Posted by on Oct 7, 2020 in Evergreen, My Writing, National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) | 11 comments

I know that some of you out there are as obsessive as me when it comes to trying to figure out how far along you are in National Novel Writing Month so I decided to share my personal calculator. It’s simple but powerful.

This calculator will work in Open Office, Microsoft Excel or Google Drive, depending on what you use. But it works best in Google Drive since that is what I set it up in (there are also some handy little charts in the Google version the other versions won’t get).

It is very simple to use. All you do is type in your word count each day (or just a running total, if you prefer) and then it calculates your percentage done, number of words until any goals you’ve set, where you should be based on the current date, whether you are on track to hit 50,000 words at the end of the month and more. It’s a pretty useful little tool that gives you a lot more info than most widgets and counters around. It’s also a great way to motivate yourself to stay on track and gather data about your work habits.

If you want to add, share or customize this, please feel free to! I only ask one favor. Please keep my url on the spreadsheet as credit so that I at least get some traffic for my work. Or just link to this page!

How to use the spreadsheet with Google Sheets:

  • Log into your Google Drive account. (If you have a Gmail or Google account, you already have a Google Drive account, you just need to activate it.)
  • Go to the direct link to the calculator.
  • Once there, select “Make a copy” from the File menu. (If you aren’t logged in, you won’t get this option which is why I had you log in first.)
  • Select a file name and click OK. The calculator should now be ready for use in your own Google Drive account.

How to download for use in Excel, Calc or other desktop program:

  • Go to the direct link to the calculator.
  • Once there, select File > Download as… and then select the file type of your choice. I recommend Excel format for maximum compatibility.
  • Because this was designed for Google Drive, you may need to tweak your download version to get it to work perfectly but most of the basic calculations should work fine. You will lose the charts, however, and the colors may look funky.

Any questions? Let me know below and I’ll help you out as best as I can.

If you find this tool useful, thanks are appreciated in the comments as well. Thanks and happy NaNo-ing!

(PS: I update this calculator every year so don’t let the date on this post or the comments fool you. :-))