Writing

How to manage a book diary in Ulysses

I’m a big fan of keeping a book diary while working on a project. Into it go things like…

  • A weekly record of the word count (every Friday when I finish work for me).
  • A note of emerging ideas and themes.
  • Records of things that are starting to worry me. Elements that don’t work. Repetitive phrasing.
  • Notes of tasks to be done before completion.

There are lots of diary apps out there. One thing that’s essential for me is being able to use them on a phone and tablet and not just at the desktop. Which we can do very well with Ulysses now, of course. And it’s very easy to set up an effective diary system too. Here’s how.

First, create a group called, naturally, ‘Diary’. I put this under the management group I create for each book project for storing character, location and research material.

Next change the sort order like this.

Ulysses sort order

When you’re writing a book you want your sheets sorted manually. But you can set the set order per group. So like this I get the latest entry at the top.

It’s a diary, and you can have fun with keywords, attachments, lots of other things just as you can with any other Ulysses sheet.

The fewer apps you use the easier life becomes. I keep pretty much everything inside Ulysses these days which makes it easy to find and manage, and a delight to work with.