This week I am going to write about some of the tools that I use to write. There are 3 tools that I use on a regular basis: one for gathering and organizing notes, one to help with time management, and one to actually write. There are many tools for each purpose, and I have used many, but these are the ones that I am currently using.
I use Evernote for gathering and organizing my notes. I have notebooks for separate projects and add notes to them. I have also added notebooks within notebooks to keep track of different aspects of a project.
I have a NaNoWriMo notebook with 3 notebooks in it: Notes, Outline, and Scenes. These notebooks have my notes in them. You can see my notes for 6 different scenes that I was thinking about for last year’s NaNoWriMo effort.
I really like how I can keep my notes neat and orderly. There is a mobile app that I use when I am on the go. I also use the app for those times that I wake up in the middle of the night with an idea that I know that I will not remember in the morning.
I use LeanKit to keep track of my projects. It is a user friendly web application that allows you to create a board that holds cards that can be moved around. There are several templates to choose from that cover a variety of work flows. I use the Default Board. It has 3 main lanes (To Do, Doing, and Done) and 2 other lanes (Backlog and Archive).
Once you have chosen a template, you can create cards that represent different jobs. I have created a card for each of my 3 blogs, another for a monthly newsletter, and another of a weekly article. I have set up due dates for each of them so I know when deadlines are coming up. I start them in the To Do lane, then I drag and drop one in the Doing lane when I start to work on it. When I complete a project, it goes in the Done lane. Once the deadline passes, I change the due date and put it back in the To Do lane.
Scrivener is my go to program for actually writing. This is a wonderful tool for novels, but it can also be used for blogs. It is easy to keep things organized and tidy.
I have one project for all of my blogs. I then have folders for each blog, each of which contains folders for the years, and each of the years contains folders for the months. I then create a document in one of the month folders, and that is my blog post.
I love the split windows feature. I can have some notes written up for a blog post in my research section open in the bottom window and the current blog post that I am writing in the top window.
Another neat feature is the Project Targets box. It shows the Project Target and the Session Target. The Project Target is useful for writing novels where you need to keep track of the entire project’s word count, but I don’t pay attention to that when I’m writing blog posts. I do, however, pay attention to the Session Target, which can be set to any length. I set it to 500 words because I try to keep my blog posts and articles around there. When the bar turns to green, I know to start wrapping things up.
Those are the 3 tools that I use most often when I write. They have helped me streamline my work flow and made it possible to keep up with all of the different projects that I am working on.
What tools do you use? Let me know in the comments section.