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Keeping track....


New Member
Hi all. First post so be gentle.

I was wondering what software people use to keep track of their fantasy universe. Ideally what I am looking for is a reasonably simple, multi-level database that allows me to write about a person, place or event and go back to it for reference purposes later or to edit as the story develops.

As an example, at the top level I would have the name of the World. Under this would be Places, People, Events etc. Within People I could then subcategorise even further with Main Characters, Royal Houses and Historical Figures.

I hope you get the gist. Any help/suggestions appreciated.


I'm a cheap bastard so I just use Google Drive and have a bunch of documents stuffed in a folder. Other than that you can get a wiki for free and use that.


I have a wiki but I never ended up using it. It seemed like it'd work.
I keep track of all my stuff through Excel and Word documents. I only ever use the one computer.


toujours gai, archie
Evernote or OneNote are certainly options worth considering. I use Scrivener and keep everything in there. I have a separate Scrivener project called World Reference, which holds all the kinds of things you list. Because I'm already familiar with the software for writing, it was natural to put my world building there as well.

I think if I did not use Scrivener, I'd probably use Evernote.


Article Team
I use wikipad to keep track of my initial notes, but once I start writing, I just use scrivener as a catch all. With scrivener you can create links like in a wiki to manage your notes, plus you can use it to write. Also you can export your manuscript into what ever format you want.

Two other programs you could look at that are a bit more strict in how you notes are organize are yWriter and Write it Now. yWriter is free. Write it now is a pay program much like Scrivener, but IMHO Scrivener is better.

Here are some links to the programs.

yWriter5 - Free writing software designed by an author, not a salesman

WriteItNow Creative Writing Software


As a cheap bastard; is Scrivener free? It sounds interesting, but I have 0 moneys to spend on such things.
Scrivener is not free - but it's pretty cheap, especially if you do a NaNoWriMo and get a 50% off discount (actually, I probably have one from winning NaNo, and I already have scrivener, so if you want it, ping me! :)). It's cheaper than buying Office, that's for sure, and SO handy for keeping all your work together.

That said, for worldbuilding, I am a new convert to the wiki approach. So handy for cross-referencing, adding images and links, etc. I use SlimWiki (free), because I wanted it to be online - I write across about four different devices (if you include my phone while I'm genuinely on the move). Evernote certainly looks super handy for the purpose, though I've never managed to get the hang of it.


Seconding (Thirding?) the OneNote suggestion. If you have Microsoft Office, you probably already have it. Pages, tabs, and sub-tabs, along with a decent search function, take care of all my info-organizing needs. But then again, I'm not an extensive worldbuilder; my setup is a tab with the current version of all names and terms, and a tab with almost stream-of-thought plot and world details.

e r i

I'm also a Scrivener user. I got it for a slightly discounted price, so it felt sweet :) I'm one of those people who's really picky about thing sin general, so if there is something that fits the bill and is moderately priced ~ a bit pricy I just dish out the doe. I find it's intuitive organising very helpful, but it's a bit crap for tables.


Myth Weaver
I used to go the Wiki route. Then I realised I was spending more time writing the Wiki than I was anything else... Now I'm back to folders and sub-folders. Old School but I can find what I want and each folder can grow as I need it to. There is the main copy on the Cloud [I use MS's Onedrive] and sync that/them to various hard drives.
Onenote and evernote have that functionality as well, if you install it on your computer, then you have copies on your pc and on their servers.


Fiery Keeper of the Hat
EverNote is free, and OneNote is part of Microsoft Word. I use both and they're both great programs. But I use OneNote for stories. It's got more of an open-space design that lets me move things around within a page that I really prefer. I feel creative in OneNote in ways that I don't in EverNote.

EverNote is a program that I use to clip an article from the internet, cut out the junk, and file away for later. I use it to save notes on using photoshop, or building a workout routine, or keeping recipes, or for my Mythic Scribes articles. Yes, you can create new notes and write in whatever you want, and structure them in the same way you would want to for a novel. But the program generally feels like it's more about organizing stuff than about giving you a space to create.


Heh, I've actually started using OneNote for my Mythic Scribes articles. I too like the way you can move things around. I started using it at work when we got Office 2013 installed last year, and then I got Office 2013 for my PC at home (work discount, score), and started using it there. Stories, brainstorming, blog posts, mythic scribes articles, organising Christmas presents and decorations etc, and even keeping track of my crochet projects.


I use YWriter free at the moment. It has tabs for different aspects of the world if I choose to use them for the purpose. Notes, characters, items, locations and whatnot so it is fairly easy to organize your stuff. I think I want to experiment with other things to see if it is really the best way for me.
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K.S. Crooks

I have an outline for my novels in a separate word document. I create a tables for vital information use different highlight colours to indicate which chapter something significant takes place. For instance if a character is introduced in chapter 2, I might highlight their name in the with yellow, chapter 10 using blue.


New Member
Thanks for the replies. I've gone with OneNote for now. Not exactly what I'm after but it's the closest fit. I tried Dramatica Pro but was a bit disappointed to be honest. Will update again if I find anything note worthy.