I wanted to write a quick post about how I plan out my blog posts, which I will admit is a little meta - but with so many people writing their thoughts on things in a blog format I thought it would be interesting to start up a conversation on how different people do it.

I use a brain storming tool called MindNode to plan out my posts. It lets you quickly get down what you are thinking into small nodes, which you can attach sub nodes to.

The best way to explain this is of a screenshot, and I figured the best way to do this would be to screenshot the MindNode I made for this post!

As you can see I can quickly map out what I think an article might end up containing, this is a really quick way to decide if there are enough talking points to continue writing the full article or not, most of the time I have found you can easily get 20-50 words out of an individual node.

You might also have noticed that each child node is to the left of its parent node, this is by design. After I have created the MindNode I use it as a todo list, this makes everything really easy to track as I can just move the completed nodes to the right, like so.

If you have paid attention to the images you will know what I am going to talk about next!

I like using MindNode because:

  • It makes you focus the points of your blog post - this can help you to avoid waffle or repeating yourself.
  • It can exhaust the points you wish to explore - if you just start writing the article you could find yourself getting to the conclusion by skipping a few steps.
  • It is quick to do - It is almost as quick as jotting them down your ideas on a notebook, only your notebook can't be synced with Dropbox!

Once I have moved everything over to the right hand side I know I am pretty much done with the article.

And for completeness, here is my final MindNode!

Thanks for reading!