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Write a Story with an Index Card System Visual Outliner

NoteDex provides a simple, intuitive, flexible and easy solution for that electronic digital notecard software writing app you are looking for.  Our digital index cards replicate perfectly the real paper index cards.  You can create life-like digital note cards to outline your story, research paper. or next website blog post.  NoteDex virtual note cards can have different color and be tagged with categories - great for organizing topics and projects- and can also be organized into groups.   You can even write on the back of the card just like a real physical cards.  User NoteDex notecards to capture and organize your ideas.  


Novelists love NoteDex features such a powerful power-grid corkboard or storyboard view - think of it like a more powerful Scrivener meets Trello digital note cards app - ideal for screenwriters.  Use NoteDex to experiment with storylines and perfect your prose and characters.  With NoteDex you can capture all your inspirational quotes and view your index cards on your mobile phone.  Use handwriting to be really creative using your Apple iPad with Pencil stylus!   Share your creative story research board outline to colleagues for feedback - either on the web for true cross platform sharing or export to Text to start your writing.  We can also import your outline from your favorite outliner tool and you can keep building your ideas for your story, film screenplay or stageplay scripts in our index cards app. See how to incorporate NoteDex technology into your workflow, replacing paper and saving the planet also, with unlimited cards that are always available.  As a researcher you can gather all your facts, sources and organize in a visual tool - more creative than a traditional outlining tool. 


Index Cards with Colors and Tags

As a writer we understand your need to outline a story and visualize it. Thats why you like using Index Cards and will love using NoteDex.


Export to PDF and Text

As a writer once you have completed your story or research paper outline you can export all the cards as a text file to open in Word - or as a full PDF to share.


Visual Outliner Grid

Like a big board with all your index cards our Power Grid mode allows you to view your cards by rows and columns - powerful storyboard template tool!


Organize by Group and Tag

 Use Groups and Tags to organize your writing as you like - Acts, Scenes, Characters - whatever you decide NoteDex handles it.



Use our powerful share to web feature to collaborate with colleagues on the web - securely - to view or edit - on any browser - get feedback on your writing.


Sort, Filter, Search

Use NoteDex powerful filter, sort and search options to find and show just the cards you are looking for.  


An Index Card System for Writers

Many writers use an index card system to structure their work. A notecard system provides a visual representation of a scene or sequence and are used to capture a source, summary, and important quotes, paraphrases, and notes. In addition to being a useful tool for a writer, they are a ritual.  A card represents a plot point in screenwriting or story idea for a novel or screenplay.  Once you have written your index cards you tend to them write them in more detail in writing software. 

Index cards are a visual representation of a broad stroke scene or sequence

When you're drafting your screenplay, an index card can help you identify key scenes and plot points. You'll need to label the pieces of the scene with an appropriate heading, and make sure your writing is large enough to be read at a distance. It also helps to use black sharpies to make your words stand out. If you're writing a long script, index cards can also help you keep track of your scene's pacing and structure. Tag the cards to categorize by plot, setting, location or anything you want.

Outline your creative ideas and plot your novel

Many screenwriters use index cards to organize and outline their stories. You can lay out the index cards on a table or pin them to a board so you can move them around and see which scenes flow best.

They capture the source with a bibliographic reference, a summary, and any important quotes, paraphrases, and notes

The Index card system for writers distills source information into a manageable, scalable format. It allows you to organize information in different ways, from the most essential to the least important. It also gives you a handy way to reference your sources. 

Citing sources is a necessary part of the writing process. Citations for articles follow the same format as those for books, but periodicals do not require an author's last name. Articles should be referenced with the author's name and publication date unless the article is by an unknown author.

Ideally, notes should be written using paraphrases from the source, rather than direct quotations. This way, students are forced to consider the information in a new way. They also are more likely to remain engaged with the source. Paraphrased notes should include enough information to organize ideas, as well as important bibliographic information.

When paraphrasing, use quotation marks and acknowledge the source. Using ellipses and brackets indicates that the source is different from the text you've copied.

They are a ritual for writers

Writers, like many other creative people, have rituals. Some of these rituals are sensible, like setting a time to write each day, or a specific place to work each day. Others are weird and quirky, like only writing on yellow paper or wearing a green cardigan. Others are as crazy as Truman Capote, who wrote while lying down, or Dan Brown, who hangs himself upside down to write. Some really fun storytelling processes!

