Grammarly Premium Review: Is It Worth Getting? User’s Honest Review
Grammarly is a grammar and spelling proofreader that you can use in almost any device or platform to improve your writing. It automatically points out punctuation, grammar and spelling mistakes as you write on just about anything.
While Grammarly works like a charm at picking up grammar and spelling mistakes, we found some mistakes slipping through the cracks from time to time. It’s still miles better than other grammar checkers, but we wouldn’t blindly trust Grammarly for the final copy of our work.
Grammarly has a free plan and an optional premium plan. While the free plan is absolutely amazing considering what you’re getting for free, the premium plan is rather pricey at $11.66 per month when you pay annually and goes up to $29.95 per month if you pay monthly.
As feature-rich as Grammarly can be, the user interface is ridiculously simple and intuitive to use. We’re pretty sure you can get your grandparents up to speed with it in no time.
In our time using Grammarly, we haven’t encountered any issues to warrant reaching out to support, but Grammarly does come with email support that gives prompt response within 24 hours, which we think will be fine for most users.
Are you confident in your grasp of the English language? Chances are, even the best editor occasionally misses grammatical rules, resulting in typos and errors slipping through the cracks.
This is where Grammarly comes in; this online proofreading tool helps to detect the mistakes that a human editor might not have picked up, further eliminating any potentially embarrassing grammatical errors.
However, as with any tool, there are limitations to what it can do. In this comprehensive review, we’ll explore the pros and cons of Grammarly and help you decide if it’s worth using or not.
What is Grammarly?
As we’ve alluded to before, Grammarly is an online tool that helps you cut out grammatical errors to help you improve the quality of your writing.
However, there are tons of similar apps that do the same thing; in fact, most email text boxes, word documents and even the keyboard on your iPhone already have built in spell checkers.
What makes Grammarly a more complete tool than the average spell checker is that Grammarly has far superior accuracy, and goes way beyond just detecting errors.
Most of the time, Grammarly will give suggestions even on error-free writing to improve your writing’s deliverability and conciseness.
It’s also very helpful if you want to review work done by others, if you find yourself proofreading a lot. Even if you’re fine with doing it manually, there’s no doubt that Grammarly will drastically speed up the process.
Besides just notifying you on where it detects issues, Grammarly will also give a clear cut explanation on why certain sentence structures or word choices might work better, and you can even tailor the suggestions based on the writing style you want to achieve.
Why everyone should use Grammarly
It goes without saying that no matter your profession, writing plays a key role in building rapport and building credibility. Most people underestimate just how much of an impact that a misspelled word or silly grammatical error can negatively reflect on your professional aptitude.
With that in mind, it makes perfect sense that you make sure that all of your writing is at least error free, especially if your work revolves around writing a lot. This is particularly relevant for students, content marketers, copywriters or business people who need to come up with formal drafts, emails, or presentations.
The prevalence of ‘chat speak’ in the modern day and age might make some of you scoff at the idea of the importance of being grammatically correct in your communications, especially since more and more workplaces have adopted instant messaging platforms for work like Slack, Microsoft Teams, or Facebook Workplace.
While it might not be practical to utilize a tool like Grammarly for all of your writing, the truth is that anyone can benefit from better writing; especially if you want to be able to convey your message properly.
More importantly, since most of our work is either done online or have an online presence these days, your writing could very well affect how others perceive you professionally and personally.
For example, have you ever doubted someone simply because you stumbled across a silly mistake in their writing? This can be something as simple as a LinkedIn status update or a Tweet.
This is especially more relevant for those that publish a lot online, like content marketers or bloggers. For professionals in this industry, making grammatical mistakes can be disastrous to their credibility online, which will certainly have a direct impact on their bottom line.
At the end of the day, while most of us do try our best to write grammatically correct all the time, a simple tool like Grammarly doesn’t hurt to avoid inadvertently casting ourselves in a bad light.
In fact, since Grammarly does come with a free plan, you pretty much have nothing to lose to use it and improve your writing. While the premium version might be pricey, we can safely recommend everyone to sign up to use the free option.
Things we liked about Grammarly
1. Easy to use
The first thing that stood out when we first tried out Grammarly was how ridiculously easy it was to use.
We all hate the idea of installing yet another redundant app on our phone or computer, but Grammarly clearly thought about this and made their tool readily available in whichever platform that you prefer.
Here are some of the ways you can access Grammarly:
- The mobile app (known as Grammarly Keyboard)
- The desktop app for both Mac and Windows
- The Microsoft Word add-in
- The browser extension
- The Grammarly web tool on Grammarly.com
The variety of ways you can access Grammarly makes it an easy recommendation for anyone, since they cover almost every platform you typically use to write. Moreover, this greatly enhances the selling proposition of the premium version since you’ll know you can take advantage of it on multiple platforms.
