History That Never Was

Home of Dawn Vogel: Writer, Historian, Geek

My Giant Spreadsheet of Doom, Part 2

(For the first details on my giant spreadsheet of doom, click here.)

Last time, I talked about how the rows on my giant spreadsheet of doom worked for planning out my various projects. Now, we’re looking at how I use the columns.

As I mentioned before, each column represents a week, with my weekly calendar at the top. So here you can see what I was up to in late June through the bulk of July. We’ve been busy. 🙂

But the part we’re really looking at here is below the second gray bar–the stuff between the two gray bars is the miscellaneous tasks that I do to keep things running in terms of Mad Scientist Journal, my blog, my craft business, and other things like that (stuff that I get done early in the morning or during my lunch break at work). But if you look beneath that second gray bar, we get into the actual projects I’m working on.

These say things like “write 14,” “write,” or “revise” for this week. Which is very clever code for writing and revising. Specifically, it means that this week I should be writing chapter 14 of the novel I’m currently working on, doing the last bit of writing on one story, revising a different story, and also working on the RPG we’re writing. With this view, you can’t see what the projects I’m working on are, but since the sections below that gray bar are (from top to bottom) novels, self-publishing, and short stories, you can get the gist of it.

So how do I schedule my work beyond this? I kinda don’t. Each week, I know what the projects I need to get done are. I try to write every day of the week except for Wednesdays and Fridays. I also have a pretty good sense of how much I can write in a given amount of time (1,000 words per hour is not unusual for me on a first draft). So I take a broad look at the week, and then tentatively slot each of the projects into specific days. But if something comes up, I rearrange it.

Looking at this week, I’m actually really set. Since Jeremy was at a gaming event yesterday, I had plenty of time to work on stuff. Didn’t want to work on the game we were writing, since he wasn’t available to consult with me on questions, so I worked on revisions for my short story instead, since that’s a good solitary activity. Tonight, the calendar is wide open, so I’ll either try to finish up writing that short story, or I’ll work on chapter 14. Tomorrow, I’ve gotta run an errand early in the evening, but then Jeremy has his ASL class, so I’ll probably sit down and work on a section of chapter 14. On Thursday, we have our evening writer’s group, so that’ll be more working on the novel. And then my show on Saturday isn’t until the afternoon, so I’ll have a little bit of time to write in the morning–probably finishing up the short story or whatever I haven’t gotten to on chapter 14. Or, if everything else is done, I could work on the game. (The game is also something I work on during my lunch break, occasionally, so I’m less concerned about formally scheduling that. It also doesn’t need to be ready for anything until November, so I’ve got some time.)

There’s a little more detail for scheduling that has to do with how much work I give myself in a given week, and what it took to get me to that point, but I’ll talk more about that next week!

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