Plan Your Progress: Tracking Tools for Writers


I know there are 999 million New Year’s resolutions posts floating around, but I had to add mine to the mix!

Just KIDDING. In truth, I just wanted to quickly share some organizational tools with you, because resolutions are a dime a dozen and most of us forget about them after a couple months anyway. GOALS are where it’s at. At the end of the year, wouldn’t it be cool to have a way to see what you’ve achieved? Especially in your writing life? Did you write 40,000 words or 340,000 words? Revise 25,000 words or 250,000? Read 3 books or 33? Critique 100K or nada?

There are so many ways to do this, and I’ll provide some basic info on a handful. Different strokes work for different folks.

So here we go!

The Sticker Method

Don’t laugh. It works. And it’s easy. Just track your goals with shiny stickers on a desk calendar. Voila. Here’s a link to author Victoria Schwab’s post on how she does this, and this pic below is a shot of one of my star sticker months:

Daily Planner/Journaling

I love planners. That said, they only work–as does anything else–if you actually document your stats in them. These are the planners I bought for the year:

All of this is from OfficeMax. The Planner and Calendar are via Inkwell Press.


This is my Powersheets Goal Setting Workbook via Lara Casey. You can find it and more info here.

I have also used the Erin Condren life planner, and it’s pretty awesome. There’s the Passion Planner too! It’s really up to you if daily planning is part of your method. You never know until you try! If you’re new to journaling, I suggest heading over to Pinterest for some ideas.

I love spreadsheets. I do. I love lists. And lists of numbers. Especially progress numbers. You can make your own, or you can check out these:
Writing/Revision Specific: Jamie Raintree’s Writing and Revision Tracker $8
  • Daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly writing statistics for up to 8 projects.
  • Customizable project names.
  • Monthly goal setting for writing and revisions for each project.
  • Project goal setting.
  • Visual calendar layout that automatically calculates your day, week, and month totals. Weeks start on Monday.
  • Revision tracking by word count or page number.
  • Graphs to display your progress toward your monthly writing and revision goals.
  • Yearly totals for each project, each month, for writing and revisions.
  • A writing and revisions grand total for the year.
  • Also works in Numbers for Mac users and, so far, any other spreadsheet program.
This spreadsheet covers any goal you might have for the year, whether it’s to finish a novel, run a 5K, save money, whatever. It’s in depth, but might give you ideas!
Reading Tracking
GOODREADS. Take the reading challenge! Make yourself a 2017 TBR list. Set a goal. Then at the end of the year, you can see if you made it. Here’s what mine looks like so far:
Whatever your methods, even if you don’t have any ;), I wish you a progress-filled 2017! May you read more, write more, create more, smile more, and love more!!! Good luck!

~ Charissa

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