People who know me know that I’m a bit obsessed with my planners. I have one I use as an editorial calendar. Then there’s the one I keep in my traveler’s notebook/wallet just for information I learn while I’m away from the house or that I’ll need if I am. I have an everyday one for all the other stuff that I need to keep up with but don’t need to carry with me. I’ve TRIED to keep them all in one. There’s no room in the pages OR in my purse for that.
So when I saw that Perry Elizabeth Designs had created a planner just for writers, I was a bit… oh… EXCITED. I went over, looked at it, thought it was a great idea, and moved along. After all, I create my own similar thing with a spiral punch, a few pieces of pretty paper, and K.M. Weiland’s Outlining and Structuring workbooks. Why do I need another one? (Speaking of Katie, she has a review of the planner HERE).
Oh, me of stupidity.
Thankfully, Perry contacted me and offered me a planner of my own. I accepted. What idiot wouldn’t? Not this idiot!
It arrived in October, just before I went on my trip to North Carolina for my annual writing retreat. I showed it to the ladies there. We oohed. We ahhed. I thought it was a lot more interesting in person than on the website, but I wasn’t sure how I’d use it. I’d just have to play a bit and get a feel for it.
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Okay, so the Write Mind Planner isn’t an outlining tool per se. It could be. I think you could absolutely turn it into a planning/outlining tool. In fact, I suspect the creators designed it just so that you could!
But what I love about it, the more I play with it and get a feel for how it works, is that it becomes a one-stop encyclopedia of information about the current writing project. But before I go how I’ll use it, I thought I’d show it to you. There are a LOT of pictures here. I showed it all. Because it’s worthy of being seen. Yes. Yes, it is!
First up… you get your choice of covers. Perry Elizabeth was awfully kind and sent me two covers. One is a lovely fairy-tale thing I’d intended to be the cover for the next Not-So-Fairy Tales book, The Beauty of Verdonia. But, the frosted cover muted it so much that I wasn’t a big fan of it as is. So, I intend to laminate it, punch it again (I have a disc punch, but you could easily use scissors and cut out by hand. There aren’t that many “mushrooms” to deal with). So, for showing purposes, I went with the lovely TARDIS. Because that’s how I roll, and because my illustrator puts Whovian Easter Eggs in my maps for me. 😀
Cover protector closed.
Cover protector open to see the difference. It’s significant, but on vibrant covers, you don’t really notice. I love it. 😀
Inside they have a nice little page for putting your personal information. I recommend that you fill this out. I’d just put your email in there because why give out your phone number to random people. Unless you’re on the hunt for a spouse or something. Then live dangerously! Or not. (I recommend not, but I’m boring that way).
It has this handy little bookmark. I haven’t decided where I’ll need it most, so I left it where it is. However, I suspect this will end up being by the calendar bits. You have to wait for those.
To do lists!!! I added just a tiny bit of information on it but frankly, it’s all pretty boring stuff because anything I’d put on there and take a picture of would totally give away plot secrets, and one can NEVER have “spoilers” in a planner post with a Doctor Who cover. River Song would haunt me in my nightmares!
Now this little tab thingie is just brilliant. You can move them wherever your little heart desires. THEY ARE AWESOME. I don’t have mine labeled, because my label maker has white tape in it and I was too lazy to trade it out for clear. I want them done well. And I might laminate them, too. If I laminate, maybe I’ll use some cool letter stickers. Hmmm….
I have LOTS of these pages for Characters, and I highly love them. I have a blog post coming up soon that will explain why NEW authors should definitely be considering using something like this NOW if they plan to write more than one book with the same or potentially the same characters. Trust. Me.
See the back of the tab? GENIUS! You have a reminder of why you called it “Story Widgets” instead of “the stuff that’s gonna happen and how” or whatever. Voila! Genius, I say! As for the story page, this is where I’ll be putting down my notes about what I plan to do with the story characters and where it’ll take place, and what notes I need to remind myself to look up and such. Awesomeness.
So I got a lot of these pages. According to the website, each planner comes with “30 idea worksheets and the options include: Story Idea Sheets, Scene Idea Sheets, Character Idea Sheets, and Setting Idea Sheets.”
If you have a book with a lot of different settings, you’ll really want these to keep track of what street you put the bank on, where the ball took place, what cave she hid out from the posse of bandits in… oh, wait. That’s not gonna happen. However, if you’re going to write a book that takes place only in one house. One might be enough. I’d recommend one for each room or floor, though. Just sayin’. I don’t quite understand the “genre” or “title” lines, but I plan to use them this way. Title will be for if that scene was a book in itself. So “Madeline gets a job.” Genre, I’m going to use for tone. So if it’s supposed to be humorous, I’ll say so. If it’s supposed to be eerie, I’ll say so. Dramatic, melancholy… whatever. I’m using it that way. In case you care.
You probably don’t. I’m good with that.
If you bought nothing else, I wouldn’t get this, I’d get something else that I’ll show you in a minute. But this would ALMOST be the one thing. It’s a super close number two. For series, for worlds like my Rockland… you want these. Trust me. I’m having to create all of this now. Sixty books later. Why? Because I like to do things the hard way, I guess.
They even give you lots of notes on the back for plenty of info!
This, though. This thing right here is worth the cost of the planner all by itself. Why? What is it? I’ll show you. See, you open that little flap and….
BAH BAM! Look at that deliciousness! Do you know what this is? This is tax time beauty, baby! You fill this out every day (takes about 32.5 seconds), and file it all away at the end of the year. Proof that all the money you spent on personal development actually went to a good cause. Proof that the book you wrote? Yeah. IT WAS WORK! I swear, this puppy right here is GENIUS!
