Monday, November 17, 2008

a little gem

I'm in grad school and write lots of papers. I generally get positive feedback on my writing, and I believe this is for two reasons. One is that I pay close attention to the assignment--I always try to make sure I answer the question or issue posed. Two is that my thoughts are usually well organized.

This is due to one of the best writing investments I've ever made--the purchase of a little gem of a software called Inspiration. I first learned about Inspiration because my kids used it in elementary school for many of their projects. Then I read about it in an article in MacWorld magazine that reviewed outlining software. I considered it because an author said that it was an invaluable tool for helping him to write novels. That sold me and I've been using Inspiration for years now. I don't think I could even write a letter to my mother without it.

Every paper, article or book project I write starts with an outline. Sometimes the outline is three or four points and just helps me get my thoughts in order. For other projects it becomes the essential reference and I'd be completely lost without it (such as in the research paper on Eye Movement Desensitization & Reprocessing and Cognitive Behavior Therapy I'm currently slogging through).

You may or may not find this tool as useful as I have; however, if you're a visual learner/writer, give it a try. Inspiration is definitely not the only outlining software out there and it may not even be the best, but I'm totally hooked on it. For more info and a free trial check out their website.