I already wrote this in the replies of another post but I might as well make a separate one! So my dad’s friend is a professional author and not so long ago I asked him about different programs especially in the planning/outlining stage and here’s what he he does:

Scapple: for mind maps, it costs like $14 but has a free trial.

Scrivener: actual writing and also notes, easy to organise. Costs a bit more but also has a free trial.

Evernote: note-taking and I think you can add pictures. I don’t know a lot about this one but it’s free!

Powerpoints (any program): He made a slide for each chapter. Title of the chapter at the top in the the middle, below that he wrote a summary of everything that happens. In the top left corner he wrote when and where it takes place. Top right corner he had a list of the characters that are in the chapter. In the bottom left corner he wrote the purpose of the chapter and in the bottom right he wrote any “planted seeds” that will come up later in the story (he writes mystery/crime). Of course you have to customise this to whatever fits your story! You can also easily colour code the slides’ backgrounds!

He also does the post it note thing. You take any blank wall or window and put up post its (can be colour coded) to see layout or in what order things should be told (if it’s non-chronological). If you have multiple POVs you can have one colour for each character to see if it flows well. So you don’t have ten chapters in a row of one character, then one chapter for the second character and then back to another ten with the first.

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Source: reddit post


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