This is the fourth and last post in the series dealing with time management and our personal struggles in balancing life and writing time.
Just a few days before posting Part 3, I began thinking that there must be a tangible way to look at one's time and the demands on that time. After all a clock can give you the time of day, but cannot tell you how to balance each hour against another.
In researching this concept, I came across something remembered from my growing up with my printer/publisher dad -- an editorial calendar. It's a calendar used by magazines, newspapers and other publications to track articles, timing, and other details of publishing.
Why could it not work for a writer? Someone attempting to find writing time in the midst of busy days, weeks and months, not to mention years. Someone attempting to balance life as a young mother and wife with her wish to write. Perhaps a retiree who has found the joy of more freedom lending itself well to too many pursuits.
So, I've found a few which may or may not work for you and I've provided links to download these templates. Yes, someone else has done the hard work. All you have to do is find the one you like, download it, and begin!
1. Michelle at Scraps of My Geek Life is a 40-something trying to juggle four kids, tech blog, husband, running, living a healthy lifestyle and still find time for digital scrapbooking. Granted Michelle doesn't mention writing, but she does have a blog and participates in online digital scrapbooking. Otherwise, her life is busy even not counting blogging and scrapbooking.
Michelle's template is an Excel document, and she provides several different versions for you to choose from. Follow this link to Michelle's informative post on this template and you can download it for free. Just click here.
Michelle's template is easily adjusted by making minor changes to accommodate activities you want to track.
2. KBK Communications, a marketing and consulting firm, offers a variety of free resources for business bloggers. Well, what are we writers but people looking for book business? The KBK template is a simpler, straightforward template. But if writing schedules and publication dates are all you need to stay on top of, I think it's a very workable Excel calendar.
To look at this template and review KBK's comments about it, please follow this link here to read more and download the free template.
3. Lastly, Kelly Garrett of Ekcetera Design Studio offers the following template free. It is designed specifically for social media uses but could easily be manipulated for your own purposes. Linking here will take you to Kelly's post outlining tips on how to use this calendar and how to receive the template.
If you don't see what you want here, don't forget: Google calendar is a fine option to "design your own." Or if you use Outlook, it has a great calendar option as well.
Also a search on Google or any other search engine for editorial calendar images will offer a large choice to review.
I'm sure that you, like me, will find that just looking at these templates and studying how they've been used will move you along to working out your own editorial calendar and schedule that writing time.
So, let's get writing!