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4 Top Planners for Writers who Want to See Progress

//4 Top Planners for Writers who Want to See Progress

4 Top Planners for Writers who Want to See Progress

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Are you struggling to organize life and find time to make progress on your writing?

As a writer, it is essential to balance personal life and writing life. But easier said than done, right?

For me, having a planner is the easiest way to keep my life in order. For years, I’d use a regular planner from Target or Office Depot and try to keep track of everything. But these planners just kept falling short.

Over the past few years I’ve turned into a bit of a planner junkie and have found several planners for writers that I absolutely love. Three of which are even designed specifically for writers! One is for creative people in general. These planners are seriously amazing. And I’m beginning to see consistent progress with my writing. No more squeezing my writing goals or word counts into random corners of my planner. Gone are the days when I had to find or create space to make my planner work for my writing life. With all of the planners that I’ve recently tried I can keep my personal life and my creative life in glorious harmony. I’ve never been more organized or felt more pumped to write! These planners for writers are  giving me a level of organization that is helping me see the progress I crave.

4 Top Planners for Writers who Want to See Progress

Planners for Writers

Why Planners for Writers are Better than Regular Planners

Regular planners are great for making to-do lists, scheduling appointments, and having a general idea of what you need to get done each day and each month. They can also help you keep track of holidays and other important events. But they likely won’t provide ample space to keep your writing life organized. Nor will they include the features you can find in actual planners for writers.

Planners for writers can help you keep track of your day to day life and your writing life. They often include space for you to separate your personal to-dos from your creative to-dos. They also include features you won’t find in any regular planners. These features include a focus on goal setting, story planning, and even publishing/marketing help.

Today, I’m going to show you 4 planners for writers that I own and what I like and dislike about each one.

This 12 month planner is completely blank so you can fill in the months and days that you use it. And not only does it come with monthly and weekly spreads, it also contains pages to help you outline and market 2 different projects. From a project outline to character sketches and a marketing plan, this Novel Planner will have you well on your way to outlining and writing your novel.

Pros

  • The project plan and character sketches are perfect for a planner or a pantser. I’m not a huge planner, more of a pantser, so this planner’s simple outline is perfect for jotting down the basics. There is room to plan all of the essential details (motivation, character strengths, and weaknesses), and even the details I discover as I write (appearance, backstory).
  • I like that each monthly layout provides a space for goals, accomplishments, and reminders. Each month can also have a monthly focus. My monthly focus for November will be NANOWRIMO!
  • The weekly spreads are probably my favorite, because there is space to record to-dos for work, personal life, and creative writing. There is also space for daily and weekly accomplishments, and weekly word counts. I like the monthly and weekly focus. I like how it can be used for your creative writing and your daily life. The Novel Planner keeps me organized, accountable, and motivated. It helps me balance my personal life with my writing life.
  • The planner is also full of many encouraging quotes from famous authors.

Cons

  • I don’t like the size. It’s a bit big. The planner is slightly larger than letter size paper. My favorite planners are ones that I can carry around. Easily fit into my purse. This one is much too large to carry around.
  • My only other complaint is the order of the monthly and weekly spreads. The 12 monthly spreads are together, followed by the 52 weekly spreads. I wish the months and weeks were mixed together like most planners. It can be hard to know which page your month is on when you get farther into the weekly spreads. However, it’s an easy enough fix with sticky notes.

Overall this is a great planner. Of all the planners, this one is my favorite. I would definitely buy it again. It’s also available as a PDF so you’d only need to buy it once! I first bought the physical version which I used for almost 2 years. I recently bought the PDF format and I am excited to use that because I can arrange the pages however I want once I’ve printed it!

If you’ve got a little more to spend, the WriteMind Planner is worth every penny. And with movable pages, it’s totally customizable. The planner comes with a set amount of pages, but you can buy refills and other useful add-ons. Since you can buy refills, it’s a good long-term investment. Simply buy the refills or add-ons that you want and you’ll never have to buy another planner again. The durable cover and beautiful paper make the planner beautiful and professional looking.

Pros

  • This planner is a bit more focused on helping you plan and outline your writing than your personal life, but it does include daily to-do lists and monthly calendars. Weekly calendars can be purchased as an add-on.
  • The planner includes pages to plan your story, characters, scenes, and setting. The planner also comes with monthly calendars, a self-publishing checklist/guide, pages of lined paper, and tabs.
  • The monthly planner doesn’t offer a whole lot of extra space for appointments, but I love that you can keep track of daily, weekly, and monthly word counts.
  • I use the to-do lists to organize my personal, work, and creative writing. Although there is not a separate space for each category, I color code my to-dos. I can’t complain too much, because this makes the planner more colorful!
  • I also love the size of the planner. The planner is about 8 1/2 by 5 1/2 inches. It’s easy to take this one out and record things I see or want to remember on the lined paper provided. Having a smaller planner is also important for me when I travel.
  • I also like that this planner will help me outline and plan before I start writing. But it also has enough space and more detailed worksheets to keep me organized and on-track as I learn more about my characters and novel during the writing process. Whether you dive into filling the planner out before you start writing, or work on it as you go, this planner is perfect for both planners and pantsers.

