Are you looking for the best outline software for Mac, Windows, Android, or iOS? Let’s look at some of the top programs to help enhance your brainstorming.
Before you start writing, you must have an outline. For example, you might be someone who enjoys mind mapping, or you might enjoy customizable templates; whatever your preferred method is, outlining your work is always beneficial. Even though you can certainly do this using traditional note-taking options, such as pencil and paper, you might benefit from using software programs that provide you with advanced functionality.
If you are looking for the best outlining app, take a look at a few of the top choices below, and enhance your outlining capabilities.
Pricing: There is a free version. The paid version starts at $7.99 per month.
Best for: Those who prioritize efficiency over premium features.
If you are looking for the best outline software, you may want to take a look at Evernote. Even though this is more of a project management program, it can also help you create outlines for your work. It comes with a convenient user interface that you can use to navigate across different outlines, and you can take advantage of a wide variety of 10 + that can speed up the process.
You can also change the way you format your text to make it more attractive to you while also syncing your notes across all devices.
Check out our guide what is Evernote?
Pricing: Options start at $19.99.
Best for: Those who have long research papers to write regularly.
You may also want to check out Scrivener, which is a popular tool that you can use to plan long-form copy. Many people love this tool because it feels a lot like Microsoft Word. If you enjoy Microsoft products, you should find this tool easy to use.
The program comes with various features that can make it easier to construct your outline. For example, you might want to use the research functionality to import work and compare your writing to your research information. Then, you can put all of your points together into one cohesive outline before you fill out the entire copy.
You can read our Scrivener review here.
3. Microsoft OneNote
Pricing: Free. You also have access to the paid version through Microsoft 365.
Best for: Those who have a lot of familiarity with Microsoft products.
Even though Microsoft OneNote isn’t what people traditionally think of as an outlining software, it offers many of the same features. For example, you can create outlines for upcoming projects using pages, notebooks, headings, and more. You can even include multimedia options such as videos and images.
You can also take advantage of an annotation feature that can help you quickly scribble notes on your work. As long as you have a Microsoft account, this app is included for free.
You can read our thoughts on Microsoft OneNote versus Evernote here.
Pricing: Free. The paid version starts at $9.99 per month.
Best for: Those looking for a customizable outlining app.
If you are looking for an exceptional outlining program, you may want to check out Dynalist. It has a minimal learning curve, a friendly interface, and numerous customizable options that you can use to turn on and off features at will. In addition, if you want to close out unnecessary features or pages, you can do so easily.
You have access to a wide variety of formatting options, and you can even sync this program with your Google Calendar to make the process easier. In addition, the free plan provides you with plenty of storage space and numerous features, so you may never need to upgrade to the premium option.
You can read our Dynalist review here.
Pricing: Free plan. Paid plans start a $4.99 per month.
Best for: Those who like a visual outline of their work.
If you are looking for a mind mapping tool that can help you layout your outline visually, then you may want to check out MindMeister. This is a tool you can use to collaborate with other people in real-time.
You can share mind maps with others, take a look at the changing history of the project, and turn your outline into an engaging, dynamic presentation that helps you figure out where the individual pieces of your work will go.
Pricing: Free trial available. The paid version starts at $25 per year.
Best for: Those who write books.
If you are looking for an outline program that can help you write books, you may want to look at Plottr. This is a convenient program that makes it easy to plan books visually. You have access to drag-and-drop features, a wide variety of character templates, and customizable plot layouts. You can also tag your characters, filter events in your book, and customize pages for various purposes.
Final Word on the Best Outline Software
If you want to expand your writing tools with strong writing software, you may want to check out a few of these outline programs. They can help you with project management, and you can create different nodes that represent events in your work.
You need to think carefully about the type of writing you do. That way, you can find the best outlining tools to meet your needs. For example, you might be someone who likes to lay out simple bullet points in a writing app, or you might be looking for a comprehensive layout in Google Docs. Consider putting a few of these outlining tools to work for you.
FAQs About the Best Outline Software
Why do I need to outline my work before I start writing?
Outlining your work is helpful because it allows you to stay organized as your story unfolds. You don’t want to put your events in the wrong places, and you don’t want to spend too long writing about one portion of the story.
How do I find the best outline software for my needs?
You need to think about your writing style and whether you want a written or image-heavy outline. Then, think about your platform. For example, do you use an Apple product, such as an iPad or other macOS device? Or, do you want a program that works on Linux? Then, you can find the best outline or markdown program to meet your needs.