gives me extra confidence that the copy I am filing has been properly proofed.
And as I may have mentioned. It saves on paper.