3 Tools I’m Using to Plan My Next Book

Over the weekend, I finally finished the first draft of Double Played. Considering I wanted to have it done before the beginning of the year, it was about time. Just because the draft is done, that doesn’t mean I’m done with the book. I still have plenty of things to do on it, mainly involving edits. Heavy edits. But I’m taking some time off from it, to give it a chance to breathe. In the middle of the month, I’ll go back with a fresh perspective, and start destroying things.

3 Tools I'm Using to Plot My Next Book

But before that, what am I going to do? Well, a lot of things, but specifically, I’m going to be making plans for TA3.

Wait, didn’t TA1 just come out? Yes. Yes it did. But, as soon as I finish Double Played, I’ll begin working on TA3, and I want to have a solid plan for it before I jump into it. Today I’m going to share the 3 tools I’m using to plan my next book.

1. Evernote

Evernote is basically my brain in my pocket. It’s this app that you can use to take notes, clip websites to, and scan things into. I use it for anything online. If I have an idea while I’m out in public, I can take note on my phone and stick it in Evernote. Because I write mysteries, I often find great and gruesome crimes in real life, so when I come across one online, I can “clip” the article from my phone or laptop, and create a copy of it in Evernote.

I also keep things like my summaries in Evernote. So both The Assassin and Double Played’s back cover copies are in Evernote. If I’m away from my laptop, but I have my iPad, I can write scenes in Evernote, too.

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2. My Notebook

I have a little red discbound notebook (red because that’s The Assassin’s main color). The notebook is perfect for instances when technology may not be totally appropriate, but I still have plenty of ideas. You can get a discbound notebook at your local staples store, or buy them online (read about why I love discbound here). The notebook is the perfect size to drop in my purse and take with me everywhere.

3. The Pre-Write Project

This is a fantastic little workbook from Kristen at She’s Novel (seriously, I’m in love with her whole library of printables). As I’m working my way through The Pre-Write Project, I’m realizing this is just the thing I need to take all the loose ideas from Evernote and my notebook, and create an actual plot. Of course, I had a loose plot before all of this (this plot came all the way from eighth or ninth grade, that’s how old it is), but a lot of details have changed. In fact, there are only two main factors that stay the same, but all the details in this book that make those key factors happen? They’ve changed.

The workbook lets me sort out all the details, get my characters in place, make note of any research I need to do, and make a solid outline for my book. If you’re interested in looking at The Pre-Write Projector any of her books or courses, check out She’s Novel’s shop.

I’m sure I’ll also use the notecard method I used to plot Double Played as well. I love the notecards because I can use sticky tack and pop them up on the wall and move them around.

Now that I’ve shown you how I’ll be outlining my next book, tell me, how do you outline and plot your books?

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