This review is going to be different from my normal reviews because it’s a product review rather than a book review, but here goes.
Now, I’ve read a couple of other reviews of the planner (here and here), but I wanted to write my own because I use mine differently, so here’s a little sampling into my outlining and planning. If you look closely, you could probably even get a sneak peek into book #3 in the Orphans of the West series.
I thrive on lists, so having a list that is always accessible is great! The 30 sheets the planner comes with will probably last me longer than anything else, though, but it’s nice to have them.
I love having the 5 tabs so I can separate each different kind of worksheet. With those and the bookmark (sold separately), I have the perfect amount of dividers to organize the planner the way I want to. In the front, I have one story worksheet, a piece of lined paper, a scene worksheet, 2 pieces of lined paper, a setting worksheet, and 3 character worksheets (for now, more might be added later). All of those sheets are there either fully, partially, or waiting to be filled out for He Hideth My Soul (Orphans of the West #3).
Next in my planner is a tab separating my story planning and the Scene Worksheets. These worksheets are great for the scene lists K.M. Weiland recommends in her book, Outlining Your Novel and that’s what I am currently using it for. I love that Perry included a spot for Keywords.
Next up is the Setting Worksheets section. I’m not 100% sure how I’m going to use this yet since I write in the real world rather than a science fiction or fantasy world, but it may come in handy to make sure I keep descriptions of certain towns consistent, especially for the silver mining town I’m putting in HHMS.
Right now I’m using the Outlining Your Novel method for planning and outlining my books, so the Story Worksheet is where I put the list of main characters, the what if questions, what’s expected from those what ifs, and the pre-outline questions. After this book is written, I may change things up a bit, but that’s how I’m using it for this one. 🙂 It could also work really well if you come up with a story idea you want to use later and just need to get some of the basic ideas down.
Fold out Calendars
If I had to pick a favorite feature of this planner, it would be the calendars. I love it! The only thing that would make it better is if they started on Sunday rather than Monday, but maybe I’m weird and prefer Sunday-Saturday weeks rather than Monday-Sunday? I love keeping track of how many words I write each day and month, so this is great! I currently have an Excel Spreadsheet keeping track of it, but this is even better because it has a place each day for your target word count, how many you actually wrote, and the total for the month. Then at the end of the week, there’s a place to put your week total. AND at the end of the month, you can put in your Month total and Year total. Nifty! I’ll be buying the calendar for 2018, I’m sure!
As I typed this up, I began to wonder why I have the character worksheets in the back, but I don’t know and it doesn’t particularly matter anyway. These worksheets are great. There’s a place for the name, age, role (major or minor), physical description, and lots of room for personality, backstory, and other notes. I haven’t actually started using it yet, but I think it will work great!
The Ultimate Self-Publishing Checklist
This checklist is a bit different from the one Perry offered free for a newsletter sign-up, but that’s okay. I think I like this one better. Although, I do miss the list of resources. The only downside to this checklist is that unless you use really light pencil, it is only good for one project. For me, it doesn’t really matter too much since I have other methods of keeping track of some of this stuff.
The planner comes with 50 sheets of lined paper. I love this because I can use the lined paper if I run out of room on a worksheet, want to do some writing and only have the planner around, or use it for whatever I need it for.
I’m not quite sure yet how useful this will be, but I suppose it could become useful if I am out and about with my planner and someone asks for the contact info or if I’m somewhere else and don’t have it for whatever reason. Either way, it’s nice knowing I have the information down somewhere.
There are a few other options of extras to buy if you so choose such as the Elastic Closure, Folder Pockets, Plot Maps Module, Sketch Paper Module, Index Card Module, Sticky Note Dashboard, and Cast of Character Module.
If you are a writer who does any kind of planning for your books, you should get this planner. It’s great! And there are lots of gorgeous covers to choose from! For anyone curious what the name of the one I chose is, it’s Knotwork Parchment.
Note: All links in this post except for the two blog review links, are affiliate links and I will receive a small portion of any sales made from the links.