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7 NaNoWriMo Tools (Besides Scrivener)

  1. I’m absolutely lovin’ my new 2012 NaNoWriMo Word Tracker which comes in different skins over at Svenia Liv’s website.  She’s got pirates, forest fairies, evil-looking guys and more to suit your writing tastes.  Which one closest matches your character this year?  Check her stuff out.

Okay, so I have to say something briefly about Scrivener too…

If you’re a Scrivener user and you like to keep everything in-house, in a single session you can create a table like I did for your own word tracker (see below):

I created mine to keep track of where I should be in my writing schedule and where I actually am at that point.  The notes section is to keep track of what I worked on that day (scene or chapter).

The Change Log page is my place to store things I’m noticing during the draft that will need to be edited or re-written or altered later on but I’m not messing with my word counts trying to re-write during November.  Just write people!!

Got a Scrivener question?  Shoot me an email at  I’ll do my best to answer your questions or refer you to somebody smarter.  Your question/answer may appear on this blog!

  1. Google Calendar

That’s right, you heard me.  Try out Google Calendar as a visual motivation for where you should be with your writing at any given time.  I’m shooting for finishing this year before November 30th so this calendar has me finishing a day or two before.  Tweak your calendar to meet YOUR needs.

  1. If a digital word tracker is way too fancy for you, you may want to consider a printable word tracker or progress chart, like I did at first, with these progress charts provided by NaNoWriMo for young groups.  It’s a cinch to print it out as an 11×17 in color and you can get some fun stickers to track your progress.  It’s totally nostalgic!

  2. To keep track of my time spent online, Mac users may enjoy the Time Sink app which hides nothing in terms of computer usage.  What you see is what you get:

The “Pools” section allows you to group some applications together into folders and Time Sink considers it as one large project.  I think the app was around 4-5 dollars (bugger Apple for showing “installed” instead of the purchase price).

  1. Write or Die (app or web-version)

This crazy application is advertised as “putting the ‘prod’ in productivity” and it comes in multiple modes from Gentle to Kamikaze to help you focus on one thing — writing.  I sampled the web version earlier and the “penalties” are freaking hilarious.  Seriously.  Try it out once pre-NaNo to get used to the format then prepare to become addicted during the month of November.

Rather not write online?  There’s a paid app version you can get that should work on a Mac or PC.

  1. Your local/regional NaNoWriMo group.  Have you checked out their forum yet?  Local groups are a great way to meet other wrimos and some offer training on writing products like Scrivener, and the write-ins can be a blast.  As a perk, some groups use Google Calendars (hey, we talked about that earlier…) to post group meet-ups.  It’s easy to add their events to your writing calendar.

  1. Post-November, once your idea is polished, you may be thinking of trying a traditional publisher or going with e-books.  Don’t wait until December to take advantage of this limited-time FREE promotional offer from author and blogger, Jeff Goins.  He’s got a $47.00-value package on “How To Start Publishing With Kindle”.  Scroll down the page to find its blue cover and enter your email address to get a link to download two .mp3 audio files and a .pdf.  I’ve been following Jeff for a while and he never spams and he often has great ideas on writing and marketing.

There you have it – seven resources for making the most of National Novel Writing Month in November.  Catch more ideas from fellow participants at Twitter hashtag, #nanoprep, and let me know your fav ideas.

Follow me here or on my NaNoWriMo profile page: Lauren Miller.  I’ll be posting my progress throughout the month of November until I finish or call it quits (say it aint’ so!).

Have a blessed day everybody!

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Lauren Miller is a Midwestern born writer with a passion for Jesus, the written word, and dogs. She has two decades of experience in the library field and reviews books for the Historical Novels Review (UK). She likes to spend her free time enjoying period films, discovering new reads, and being surrounded by other people’s pets. Lauren, her husband, and their wily Maine Coon (who isn’t quite a dog) live in Missouri. You can learn more about Lauren’s writing at


  1. T.W. Fendley says

    Some great info! I’m new to Scrivener, so I may take you up on your offer. Good luck with Nano!


    • Hey T.W., thanks for leaving a comment. 🙂 I hope you get a chance to really explore Scrivener’s features. I know I love it! Any questions, yes please contact me. I’d be happy to help.


  2. Pingback: Lauren Miller | Author of Historical and Spec Fiction | Best of 2012

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