I have something really cool to tell you about. But you'll only be interested if you are a writer. And it will only be useful if you are lucky enough to use a Mac. (If you have a PC, there is a note for you at the end of this post.)
Angie Hunt mentioned this cool program at the Glen Eyrie conference and I only just got around to downloading the free trial. It's called Scrivener and it is designed specifically for writers. It would work for any kind of writing, I suppose, even a big term paper or something. It will definitely work for either fiction or non-fiction and even has applications specific to screenwriting.
I'm still figuring it all out, even though it has a very nice tutorial. But here are some things I can do.
I have broken my draft into scenes and each scene also has a notecard that has a synopsis on it. That notecard goes on a little cork-board where I can switch them around and see what order I want my story to be.
Also, because it is broken into scenes, it is much less intimidating to me. I can open one scene and work on it and not feel overwhelmed by all those pages and words that I don't know what to do with or where to start and its just too much so I'll just play a game instead.
Breaking it into scenes is completely easy.
Before I do anything with it at all, I can take a "snapshot" and that saves the original and I can always go back to the original if I feel like I have completely messed something up. Security. That's what that is.
I can - so they tell me - type in a characters name and get all the parts that pertain to them so that I can be sure their individual story line makes sense.
I can keep track of all of my research and can open more than one pane, so that I can see my text and my research and my synopsis all at the same time.
Cool, huh? I'm getting it. Its only $40 and my hubby, who is a programmer, is very impressed with the program and says its a great deal at that price.
For those with PCs, if you are still reading, they recommend this program as a comparable option.