Some people have inquired how I managed my time during the month of November, to keep me on track to complete the National Novel Writing Month goal of 50,000 words in 30 days. One of the things I did was set up a spreadsheet of goals to fill out each day. The spreadsheet recorded my daily goal (the minimum number of words I needed to write each day--1667-- to meet my goal); what my actual total added up to; how many words I wrote each day; what the difference was between my goal and my actual number of words written; and how many words I had left to write. It also figured a running average of how many words I was writing each day.
I found this spreadsheet to be a great incentive to make me do at least a small amount of writing every day, because I really didn't want to have to go fill in a little zero in my "words written today" space. I did that three times, and one day I wrote under 800 words, and those places made a low spot in the spreadsheet. It gave me instant feedback to see what effect writing nothing for a day had on my overall progress. It was a good motivator. You can click here to see my NaNoWriMo spreadsheet.
Seems to me, I could also use a spreadsheet as a motivator to complete knitting progress, as well. Instead of keeping track of words written, it would keep track of how many inches I knit or how many pattern repeats I completed or how many chart rows I have done. I just have to come up with a reasonable completion date, and divide the number of inches or pattern repeats or chart rows by the number of days, and try to meet that number every day. I could see it being useful when knitting long stretches of boring stockinette stitch, or never ending lace borders on a shawl. A stockinette sweater could even be broken into sections, each having a different spreadsheet: one for the back, one for the front, one for each sleeve, one for the neck and finishing. In Excel, each worksheet would make up the sweater workbook. How many of us have that sweater that was so exciting while we knit the back, but the front suddenly became boring and endless? Or that baby blanket that has no end in sight? Funny how those baby blankets suddenly take on the proportions of a football field after the first four inches or so. Hmmm, I think this spreadsheet idea just might work. But for knitting, I'll have to call it a spreadsheep. :)