Although I’m a fan of all-in-one writing programs like yWriter4 and Liquid Story Binder XE, I like the decidedly low-tech Work In Progress Notebook from romance novelist Jeannie Ruesch quite a bit, indeed. Available as either a wire-bound notebook ($14.50 US) or a downloadable Word file you can print and bind yourself ($6.95 US), the Work in Progress Notebook contains pages for every kind of information you’d need to record about your novel as you write it, from initial thoughts on character and plot to submission and publication.

The Work In Progress Notebook contains the following major sections, with pages for details of each:

  • Characters
  • Setting
  • Plot
  • Polishing and Editing
  • Sticky Notes
  • Notes
  • Submissions

Ruesch says the Work In Progress Notebook is modeled after her own tattered notebooks, and it’s clear that this is the product of a working writer’s experience — and not how a programmer or publisher might imagine a writer would work.

There are decent-sized images of many of the page templates, as well as a couple full sample pages to download, available on the site, so you can have a look and see if Ruesch’s model suits your own writing style. I really like that she’s made the WIP Notebook available as a download, since a) you can modify the templates easily in Word, and b) you can print off pages as needed.

Work In Progress Notebook ($14.50 paper/$6.95 download)

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