Cons

  • I do wish the planner was a bit better for balancing personal and writing life, without the purchase of add-ons.
  • The monthly calendars are nice, but most of the space is dedicated to writing your word counts.
  • The to-do lists are simple and I wish they had space to separate tasks for personal life, work, and writing.

But since the add-ons are available for only a few more dollars, the pros definitely outweigh the cons. This planner is also available in a digital format which would save you money in the long run!

With the movable pages, and the ability to buy a digital version or the refills and add-ons you want, rather than purchasing an entirely new planner, this planner definitely has the potential to balance your personal and writing life in a way that will meet your needs. And help you see progress.

Pros

  • This planner is designed for creative people and it includes lots of space to plan and track your creative pursuits. Along with space on each weekly spread, there are blank and dot pages in the back of the planner.
  • Awesome templates to layout and visualize your goals. The Passion Roadmap is my favorite spread in the whole planner. It is a unique, visual, and helpful way to plan your next goal.
  • This planner has hour-by-hour daily spreads. It may not be a necessary feature for you, but it has become a bit of a deal breaker for me. The more specifically I can plan my day, the more focused I am on using my time effectively.
  • The passion planner also includes monthly reflection questions. I find them useful to have and I enjoy filling them out. But it’s not a feature I absolutely need.
  • This is one of the best planners I’ve tried that helps me keep balance between my personal life and work.
  • If you want to try the planner they offer FREE downloads
Passion Planner weekly spread

Cons

  • Ideally, my planner is small enough that I can take it around with me. This one is still too big.
  • This planner is definitely on the pricier end so you have to really love it to justify the cost.
  • The planner is not specifically for writers. I like how it has space to organize personal life and work, but I wish it also had space specifically for writing. It also doesn’t have any space to track specific writing goals or keep your story organized.

I haven’t been able to use this planner much yet, but I am thrilled with some of the features. It will definitely be a planner that comes in handy as I further my journey as a writer. I’m pleased with the investment and can’t wait to use this planner more.

Pros

  • The Productivity Planner for Writers is a one time purchase. You buy it and can download it to print as frequently as you like. If it has the features you are looking for, it’s definitely worth the investment. For me, I think it is a planner that will be more useful as I progress with my writing career, but I’m definitely glad I made the investment.
  • This planer has incredible features you won’t find anywhere else. It’s definitely more than a planner. Although it may not help you plan out your story, it is a powerful tool for building your brand and business as an author. If you are ready to build a brand around your writing, this planner is incredible. I know I will get a ton of use out of it in the coming years, even if I may not use it much right now.
  • You can assemble it any way you want. Because it is a PDF that you print, you can bind it however you’d like and you are in control of what order and what pages you include.
  • The planner comes as a “course” and includes tons of bonus content.

Cons

  • The planner is 320 pages long and a bit overwhelming. It almost has too much content. Some of it I found useful for where I am as a writer now, but a lot of it I don’t think I’d use until I was published or close to querying a highly-polished manuscript. But while I’m brainstorming, writing, or revising, only part of the planner seems applicable. A decent amount of it would be more useful if you are trying to publish or grow your audience.
  • You have to assemble it yourself. This is a good thing because it allows you to customize the planner, but it is also a draw back because it will take time for you to print, punch, and assemble the pages if you aren’t able to get it bound at a store.

Wrap-Up

The Novel Planner The WriteMind Planner The Passion Planner The Productivity Planner
Size 8 1/2 by 11 6 1/4 by 8 1/2 inches 7 by 10 inches 8 1/2 by 11 inches
Digital Yes Yes Yes Yes
Organize Writing Yes Yes Somewhat Yes
Organize Life Yes Somewhat Yes No
Track Goals Yes No Yes Yes
Print Quality 8/10 9/10 10/10 Depends on YOUR printer
Publishing/Marketing Yes Yes No Yes

Favorite Features

The Novel Planner: This is the best overall planner for keeping your personal life and writing life organized.

The WriteMind Planner: If you are solely focused on mapping out and plotting your story, this is the best planner for drafting and writing your actual story.

The Passion Planner: This is the best planner to for deciding what step to take next and making steady progress towards your goal.

The Productivity Planner: This planner is the best if you want to focus on marketing and building a brand or business around yourself as a writer/author.

Which planner is the best fit for you?

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2019-08-13T22:13:43-07:00By |Writing Resources|3 Comments

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3 Comments

  1. Alyson October 17, 2017 at 8:20 am

    Definitely going to look into this one! Thanks!

    • Shelby October 17, 2017 at 8:22 am

      Alyson, I hope you do. I love my planners. haha. 🙂

  2. Planners and Schedules | A Walk in the Forest January 17, 2019 at 9:45 am

    […] know you needed until you saw it! I looked up several, but narrowed it down to the two presented by The Writing Pal, and almost against my better judgement, went for the expensive one. The WriteMind, which lets you […]

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