Daily writing is easy with the right tools
“How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives. What we do with this hour, and that one, is what we are doing. A schedule defends from chaos and whim.” — Annie Dillard, The Writing Life
Even though there are so many writers, and the procrastination problem is so widespread, there isn’t a ‘to go to’ planner tailored for writing!
Yes, you can use general goal planners (I’ve reviewed some of them here) — but wouldn’t it be great to have a journal that helps with daily writing flow?
After some digging, I’ve found 3 great options that you probably don’t know of. They were published by writers’ coaches and editors just like me. And if you like a free ebook version of my own undated planner for writers, it’s here.
52 Weeks of Writing Journal and Planner
The 52 Weeks of Writing author journal is undated. It’s big and heavy and has the feel of being with a writers’ coach who asks you to reflect deeply every week.
- weekly goal setting and reflection, though the daily space is limited
- weekly “tracking” & quarterly reflection
- 52 creative writing prompts to inspire you
- nudge to find an accountability partner
- weekly overview is not enough space for me to plan out daily goals
- All the prompts might be overwhelming if you just want to set goals
If you like writing prompts, journaling and reflection, the 52 Weeks of Writing planner is for you. It’s quite big and will probably live on your desk. You’ll might find a separate system for daily goal setting on the side.
Urban Writer’s Retreat Writer’s Diary and Planner
The sleek dated planner by Urban Writers’ Retreat is simple but effective. There’s no overload of things to track — you set a weekly goal, then a daily goal, and then get writing. There’s a 2024 version (sorry the photo is outdated).
- prompts to reflect on the previous year & plan the next 12 months
- breaks down each month into weekly milestones
- two-page overview for the week diary-style
- small enough to carry around (A5) & hard-bound
- only a small text box for each day, no space to slot in hourly writing
- dated planner, so if you miss a week, you’ve wasted it (perhaps an incentive to not delay your writing!)
In sum, the Urban Writer’s Retreat Diary and Planner is a great option for writers who want to start the year strong. The yearly goal-setting pages alone are worth the money because they help you create your big vision. I love the design and simplicity — and that you can carry it around!
The Ultimate Authorship Planner
The Ultimate Authorship Planner by Audrey Anne Hughey is the biggest of the reviewed planners. It’s an all-in-one journal for (fiction) authors who also do all their marketing, social media, and more.
- prompts to set out your vision for the year
- space to plan your manuscripts, conferences, publications, marketing
- useful trackers for words written, social media, pitches sent
- week at a glance with hourly slots for writing time
- perfect for authors who regularly engage with socials
- no separate daily pages
- might be a bit daunting for beginners who just want to write
- not suitable for academics who don’t ‘market’ as a novelist might do
- can’t carry it around, it’s massive (due to the many great tools)
- could use more focus on how to build habits (my own planner does that)
The Author’s Planner is an all-in-one tool that you will keep on your desk to manage your professional writing life. If you simply want to write a lot and need a goals planner, I’d pick a simpler journal.
The Write Habit Planner (new)
This is my own undated planner, which is available as a free ebook, and a full 52-week print version on Amazon. I’ve created it because I couldn’t find a planner that is focused on writing habits and goal planning for writers — the above planners are amazing for many purposes, but my clients struggle the most with daily writing. That’s why The Write Habit Planner focuses on goal setting, flow, and writing consistently.
- spreads to recap the last 12 months and plan your big vision
- goal setting pages to create a feasible roadmap and timeline for each project
- monthly & weekly spreads to set priorities and timeblock writing (undated)
- comes with FREE online course
- habit focus: each month, week and day you work on your daily goal setting and writing practice and reflect back
- slim and easy to carry around
- Writer’s Toolbox at the end with coaching tools to get out of block
- works for any writer (academics, entrepreneurs, authors, bloggers, speakers, podcasters…)
- no specific pages for marketing activities (you will plan marketing in the ‘goals’ section)
- no separate daily pages
The Write Habit Planner works best for writers who want to develop a daily habit, find more flow and set better goals. It may not work for published authors with a fully fleshed out marketing, conference and social media focus.
Unlike any other planner, it comes with a FREE online course and facebook community for planning enthusiasts and ongoing support.