Which is the Best Outlining Style for you?

Oh man. Outlining. Some of us dread it. Some of us love it. Did you know you could be dreading it because you’re not outlining the way that’s best for you, as a writer? A lot of times, we are trying to make a corner piece fit into the middle of a puzzle, when it comes to outlining. It’s just not going to work and get you that beautiful end result. So take a moment to figure out the type of outlining that may be right for you. First, let’s start with the four basic types.


If you’ve been writing for a while, you may have a pretty solid idea of what works for you and what doesn’t. But if you’re new to this life of writing, or if you’re a veteran, you still may be asking yourself, which outlining type is best for me?


The Writer Community has got you covered! Here’s a very basic (and fun) test to take to try and figure out where your most success may lie. These are just the four main ways to outline. You can—and will—make any number of combinations with them, and you may even have another method not even mentioned here.

  1. Video meetings, our favorite time of the day! You:

  2. You’re dressed from the waist up and your hair is the minimal amount of effort. Perhaps some glasses to hide your face a bit more. And you’re prepared to turn on your camera, only if someone asks you to

  3. You think about the topic of the call, who will be on it, the time of day, and then calculate the likelihood that you will be asked to show your face and dress accordingly

  4. Have other tasks open on other screens. You’re in the same pajamas you’ve been wearing for the past week. There are empty coffee cups over every free surface of your desk and you literally just rolled out of bed seconds before the call started

  5. Have your make up done, hair brushed, clothes on (all of them), and your camera on!

  6. When it comes to work projects:

  7. You prefer to know what the goal is and a few expected progress points are but be left to your own devices to get there

  8. You want to know what’s expected of you, the resources you have, the end goal, the timeline and progress points expected. Here’s my hand, just hold it, please

  9. You wish you worked somewhere more creative, like Google or Apple, where you come up with your own way to solve problems and projects

  10. You like to know which projects are on the schedule well in advance so that you can start planning and making the way to getting them done when the time comes

  11. Your dream job is:

  12. Something that has firm guidelines or rules, but the freedom to move around inside them would be amazing (finance, corporations, marketing)

  13. Something that is rigid and unbendable. You know there are a set of rules and laws that govern what you will be doing. There is safety in certainty (doctor, lawyer, etc)

  14. Oh man, to teach someone else something or to do something that effects someone long-term would be amazing (teacher, stay at home parent, farmer/rancher, etc)

  15. Something you get to decide each morning (influencer, self-employed, writer, freeloader)

  16. You’re on a forest hike and you:

  17. Stay on the trails but decide last minute to take a different fork

  18. Study the exact trails you need to take to get to that one lake your bff was telling you about

  19. Don’t see any forest rangers so you high-tail it off road and into the wilderness

  20. Stick to the trails and see where the end takes you, there could be bears out there

  21. Ugh. It’s dinner time? Again?