I love software. I have more programs and apps to organize myself and my writing than any human being actually needs. I have so many programs that I may need a program to organize my programs.
That said, I like Scapple better than MindMap, even though I was highly unappreciative of having to pay for software. I haven’t used it to its full potential yet, and I do still have plenty of use for MindMap so I can’t possibly get rid of that, but I do like the way Scapple doesn’t limit you on the number of ideas that you can associate with a central idea.
I like Scrivener for almost all of my own writing. Now, considering that I like both Scapple and Scrivener you’ll likely think that I’m a Literature and Latte addict, but that’s not quite so. I also use Snowflake Pro and I can’t think of anything better for expanding a core idea into a full-blown outline. Word, on the other hand, is what I use for editing because I haven’t found anything else fairly universally used with a decent ‘track changes’ feature. Even with all that said, I still wind up using NotePad to jot down any number of things, and Excel instead of an address book like a normal person.
No matter how easy Scrivener is to use for organizing a single project, I haven’t found it to be all that great at organizing series, particularly when you’ll have dozens of books in a series and you need a ‘Bible’ to keep the series world facts organized so you don’t break your own canon by accident. I just started using PBworks to organize the ‘Bibles’ for my three series and several stand-alone books. It’s just easier to keep it all in one place. Considering that The Arcane Line series and Murphy’s Law series both take place in the same ‘universe’ – though at very different times – I definitely needed somewhere to ‘world build’. Smuggler at Large (yes, that series finally got a name for the series as a whole) takes place over extremely long periods of time and vast distances, so it’s probably a good idea to keep all those details in one place too. I’m not sure how PBworks will help with my stand-alone novels, but having all my notes in one place certainly can’t hurt.
Now if only I could get the rest of my life organized… That would be nice.