Index Cards are a great way to organize your thoughts

An index card system for writers can help you organize your thoughts and ideas. You can use it to brainstorm, write down interesting facts and paraphrase ideas. It can even help you plan events. Using index cards is a simple method that saves you time and money.

An index card system for writers is useful for various writing tasks, such as balancing your script or pre-production planning. Writers can use index cards for character stubs, which are useful for developing characters. They can also use labels to easily organize the cards.

An index card system for writers can also help you organize your everyday activities. It can be used for many different purposes, including goal setting.

We hope you enjoy using NoteDex for outlining, planning and writing your new masterpiece!

If you would like to learn more about using NoteDex as an index card system, there is some prolific work by Eco Umberto.  Per Wikipedia:

Umberto Eco (5 January 1932 – 19 February 2016) was an Italian medievalist, philosopher, semiotician, novelist, cultural critic, and political and social commentator. In English, he is best known for his popular 1980 novel The Name of the Rose, a historical mystery combining semiotics in fiction with biblical analysis, medieval studies and literary theory, as well as Foucault's Pendulum, his 1988 novel which touches on similar themes.

Eco wrote prolifically throughout his life, with his output including children's books, translations from French and English, in addition to a twice-monthly newspaper column "La Bustina di Minerva" (Minerva's Matchbook) in the magazine L'Espresso beginning in 1985, with his last column (a critical appraisal of the Romantic paintings of Francesco Hayez) appearing 27 January 2016. At the time of his death, he was an Emeritus professor at the University of Bologna, where he taught for much of his life. In the 21st century, he has continued to gain recognition for his 1995 essay "Ur-Fascism", where Eco lists fourteen general properties he believes comprise fascist ideologies.

In particular his book How to Write a Thesis is considered a masterpiece. There is a nice article about this by Andrew Rosen, Remaster. I urge you to read the while article but here is short snippet:

"The process begins with identifying the sources for reading.


In 1977, this meant physical books and papers, excursions to the library and much photocopying. As sources are identified, they are put into a hierarchy of importance. For every source identified, Eco suggests writing a simple bibliographic index card. Note the source details, location, and a comment about relative importance.  A card is portable (when placed in a card box) and preferable to a notebook to allow for alphabetizing the sources easily by author (Eco also suggests using an address book.) Today, bibliographic sources are much better done in a spreadsheet, doc, or in reference manager software. While sleuthing for sources, you should skim or read a few of the most important ones. A few sessions of this and your field should start to come into focus."   Umberto Eco’s Index Card System - Remastery


For sources you don’t own or don’t have copies of (and ideally even for those you do) you should create reading cards. The reading cards, (extra large index cards) are for everything that you want to take from the book. Use them to summarize, make assessments, store quotes — anything you are gleaning from that book/article. You may need more than one per book. When writing your thesis, you should be able to find what you need on the reading card without having to return to the source.


Standard information on your reading card


  1. Precise bibliographic information for final bibliography

  2. Author information if not well-known

  3. Summary of book or article

  4. Passages to quote if not using a separate quote file (note pages precisely and always use quotation marks)

  5. Personal comments throughout using square brackets

  6. Abbreviation/s or color/s to correspond to work structure


Fill in cards for everything you read — even if only to remind you dismiss it — but also because many of the best ideas come from non-major authors.


This is academic humility: the knowledge that anyone can teach us something.  How to Write a Thesis by Umberto Eco — Summary - Remastery"

Some really great advice here and worth reading those articles!

NoteDex Benefits for Writers


  • Assemble any kind of writing - fiction, non-fiction, and screenplay projects

  • Drag and drop cards to reorganize and refine your flow of story or play

  • Define and track plots, characters, scenes and references

  • Search and find notecards - search by any keyword, filter by tags and groups

  • Create and write on all of your devices - NoteDex work on all systems - Mac, PC, Web and Mobile

  • Share your projects with other writers!

NoteDex features everything you are looking for in a writing and outlining app - and let us know if we can make the app even better.  Learn more about:


How to write a story using Index Cards

How to use a Storyboard Template for your Next Project

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