What Organization Software Do You Recommend?

I’ve searched around the internet for a decent free offline Organizer specifically meant for writers and am either blind or simply looking in the wrong places. I’ve heard of Gingko but it’s an online app and as my internet is abysmal, I’m more wanting software I can simply install and use offline.

Basically, what I’m looking for is a–preferably free–app where I can keep all my character sheets, my outline/chapter summaries, my 'remember to fix this later" notes, etc., in one place, organized, and easily accessed.

I already have my preferred writing software, Focus Writer, but it lacks an Organizer and I really, really could use one. I know I could just create files and documents for this, but I really would rather just have an app I could easily click into my notes, summaries, outline, etc., for each of my novels.

So, if anyone has any suggestions, I’m open to them! What Organization Software do you use? Please, help an organizationally inept writer out here if you can, lol :slight_smile:

You probably guessed someone was going to come here with a “it’s not free, but…” so I’m going to be that person.

It’s not free, but Scrivener. It does cost about 50 euros depending on your operating system, but there’s going to be a sponsor offer soon on the sponsor offer list. I have used Scrivener for years and it is awesome.


I use Scrivener for that purpose. It actually doesn’t work well for my actual writing, but it works well for organization.

Ywriter is pretty similar, and free.


Lol, I did expect that, yes. And I am willing to pay for software, but would rather it be a “one time” purchase rather than a subscription-based one. Is Scrivener a one-time purchase? Also, can it be used offline or does it eventually require going online? My writing computer is offline to avoid too many distractions.

1 Like

I actually have yWriter, but never could get into it. Maybe I should give it another chance . . .

One-time purchase, yes. And offline, yes. Occasionally going online is good for updates etc but other than that, it requires no internet connection as far as I know.


There are occassioanally paid upgrades to new major versions, and they do require it to be online to do the initial license validation, but other than that it’s a one time purchase and you can use it offline. :slight_smile:


Okay, that’s really good to know! Thank you :slight_smile:

Day One, is a journaling app that lets you jot notes, import photos, and has metadata finctions that may or may not be your cuppa.

Trello, is kind of like a virtual corkboard and task manager, where you create “cards” of data that you can sort, search, and move around. (I think this might be something you could use - or not. I’m more often wrong than right.)

Write! is sort of newish and is like a glorified Notepad.

And UberNote is an even better, more versatile version of Evernote or Write!.

But personally, I am a fan of wikis. I use PBWorks (which is free), and I can create character bios, world mapping, research notes, and internally link the pages together to make searching easy and intuitive. There are wikis you can use offline. I think someone somewhere around here mentioned tiddlywiki? And there’s zimwiki and wikidpad and tomboy notes.


How easy is it to use? I’ve had trouble when I’ve tried some of the others. Also, is it online or offline or your choice? I prefer something offline.

1 Like

PBWorks is online only and it’s very easy to use.

The others that I listed are offline wikis and are also pretty easy to use.

I’ve been looking into zimwiki for using offline, because I don’t always have internet access and I miss my wiki when I can’t get to it.

1 Like

An under appreciated program I love is OneNote from Microsoft. You can handwrite in it, add pictures, create multiple notebooks, folders and pages and basically organize info in any way you want. I use it for all my pre-writing (before a project is ready to move to Scrivener which I use for editing) and also my journals and idea collection. It also has a robust tagging system and To Do list feature. It can also do web clipping and other note taking tricks which are very handy for research.

But, best of all, it’s completely FREE forever across every platform and syncs to the cloud.

The only downside? It doesn’t natively display word count which drives me batty!


Psst, to anyone out there: If you won last year the codes are still good. Get your code before the site shifts!


There’s a free app on google play called “Character Planner” which not only has the ability to have character sheets, but also world notes, scene breakdowns, location descriptions, and item notes, with the ability to note and sort of link together things which are from which project (You create a story, which also has sections for notes and what not and then can link everything else to this section). The app works offline, and is really detailed for character descriptions (which honestly I use mostly for that alone), and some really good questions for building your world, down to currency notes and ecology. After downloaded the app works completely offline, on the go. You can even backup everything to an SD card.

Like I said I mostly use it to help build a character and have quick notes as to if this character has green or brown eyes which is nice. I also really enjoy the section under each character which is all about their relationships. Once you have more than one character, you can, using both a number line and notes, describe the relationship between two characters. And you can make it different from both sides. Like character A loves character B at a five, but character B actually hates character A so you set B’s scale at -5.

There have been occasional updates, but that is really the only time needed to go online.

Hope this helps!


+1 on OneNote, that’s what I use too (although I’ve been considering trying wikis for certain things, so thanks @TinyFist for those suggestions).

Also one of the nice things about OneNote is that although you can use it offline, you can also—if you want—sync it online so you can use it on more than one device if you need to (say, if you’re out somewhere and want to make notes on your phone) and also thereby have your notebooks backed up to the cloud. Backups are always good.


Thanks for all the awesome suggestions, everyone! I’m currently fiddling around with some free offline wiki apps I found on Alternativeto. I’ll report back if any of them are keepers, in case anyone here is interested :slight_smile:

1 Like

Definitely interested in what you find on that. I like the way Wikis work, but I need something offline or at the very least completely private, so if you find a winner, I’m interested in learning more.

1 Like

I’ll definitely let you know! :slight_smile:

So far Zimwiki is the one I’ve played with most and it seems okay, once you get past the mild learning curve (creating subpages, linking pages, etc.). Some of these others look promising, too, though, based on their description pages and screenshots. Fingers crossed I find a keeper!

1 Like

Sounds good. I will watch for your report on your findings.

1 Like

Speaking of private, OneNote also does encryption! Forgot to mention that!