As an author, there’s nothing more important than organization when it comes to writing your novels. You’ve got characters, scenes, plot points, twists, and so much more… and that’s not even taking an entire series of books into account! That doesn't even take into account your writing schedule, publishing schedule, content and marketing schedule, and your budget.
To keep everything organized as you write, world-build, and market your novel, you’ll need to turn to a few items in the business world. Sites like Trello, Asana, Monday, and others have all aided businesses and teams who are trying to keep everything organized, and they can help you organize and profit from your novel as well.
So in this article, we’re going to take you through a complete guide to project management tools for authors, and by the end, you will be able to pick the best one that will work for you!
This website allows you to create handy ‘to-do’ lists for your writing needs. There’s an unlimited number of boards to choose from and you can have as many lists as you want. Each card on the to-do lists can be colored, labeled, and even converted into a checklist. This means that you will be able to organize everything, and then see it all on a single screen.
Trello has a lot of organizational tools and free addons that can help you plot out your novel. You can create lists for different scenes and characters and then move those lists and cards around whenever circumstances change in your novel.
The only real disadvantage of Trello is the fact that it is just to-do lists and boards. You can’t arrange the cards on a web or use Trello like a corkboard because you are limited to the list structure. But if you think that the lists can help you, then Trello offers unlimited advantages for your novel, and it’s all for free!
Monday.com is perfect for whenever you are outlining the timetable of your novel or story. It’s a product overview service where team members can be assigned different roles, and then a product manager can oversee their progress and look at the big picture.
For your writing, this is the perfect manager that can show off the timetable for your writing. You can assign yourself due dates, keep an eye on the chapters you are writing, and you can confidently check off ‘done’ as you go through your book. It’s just a good way to get a big birds-eye view of your novel, especially when used in conjunction with another service.
Monday.com is also very easy in what it does, and you can set up an overview in minutes. This is the perfect item if you don’t want to have to deal with complicated features, and it’s a pretty practical tool to use. However, it doesn’t give you anything more than a surface-level view, so if you want a deeper tool, you’ll need to use this with another service.
Much like Monday.com Asana focuses on the big picture overview of your project, but also allows you to set milestones for the different objectives. For example, if you want to keep yourself on schedule, you could get ‘Write Chapter 1’ as a project, and the milestones could be ‘write 1,000 words, write the dialogue scene, write 3,000 words’
Then you can check off all the milestones as you get them done, and this gives you an extra incentive to finish them off. Additionally, much like Trello, you can move items over onto different to-do lists and keep track of your progress that way.
Asana’s only disadvantage is its lack of a single person user interface. It is designed for a project manager to assign tasks to teammates and the manager handles everything on the business end. If you are both the worker and the project manager, then you need to assign everything yourself and work with items on the backend.
This can make it difficult, especially if you just want to use Asana to quickly organize your tasks and make sure that you have a big picture view. So if you don’t want to spend time sifting through the backend and assigning projects to yourself, then you might want to make a different choice.
This is billed as ‘the one app to replace them all’ and is designed to allow you to use Docs, tasks, checklists, and other integrations within one program. There’s a lot of features, and it can be great for larger projects or bigger novels. If you want to use Docs for your world-building, checklists to keep your chapters on track labels to analyze your different characters, to-do lists to keep things organized, a Gantt chart to track your schedule and milestones, and a calendar to plan your content, Click-Up is a great all-in-one tool.
However, with all of these features, you will need to handle a learning curve and a bit of overwhelm. For a big novel, or simply using several different apps in one application, this can make sure that you can do everything you want.
Still, keep in mind that if you aren’t using the majority of these features, then Click-Up can do more harm than good. There’s no point in having all those extra features cluttering up the screen if you aren’t planning on using them.
Picking the Best Project Management Tool
As you’ve seen, there’s a lot of different tools out there that can all be converted into the best tools to help you write your novel. For picking one, you’ll need to figure out what you need from the tool.
Do you just need a simple set of checklists that will help you remember the plot of your chapters?
Or are you looking for a large set of tools that will help you see both the big picture and the smaller details?
Are you looking for a calendar to help track and organize content marketing?
Are you looking for a Gantt that can help you stay on track with your milestones so you can finish your novel on time?
Once you have an idea of what it is you are looking for from a product management tool, then you will be able to pick the one that will best help you write your novel. Project management tools for authors are supposed to be a guide, and once you get the tool(s) you want, you should be able to get back to your novel and get back to writing!