Step Three: Organizing/Outlining

You’ve gathered all the necessary information. You’ve identified a key message and, perhaps, developed a creative approach. Now it’s time to determine what to include and how to organize that information.

Many things affect organization, including the target audience’s interests, the type of document you’re writing and the importance of each piece of information. The best general guidelines for good organization are to consider your audience (what order of information will keep it interested?) and to be logical. You should have a reason for the order of presentation: One part of the document should lead logically to the next.


Writing an outline, whether it’s formal with Roman numerals or just notes scribbled on a restaurant napkin, will help you refine and remember your document’s organization. Don’t be surprised if you change or reorganize items as you write. New options may appear as you progress. (Experienced writers sometimes can create outlines in their heads—or, as they begin to type, they type a few organizational ideas and then begin composing.)

Organizing/Outlining Links

11 Brilliant Tools for Organizing, Developing & Sharing Your Ideas

Mind Mapping

10 Really Cool Mind Mapping Examples

Developing an Outline

How to Make an Outline