Disclaimer: This Plottr review is a sponsored post by Plottr.com, one of my official NaNoWriMo 2022 partners. All reviews and opinions expressed in this post are honest and based on personal views.
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Whether you’re an Outliner or a Pantser, a beginner, or an established writer, my in-depth Plottr review will help you learn more about this popular outlining alternative and understand why writers love using this tool during their writing process.
So, stay with me until the end of the post and claim your FREE 14-day access to Plottr Pro features. Cheers!
Table of Contents
- Plottr Review 2023: From An Author’s Perspective
- What is Plottr?
- Plottr’s Basic & Paid Features
- Plottr for Outlining Templates
- Plottr Review: Benefits for Writers
- How I Used Plottr for NaNoWriMo 2022, Intuitive Writing, & Self-Healing?
- How Much Does Plottr Cost?
- Plottr App Review: From Other Writers’ Honest Views
- Review #1: “Awesome outlining tool for an easier plotting experience.”
- Review #2: “A user-friendly visual plotter that improves flexibility.”
- Review #3: “A writer’s must-have for developing solid story structure.”
- Review #4: “Encourages intuitive writing space for writers.”
- Review #5: “A freelance writer’s perfect app for organizational needs.”
- Review #6: “Writer’s best friend when redesigning story structures.”
- Plottr Software Pros & Cons
- Best Free & Paid Plottr Alternatives in 2023
- Conclusion – Is Plottr Writing Software the Best, Free Alternative?
Plottr Review 2023: From An Author’s Perspective
Before we go through the details, why do writers need outlining apps? (Leave your answers in the comment section below.)
Jami Fairleigh, a Japanese-American fantasy author from the Pacific Northwest, described her positive experience with outlining tools.
In her blog, she explained how plotting software helped her speed up her writing progress and finish more book titles than without them.
“The lack of progress inevitably sucked away my creative energy, and my unwritten novels died from neglect. I didn’t know why my ideas died, but looking back, I suspect my progress stalled because I didn’t understand (or know about) story structure.”Jami Fairleigh
So, why should you care?
The reason is simple.
Writing a great book requires learning how to craft a solid story structure. This is why I want to share an in-depth Plottr review today.
Are you ready? Let’s begin. Shall we?
What is Plottr?
If Scrivener is too expensive for your budget, Plottr is your next bet.
It is a brand-new, ground-breaking writing tool currently accessible on various devices, including third-party storage service platforms (such as Dropbox, iCloud, and OneDrive).
Developed by Fictional Devices, LLC, it is a visual outlining app made by authors for all writers and was released as a flagship digital, downloadable product for cheaper subscription plans.
Who was the Plottr App designed for?
No matter what type of writer you are—novelist, screenwriter, dramatist, academic, journalist, student, or digital/freelance writer—you may benefit from the most excellent alternative writing tools many others can reconsider.
Famous bloggers and successful authors like Mark Manson and Dave Chesson, to mention a few, have also awarded this tool high marks.
In addition to offering the award-winning capabilities essential for creating amazing stories, it has also received praise from these individuals.
Are you the next one? (Let me know in the comment section below.)
Plottr’s Basic & Paid Features
For only $25, you can sign up for a basic plan and enjoy unlimited features writers from all walks of life would love using and enjoy working with, such as the following:
- Available in iOS and Android versions
- Light and dark mode themes
- Easily organize details for your series
- Building your story’s timelines
- Developing your plot outline
- Adding and saving notes
- Discovering interesting characters
- Keeping records of places
- Assigning relevant book tags
- Seamless integrations for exported files from Word and Scrivener
Plottr App Features for All Paid Plans
Paid users can access Plottr’s standard features, secure and backup the files, and sync them across the devices connected to the account. These devices include iOS- and Android-supported phones and tablets.
You will also receive a whole year of free software updates and lifetime access to your account once you sign up for any of these plans. All plans include the following features:
- Access on desktop or mobile
- Access to use Plottr offline
- Save files locally (except for Plottr Pro)
- Local backups available
- All offline features
Plottr for Outlining Templates
- Adventure Plot
- Jami Gold Romance
- Take Off Your Pants
- Victor Pineiro Screenplay
- 8 Sequences Method
- Billy Mernit Romance Seven Beats
- Hero’s Journey
- 7-Point Plot Structure
- 12-Chapter Mystery Formula
- Dan Harmon’s Story Circle
- Michael Hauge Six Stage
- Shonen Battle Manga Formula
- Save the Cat by Blake Snyder
What Does Plottr Software Do & Don’t Do?
