Saturday, November 2, 2013

NaNo Tracker Spreadsheet

NaNoWriMo has begun! How's everyone doing?

I created a tracking spreadsheet, and I shared it on my blog the other day, but I wanted to post it here in case anyone missed it. I think it has some pretty cool features, but I did make it myself, so it's possible that's just me patting myself on the back. Go me! ;)

I set it up to be easily changed with just a few minor adjustments. 

Depending on your schedule, you can select to write daily, Monday through Friday, or only on the weekends, and it will calculate what you need to write on those days to stay on track. You can also adjust the total goal for the month and it will recalculate the amounts based on that. And if you're using a WIP for NaNo instead of starting at zero, you can enter your starting word count and it will factor that into the totals for the month so you can just enter your WIP total each day. 

Plus, it's date driven, so it will highlight the day you should be on and it will let you know your goal for that day. It will also show you if you're on track to meet your monthly goal. :)

Here are some examples to give you an idea of what it will look like as you enter your word count throughout the month. Click the pics to enlarge.

Before you start . . .

About 1/4 of the way through . . .

Halfway point . . .

3/4 of the way there . . .

And you're a winner! :)

So how do you get a copy for yourself? 

You can download it here: 

After you click on the link, you will likely get something like this :

Just click OK and then click the appropriate button to open the file.

Internet Explorer:


Chrome automatically downloads the file and displays it in the bottom left corner of your screen. Just click the button and it will open.

Once the file is open, you may need to enable editing. To do this, simply click the yellow Enable Editing button at the top of the spreadsheet. If you don't see this button, you don't need to do anything--you should be good to go.

Don't forget to save your file when you're done. :) Also, Skydrive automatically converts the file to the newest format (xlsx) when uploaded. If you want the 97-2003 format (xls), leave me your email address in the comments, and I'll send it directly to you. Just FYI, I don't have access to versions of Excel older than 2007, so I'm not sure how making the file 97-2003 compatible will affect the functionality.

The workbook and worksheet are protected to protect the structure and the formulas, but I added a password to this one because I put so much time into it. I'd like to keep my signature on it. I've been over it and tested it several times, but it's still possible I missed something. If you find any issues with it, please let me know and I'll make corrections.

If you want to share it, please do. I just ask that you use this link ( and that you give me credit and link back to my blog.

PC Users: If your computer is telling you it can only be downloaded as read-only, you probably need to save it to your computer, close it, and reopen it before it will let you make changes. If all else fails, leave me your email in the comments and I'll send it directly to you.

Mac Users: Several Mac users have not been able to use the file, either because it won't download or because it's locked. If you can't get it to download, please leave me your email in the comments. I'm happy to send it directly to you. If it's opening in read only, try the instructions found here: If that doesn't work, let me know what it's doing, what type of error messages you're getting, and I'll try to figure it out.

Any questions, please leave them below.

So, who's participating this year? If you want to add me as a buddy, my profile is here. Or leave your username in the comments and I'll track you down.

Good luck, NaNo-ers! :)


  1. This is awesome! Thanks for sharing. :)

  2. Hey Abby. Mine is having issues. Some of the cells have code and won't let me enter. It will only let me enter in the green row.

    1. It's set up to run off the green cells. That's why all the others are locked. Just enter your total word count and it will calculate the rest. :)

  3. computer says the file is corrupt and can't open it. if you could email it to me I'd appreciate it!

  4. Hi. This sounds great, but it won't let me make changes. It says it wants a passcode to unprotect the file. I'd love it if you could just send it to me.

    wryteriam at gmail dot com

  5. Thanks, Abby. It's a great tool to keep me on track.

  6. Hi, I downloaded the file but I can't enter my values - it asks for a password. Could you please send it to me too? alessia80 @
    Sorry to bother you!

    1. Not a bother at all. The file is on its way. Good luck with NaNo! :)

  7. Sweet! Very cool. I need to download asap.

  8. I need a password to unprotect it. Can you send to me as well? Thanks!

  9. I think I might be missing something here. When I enter my word count in the green column as the instructions indicate it affects the chart for day 1 but after that nothing... huh? Is anyone else having this difficulty or is it just me? I notice in the examples it looks like you are supposed to put your daily word count in another column, but when I do I am asked for a password
    This is such a cool thing, please assist.

  10. The spreadsheet is set to run off the green cells. When you enter your end-of-the-day total in the Total WIP Word Count column, it should calculate your total words written for that day and recalculate your goal for the following day to whatever you need to write to stay on track.

    I'm probably misunderstanding your problem, but it sounds like you're only entering your total on the first day. If this is the case, you need to enter your total on the day you're on.

    If I'm totally missing the point--very possible, I've been processing time cards all day and my brain is fried--please leave me more details of what you're doing and what the spreadsheet is or is not doing and I'll see if I can figure out the problem. Thanks!

    Have a great night! :)


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