Structure and Organization

Fran Adams

After a successful week of note taking, let’s organize your dream. You do not have to, nor should you, immediately execute every minute detail you’ve written down.

The Main Ideas

Review your notes and pick out perhaps four or five main ideas and list them in an outline fashion. You should end up with a list of ideas that describe your chosen study in general terms which seem to flow from beginning to end. That’s your storyline.

Build this outline at a high level as it covers the entire study. A valuable tool in evaluating which general ideas should be included is to ask “Why?” Why is this idea so important it should be one of the four? Can it be combined with another into a more general category?

Occasionally, you might wish to include a particularly good idea, but it just doesn’t seem to fit anywhere. Put it aside. Over time, the place for that idea will become evident, and it can be worked into the fabric of the study with less effort. This is a work in progress.

What We Have

This initial planning exercise has resulted in a draft outline of your storyline. The remaining notes concerning colors, style, etc. will be used in our next steps, so keep them handy. We now build a four-level pyramid that incorporates your outline, materials, knowledge, labor and perspective. You may construct a pyramid with fewer or more levels – this exercise will use four.

Pyramid structure with four levels.

Pyramid structure with four levels.

A four-level pyramid is the basic digital study structure and should remain flexible enough to accommodate the addition of items at each level. As you add content or points of interest, you’ll find your overall storyline WILL change, so don’t lock yourself into a specific concept.

Watch for opportunities to expand each level with new points of interest, material and knowledge (remember those ideas that didn’t fit before?) This is a dynamic process and it will become more refined as it is implemented.

What comes next?

Digging into the pyramid structure, the subject of our next article. End of article marker.

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