2. It just works
Another thing we liked that can’t be overstated is that Grammarly simply works. At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter how polished the UX might look or how many platforms you can access an app on, the core functionality of a tool doesn’t have dependable performance.
In this regard, Grammarly certainly excels. Most writing apps and software will do a decent job of catching the obvious errors, but often fail to understand the context of more complicated mistakes.
Grammarly stands out because it goes to the extra mile in reliably detecting more nuanced or hidden writing errors, which is far easier than done. Grammarly claims that their algorithms are developed from scraping millions of pages of writing from various databases, and this is immediately evident right from the moment you start using the tool.
With that said, Grammarly is still not absolutely perfect. We’ll cover more on this later in the review, as there are numerous things a human editor will notice that an automated tool like Grammarly simply can never pick up.
3. It provides actionable explanations and suggestions
By using Grammarly, you’re not only ensuring that your writing has the correct English grammar, you’re also proactively learning to avoid mistakes moving forward with micro-lessons in the form of suggestions.
From comma splices to overused words, Grammarly does a fantastic job of informing you on how a mistake originated so that you have a deep understanding of the fundamentals of grammar.
These helpful micro lessons also apply to suggestions for writing in a certain style : you will be reminded of how certain word choices work better for a more assertive tone, or whichever writing style you wish to achieve.
We think these suggestions might be one of the most underrated features of Grammarly as you’ll subconsciously be able to write with more appropriate flair down the line. This goes a long way to convey your intended tone to your readers better.
A Look Inside Grammarly
For most people, the most convenient way to use Grammarly would be through their web browser.
Here, you get a minimal text editor where you can either type or upload your word document for Grammarly to do its thing.
As you type or upload your word document, the suggestions we mentioned earlier will populate on your writing quickly, showing up on the right pane in the form of cards where you can see each suggestion in detail.
The suggestions are color coded to reflect their severity, ranging from an outright error in red or optional changes like different word choices.
You also get a real time report on the right pane to review your work in terms of correctness, clarity, engagement and delivery.
On the bottom right corner of the web editor, you’ll see a button that scans your work for plagiarism. This is a key feature for writers, bloggers or students that want to avoid citing too similarly from their sources.
Before you open up the text editor, you’ll also be greeted with a menu to decide what tone you’re looking for in Grammarly’s suggestions. This will affect what kind of suggestions you will receive.
From our experience, the online editor is by far the best way to use Grammarly when you consider how fully featured it is despite being run on the cloud. It’s also equipped with ample storage, and you can easily have hundreds of documents safely stored here as a secondary backup.
You can also install the Grammarly browser extension to access Grammarly’s recommendation to check any form of text you’ve already published online. These can include blog posts, comments, status updates, and so on. While we don’t use this feature often, it can be something you find very useful.
If you find yourself composing a lot of documents from your phone, Grammarly Keyboard for Android or iOS allows you to get the same functionality of Grammarly on your mobile device.
Alternatively, if you have a lot of word documents that you’d like to go through Grammarly, the desktop app is able to open such documents directly. This saves you the trouble of manually copy and pasting into the editor. If you have a huge backlog of content that you want to get reviewed for grammatical errors, this is absolutely the fastest way to get that done.
While we found the accessibility to Grammarly suite of apps are incredibly useful, we honestly don’t think it will be a game changer to your writing workflow despite the tool’s capabilities.
If you’ve ever been on a long, uninterrupted writing flow, you’ll know how frustrating it could be when you are sporadically distracted when you’re in the ‘zone’. More often than not, if you pay too much attention to Grammarly’s suggestions as you are writing, it can be very easy to totally forget what you were typing in the first place.
With that, we found that the best way to utilize Grammarly would be to type in chunks of a few sentences or paragraphs, then pause to make changes. Changes made on the text editors can also take a couple of seconds to reflect on the suggestion cards, which can be disruptive if you’re trying to make changes in real time.
One of the things we loved about Grammarly the most is that they don’t hold back on the free version.
There is no limited time free-trial or restrictions on how many documents you can use Grammarly on. The only limitation here is that you only get alerts for critical errors or essential changes to your writing, which is what we think most people are looking for.
This makes the free Grammarly version a no brainer for absolutely everyone.
The only downside is that the Premium version is a bit more expensive than we’d liked, and you’ll lose out on some key features of Grammarly if you opt out of the Premium plan.
The Premium plan unlocks the more nuanced suggestions from Grammarly, as well as the plagiarism detector.
Here’s a table outlining the features you get for the free plan compared to the premium version:
Grammarly Premium is particularly expensive if you subscribe for the monthly plan at $29.95, but can be brought down to $11.66 per month if you pay for an annual subscription.
If you’re a content marketer or blogger, we think this cost is a no brainer when you consider the potential impact on your revenue if you let an embarrassing grammatical mistake slip in your work.
