Time Management for Writers

Jan 30, 2013 by

Track Your Writing Time

How many of us have gotten to the end of the week, feel as though we’ve been working for ten straight days, but when someone asks, “What did you get done?” you look at them with stunned amazement.  You know you got things done, but unless you keep track, you forget what you’re working on.

Most writers have a tendency to have a little trouble focusing on everything that is going on in their lives, so to maintain that focus, you might want to use a tracking system.  Many of us have used different systems, and until now, I’ve journaled on a pretty daily basis keeping track of things that way, but when I get to the end of a month and have 50 single spaced pages to weed through, I knew I needed another method.

Enter “A Writer’s Year 2013”

I found Moira Allen’s Writing-World.com in my recent searches and about a third of the way down the page is a little section entitled “It’s Back” A Writer’s Year 2013. Intrigued, I opened this up and found a full year of daily schedules as well as a submission/query tracker available in both PDF and Excel format.  AND it’s also available spiral bound from LULU.COM if you want a fully prepared book.

Because I’m impatient, I downloaded and printed the first month’s worth of pages and started filling them in.

What a revelation.  Keeping track of your time by the half hour keeps you honest. It also shows you what you ARE spending your time on. At the end of the day you can determine if you wasted time on something, need to allow more time for a project than you’d planned, or how to better estimate a bid because of your time spent researching a project.

Submission Tracker and Query Tracker

This is a simple, single sheet, but what a powerhouse!  You can keep all your queries and submissions in a single place with dates, the name of the market, and the status all in one place. Again, having everything in one place helps you to know if you are doing a good job with your queries/LOIs or if you need to reevaluate your approach. Maybe you need to do some research on new markets if your present ones aren’t doing the job.

Check out these free and simple tools and see if they don’t make your writing life easier and more productive.