This is an episode of Matt Gemmell's Trouble With Writing, a podcast with focused, hard-won techniques for solving all the problems you might encounter when planning, writing, and editing novels. Brief and to-the-point, with episodes you can listen to in any order.

You can subscribe on Apple Podcasts or using the feed.


Always use the right tools for each stage of the creative process.

You can also download the episode audio file here.

Episode Notes

In this episode, I talk about the various stages involved in planning and writing a novel, and why they each require different modes of thinking, and can benefit from specialised tools.

You should absolutely use multiple tools when one would do. You should absolutely prioritise effective creativity, and efficient facilitation of thought, over some notional and irrelevant benefit of having fewer apps.

A sketch isn’t a mind map, and a mind map isn’t a linear outline, and an outline isn’t a novel. Think about it like this: when the shape of the information changes, that’s your cue that you should be checking for the optimal tool to fit the next phase of your work.

Here are links to the apps I mention in the episode. While some of these support other platforms too, I use each of them on the Apple operating systems, and on the iPad in particular. Even if these apps aren’t available on your system, similar ones likely will be.

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