How I Generate and Manage Writing Ideas and Content

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How I Generate and Manage Writing Ideas and Content
Photo by Re Jin Lee

How I Generate and Manage Writing Ideas and Content

I'm a "paper and pencil" kind of gal, so I prefer to write everything on paper. I am also a technology skeptic; I can't stand relying solely on technology, let alone the computer. But writing everything on paper when all of my business writing work is submitted over the Internet means I'm doing everything twice.

I'm also not a fan of doing everything twice, so finding a solution to help me transition to writing on the computer was a necessity.

So, what do I use to generate and manage writing ideas and content on the computer?

I use mind mapping software, specifically FreeMind, an open source mind mapping software program.

Using mind mapping software has enabled me to make a nearly complete transition to the computer, and now, I rarely have the urge to write on paper when I'm at my computer. It doesn't address the issue of relying on technology, of course, but I've learned to make some mental adjustments in order to make the idea generation and writing processes more efficient (that is, until my computer crashes and I lose everything – more on this in a later post).

One of the reasons I like the mind mapping software so much is that it offers a lot of flexibility. I'm able to add or move text easily and quickly. And I can create a node and add to it later without having to cram words between other words like you would on paper.

Ideas just seem to flow when I use mind maps. I don't have to stick to one topic; I can work on one topic for a couple minutes, then move on to something else without switching documents. In fact, while I'm writing this post, I'm switching back and forth to a topic on copy, which turned out to be Monday's post.

So, what do you use to generate and manage ideas and content?

Disclaimer: I am not receiving any benefit, monetary or otherwise, by mentioning FreeMind in my post.

Jody Calkins
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