A shortcut to help you write anything

Today’s tip is a tool to get your creative juices flowing: the writing plan spreadsheet.

How it works:

Whenever you need to tackle an ambitious writing project — a speech, a screenplay, even a lengthy email — begin by mapping out the structure in a spreadsheet. Use one column to create your skeleton, listing the rough sections or points you want to hit, and then use a second column to flesh out each one. If you’d like, you can keep adding additional columns that get increasingly granular, sketching out subsections or certain lines or details you’d like to include.

Why do it?

The hardest part of writing anything is always getting started — but if you have your building blocks ready to assemble, you’re eliminating a lot of that friction. As a bonus, you can turn your spreadsheets into templates, reusing them for different projects down the road.

First published on October 11, 2020