Writing Tools

I’ve developed numerous tools to help me track my writing. My current stories and submissions are tracked through a complicated Access database that provides the features I’ve enjoyed with commercial products, but allows me to make changes as I wish, including new features. My Excel spreadsheets are relatively extensive, so some may prove useful to other writers. Feel free to download, use, and modify these spreadsheets. I take no responsibility for bugs, but if I make significant improvements, I may post a newer version at a later date. If you make an improvement that you’d like to share, feel free to email me a copy.

On this page, you will find some of the templates that I have found effective in tracking my goals, plotting novels, or anything else I can figure out a solution to that involves Excel.

Daily/Monthly/Yearly Word Count Tracker (NEW! 01/15/2012)Inspired by Jamie Todd Rubin’s article on tracking writing goals. See the field annotations in the comments on the various headers or go to the article here: http://www.jamierubin.net/2012/01/13/tracking-my-writing-goals-with-scrivener-evernote-and-google-spreadsheets/ (Saved in Excel 2000/2003, but created in Excel 2010)2012 Writing Stats
A spreadsheet for tracking promotion of your works (NEW 10/17/2011)Read the specifics in this blog postExcel 2003 Reviewer Tracking (.xls)
Excel 2007 Reviewer Tracking (.xlsx)
Plotting Scenes by Point of View/Version 6 (updated 12/04/08)An Excel version of Holly Lisle’s Index Card Plotting Method combined with Lazette Gifford’s Phase Outline and my own tweaks to allow scene outlining and progress tracking. Upgrades are: additional worldbuilding sheets and better calculation methods. (I’ve included a comma-delimited version of the basic sheet for those without a spreadsheet program that can read Excel. However, all the programmed features to calculate and track word count don’t exist in CSV.)Plotting Scenes by POV (Comma-delimited version of version 2)
Annual Word Count Tracking spreadsheet/Version 5
(updated 1/20/07)
Goal tracking for Word Count and Editing over the course of the year. Note: Zipped because it’s a large file.Annual-Month Tracking
Starter File of Annual Word Count Tracking spreadsheet/Version 5
(updated 1/20/07)
The annual and monthly goal tracking file above has grown to 3 MB. Because of this, I’ve created a starter version that has only a sheet for January. To use the annual features, you have to create the other months with the naming convention specified on the “Total” sheet and follow the directions there.Annual-Month Tracking starter file
Marathon Tracking Spreadsheet Version 1
(updated 1/20/07)
Spreadsheet for keeping track of short-term goal progress in the following forms: Word Count (48 hrs) and Edit marathons (48 hrs), March Madness (7 days) and Labor of Love (4-days). These sheets both track time remaining based on a start datetime and the length of the challenge as well as progress toward the goal and average count per hour.Marathon Tracking
Weekly Goals Tracking spreadsheet/Version 2
(updated 12/09/07)
This Excel spreadsheet is designed to help tracking and scheduling of goals on a weekly basis. I copy the previous week to create a new sheet for every week. It is also set up to reward progress by changing color based on how close to finished you are. The fields are commented to explain how they work.Weekly Goals Tracking