There were a couple of other questions about this, but they were asked many years ago, so I thought I'd start a new one.

For a long time, I used Wiki on a Stick to organise my worlds and allow for easy access. That software is no longer supported and doesn't work with more recent browsers. From there, I created my own website through HTML and CSS to function in a similar way. It works well enough, but it's a very slow process to go through all the time.

So, can anyone recommend me either paid or free software that is useful for storing information about different worlds, characters and so on, with an easy way to navigate between them and room for images.

  • 2
    It might be easier to answer this if you at least specify your platform; Windows, OS X, Linux, Apple iOS (iPhone, iPad), Android, ...
    – user
    Commented Sep 29, 2013 at 18:50
  • What are your requirements? That will definitely influence the answers. Does it need to be a relational database? can it be a set of linked text files? Does it have to be all in one application, or can it be one for world-building and one for writing? Commented Sep 29, 2013 at 20:29
  • I don't need to do any actual story writing in it, I just need it to be a place to store rundowns on characters, worlds, etc. For PC and I don't mind whether it's a full-on database or simple file linking. As long as it can be organised.
    – user5965
    Commented Sep 30, 2013 at 3:07
  • Notebook.ai is a really good website, you have to pay but its pretty good considering the amount of content you can access.
    – Anonymous
    Commented Aug 10, 2018 at 11:46

9 Answers 9


TiddlyWiki is my choice. It's a free-as-in-beer single-page wiki system in the form of a single HTML file you open with your favorite browser and edit via clicking on links to create new sections called Tiddlers.

You can build out chapters, and internal links, and categorize different types of articles.

Works great, but depends on a Java plug-in so YMMV if you are not up-to-date on your JRE and Chrome can be really really temperamental with it.

Even with those issues, it's a great tool. Check it out.

[Update 2019 -still a great tool but has split a bit, as I mention in the comment. Think Python 2/3 - if you're just getting started use the "new" flavor at tiddlywiki.com, but many are still using the classic version.

Either way, you'll want Tiddly Desktop for editing in thie era of CORS and walled browser gardens.]

  • I couldn't see any demos of TiddlyWiki on that page. Do you know of any?
    – minseong
    Commented Nov 1, 2019 at 18:31
  • TiddlyWiki has split a bit into "Classic" (managed by Eric Schulman) and "new" (managed by jermolene). This link is to the new TiddlyWiki and some of its new capabilities. You should also check out TiddlyWiki Desktop (searchable) for a good desktop Tiddly editing environment. tiddlywiki.com/static/Examples.html
    – lonstar
    Commented Nov 3, 2019 at 3:03
  • @ionstar great update. Have an upvote and a virtual cup of tea, sir. Commented Nov 7, 2019 at 16:30

I've always used mindmaps as a way to quickly brainstorm (and more importantly, organize/reshuffle) my thoughts.

Freemind is the app I've used for many years, but its a bit clunky. Recently I've started using MindMup, which is browser based and allows you to store your documents in Google Drive, or in Dropbox.


I use the Gollum wiki. It works well for me. There's no database, just wiki-formatted text files. It uses the git version control system so you have a history of every change you make (and you don't have to know how to use git, it does it all for you). Very nice and extremely simple to use - you just start it up and do all your edits in a web browser.

The only downside it doesn't run on Windows, only Unix-based systems (e.g. OS X, Linux).


I've found a few cool tools that might be helpful to you. They are all pretty new, but I bet each one of them would be helpful to you.

The first 2 are online tools and the third one is a download. The first two have free plans and the third one has a free trial.

All of them allow you to organize notes about your world, characters, and settings. They help you outline the story and the first two also let you write the story too.

  • Update: as of December 2019 Plotist is shutting down Commented Nov 8, 2019 at 18:43

I use Google Sites for my worldbuilding. If you need an example, view my page here. It takes time and effort, but you can design it like a wiki. Google Sites is extremely user-friendly and best of all, it's free! However, don't upload too many large files (images should be fine but music and videos start to add up after a while) or else it makes you buy more space.


Just wanted to put in a word for the Novel Factory (http://www.novel-software.com. Disclosure, I am the creator).

It's aimed at organising all aspects of a novel, including locations, characters, plots and research.

There's a strong emphasis on it being easy and intuitive to use, and allowing lots of images.

It's free to try.


Scrivener is the writer's go to tool. I use it for my writing, and it stores everything about my worlds, from characters, to maps, to the things in the world, their descriptions, etc.

I don't see why it wouldn't work for you for this. It is a digital 3-ring binder. You can put links from one "page" to another. You can include pictures, clippings, whatever you can think of.

It is personal though. It isn't a multi-user platform like a wiki. Originally it was designed for the Mac, but I've been using their PC version for some time, just fine.

  • 1
    I just have one question: is it free? Commented Oct 10, 2018 at 0:22
  • @TheWeaselSagas Scrivener is $49 and has a 30 day free trial. A trial day is only counted on a day you open the program. Can't hurt to try it out, some people swear by it.
    – David Gay
    Commented Jan 16, 2020 at 3:09


I personally have 2 (free) accounts on Evernote, that share almost all notes, meaning I can use them on all my devices. There are online and downloaded versions of the notes application for all devices to my knowledge, and you can create notes or "notebooks" (notebooks contain multiple notes) for things such as "characters", "world", "plot points", "ideas", "to do", "the story" and so on - It allows for a wide range of attachments such as links and images if you want it.

I've been using it for years now and I'm quite fond of it.

I personally have multiple notebooks roughly named:

  • Work (I'm a teacher)
  • Writing (my creating writing on my novel)
  • Texts/Lyrics (I compose music)
  • Random notes

All the notebooks above then contain multiple notes.

Would definitely recommend!


I mean, I use World Anvil, along with 1.3 million others. But then, I would, because I made it! :D

  • 1
    Welcome to Writing.SE! Thank you for disclosing your affiliation with World Anvil. Would you mind going into more detail as to how your software fits the OP's requirements? "Try using X" isn't really an answer without explaining why using X would be a good idea.
    – F1Krazy
    Commented Apr 15, 2021 at 12:28

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