I’m a planner person. Leading up to the new year, I sit down and draw out weekly schedule templates in my bullet journal. Because of the nature of my job, my life gets planned four months (a semester) at a time. I am the queen of to do lists.
And I get teased mercilessly for it. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
But this is how my brain operates. I like to know what’s coming so that I can 1) better address inquiries into my time (sorry, I have 20 papers to grade that day – or – looks like I’m free!), and 2) predict how much energy I will be expending on a given day (Introvert with a capital I over here).
So it probably surprises nobody that I’m also a planner in my writing. (I’m also a huge Excel nerd – I once took an Excel class for fun – so I am happy to find any excuse to use the program.) I’ve found templates for calendars within Excel that work really well for keeping track of my story’s timeline:
My first novel in particular is tied to specific real-life events, so to keep everything straight, I needed to get it all down on paper. (I even went so far as to look up specifics about things like weather that actually occurred on those days.) It helped so much that I’ve done the same with my current WIPs – it helps with continuity so that I don’t have rain when it’s supposed to be the middle of winter.
Again, you don’t have to use excel, but I highly recommend such tracking to keep your timeline from getting tangled up.