My secret weapon isn’t so secret: Sticky Notes and Note Cards, color coated of course. Now many of you probably use Scrivener or some other program. I do have it on my desk top in my office, but I haven’t fallen in love with it yet. Plus, since I also write on a cheap laptop with not a lot of memory it cannot handle something like Scrivener, so I have to think outside the box.
For me, writing anything by hand makes it more memorable. By taking the time to handwrite note cards and sticky notes I put the information in my brain, so I don’t have to refer to it as often. Kind of like a cheat sheet or fact sheet.
I use one color for scenes, one for plot points, one for characters and one for places. I add whatever details I know but leave room for things I don’t. I add to these cards as needed sometimes adding a second card or sticky note as I learn more through writing the novel. Depending upon your worldbuilding needs, you might need more colors.
I put my sticky notes up on a tri-fold board or if I’m work, on the wall. I have writer friends who post theirs on the back of the office or closet door. The writer who gave me this idea, Kate Parker, uses a white board left over from the previous owners of her house who home-schooled their children. Being able to see the story and move the ideas around to fit your needs keep it from being so rigid. I know you can change an outline, but with the sticky notes I don’t have to rewrite, I can just move them around.
So whether you are a plotter or a pantser, planning can help you succeed in NaNoWriMo.