Grammarly also works if you’d like to share access to your account with your team, and since there are no restrictions on the number of documents you can upload, sharing an account should not be an issue among team members.
• How Grammarly compares to a human editor
Ironically, the first thing that comes to mind when comparing Grammarly to other options is simply another human.
For starters, there are still many out there who doubt that an algorithm can have superior context understanding than humans when it comes to analyzing writing, and we can agree on those concerns.
Some mistakes are just simply too hard for machines to spot, and on the rare occasion that this occurs, a human editor would be needed to finish the job.
Grammarly also doesn’t pick up on errors that aren’t grammatically incorrect; for example, citing wrong facts in an article.
Moreover, the sheer flexibility of the English language does mean that writers will sometimes intentionally want to bend grammar rules to spruce up their writing. While Grammarly would immediately flag this, a human editor might understand where the writer is coming from and consciously let it slide.
With that in mind, our verdict is that most people should use Grammarly for formal writing and not for something casual.
While Grammarly can certainly expedite the editing process for a human editor, it does not mean that you can trust it entirely. No software is a match for a human editor, and your final draft should be passed on to a real person before publishing or submitting it.
• Grammarly vs other software
Grammarly currently boasts 10 million subscribers, making it the de-facto grammar checking tool.
With that said, there are other alternatives to Grammarly, and in this section of the review, we’ll outline a few that we think are worth considering.
ProWritingAid is the most comparable alternative to Grammarly in its capabilities, since it covers a wide range of grammar mistakes and suggestions to improve your writing. It’s also able to generate a report for your entire document, though we found their suggestions to be more suited for long format writing like essays or books.
As far as their user interface goes, it’s nowhere near as polished as Grammarly, making this one of the biggest shortfalls of ProWritingAid. It’s also somewhat limited in compatibility since you can only access the tool with a Chrome browser extension.
ProWritingAid costs $60 per year, which is less than half of what Grammarly costs. However, when you consider that you’re paying for a subscription to a browser extension and fully fledged software suite, we think shelling out extra for Grammarly is well worth it.
WhiteSmoke is yet another alternative to Grammarly that is very competent in its ability to detect errors and provide helpful suggestions. WhiteSmoke also comes with templates for writing specific types of documents, which might help with writer’s block.
One major advantage of WhiteSmoke over other Grammarly alternatives is that it has seamless integration across a ton of platforms like Grammarly. WhiteSmoke is available as a web browser extension and desktop app for both Mac and Windows.
While WhiteSmoke looks less polished in terms of UX compared to Grammarly, the overall experience isn’t half bad. The menus and text editor are intuitive to use, albeit looking slightly dated when you put it right next to Grammarly.
Priced at $79.99 per year, it’s noticeably more affordable than Grammarly, and we think this is a great option for those of you who don’t mind the less sleek look of the interface. After all, it gets the job done for a cheaper cost, which is a major selling proposition for many.
To close out this review on Grammarly, we can wholeheartedly recommend it even though it is not perfect and there are some alternatives out there.
At the end of the day, Grammarly is a utility that we use almost daily, and having robust performance and a sleek interface makes it that much more easy to live with on a regular basis.
Considering its performance, ease of use and the option of a free plan, we can safely recommend Grammarly to everyone.
It doesn’t matter if you’re a student, a content marketer, or a startup founder drafting your pitch deck; everyone can benefit from better writing, and Grammarly is simply the best way to achieve that from software.
As for the Premium version, we can see how the pricing can turn some people off. However, we think it’s one of the best ways for people to learn to improve their writing, and take this more seriously than just another automated spell checker tool.
Grammarly’s suggestions are very akin to what you’d get from an English tutor, which are exorbitantly more expensive when you compare it to the price of Grammarly.
Sure, you can’t compare learning English from an app to an actual human, but this added value proposition from Grammarly does go a long way to justify its higher-than-usual pricing.
While we are very impressed by the features you get in Premium, we think the monthly plan of almost $30 per month costs way too much. If you’re going to purchase the Premium plan, you should absolutely avoid the monthly plan and pay upfront for the annual subscription.
One final thing that we’d like to rehash here is that even with Grammarly, we would not recommend trusting it entirely to proofread your work. A human editor should have the final say on whether or not the writing is approved, and you should never put all of your proofreading eggs into the Grammarly basket.
DISCLOSURE: The HUSTLR goal is to help readers navigate around the digital economy by learning digital skills to achieve their life goals. This blog post may contain affiliate link(s) and any purchase(s) made through such links will result in a small commission to HUSTLR (at no cost to you). However, this does not impact our reviews and comparisons. We try our best to keep things fair in order to help you make the best choice.
Bernard currently works full-time as a growth hacker and content researcher for HUSTLR. When he was studying in the US 2 years ago, he flipped Yeezys on eBay as a side hustle to fund his degree and living expenses. He’s currently working on his Amazon FBA business & dropshipping on the side.