I’ve been so busy lately. Every moment, I juggle jobs, and it’s chaos.
Or at least, it SHOULD be chaos.
Yet I’m standing proudly on the peak of the mountain, looking down at the work trying to creep up the side. I won’t let it overwhelm me.
Because I know a few tricks.
We already looked at How To Be A Time Management Mastermind, and that’s a significant step in the right direction.
Though, what more can one do?
How can YOU become a more efficient writer?
Let’s talk about outlining your blog posts.
Why YOU Should Outline Your Blog Posts.
Let’s look at Andy.
Andy has multiple articles due within a week, but he doesn’t outline his posts. He takes each article as it comes and writes without a plan.
Perhaps he prefers crafting his garden as he goes, and while he might produce something excellent, he won’t produce it quickly.
His other work is creeping up the side of the mountain, and he is so focused on the one article, he doesn’t see it coming.
He doesn’t stand much of a chance.
Annie — on the other hand — outlines all of her work.
She has the same amount of orders due as Andy does, but as they come, she zooms through them, laying out an intro, the headlines, and the desired call to action.
She only spends five minutes doing so on each article.
Yet, she produces work faster than Andy does.
Why Is This Effective? Benefits of Outlining Your Writing
With Annie’s outlines, she doesn’t have to spend as much time thinking about what she’s going to put on paper.
Consider each headline she’s written as a small writing prompt. She’s broken down her work and can take each section as it comes.
This allows for:
- Increased Morale — A task broken into sections will seem less overwhelming and will have an end in sight.
- Better Content — You can always tell when a television show is improvised. Writing is the same. Having a script will always be better than the former.
- Increased Research Speed — With each task broken into sections, you know exactly what you have to research. You can even copy and paste your headlines into google!
- Quicker Writing — You don’t have to spend as long thinking about what to put into each section, or at a loss for what to do next. You’ve got a friend telling you each step.
As you can see, it’s key to producing quality content.
You might ask now, how does one create an effective outline?
Don’t worry, I’ve got you covered.
How To Outline Your Writing
There are multiple ways to do this. If you wanted, you could write a list with your article’s title, and a few appropriate headlines that are relevant.
That’s the most simple way.
With a more complicated piece, you might have to do more. You could expand on the above, and add a few lines of research underneath each headline, so you don’t have to spend as long switching between your web browser and your work.
If you want to go even more deep than that, however, you could consider using outlining tools. Let’s go over a few:
- MindMapper — A great brainstorming tool, that does what’s in the title! Create a brainstorm with all the ideas you can delve into in your article.
- Checkvist — A To-Do List that allows you to send tasks directly to your email. Subscribe to their Pro version and you can even attach files to it! (Make a list of topics you want to cover and check them off as you hit them!)
- Scrivener — This one focuses on novels, but it has an excellent structure. Keep multiple drafts of your work, organise your research, and even pin pictures on their Pinboard!
- StickyPad — Windows 10 has a similar tool built-in, but this is a more lightweight version. It’s a great way to make brief notes that you can use to plan your writing.
- Notepad — Even more lightweight, and the bare minimum you need. Have a separate notepad open to your writing platform and chuck your ideas in there! It’s that simple!
You don’t have to use every idea. If you do, you might put out thin content and your article may end up being messier. But using these tools, you can create a pool of ideas you can pick from in your article.
It’s a great way to beat writer’s block!
So, to surmise:
Outline your work, because otherwise, you’ll get overwhelmed and struggle to keep up.
It’s fool-hardy to not do so, and in the long-run, you’ll only be making more work for yourself. Don’t get lost in the outlining and never spend over fifteen minutes doing it!
Remember: Check out some tools above to streamline the process and keep all of your ideas in one place.
Comment below your thoughts and opinions on this subject! Do you have your own outlining tip, or can you offer a tool below I’ve missed? Let me know!
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…And don’t be like Andy!