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Creativity coach, writing and creative process instructor, speaker, author of Around the Writer's Block: Using Brain Science to Write the Way You Want (Penguin/Tarcher 2012) and Dancing in the Dragon's Den (Red Wheel Weiser), Teaching Artist at the Loft Literary Center.

Tricks of Tracking #2: KISS

The second trick of tracking is KISS: Keep It Simple and Seen. The system you use for tracking needs to be simple, quick, easy to use and readily accessible.

It could be a chart with gold stars on your office wall, a legal pad on your desk, a Moleskine notebook in your pocket (which admittedly is not seen so much as felt; the point is that it’s something you’ll notice.)

I use a table in Word that is always open on my computer desktop. If it takes you more than two clicks of the mouse or more than 30 seconds of searching your physical space to access your tracking system, it needs to be simplified.

I started tracking my Product Time in the Word table in April of 2010. I add rows every week and the table exceeds 60 pages now. Some people tell me that a table that big should really be an Excel spreadsheet, but frankly I’m not adept in Excel so spreadsheets are not quick and easy for me. Maybe I start a new table for 2012, but it will be the same format because that is what’s easy for me.

I know writers who have downloaded apps to their phones or i-Pads, but I also occasionally hear about these sophisticated systems failing for one reason or another.

Use whatever tracking tool works for you without you having to work too hard to make it work.

You’ll find both pdf and Word file versions of two tracking tables (one for tracking the three habits of Process, Self-Care and Product Time, the other for tracking more details about Product Time) on the Around the Writer’s Block Forms page of this blog.

Feel free to adapt these to suit your needs. If you don’t want to track as many details about Product Time as I do, don’t. If you want to track more, go ahead.

Just Keep It Simple and Seen.

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  1. Avoid the Trap of Unrecognized Writing Resistance: Tricks of Tracking #1 « The Bane of Your Resistance - October 3, 2012

    […] habits, you need to track what you do every day. You’ll find more Tricks of Tracking in my next post. Share this:ShareEmailPrintFacebookLinkedInRedditTumblrStumbleUponPinterestLike this:LikeBe the […]


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