Day 15: Word Counting Calendar for March 2013

Day 15: Word Counting Calendar for March 2013

Word Tracking Calendar Last November I participated in the National Novel Writing Month, AKA NaNoWriMo. The goal is to write 50,000 words in a month, and of course I had to make my own Nanowrimo calendar. To do 50,000 words in the 30 days of November, that required an average of 1,667 words a day. I decided to visualize this by providing a stack of 10 blocks, each representing 250 words, that I could fill-in from the bottom to the top. Success can be projected by looking for daily blackened blocks. If I filled the minimum of 7 blocks, I was doing well. If I filled in more, which I often did, I had a visual indicator of having “reached the pinnacle of achievement” for the day.

Later, several people asked if I could make a version for other months of the year. And so, today’s product-of-the-day is a version of the NaNoWriMo calendar for March 2013. I had to rebuild the template from scratch; apparently I had not saved the original in a place that was backed-up when I embarked on the Great Windows 8 Migration of January 2013. I was also out for most of the day, so to get the product-of-the-day out I decided to just cover March. Total production time was around 90 minutes.

This variation of the calendar, like the NaNoWriMo version, counts words. I made a few refinements: providing an explicit field for “total words of the day”, and also simplifying the weekly total column. For future variants, I have ideas for tracking percentages and other cool metrics, so if you have an idea for something you want to count, let me know and I’ll try to come up with something in the next few days!

In the meantime:

» Download Word Tracking Calendar for March 2013 PDF

Adobe Acrobat Reader is recommended for printing. The built-in "Mac OS X Preview" and "Chrome Browser" PDF viewers do not always draw dotted lines correctly.


Groundhog Day Resolution Posts for 2014

I am challenging myself to create a new product every day for the month of February 2013. The Challenge Page lists all the products in one place. Check it out!


  1. Fred Schechter 11 years ago

    Dave! Another winner and accidentally more awesome than you knew! So much like your format planned (teaching a habit) leave the slots format-able (rather than word count) and help people reach their new habit making goals!! Also, do the whole year.

    The Better you, you’ve Dave-proved it!

  2. Lise 11 years ago

    I second it. It was my first reaction. Can I somehow use the slots to track something I want tracking for myself.

    I really like the design.

  3. Author
    Dave Seah 11 years ago

    Give me an idea of the kinds of things you might track! I could leave the boxes unlabeled, certainly.

  4. Lise 11 years ago

    Dave,The boxes are small so I see two options. One is to live them unlabeled, so everybody can use them for something else, 8-10 glasses of water drank, 10 or more e-mails answered, papers organized, things discarded, cigarettes not smoked, projects tackled, pages written. Second one, put as many boxes that can fit. I see 20? And provide on the site room to enter what each box represents so it can be consistently checked daily. 1. Bed made. 2. Exercised. 3. Packed own lunch, …

  5. Shannon Garcia 11 years ago

    Percentages would be swell, so you could use the same form for different wordcounts.

  6. annette 11 years ago

    How bout hours spent in a particular activity/discipline over the year? I’d love to have a sheet per year to track the time spent teaching and coaching so i can feel i’m moving towards 10,000 hours. I know that time spent in practice isn’t the only factor involved in mastery, but I would find tracking it encouraging and a practical complement to this infographic:

  7. emily McKay 11 years ago

    Wow, thanks for the great product! I will absolutely be using this in March!

  8. Author
    Dave Seah 11 years ago

    lise: interesting thoughts! I think part of the appeal of the design, though, is having shape to the boxes. I think what you’re describing is interesting but more complicated, and probably needs a dedicated design.

    shannon: Maybe I could put room for a percentages table on the side to help with that too! I like that idea!

    annette: That’s an interesting idea…maybe I can brush off the scale I used in this old blog post