How I organize my ideas (with Scrivener)

As creatives, we have many ideas. Sometimes way too many!

They come to me in my sleep, in the shower, when I'm driving listening to a song, while I'm watching a movie, reading a book, or having a conversation with a stranger. I even had ideas for another series I haven't start working on yet. But although it's nice to spend time with all those lovely characters, imagine the settings in my mind, and to imagine what's going to happen for them, I need a system to help me process all my ideas. A system that will help me keep the ones I could use for my books, and organize them before I'm ready to bring them to life.

I need a tool I know I can count on. A tool that will be there whenever I need it. 

When I discovered Scrivener, I knew I had found a goldmine. 

I took a few courses and watched a whole lot of videos online to learn how to use it. (*You can check Learn Scrivener Fast if you're looking for the best 101 course on how to make the most out of this tool.) 

Then, I dove in.

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I went on Pinterest, copied a bunch of pictures, started to build my characters, research on the settings, etc. When that early research is done, I used Scrivener to help me develop my story. I began by creating little notecards for each scene, then I added a few files and started writing. The beautiful thing about Scrivener is that it allows you to move things around. You can drag and drop one scene and place it before another so smoothly that you wonder why you waited to make the jump!  

But even though I love working on my laptop, sometimes I need to put my ideas in writing. So, I always open a physical file for each book, where I keep other pertinent information like notes I took on the fly, pamphlets of a place I went to, outlines, or mind maps of the whole series.

I also use Scrivener to gather my ideas for Newsletters, Social media, and the exclusive content I give my patrons. 

So, that's mainly how I organize my ideas into books and how I stay on top of things. Well, at least I try to!


* This article contains an affiliate link. I'll get a few bucks for referring it to you if you find its what you need. Know that I only refer what I believe to be of great interest for any new writer. (Learn Scrivener Fast was used by MICHAEL HYATT & JOANNA PENN and they described it as being "Awesome" and "so worth it")

A writer's toolbox: which one I use.

Every writer has its own toolbox: a set of tools he uses to craft his art. 

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For me, it's all about productivity and a streamlined process. I want each tool to be as efficient as it can be and I also want my process to be as minimalist as possible. I don't like to be surrounded by useless stuff, and my writing is no different. Let's dive in. 

First, I use SQUARESPACE for my website. I've built a few websites, and I've always been pretty happy with how Squarespace works and what it allows me to create without having to rely on a designer to make a change. My website breathes with me, so I needed to be able to control the changes. It didn't make sense to have to call someone each time I wanted to make a change. So I invested some time and money in learning how to craft a website that was as close as possible as what I had in mind. It sure has some limitations, but for now, I'm a happy camper! 

Next comes SCRIVENER. Oh, my dear, this one piece of software changed my writing career in a blink of an eye. I don't know if I would've persevered without Scrivener. First off, it's where I do everything. From the brainstorm of ideas to capturing images, doing research, saving links, documenting my process, keeping a playlist, etc. And since I'm an organizing freak, I needed to have something strong enough to support me. And it sure did. It counts my words, organizes my files with colors, so I know exactly where I'm at regarding draft/revisions, etc. I can create mood boards, build character profiles with such ease that it makes the first part of writing a book a breeze. 

Then, I use GRAMMARLY when my first draft is complete, and I've done a couple of rounds of self-edits. So, before my first draft is ready to be sent to my editor, I run the whole manuscript through this little piece of software. I will re-use it in the last stage of the final draft before I format my book and have it ready for publication. I know there is a lot of programs out there, and I will probably eventually change and try another one, but for now, this one works very well. 

Oh VELLUM. VELLUM, VELLUM, VELLUM. I've said enough. No, seriously. This baby saves my life every time. Instead of spending days trying to learn how to format a book of all the different publishing platforms in the virtual world, and doing the actual formatting, I can upload my Word file, sit back and let it work its magic. It's incredibly easy to use. It's sleek, minimalist, and provides you with beautiful book interiors. Exquisite ebooks. Effortlessly? Yes! 100% true.

The newbie in my toolbox is KDP ROCKET. At first, I wasn't sure if I would need it, cause you know, you write a good book and then it sells itself right? Well, not exactly. After I've spent years trying to manage writing, editing, cover design, formatting, etc., I was now ready to release my book into the world. But then, surprise! How the hell can I do that if I have no idea about what's being published, under which categories, using which keywords... Let's say I was more than happy when I found out about KDP Rocket. In a few clicks it provides me with the information I need to market my book in a fraction of the time it would dive into it myself. This is a must for a writer for sure. 

So, there you have it: my most treasured tools that support my dream of writing books! 

* Please note that as of writing this, I do not receive any compensation by promoting these products. I'm only sharing what I use and love.