Outlines are helpful for people who lack control or have an affinity for predictable forms. True, outlines can be useful for writing under deadlines, but, in my experience, essays that have irregular and unpredictable forms are more captivating–have longer lifelines. The trick to writing these kinds of essays is this: color on the line. This allows the boundary line to dissolve altogether. What was outside is in and what was inside is out. The Beatles wrote a song about it. This technique is kind of like coloring outside the line without drawing your reader away from the big picture.