Writer’s Café – your pinboard.

Dear reader, fellow Writer’s Café user, curious visitor,

Today I am going to let you have a look at the possibilities of the pinboard in my favourite author software.

The pinboard is a very nifty place where you can stick notes and pictures, shuffle them, colour them, and stare at them.

Getting started with the pinboard.

After opening Writer’s Café, you can press Ctrl-6 to go to the pinboard pane. You can also click the shortcut on the W.C. desktop:

Either of these actions will show you a screen like this:

New pinboard

Note that you have to click the “New” button or press Ctrl-N to prepare a new pinboard-file. After you did that, you can add your first note. Right-click anywhere in the screen. You will see a menu with several options, the first one being “New text note”. Let’s click that:

New text note

As you see in the image, the toolbar for formatting your note is available. You can start typing your note right away. You can add as much text as you want, and with the little black control at the right hand bottom you can resize the note to your liking. If you desire to add a caption to the note, simply click the titlebar of the note. There a typing cursor will appear and you enter your caption text. Pressing ‘enter’ or clicking outside the title-area will store your entered text:

Note with title and text

Of course we are not limited to white notes. Writer’s Café allows colours and changes in font, so you can make things as clear and pretty as you like:

Coloured note

But the possibilities of the pinboard do not end here. You can also add pictures and even complete slideshows. Once you added a picture, you can also edit the properties (for instance size):

Picture-note with properties-window

You can group notes by simply stacking them on top of each other. If you then select the set (dragging the mouse over the area they are in while holding the mouse button) you can move the entire group to another place.

To give you an idea how I use the pinboard in practice, here is an image from one of the projects I still am working on:

Live pinboard

In this schema there are a few storyline plots running next to each other. There is a large main one in the left hand top. A small one with some scribbled ideas that might fit in the large one. A second line with three main parts, they belong together so I stacked them in a way they are all still legible, and so on. And then there is the big one with the red background. This contains crucial questions that still require an answer. Feel free to click the image for a bigger version. The text is in Dutch, so that might be a bit disappointing.

I hope this little tour has given you an impression on how you can employ the pinboard as a valuable tool in your writing. It is a wonderful way to organise thoughts, move characters and keep plot-lines in sight.

Remember: you can get a free trial version of Writer’s Café at the Writer’s Café website. Writer’s Café runs on Microsoft Windows, just about any flavour of Linux, and on Mac computers.

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