Before you purchase the outlining software, I encourage you to try Plottr’s features. You must know this tool’s prerequisites first to ensure you won’t have trouble using this app.
Depending on your preferred Operating System (OS), your system must be at least Windows XP, 8.1, to Windows 11 for the Plottr software to work.
It can also run in all current macOS versions for as long as Apple keeps its end-of-life dates for supported devices, such as the following:
- OS X v10.14 “Mojave”
- OX X v10.15 “Catalina”
- macOS 11 “Big Sur”
- macOS 12 “Monterey”
- For Apple Silicon (M1) systems, Rosetta may be required
PLEASE NOTE: If you aren’t sure Plottr works with your current OS, the developers highly recommend downloading and installing the writing software at no cost. Once finished, run the program and check if it works properly as it should.
Plottr vs. Plottr Pro: Which one should I choose?
What is the difference between Plottr and Plottr Pro accounts? Which is better, you ask?
According to the developer’s website, the free user will only have the standard features, which will offer you a limited experience than those who opt for the Pro version.
However, it doesn’t mean you can’t use the free trial access for testing purposes. Even if you are ready to spend and invest in your writing tools, you must make sure Plottr works for your existing OS.
Creating a Plot Outline for Your Series Using Plottr
Regardless you’re an Outliner or a Pantser, spending more time creating a quality plot outline for your series is better.
This will save you time and speed up your writing process. Even though you don’t have to be ultra-detailed, an outline will save your face from inconsistency.
Plottr Review: Benefits for Writers
If you’re an Outliner, the Plottr writing software app promises a great option to visually organize the details of your characters, places, events, etc., in one place.
On the other hand, if you think you’re a Pantser, you may face a handful of challenging situations when using this tool, i.e., intuitive writers loathe planning and outlining.
Despite these, any Pantser, aka the Intuitive Writers (coined by Lauren Sapala, author of The INFJ Writer), can still benefit from the plotting features.
But here’s a catch.
Using Plottr as an intuitive writer…
Intuitive writing was never friends with outlining. As an intuitive writer, I don’t rely on following a systematic writing process when writing stories.
During the first few weeks of November, I struggled to create outlines and timelines using Plottr. Born with an INFJ personality, I felt trapped between 2 choices:
- Could I keep up following a systematic writing process using a plotting tool? (You’d done this a dozen times in the last 8 years. You know it didn’t work.)
- If I follow the outline I create, would that prevent me from allowing intuition to flow…again? (You’d tried this, too. You tried outlining your stories, only to feel disappointed because you did not follow the outline.)
So, I spent days, which turned into weeks, searching for suitable approaches to use both. The challenge was to find a balance between two opposing writing principles.
As a Pantser, I was used to writing scenes without outlines, and here’s my story.
How I Used Plottr for NaNoWriMo 2022, Intuitive Writing, & Self-Healing?
Last month, depression may have fogged my brain. But I had no doubts about reaching the 50K-word mark and becoming part of NaNoWriMo’s Winner Circle.
Writing for long hours, for a whole day, won’t be a problem as long as I did two of my routines to ease. Otherwise, I would expect to see myself in a shitshow amid the increasing anxiety levels covering my entire body.
Of course, I didn’t want to end up like that. I had to do something to keep me going because there was no going back. With or without anxieties and panic attacks. With or without depressive episodes. It didn’t matter.
To overcome the lifelong impacts of childhood trauma, I had to do it, even if it meant enduring the constant pain radiating from my chest to my back. I knew it sounded stupid, but I had to relearn how to stay still, as if I was comfortable with this.
When creating believable worlds and developing real and relatable characters, installing Plottr alone won’t be enough.
Without sparing a few minutes to listen to how my body felt, I’ll be uncertain if I could write the scenes and chapters as effectively as possible.
How Much Does Plottr Cost?
To understand your spending options better, you need to know the three (3) available plans and how they differ in price ranges. Below is a screenshot of the pricing details, including the features they offer for each plan.
