Some of the Wickeds Plot Our Work

By Julie, scurrying to make January goals!

Plot Your Work

Jessie told me about the Plot Your Work Planner a few months ago. I bought it, started to use it, and told Liz about it. The three of us are writing several books in 2018, so there are high hopes for the efficacy of this planner. We got several questions about it on a Wicked Wednesday a few weeks ago, so we thought we’d let you all know how it is going.

Jessie: I’ve been really pleased with this partucular planner. I attended a session at the NINC conference back in October about it and was delighted to discover that someone had done the work setting up a planner that addressed the unique challenges multiple deadlines present. I use additional planners for other parts of my life but none of them have really helped me to keep on top of large, long term projects with several stages.

Taking a full year look at how all the moving parts fit and don’t fit together has helped me to have more clarity and accountability about what I can expect and cannot expect to accomplish. A nice extra touch is the paper quality. I love to use fountain pens whenever possible and lower quality paper doesn’t take the ink well. This planner doesn’t allow the ink to ghost, feather or bleed. A total win in my book!

Julie: Jessie, I can’t wait to see you in person and walk through this planner together. I am finding my way in, but am not sure I’m using it “correctly”. That said, one of the things I like is that I can make it work for me. I’ve got the two books I’m writing, the book that’s coming out in August,ย and the book I’m noodling all in the planner. The prompts for different sections take on different meanings depending on the project. Like Jessie, I find the ability to map it out really helpful.

I also have to agree on the quality of the paper. I’ve taken to fountain pens as well, and there isn’t any bleed. I was also encouraged that they just came out with an A5 size for a travelers notebook, and sort of wish I’d waited. I will likely try that next, since the large size stays at home, and it would be nice to have it with me. For folks wanting to try it out, that may be the ticket.

There’s a Facebook page, and an Etsy shop. I’d recommend ordering from them. This is a writer’s tool that works, at least so far.

Liz:ย I really like this planner too. Although I have to say I let it overwhelm me a little bit. I haven’t used anything other than pencil yet because I keep screwing up! And I’m terrified to use the stickers in case I mess up…

That said, I love all the pieces it pulls together to get you organized. The weekly action plans are awesome, and you can track your habits, identify the top items to focus on, and even list gratitude lists. And it has lots of notes pages, which is especially helpful. When I’m about three-quarters of the way through a book I often have to go back and write out timelines for both main and subplots, and those always end up getting done in random notebooks that I can never find again when I need them. So this is solving that problem!

Very happy with it, and have to stop being afraid of it and take full advantage of all the benefits.

Readers, any other planners out there that have helped you wrangle your life, writing or otherwise? Leave us a comment! (But don’t tell Julie, because she already has way too many planners going!)

32 Thoughts

  1. I’m glad you’re making this work for you, each in her own way! (And let’s hear it for high-quality paper.) I’m another multi-book per year writer, but I seem to be making it work with my brain and a couple of calendars. Why mess with a good thing?

      1. I’ve been trying to incorporate a little bit of journaling each night in the form of writing what I’m grateful for that day. Some days I do it… others not so much. ๐Ÿ˜€

  2. Right now I only have one set of deadlines, so a single calendar works and associated task checklist works. I could see something like this being useful if I had multiple project deadlines.

      1. I totally agree about the marketing and social media pieces. It has a lot of industry specific prompts and checklists that bring things to mind I might otherwise not consider.

      2. So glad it’s helping you manage all your various writing-tasks, Jessie! The prompts help me remember what I *should* be doing as well. Doesn’t mean I do them every month, but I try!

  3. Bless those of you who include a publishing date with the ARC link so I can put it on my Google Calendar. I also schedule my day as well as the shelter staffing there (and copy to the backs of envelopes if I know there will not be free wifi available).

  4. Ordered. They had me with their Circa version. Since I have a Circa notebook for every book where I store all my handwritten stuff (which is less and less with each book, but there’s still some), I figured I had to try this. I have to say the customer service was fantastic.

      1. Very cool you both have the Circa! I must confess, I haven’t tried a disc-system yet, but I’m tempted! I just made a custom order for a writer with ten projects –each one having scene planning pages, too. The finished size was really honking huge, but when I saw she was ordering it for discs I started to see the logic in not carrying around all the stuff I’ve finished already!

  5. Thank you for sharing this product. I’ve never heard of it before. It looks like something I may need in the near future.

      1. You have any questions on the product, Kathleen, please give me a shout out. I’m having a blast designing the planners and I’m thrilled it’s helping my fellow writers!

  6. Glad you are finding this working for you. Whatever keeps the books coming. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Julie, I’m wondering if you need an organizer for your organizers.

  7. I ordered one — was so excited — then it arrived and (Honestly) I wasn’t sure how it might help — I already have yearly, monthly and (sometimes) weekly goals — and all those blank pages were intimidating. So I’ve put mine aside for right now. Maybe later …when I’m not busy trying to meet those deadlines!

    1. There is a lot to them. I felt a little overwhelmed by mine when I first took a look at it. I think deadlines make tackling any other projects all the more daunting. I hope it is of use to you when you have a chance to give it another look!

    2. Hi Lea! I know *exactly* how you feel. I made the darn thing and even I’m hesitant to put pen to paper sometimes (hence using a pencil!). I’d say probably 30% of buyers feel the same way. I’m healing from a virus and my voice is kind of shot, but I do plan on recording tutorial videos for using the concepts this month. Hopefully they’ll help writers dive in and get started. ๐Ÿ™‚

  8. I’ve never used official planners, but I am a list maker on random pieces of paper. Of course, the trouble comes when you misplace that paper.

  9. This was really interesting to read and I know if I tried it, I would totally (!) end up using it as a way to avoid writing. Because it would be work, right? Not fooling around, like watching tv or reading the newspaper front to back, right? I can spend days on orgnailzing stuff ( former librarian here) so this would be very, very dangerous. ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. LOL! I think you just described me! And yes, sometimes designing the planners and ways to increase its functionality actually DO keep me from my fiction writing!

  10. Hey ladies! Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts on my Plot Your Work planners. I’m beyond thrilled to see they’re helping you stay on top of your writing tasks.

    If you do a follow up post (maybe for Barbara or other blog members to share their thoughts) please let me know and I’ll gladly give you a custom discount code to share with your followers. Thanks again — your time is very much appreciated!

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