I’d like to share a free useful tool that I make use of in my writing. It’s called Trello. Essentially it lets you create lists, into which you can place cards. Pretty simple really. The product is used a lot for managing software engineering projects. We use it for that purpose at work, but I have found that it is equally useful in my writing life.
The power of Trello is that it is so free-form that you can use it however you want. Below I’ll show you how I use it, but you may find that a completely different method works for you.
I have 6 lists or columns, titled: Ideas, Outline, Write, Edit, Publish and Market. Each project is a card which moves between these stages. Generally, a project will begin on the far left of the screen in the ‘ideas’ list. It will make it’s way toward the right as it progresses.
As soon as a new story idea comes to me, I can add it to the ideas list as a new card – even if I don’t work on that story for years to come. I can jot down details on the card.
If you double-click on a card, you get to add a good deal of information about it. You can provide a description, add activities and even check-lists. Check-lists are particularly useful in the edit column. For my current work in progress, my first novel Hybrid Force, I have make a check-list of all the tasks I need to carry out to get the story as close to publishable as I can. Then I will need to seek a professional editor to take me to the next step before (hopefully) submitting to publishers. In this way, I can tick off each item as I do it, and feel a sense of accomplishment.
Now this tool doesn’t necessarily let you do anything that you couldn’t do using other tools, but it’s just such a slick easy to use system that I can’t help but recommend it. Also, Trello is multi-user, so if you are collaborating with somebody else on your writing, you can keep track of who is doing what with use use of draggable avatars.
So that’s my little tip for the day. I hope you find it useful.