Speare Support posted on Feb 13 2017 3:08AM

How to Create an Outline

Creating an outline in Speare is fairly simple. In general, these are the steps...

  1. Create a title building block for your outline

  2. Set the title building block as an "Outline"

  3. Enter the supporting content as building blocks for each sub-point

  4. Drag and drop the building blocks in the nested order that you want

    Note: To drag building blocks on a mobile device, you must first select the building blocks you want to move, then drag and drop the blue "Selection" tray as desired.

In the image below, I've entered a bunch of building blocks with the points I want to cover in my outline.

Now I want to structure it like an outline. Here's what I need to do...

Set the title building block as an "Outline"

  1. Checkmark the building block that will be the title of the outline

  2. Select the "List" icon

  3. Then select the "Outline" menu item

Nest the building blocks in the order I want them represented in the outline

  1. I selected the building blocks (Learn, Listen, Read, Experiment)

  2. Then I dropped them onto the "Consume Knowledge Daily" building block

  3. Next I selected the "Consume Knowledge Daily" building block

  4. Finally, I dragged and dropped the selected building block onto the "Outline" building block.

    Note: When you are in building block mode on boards, the alpha-numeric outline is not shown. The alpha-numeric outline is only shown when you compile the board.

Repeat the above process for each nested section in the outline

  1. In the second group, I nested the items (Desktop computer, Tablet, Smartphone, and Smartwatch) inside the "Devices" building block

  2. I did the same with "Keyboard" and "Texting" and nested these under the "Methods" building block

  3. Then I selected the "Devices" and "Methods" building blocks under "Collect and organize thoughts..." building block.

  4. And finally, I dragged and dropped the "Collect and organize thoughts..." building block onto the "5 Things Every Thought Leader Does"

    Note: when you repeatedly drop building blocks on top of a parent building block, each additional child block will be added to the bottom of the list.

Collapse sections as you go to make room to view the overall outline

  1. I added an image above the outline as a reference to what I'm building

    Note: to add an image to a board, click the picture icon to the right of the text box at the bottom of the board. Then select the image(s) you want to include on the board. You can drag and drop the images where you want them after they have been loaded at the bottom of the board.

  2. I collapsed each of the top 4 main points so I can see how I'm progressing

Format the main headings as you need

  1. I first selected the parent building block "5 Things..." and then selected "Header 2" from the "Markdown" drop down list.

  2. Next, I selected the second level outline items and chose "Heading 3"

    Note: To multi-select consecutive building blocks, you can select the first building block and then hold the Shift key down (or long hold on a mobile device) and select the last building block.

Now it's time to compile the outline in "Draft" mode

  1. Once I've organized, nested, and formatted the outline, all I need to do is click the "Compile" button at the top of the board.

  2. I now have options to copy the outline and paste it into a third-party application or print it out or save it as a draft.

    Note: These options are available only in "Draft" view when you compile the board or a set of boards.

One of the great things about side-by-side boards in Speare is that you can have your outline open next to the boards that represent each section. This way you can make sure you're following your outline as you write each section on a board.

There are numerous ways to use outlines in Speare.

Explore dragging and dropping and nesting building blocks to build your outlines. It's a great way to get your bigger writing projects organized. Many prolific and popular authors swear by them.