I had a brainwave this morning. How many writers out there have a proficient way to track their queries? Do you know how to use excel? Do you pay for one of those tracking services?
I'm really curious. For my day job I do accounting type things, so I use excel every single day. It was a natural choice to turn to for my tracking spreadsheet. But what do other writers use?
For today, I give you -- my spreadsheet, and the basic tools to create your own.
And here's a quick rundown of how to make this jewel:
The title -- merge the cells together using the little a symbol with arrows on either side. Highlight the cells you want to merge and click it. Bold and increase your font.
Column titles -- these work for me, you may want more or different ones. I just made them bold
Body -- fill in all your vital info. I like to have everything I need to query right there in one place. Email address, agent name, guidelines -- you won't have to go re-hunting if you have a spreadsheet like this. One thing I do on the submission guidelines column is wrap the text. Highlight the cells and click "format" then "cells". Then click "alignment" and there's a little box at the bottom that says "wrap text". This way your spreadsheet doesn't wind up 50 pages wide.
That's basically it! You can get fancy with the borders and colors if you want, but with this you'll never query an agent twice, and will always know what is outstanding.
Helpful? If you have more questions about excel, don't hesitate to ask.