From The Book Designer:
Writing a book is one of the most meaningful projects you can dedicate your time to. Your book has the potential to entertain and inform people far into the future. It also sets an amazing example for those around you, showing them it’s possible to dream of being an author and then realize that goal. Crafting a full book is difficult and requires organization and discipline for any writer, but for self-published authors, even greater levels are required.
Why? As a self-published author, you’re responsible for many more moving pieces than authors with a traditional publishing deal. The trade-off is far more creative freedom and a bigger slice of any sales revenue. But until you’ve released a book independently, you shouldn’t underestimate the amount of work required in different areas.
Thankfully, a wide range of apps and other solutions exist to help keep your writing projects, not to mention your writing itself, organized and on track. From the simplest planning and tracking tools through to powerhouse writing software that does it all, there’s an option that’s suited to your needs.
Read on to discover our guide to the best writing organization tools to help you succeed.
1 – Your phone’s notes app (or a paper notebook)
Depending on which writer you ask, you might hear of a love or hate relationship with their phone. Some writers love the connectivity, information, and ease smartphones offer. Others have mixed feelings, seeing both the benefits and the downsides. As for writers who detest them, check out Cell by Stephen King!
If you carry a smartphone, consider using your notes app to organize your writing. You can use it to capture quick ideas and plans related to your writing that strike no matter where you happen to be. Most notes apps also allow for checklists, doodles, voice recordings, and other features.
For those of you who fall into the Stephen King camp regarding smartphones, carrying a small notebook is a good option.
Sometimes, the simplest ways of organizing your writing are the best. Try using your notes app for this purpose and see if you agree.
2 – Writer’s Companion
Perhaps you like the idea of using a simple tool like a notes app on your phone, but worry you won’t have all the features and functionality you need. You might prefer something similar but more directly suited to writers.
If that’s the case, check out Writer’s Companion. It’s an app for both iPhone and Android devices that allows you to plan books and build worlds. Writer’s Companion is available as a free edition or as a paid product with greater functionality.
The free version of Writer’s Companion allows you to work on up to 4 projects at a time and also provides limited worldbuilding functionality. If you opt for the premium edition you get unlimited projects, advanced wordbuilding capabilities, straightforward backups of your work, and the ability to use Writer’s Companion in dark mode.
Writer’s Companion is a great middle-ground between the simplicity of a notes app and a fully-featured planning tool. It’s affordable and worth exploring if you like organizing your writing from your phone.
3 – Todoist
While Todoist isn’t an app specifically created for writers, it is packed with functionality that will help you keep your writing projects on track. You can use Todoist by logging in through a web browser or downloading a mobile app. The service syncs between the two options so you can work wherever you happen to be.
Todoist allows you to create tasks and assign them to different prioritization levels, so you don’t end up wasting too much time on less important parts of your writing project. You can track your progress and visualize your performance. If you’re independently publishing a book you’ll probably collaborate with designers and book layout specialists. You can easily work with collaborators within Todoist. The app also allows you to easily convert emails into tasks so important action items don’t get lost in your inbox.
Unlike some other apps, Todoist helps organize more than writing, so it’s a great solution if you want a single tool to organize everything that goes along with a project.
4 – Trello
Trello is one of the easiest to use and most intuitive writing organization apps available. It’s based around a simple drag and drop interface that allows you to create boards and cards before dragging and dropping them as needed. If you’re familiar with the Kanban method of organization, you’ll feel at home in Trello.
Trello is available as a mobile app or as a service to log into via your web browser. Your Trello account syncs data between devices, allowing you to work seamlessly wherever you are. Although the card system used by Trello is very simple, it’s also powerful, allowing you to create tasks and assign them to different users, set due dates, and automate functions easily without any need for code.
You can also integrate Trello with many of the tools you already use, meaning this is a great choice of organization app to enhance your existing ways of planning your writing.
5 – Scrivener
Scrivener has a lot to offer in terms of organizing your writing effectively but does far more besides just that. Investing in Scrivener purely for planning purposes would not be a good choice, but if you would benefit from everything it’s capable of, it could make sense as your primary organization tool.
You can use Scrivener for almost anything imaginable related to writing, editing, and publishing. Its organizational features include corkboards to visually plan your books, information and notes related to your writing project, and stats and progress metrics.
Scrivener offers a free trial so you can get hands-on and see if it’s a good fit for your needs before making a final investment.
Link to the rest at The Book Designer