A new use for an artist’s notebook

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Today’s writing tip will help you if you like to use mind mapping.

There’s high tech. There’s low tech. And there’s no tech. My “technology” tip for today falls into the latter camp, but I mention it because it will help you stay more organized AND become a better writer.

You may know that I’m a huge fan of mind mapping. But here’s my biggest secret. I don’t use any software when I do it. This isn’t to say that the software is bad (some people love it). In fact, readers frequently ask me which software I recommend. (There’s a wide range available and I list them in my free booklet on mindmapping. If you want a copy, just subscribe to my free newsletter, which goes out every Tuesday. The signup box is to your right, underneath the photo of me.)

Me? I still prefer a pencil and paper. I used to do all of my mindmaps on “scrap” paper — you know, paper that had type on only one side. Frequently, I’d just fish a piece of paper out of my recycling bin and scrawl my mindmap on the back. But a few years ago, someone asked to see the mindmaps I’d used to create my book. Embarrassed, I had to admit, I no longer had them.

A few weeks later, I was visiting a friend and discovered that she had an artist’s notebook on her desk. She doesn’t draw so I asked her the purpose of the volume. For mind maps, of course! I went out and bought one right away. It’s fancier than I need but I think it cost me all of $12. I now date my mind maps and can leaf through them whenever I like.

From time to time you still might catch me fishing paper out of the recyling bin and writing on the back. But not very often!

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