Summer seems a strange time to think about planners for writers.
Most changes in our lives happen during the summertime. The radiant sun shines on changes we need to make. The long days give us the time needed to make those changes.
And planners ~ with daily tracking of our goals ~ help us turn those changes into daily habit.
Want to help writers achieve success?
Consider one of these three planners for writers. Each is priced $1 a month or less.
Word Trekker, a bare-bone 6 x 9 planner with a hiking focus. See below for Info. Link to purchase is here. This one is less than $12.
Writing Nest, a project planner, sized 8 x 10, that breaks projects into workable increments. Here’s the buy link.
Think/Pro, a planner for newbie writers. 8 x 10, it’s designed to convert a hobby writer into a writer with a professional commitment. This planner for newbies is here: https://www.amazon.com/Think-Pro-Planner-M-Lee/dp/1983248673/
See below for more information.
planners for writers Who want bare-bones word-tracking.
Welcome to Word Trekker, a planner for writers who want to write for speed and the long-haul.
What helps writers achieve those two goals? For speed, we need to concentrate our mental energies on writing daily. For the long haul, we need to know our projects, current and next and future. When we focus on speed and longevity, we write more than we ever have before.
Word Trekker accomplishes these goals by advance planning for our projects and tracking our words daily, monthly, quarterly, and yearly.
We won’t spend a lot of time yakking in this planner. The goal is words, words, words.
The first difference are the opening project pages. We set three quarterly projects, one per month. On a simple Kanban Board, we can visualize what we want to achieve.
The second difference is matching our words to the step-count for the Triple Crown of Hiking.
- Pacific Crest Trial > 2,650 miles
- Continental Divide Trail > 3,100 miles
- Appalachian Trial > 2,193
- AT international extension into Canada 1,319 >> 2, 193 with 1,319 = 3,512
One hiking mile = 100 words.
As hikers venture along each trail, they trek from state to state. Setting the Triple Crown of Hiking as a writing goal keeps us going through the year.
The Triple Crown of Hiking provides us our long-term goal while the three mid-term goals and the state-by-state short-term goals to help us achieve that long-term goal. We’ll reach success by matching word counts to the distance achieved in each state and finishing each trail.
Achieving each part of a project creates an incentive to move to the next project.
When we match hiking’s Triple Crown to written words, those 9,672 miles become 967,200 words, shy of one million by 32,800. That’s the length of a novella or a handful of short stories and relatively easy to achieve and reach One Million Words.
One Million Words per year is a significant writing goal, the kind of goal set by those published writers who want to make a living with words.
One often-used motivation technique is to have Check offs. Whether for a To-Do List or a chart for major parts of a long-term project, these are widely known as excellent for productivity.
The meat of this planner is the weekly spread. Track daily words and accumulate the count, note anything extra about current projects, and schedule dates and appointments. We’ve provided five weeks for each month. Start & end on the appropriate day. Number in the dates for the month, and everything is ready to start tracking. Run the month, not the weeks.
Last day of the month, we record our running total on a monthly list. We prep for the next month by noting the next project and its word count goal, whether a new one or a continuation.
That’s it. Start your One Million Words goal at any time, and achieve it with the Word Trekker planner.
Planners for Writers who Think in Projects
What is the greatest motivator to achieve our writing goals? A record of our achievements.
In looking back, we see our progress through each stage of a project. We can anticipate our celebration of those major achievements.
How do we record those achievements? We utilize a practical method to track the long-term and short-term goals. Projects are achieved with inch-worm steps.
Long-term goals are easy to set. Breaking the long-term goals into short-term goals helps us slog through the slow times. Those slow slogs can lead us to think we’re not achieving, yet a simple record will keep us motivated to continue on.
Where can we keep that record of achievements, short-term and long-term? A daily system that builds to mid-term benchmarks and seasonal achievements. That system should help us not only record our achievements but also set our long-term and short-term goals.
True success comes with the successful completion of each stage.
We may have to re-seed our plans whenever life intrudes, and the daily / monthly / seasonal system should allow that re-seeding to occur.
When can we begin that record? Anytime, when we use an undated planner.
An undated planner lets us start any day of the year. We’re not bound to a January start or a mid-year start. Yearly and academic planners force us into their system. With an undated, we can start in March or May, April or August, October or December. We can also skip weeks when life becomes hectic or when we plunge into a vacation.
The Writing Nest planner offers everything we need to achieve our goals.
We begin with setting our goals for the season. Skip to the current season; come back later to the other seasons. Turn a couple of pages, and we reach planning pages for the first season. Plan for one, two, or three top projects, whether those are new or on-going.
Each month, we review our achievements and preview our benchmarks. This recurring two-page spread also contains a “Wishes were Horses” section, for those above-and-beyond tasks we hope to achieve.
The majority of the planner is the weekly two-page spread. We set our top three tasks for the week then plan & record our daily progress with those tasks. Each day also offers an added-in task for short chores. For writers tracking word-count, we can record our daily tally and maintain a running tally, whether that’s for the week, for the month, or for the year.
Each week, we need to work on our writing business. Creativity, promotions, publishing, and media presence are important elements for a long career in writing. We also need activities that will burn off steam, whether we do that with an adrenaline rush, an emotional purge, an intellectual re-set, or a great celebration.
The year culminates with another two-page spread. First, we estimate our productivity and consider how much more we can do. Then we work through a comparison chart of this year with next year.
The Writing Nest planner contains bonus pages. The goal of writing is a long-term career doing what we love. Unfortunately, the word career means that writing is not only fun but also a business. With our guidance, create a business plan with SMART goals. Consider courses that will improve craft. Detail plans for networking.
Best of all, the Writing Nest planner fits on the corner of our desks to remain readily available with an eye-catching beauty. The 8 x 10 size is easily transportable in a backpack or tote bag along with a laptop or tablet.
Planners for Writers who need to become Devoted
Want to be published?
- Do you start stories but never complete them? Do you wait on your muse while she hides behind trees and in caves?
- Do you know how to write, but the mountainous novel seems insurmountable, with too many words and too few days?
- Do you keep telling yourself “Carpe Diem”, but days speed by before you grab several hours to write?
Time to change “Seize the Day” into “Seize the Dream.”
For success, you need to Think/Pro. This planner can help.
The weekly spread keeps you focused on three tasks, with room to record your day-by-day focus as well as a word count tracker for daily and accumulating totals. The Progress Meter, divided into writing stages and blocks for each ten percent of that stage, is a visual representation of your growing achievement in reaching your writing goal.
Reminders of the four basic Healthy Habits (walking, water intake, sunshine, and diet) offer daily fill-ins for those who like habit trackers. Each week also showcases an inspirational quotation from a famous writer.
In addition to the weekly spread are Monthly Reviews & Previews and Seasonal & Yearly Planning pages. The planner begins with a brief look at your yearly goals, on the following page.
The Monthly Review has a Productivity Tracker and a Progress Meter as well as places to jot down Business Contacts and Expenses. Once tax time arrives, you will have compiled the necessary information in one location. And a Tax Tips for Writers lists on a back page the expenses you can record.
Seasonal Previews ask you to polish the nuts and bolts of your projected words per week and sharpen up the time remaining before your deadline. All the Reviews ask you to record your victories and consider your challenges.
The purpose of any planner is to keep us on track as well as to give us a look ahead. In this fast-paced world, it helps to have a physical reminder, one that is not dependent on the five and more tap-clicks that it takes to access the electronic calendar on a smartphone.