The Plottr app pricing depends on whether you opt for an Annual Plan or a Lifetime Plan, the number of supported devices, yearly updates, supported features included, and many more.
- The Annual Plan will cost you $25 for the basic plan to $79 for Pro access.
- The Lifetime Plan will start from $99 to $249 (the best deal, originally from $299).
Does Plottr writing software have a free trial?
Is Plottr free? Yes, without asking for your credit card details, which is great (for me).
As I mentioned, the team recommends you start by signing up for a free trial before installing the Plottr writing software and purchasing any plans.
For how long does Plottr free download last?
After you sign up, you will have free access to Plottr’s winning outlining features for 14 days. In other words, you only have two (2) weeks to explore, feel, learn the app controls, and decide whether you continue the subscription plan or stop.
PLEASE NOTE: Within the same timeframe (14 days), ensure you update or correct personal information, payment method, or cancelation if needed. If you upgrade your subscription plan, their system will automatically communicate your preferred payment method.
Plottr App Review: From Other Writers’ Honest Views
In this section, you will meet extraordinary writers from various platforms and all walks of life, feel the weight of their words, and hear their thought-provoking insights through collected excerpts from their blogs and other review platforms for this blog post.
It isn’t about trying to prove and validate my point but learning and understanding the essence of writing this Plottr review.
It is common sense to listen to other people’s honest perspectives first and learn the stories from both sides without attachment and cognitive bias.
Review #1: “Awesome outlining tool for an easier plotting experience.”
Like any writing tool, Plottr has both positive and negative feedback. As Dave Chesson, founder of Kindlepreneur, had outlined, the app offers writers an easy-to-navigate writing space and a customizable plotting tool.
“Every outlining tool has its pros and cons, but Plottr stands out from the crowd when it comes to simplicity and ease of use… [It] is another awesome outlining tool that will make your plotting experience easier,” Chesson wrote in his article published on his blog.
He also noted a few more concerns, such as software update errors and having no writing space for writers to write drafts while note-taking, for example.
If that makes sense, moving scene cards and creating new timelines will be easier if resolved.
Regarding the company’s unclear pricing structure, instead of one-time payments in their plans, he encouraged. According to Chesson, offering yearly subscriptions is a better option for their users.
Review #2: “A user-friendly visual plotter that improves flexibility.”
According to Deej Tulleken, Plottr is a user-friendly visual plotter that helps improve his writing flexibility. Adjusting the story structure doesn’t overwhelm new users, encouraging them to break down the story structure into specific details.
“Plottr looks good at first glance [as] it also works good in the beginning. However, when your content gets just a bit complex, it makes you lose it. I lost many hours of work. Plus, the export function will create an unreadable Word document. Their support is aware of it but not able to fix it,” a dissatisfied user, Akhaniq, wrote on Product Hunt.
Review #3: “A writer’s must-have for developing solid story structure.”
Travis C., writer, coach, and education lead, mentioned on G2 the convenience Plottr could provide when outlining the story structure. His review highlighted the writing software’s responsiveness, allowing more flexibility and inviting collaborative work.
Furthermore, he also explained the bugs he had experienced using this app. He said he had issues updating existing files and importing them from Scrivener.
Review #4: “Encourages intuitive writing space for writers.”
Not only did Plottr impress her with a simple writing workspace, matching the intuitive feel most writers need when developing a solid story structure.
“You can mix and match templates to build your own or start from scratch. When writing a series, you can keep multiple books in the same project, allowing you to reuse characters and places and flip between books easily,” Fairleigh said.
In contrast with popular writing apps, this feature allowed her to create timelines and record the scenes in each chapter. It helped her keep on track with her writing progress and scene-level revisions.
Review #5: “A freelance writer’s perfect app for organizational needs.”
Intuitive. Sophisticated. Affordable.
Three words Mel Lee-Smith, an established freelance writer, used to describe the Plottr app as writing software in her blog. Here’s why.
Lee-Smith explained how the app had helped her play around and wanted to start writing again. She mentioned spending long hours for a seamless plotting workflow.
“I’ve spent, who knows how many hours trying to configure a seamless plotting workflow across paper scene cards, physical notebooks, and other writing software. Plottr seems like the perfect fit for my organizational needs,” she said.
She recommended its user-friendly interface and the invaluable tutorials and resources available as outlined below:
- It offers many color options for creating timelines and tagging series.