It makes my heart go pitter patter.
And Perry Elizabeth includes… THE WHOLE YEAR! WOOT!
Now this says the Ultimate Self-Publishing Checklist. And it is a great guide. But I don’t think it those who traditionally publish should discount this. Why? Because there isn’t that big of a difference in what you need to do. Who has to do it? Sure! But deadlines are deadlines for both! Let’s see what it says.
See the “upload? Yeah. That’s “submit to editor” for traditioanl folks. See the “Kindle?” That could also be “Post it to your peeps” for promtion date–the day it went live on pre-order or whatever. So it REALLY isn’t just for self-publishing, and when you think of it that way, you can see that it works for any author!
The great thing about the contacts list is that you can move it from planner to planner. You don’t HAVE to fill it out every time. WOOT!
Then, because we’re all voracious notetakers, Perry Elizabeth includes 50 pages of notepaper. You can pull these pages out and put them anywhere you like. And for about twenty dollars, you can buy a punch on Amazon that’ll punch paper for you for replacements if you need it fast. If you opt for the Digital Version,(to print your own when you want/need ’em) I recommend getting this punch instead.
There’s even this nice little reminder of where you can get refills. Trust me. People undervalue these things. Think about it. This is your Write Mind Planner. So when you go to get more, would you go to WriteMind.com or PerryElizabethDesigns.com? This is why this is wonderful.
Now, I just have to say something here. It’s just too bad that it wasn’t “the Write Planner Mind”. The letters would have been WPM… same as words per minute! Maybe we can do that Yoda thing. Words Minute Per. Does that work for him? I don’t know. I just know he has a unique sentence construct. Or is it Ewok? Yoda? I don’t know. I’m going with Yoda.
So what exactly do you GET in the Write Mind Planner?
- 8 black binding discs for ultimate flexibility. Add, remove, and move modules and individual pages with ease.
- An artistic, cheerful cover page protected by transparent poly covers for durability. (Not reversible.)
- “Please Return To:” page for when you accidentally leave your planner at the library or coffee shop. When you’ve added your name and number (or email address) to this page, any good Samaritan will be able to make arrangements to return your planner!
- 30 To-Do list slips – slim pages with plenty of lines and checkboxes.
- 30 Idea Worksheets for all those ideas that pop into your head and need to be jotted down for later. Options include: Story Idea Sheets, Scene Idea Sheets, Character Idea Sheets, and Setting Idea Sheets.
- Wordcount Tracking Calendars – each month folds out so you have plenty of room to fill in your goals and daily word count. Track your weekly and monthly progress easily. Includes remaining months of 2016 plus all of 2017.
- The Ultimate Self-Publishing Checklist to help you take your work-in-progress from draft to publication and beyond without forgetting any steps!
- Contacts section so you’ll never lose the contact info for your editor, cover designer, beta readers, reviewers, etc.
- 50 sheets of lined paper for note-taking, additional planning space, etc. Remember, because of the disk binding, you can move it to any section of the planner you’d like!
- 5 Tabs – your choice of decorative tabs to match your cover, or solid-colored tabs with fill-in-the-blank “In This Section” areas (select option from the dropdown).
Now offering discounts on multiple-planner orders!
Buy 3-4 planners, get 10% off. (Enter code BULK3 at checkout.) Buy 5+ planners, get 15% off. (Enter code BULK5 at checkout.) Also includes the WriteMind Sketch and WriteMind Note. Contact them with questions!
So, how do I plan to use my Write Mind Planner?
Glad you asked. Well, for instance, right now it’s sitting beside me. I’m working on New Year’s Revolutions, and this planner is set up to be for Meddlin’ Madeline: Such a Tease. But I have it here because you never know when you’re going to get an idea. I’ve seen a name I want to use. It went on cast of characters. I’ve remembered a point of research I wanted: That went on the To Do lists along with a note to draw a map. I’m going to be setting up settings for sure, because One thing I’ve learned in writing series is that if you’re not careful, you end up with tons of information scattered throughout each book that you’re always scrambling to look up again.
Not. Happening. Again. And this little jobbie is why.
Now those calendar thingies are going to be primarily for my general writing, but since I’ll always have these things handy, I’m gonna keep it in here for now. So I’m putting my word count info for New Year’s Revolutions in this even though I am planning for the next book in the planner.
Look, I didn’t even show all the amazing MODULES you can add. There are folder pockets and sticky notes and story arc sheets. She even sent me these great index cards you can stick right in the planner. And I think I left them at my writing retreat. Time to order more. 🙁 🙂 WHEE!!
Seriously love these things. Index Cards. What writer doesn’t love INDEX CARDS!?
What is missing from the Write Mind Planner?
I’d like to say it’s perfect, but it’s not quite. The more I wrote in it, the more I realized how useful this thing is. It’s really quite brilliant, and it’s going to remain a part of my writing process. She made a good investment when she sent me this little gem, because I will be spending a LOT of money with her. Why? Well, I write a lot of books, and I’m too lazy to print, cut, and punch the digital stuff every time. L.A.Z.Y. It should be my middle name. Deanne sounds prettier, but Lazy is more accurate.
So… missing? Dot grid (small… 1/4 inch at most) paper. Seriously. With that, I’d be in super heaven.
Even still. If this was Amazon and I was giving it a star rating, it would get FIVE and I’d wish I could do more.
**We Have a WINNER! Congrats Natasha**