Helping the Plot to Thicken

Fellow writer/blogger/Joss Whedon fan, Jen, turned me on to these Post-it Digital Notes, which she’s been using to help her plot her current project.  First off, I think I should explain that I am not, by any stretch of the imagination, a gadget person.  For the most part, I’m a strictly low-tech sorta guy (I’ve been called a “cranky Luddite” like it was some kind of an insult).  There’s a pretty good chance that I will never, ever use the Kindle.  I like paper.  I like the way it feels.  I like the way it smells.  I know, I’m weird.

Where was I?  Oh, yeah…the Post-it Digital Note Extravaganza.  Jen’s using them to plot her current novel and she positively loves them.  So, I figured I’d give them a little test-drive.  I downloaded a 30-day free trial from the website and puttered around with them for a day or two.  Today was the first time I actually sat down and tried to use them to plot a novel.

After a few hours, I can say that I’m digging them.  Whether you’re writing a novel, a screenplay, or a term paper, I think these digital Post-its are a good way to organize your thoughts.  You can monkey around with them, making templates for different kinds of notes.  You can change the size and color of the notes; you can even change the size, color, and type of the fonts on each note.  As you can see, you can organize the Post-its on Memoboards, which themselves can be further organized as tabs:

If the entire act of plotting goes as swimmingly as today’s initial trial did, I’m pretty sure that I’ll be willing to shell out the twenty bucks to get the program after my 30 free days are up.  Although, part of me will miss the piles of spiral notebooks filled with Zodiac-esque scribblings and the random index cards and sheets of paper taped and pinned to the walls:

Oh well, viva la revolucion!

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10 responses to “Helping the Plot to Thicken

  1. This is a great tool! I use a similar program called “Sticky Notes” and I love it.

    It does depend on your style and habits, but I think it is great that there are such tools available to us.

    Good luck with your plotting.
    ~Melissa 🙂
    http://www.melissamorris.wordpress.com

  2. jennifermuirhead

    That’s an interesting idea. I may give it a try.

  3. My friend Pooks has got to see this, she flips for stuff like this.

  4. Flipping is good, yes?

  5. This is cool. I need to check it out. I’m not sure that it doesn’t duplicate much of what I love about Scrivener so I need to figure out if it gives me anything extra (besides colour). Also, I am a big fan of real 3×5 index cards and, like you, really dig paper….

    But this is interesting. I’ll check it out. (Thanks for the heads up, Max!)

  6. Wait… this isn’t a Mac product, is it? It appears to be Windows only.

  7. That’s annoying. I didn’t notice it was Windows only. Maybe there’s a bit of a competition between Post-it’s and Mac’s Stickies?

  8. Could be. It looks cool, but I can move index cards around my cork board in Scrivener so w/o seeing the demo it’s hard to say what it offers me that’s new. If you have a Mac I highly recommend Scrivener. It’s the only word processing program I’ve ever even wanted to use other than Word. (Well, I do use a screenwriting program but that’s a different kettle of fish.) But for writing a novel I couldn’t figure out why anybody would waste their money on anything other than a simple word processing program which for me has always been Word. But Scrivener is the most amazing organizational tool and… well, if you’re interested, check out their site and download.

    Unless you’re Windows (which come to think of it, you probably are) in which case, um, never mind!

  9. Um, an end to index cards? I’m not entirely sure how to process that. Keep me posted. These interest me greatly. = )

  10. Hello from washington! Saying hello for now! Will be back later!

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