Below are a few writing productivity tools and techniques shared by Lafayette faculty who attended a Faculty Writing Retreat. 

The Pomodoro Technique

Steps involve creating a writing goal, setting a timer for 25 minutes, writing to achieve the goal until the timer rings, taking a 5 minute break, and performing additional pomodoro rounds. After 4 rounds, a longer (e.g. 20-30 minute) break is taken.  A general internet search can yield a variety of apps that support this technique.

Focus Mode

Turning on the focus mode can help create a distraction-free environment conducive for writing. Enabling this mode can depend on the operating system (e.g. Windows or iOS), and instructions on how to do so can typically be found by performing a quick internet search.   A variety of other software programs with distraction-free interfaces are also available. 


In this technique, a visual display or diagram is created to organize writing.  The major subject or topic is written in the center. Branches are made from the center for each related thought or idea. More branches can be drawn from established branches to add more ideas. Mind-mapping can be helpful for initially organizing a scholarly writing project such as a research manuscript, book, book chapter, or essay. This technique can also be used to map out research ideas for a writing project.  

Google Keep

This software program can be helpful for writing and taking notes. Notes can be arranged to organize ideas for scholarly writing project. 

**Do you have a writing tool or technique that works well for you that is not mentioned above? Please feel free to share it by contacting We’d love to add to this growing list.