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As a writer, it is essential to balance my personal life and my 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 to keep track of everything.
I recently discovered two planners that are designed specifically for writers! These planners are seriously amazing. 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 either of these two planners 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!
The Best Planners for Writers (Perfect for NANOWRIMO)
The Novel Planner
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.
- 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.
- 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. I would definitely buy it again. For its price point my dislikes are minor, and none of them are deal breakers by any means.
The WriteMind Planner
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.
- 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.
- 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.
With the movable pages, and the ability to buy 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.
Whether or not you are participating in NANOWRIMO next month, a writing planner is a fantastic resource to help you write consistently!
How do you balance your personal and writing life?