I find a lot of reasons to stay busy so that I don’t have to be productive! But, if you want to keep yourself busy as a form of procrastination, testing out productivity software is a good way to do it! Below is a growing list of outline and organization software (both paid and free versions) that I’ve tried. I will continue to revise this list as I test other software.
Most Used: Microsoft One Note for Windows (Free)
I’m an Apple guy – for a number of reasons which I won’t go on about here. Both of my books were written on a Macbook Pro and iPad. However, last year I bought a Windows Phone. Hey, it was the only smart phone I could find where I didn’t need to sell a kidney to buy it. For the most part, it does what it’s supposed to – make phone calls. Everything else it does is mediocre – except for One Note. I was truly surprised when I first downloaded it. It’s easy to use right “out of the box”. It syncs to the cloud using your Hotmail or outlook account, and it just works.
I certainly don’t do most of my writing on a phone, but I use it often to make lists, collect my thoughts, and brainstorm. There’s nothing fancy about One Note, which is good. Fancy just gets in the way.
Best Free: MindNode for Apple (Free and Paid Versions)
I love mind maps. As a “spacial” thinker, I like the idea of being able to move things around. The free version of Mindnode has helped me countless times with writer’s block. If you’ve never messed around with mind maps, this is a great way to get a feel for how they work without dropping a dime. Often I will go months without using it, but I always have it on my computer so it’s there when I need it.
Best Data Collection: Evernote (free)
It seems that everyone has heard of Evernote by now. Even after using it for 2 years, I don’t feel like I have exhausted everything it has to offer. While it’s great for collecting articles, blog posts, and anything else you want to remember from the web, its ability to organize data is why I keep coming back to it. If you are college student, this is simply a must have. It will sync with every mobile device known to man. Check it out and let me know what you think.