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MyPersonalProductivity

 

Thinking about workflows

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Posted by Hugh
Nov 2, 2009 at 11:49 AM

 

An interesting set of questions, but perhaps less of a can of worms on this forum than it would be on many, where the (seat of the) “pantsers” rival the “outline-istas”.

A workflow for me is the process that achieves the desired written outcome most efficiently. Focus of effort is the key. The workflow might run like this: Project planning: Research: Outline: First draft: Edit: Second draft (and if necessary, further drafts): Format. Possibly mind-mapping could follow research and precede outlining.

Each of these sub-processes could be performed using separate pieces of software (where software is used). The important point for me is that each application relates reasonably harmoniously with the others and in this respect my experience is that generally the Mac platform is better than Windows.

Another issue is research. As everyone knows, it’s quite possible to do too much. In this respect, a successful workflow is not necessarily uni-linear. Instead it may be better represented as intermittently parallel processes, where research intervenes at two or three key points in the drafting. Research defines the writing, and the writing defines the research that it’s necessary still to do. Sometimes having key pieces of research accessible in the same interface as the drafting - as with Scrivener, DevonThink or IdeaMason - is helpful.