Howdy, writer! Welcome back to my Notion for writing tutorials. Today, we’ll explore how to set and track writing goals in Notion. I’ll cover why you should use Notion to track writing goals and how to set up a Notion writing goal tracker, plus give you a few more ideas to inspire your setup. Let’s dive in!
Why use Notion to track writing goals?
A sneak peek of the Writing Progress tracker, part of the Notion writing dashboard template pack!
I’m willing to bet every writer working on a creative project in the 21st century has explored some kind of writing software. Whether it’s Scrivener, Plottr, or something else, chances are you’re using a program to plot and draft your novel. (And if you’re writing your entire manuscript by hand, then I’m convinced you’re a superhero.)
I love writing software as much as the next wordsmith. But most programs are missing a core component: goal tracking. Some writing software includes word count tracking, but that’s about it.
I don’t know about you, but when I’m working in writing software, it’s easy for me to get lost in the granular elements like plot lines and character sheets. Which, of course, are important. But how helpful would it be to track all your goals right alongside your story elements?
Because it’s so customizable, Notion is a powerful tool for tracking both measurable and abstract writing goals. You can track your daily word counts in Notion right alongside harder-to-measure elements like, “Did I take time for self-care today? How did it affect my writing progress?”
How to set up a Notion writing goal tracker
Now you know why you should track your writing goals in Notion, so let’s explore how to set up your Notion writing goal tracker.
Step 1: Create a new page in Notion
If you’ve created a writing dashboard in Notion, I suggest adding your writing goals tracker as a subpage within it. But don’t worry if you forget this part — you can always move things around later.
Step 2: Add a quick list of writing goals you’d like to track
Tinkering with Notion templates can take a long time, especially if you’re not sure which pages or elements you need. Jotting down your ideas first will help you create an effective Notion writing goal tracker in less time.
This rough list doesn’t have to be (and shouldn’t) be pretty. A few bullet points are just fine. Get your ideas down first, then make it pretty later. (Trust me on this one!)
Here are some writing goals I recommend adding:
- Word count goals vs. actual words produced
- High-level writing goals
- Monthly progress review questions
We’ll cover all these ideas more in-depth in the next section. Click here to jump down!
Step 3: Start laying out your elements
Now that you’ve figured out what you want to include in your Notion writing goal tracker, it’s time to start adding your elements to the page. I like to keep things minimalist with colorful headings, bold text, and toggle blocks:
Of course, you’re free to format your pages however you like! Use the screenshot above as inspiration, or forge your own path and experiment with your setup.
If you’re tracking word counts, embed your Notion word count tracker onto the page and set up filtered views as needed. Hop over to my other article to see how to create a word count tracker in Notion. Or, just download one for free here to save yourself some time!
Ideas for your Notion writing goal tracker
Cool, so now you’ve got a basic Notion writing goal tracker set up. Here are a few ways you can customize it for your needs.
Track your word counts
One of my favorite ways to use Notion for writing goal tracking is keeping a tab of my daily word counts. Tracking word count progress is especially important if you’re entering a writing challenge like NaNoWriMo. But it can also provide invaluable insight into your writing habits and patterns.
Too often, we writers fall into the trap of thinking we’re not doing enough or we’re not working hard enough. A word count tracker can show you that’s just not true!
Tracking your word counts in Notion gives you ultimate flexibility to not only see your batting average, but also reflect on each writing session. Within each entry in your word count tracking database, you can make notes about how the writing session went, reflect on whether or not you met your goals, or use the space however you see fit.
Hold yourself accountable to your high-level writing goals
We all have daily writing goals. Your high-level writing goals are the big milestones you want to achieve. Whether these include finishing your first draft, shipping your final draft off to beta readers, or pitching a certain number of agents by a certain date, Notion is the perfect place to track all of them.
Having your high-level writing goals accessible alongside your daily goals and word counts reminds you why you committed to your project. This is particularly useful on those days when writing success seems unattainable.
Assess your monthly progress with an overview template
The first day of each month feels like a blank slate to make some fresh progress in our writing lives. I don’t know the science behind it, but monthly goal tracking seems more straightforward than daily or weekly tracking.
A monthly tracking template with reflection questions is the perfect finishing touch for your Notion writing goals tracker. I recommend creating a template of questions in a toggle block so you can easily duplicate it for each month. This keeps the questions for each month hidden until you want to see them, ensuring your page is clean and functional.
How to build a Notion writing goal tracker: wrapping up
That wraps up today’s Notion tutorial — thanks for following along! If you’re a Notion nerd like me, chances are you’re super excited to dive in and start building your writing goal tracker.
But if you’re not a Notion nerd (totally understandable), you might be feeling a little overwhelmed about how much time your tracker will take to create and lay out. I’ll be honest — creating a Notion writing goal tracker will take some work. I should know, because I’ve already done it for you!
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Got any ideas of your own to add? Meet me in the comments!