How to Use a Notebook to Reach Your Writing Goals

First let me introduce you to my friend. FRED is the Folder for Reaching the End of your Draft. It’s an analog tool I use to keep track of my daily writing. It’s been downloaded thousands of times and is the best accountability tool I’ve ever used.

So, when I found this notebook and realized that it was essentially not only a full year FRED, but could also hold the story notes for a novel, I bought it. And it’s awesome!

The notebook is the Erin Condren Monthly Planner. It’s a lined notebook with a monthly calendar in the front.

I made you this quick video showing you how I have my annual FRED set up.

The notebook is available here.

When you get to the site, first sign up to get your $10 discount.

Then click “Planners & Books” and then “Monthly Planners.”

As I’m writing this, this notebook is HALF OFF, so hurry and jump on that.

Here are some pictures:

Very writerly cover!

Monthly calendar. To use it like a FRED, just give yourself a sticker everyday that you meet your writing goal. These boxes are big enough to make note of things like goals and deadlines if you want to.

The rest of the planner is just a lined notebook. I have the first few pages set up as a log, which is the second part of the FRED. There’s one page per month. Every day I can just write the date and what work I did that day. It helps me to feel professional. It’s visual proof of how hard I’m working, which frankly, sometimes I really need.

And then the rest of the lined pages, I’m really excited about. It’s just the right size to use to plan a novel using The Plotting Workshop. The story I’m writing right now, I already plotted in another notebook, but in a month or two I’ll be ready to start working on the next story and I’m going to just plan it right in here.

The paper is high quality and nice to write on, by the way.

Okay, also, I made this little printable PDF thing for you. You can print it, use double-sided tape to stick the two sides together, then laminate it. I tell my printer to print it in A5 size. The lamination makes it so that you can use a dry erase marker (or wet erase, so it won’t smear. That’s what I do.) to keep track of your writing progress.

I use mine as a bookmark.

One side has a sort of bar chart thing you can fill in for a week. (Make sure the plastic is totally dry after you clean it before you write on it, or you get wonky letters!)

And the other side has a chart where you can write down your word count everyday for a month. And a space for notes.

If you’d like the PDF, leave me your email address below. I’ll get it right to you.

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