I typically start out my cases using Mindjet mapping software. I create a couple of second level bullets, in the following categories: Background information, leverage, risk/reward, client goals and phase one/two/three deliverables. Oftentimes, I will continue to extend the mind map throughout the case, editing and adding as I go along. It always amazes me at the end of a particular project to look back at the mind map and realize that we followed the strategic plan to a tee and delivered each and every deliverable defined at the very beginning of the project.
Mind mapping software from Mindjet is far superior to outlining in Microsoft Word or other outlining tools. To be able to launch a go-to meeting at the end of a project and show the client the very mind map you started with is extremely powerful, especially when you deliver each and every item you promised on the front end.