Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Using Workflowy for Story Outlines and Organization

Lately I've been working on the script for my latest comic. As far as plot goes, I have all of it planned from start to finish.

In the process I came across this really nice outlining app called Workflowy. This app definitely proves the power of simplicity and that almost anything can be made into a list. It's available for Android, Apple, and Chrome.

Here's how I've used Workflowy to organize the plot-line for my comic.

I have a bunch of projects going on so first I created a bullet point called Projects.

Then under that is my comic.

I've split up my comic project into six sections:

Story Idea: The general summary of the story.

Issue One: For me, two to three episodes make an issue. I'll go into the whole episode thing in more detail in a future post, but this section gives me a way to keep up with the progress I'm making on my comic. I keep track of what pages I have done, what part of the script I need to write, etc...

Story Arc Ideas: These are little stories that come together to create the whole plot-line. I usually start by brainstorming all of the different adventures and situations that the characters will get into. Then I go back and put these events into a logical order.

Moment Ideas: These are things that the characters do that can be put into any of the little stories in the story arc. For example, I might think it would be fun if one of the characters attempts to eat a whole box of ice cream. I'm not sure exactly where that would fit in, but I would like to see it happen. I make notes of ideas here, and I try to fit them in where ever I can within the short stories in the Story Arc Section.

Characters: Character names and descriptions. I like to do a @charactername hashtag for all of my characters, and I use them for each character name in my story arc ideas. This is great because when I do a search, I can see all of the short stories that a specific character appears in.

Workflowy doesn't support graphics beyond emoji, but if I wanted to put in a character sheet, I would just upload it to Google drive and paste the share link into the character description. I don't have any links in mine to character sheets because...I've been very bad lately.

Also I can link to notes from Evernote. I like using Workflowly along with Evernote. For me Workflowy is better for organizing ideas and projects, and Evernote is better for organizing information by topic.

Publishing Notes: Here is where I write details about the size of exported pages, physical page dimensions, and the requirements for the different websites where I will upload my comic. All technical stuff goes here.

So this is how my Workflowy looks. The coolest thing about this app is that I can organize it to fit my thinking style. I don't have to conform the way I think to how the app works.

Here's a referral link to give Workflowy a try: I highly recommend signing up using the referral link because this allows you to create 250 items (Each thing with a bullet point is an item) per month for free instead of the standard 100-ish items that it comes with. From experience I have to say that 100 items is not enough!