Some writers use outlines. I guess my outline is more of a brainstorming session. I know where I want my story to go but I am open to change. I do, however, use a timeline. A timeline is a wonderful tool - allowing for easy reference. I believe there are timeline programs available but I'm "old school." I like drawing my timeline and filling in the information. The events of my story are listed in chronological order. I add my characters as they appear - along with the chapter/page number. Off to the side, I add notes giving a detailed explanation of events such as the day of the week the event occurred. I also add other information that I can access at a glance. When writing OF DREAMS AND SHADOW, I found it necessary to create Jenna's school schedule. I had to know her class periods and the teachers as much of Jenna's activities were happening during school hours. It is important a story stays true to the "facts" that the writer assigns to it. A timeline helps achieve this.