- It encourages writers to take advantage of custom character attributes.
- It allows writers to see the scenes in context, craft a great story through its filtered timelines, and outline character attributes.
Review #6: “Writer’s best friend when redesigning story structures.”
According to a review article published on Lulu Blog, Plottr is great for writing and planning a series. Aside from its impressive, clean User Interface (UI), writers can enjoy the ease of redesigning their story structure until satisfied.
But here’s the catch.
“Plottr takes a bit of setup and time to get your story in there and get the Timeline even close to ready. It’s easy enough to do, but it does take time,” Paul H., a Content Marketing Manager at Lulu, warned.
A commenter named Erik Bundy agreed, saying the learning curve the Plottr app requires from its users. Although he bought it, its learning curve discouraged him as it took more time than the writing process itself.
Since its launch, it has received complaints for unfixed bugs and other software errors, such as the inability to update the software, as Dave Chesson, founder of Kindlepreneur, pointed out.
Plottr Software Pros & Cons
At this point, you learn your advantages and disadvantages when using Plottr to outline and plan your books. Below are the outlined summaries detailing this app’s pros and cons.
- Plottr is a cheaper alternative for writers.
- Especially those who cannot afford access to premium writing apps, such as Dabble Writer or Scrivener
- The app is packed with essential story-outlining tools to help writers organize their stories and speed up their writing process.
- It provides a safe, decluttered writing space.
- It is a “one-stop shop” for story outlining purposes apt for all writers, such as novelists, screenwriters, playwrights, etc.).
- It offers an array of learning opportunities for writers, new and established, to expand their horizons in their craft.
- The company also offers writers income-earning opportunities through its affiliate program. (Click here to apply)
- It has excellent customer service support.
- Encountering file export issues from Scrivener 3 (latest version)
- Struggled with the card-flipping experience (without opening and closing each)
- Increase the number of photos to add for the characters or places
- Problems with saving custom attributes, preventing users from applying the template to all scene cards in a specific project
- User experience needs improvement when adding starter templates
- Requires you to finish the story structure outline before exporting files.
- Cannot access my account entirely after the trial ended
- It would have been better if I could still access my account and files but could not perform specific actions for paid plans, such as “Create a new project.”
Best Free & Paid Plottr Alternatives in 2023
This section will look at alternative apps for writers, especially those potentially rising in demand and popularity next year.
Recommended FREE plotting app alternatives:
- Story Plotter (free mobile app)
- Dreamily (AI-generated content for writing prompts)
- Notion (for note-taking and progress tracking)
- Trello (for organizing)
- Story Grid Spreadsheet
- WriterP (for note-taking)
- Google Sheets
Recommended PAID app alternatives:
- Scrivener (free trial, paid)
- Dabble Writer (free trial, paid)
Conclusion – Is Plottr Writing Software the Best, Free Alternative?
With the points considered in my Plottr review, despite being a new writing software, the Plottr app looked promising and is worth the try, even though other alternatives are available.
Based on the reviews we discussed, the app’s features attract many writers for clear reasons.
First, it is easy to use, although you might have to spend more time on the learning curve. As you familiarize yourself with its features, you’ll know how to customize the Plottr app according to your writing needs.
Second, this writing tool is a heaven’s gift for many writers looking for cheaper alternatives. Not everyone can spend much on tools like this, let alone paying for Scrivener’s subscription plans.
Interested? SIGN UP today.
Author’s final thought to ponder:
If you plan to write novels in 2023, this outlining app can provide the winning features to create beautiful worlds easily and develop a strong story structure. However, you must bear in mind the issues many earlier users reported.
For instance, many writers, including me, wished to have an easier way to work on the scene cards, rearranging them while creating new timelines without getting confused and lost or the need to open and close the tabs all the time.
Nevertheless, Plottr is great for writers who can’t afford popular alternatives like Scrivener or Dabble Writer app. Though a cheaper go-to option, it remains one of the best writing/outlining tools for ambitious writers like you.
How about you? What do you think about the Plottr app?
Would you consider using it for your future writing projects?
If so, how? (Drop your answers in the comment section below! Let’s engage.)
Thank you for your time! Have a great day. 🙂
P.S.: If my latest in-depth Plottr review has helped you a lot today, please share this post with your friends and family. 😀