My 2015 NaNoWriMo Tools

Since NaNo is imminent and I haven’t done nearly as many garden things as I should have in the past month, the next Down on the (Sub)Urban Farm installment will be in November.

It’s been a couple of years since I did a NaNoWriMo Tools post. I think 2014 rolled around, and I figured since I’d done a NaNoWriMo Tools list so massive that it required two posts in 2013, that I would take a break.

Before we get into that, though, I have a couple of things to mention. 


Would you like to see regular updates about my NaNo progress throughout November? This will not be daily, but at least weekly. Tell me in the comments!


NaNoWriMo is funded through donations. It is a non-profit, and beyond maintaining regions, it also offers teachers free supplies for getting their students interested in creative writing through the Young Writers Program. If you’re willing to help, please consider donating. You can find my fundraising page here.


My 2015 NaNoWriMo Tools*

Tea. Aka: Writer Fuel.
Tea. Aka: Writer Fuel.

*This post contains some referral/affiliate links. Please refer to my disclosure statement.

  1. My Favorite Tea.
    – NaNo does not happen without tea. That’s really all there is to it. Stash also conveniently held an awesome sale last week, and I now have nearly 300 bags of this stuff. It should hopefully last longer than November!
  2. The National Novel Writing Month website
    – This is, of course, the ultimate NaNoWriMo Tool. It’s where you, well, participate in NaNoWriMo. If you haven’t signed up yet, do so today! That’s what gives you access to the thousands of other writers participating around the world, and access to the special offers NaNo Sponsors give out every year. (Especially the winner’s ones!)
  3. My regional NaNoWriMo forum (Note: this link takes you to the page to find YOUR region.)
    – Your regional forum on the NaNoWriMo site is just as valuable as all the other forums there combined. It connects you with people close to you who are working toward the same goal. And even though I’m on of the ML’s in charge of running MY region, the support I get from all the other participants is still invaluable. Writing doesn’t have to be lonely, and I highly recommend attending any local write-ins you can if your region has them!
  4. Journal
    – This year, I’m not nearly as far along in plotting my NaNo novel as I like to be at this point. (Confession: I’ve done practically zero plotting so far, and I’m starting to panic over it!) So this journal is pretty much going to go everywhere with me for the rest of October, and for all of November. It will become my Story Bible.
  5. Index Cards
    – As you can tell by my unopened packages of index cards in the picture below, I am so, so far behind. But this is where my plot will develop. I love the versatility of index cards for shifting scenes around and seeing where best a plot point fits, and often that means I need actual, physical cards in hand to work with.
  6. Fashion sketchbook
    – This was a Christmas gift from Eris a few years ago. One of my not-so-much-talked-about hobbies is costume design. I haven’t had much time to play around with it for the past few years, but there are some fantastic character outfits stuck in my brain right now, and this is how I’m going to keep track of them. The notebook is filled with croquis.
  7. NaNoWriMo Report Card by SM Worth
    – This is my absolute favorite way of keeping track of my personal statistics every November. A 2015 Report Card hasn’t been released at this point, but you can always just save the 2014 one and change the start and end dates.
  8. WriteOMeter
    – I recently discovered this Android app (thanks, Ivane!) and am loving it so far. The only downside is that once you start a timer, you can’t pause or stop it. Or at least I haven’t figured out how to so far. But I’m still new to the world of ‘smartphones’ so it could just be me!
  9. Trello
    – A while back, I started hunting for, well, an index card app for both the computer and my phone. And I actually found one! It’s not quite the same as actual, physical index cards, but I like being able to take them with me (like to a restaurant) without actually having to bring the physical cards. Especially for massive projects where ‘a stack of index cards’ isn’t 5-10… but more like 50.
  10. Freedom
    – Internet blocking software. Need I say more? (Also, official NaNo sponsor.)
  11. Microsoft Word
    – I know a lot of people who swear by Scrivener. I’ve used WriteWay in the past, and enjoyed it. But the simple truth of the matter, for me, is that I’ve learned that all I really need is just something to type in. I don’t have time for the steep learning curve Scrivener requires, and WriteWay won’t let me display notes AND the word processor at the same time, nor can I make comments within the document itself. Word is simple, and universal. I personally use Word 2013. I have not done anything with Word 2016, so I can’t comment on any changes that may have been made.
Journal, Fashion Sketchbook, Index Cards. Just what I need for NaNo!
Journal, Fashion Sketchbook, Index Cards. Just what I need for NaNo!

What tools will you be using for NaNo this year?

Recent Comments

  • jazzfeathers
    October 17, 2015 - 1:25 pm · Reply

    Fantastic post!
    I love the report card (so much that I started using all though the years… ahem…) the NaNo forum are just wonderful and keeping in touch with NaNo buddies is maybe the best thing of the challenge.

    I’m going to do just weekly posts on my blog, will you on yours? Just to see the progress 🙂

    • Rebekah Loper
      October 17, 2015 - 2:00 pm · Reply

      The report card is fantastic. I’ve been using it for years, too, and it’s probably my best stats-resource at the end of every November. And yes, keeping up with NaNo buddies is the best!

      I will probably do weekly NaNo updates here, but we’re also going to be doing them on the Ferret blog, so I’m a bit undecided about it.

  • Rebecca Enzor
    October 19, 2015 - 11:01 am · Reply

    Thanks for the link to the report card! I love those things (you know, until I start failing ;P)

    I’m way behind on world building, but I figured out a big important thing this weekend, so mostly I need to name people now. I hate naming people. I might just call them Guy and Girl and Brother for a while 😛

    Good luck with NaNo!

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About Rebekah

Rebekah Loper writes character-driven epic fantasy featuring resilient women in trying and impossible circumstances who just want to save themselves but usually end up saving the world, often while falling in love.
She lives in Tulsa, OK with her husband, dog, two formerly feral cats, a small flock of feathered dragons (...chickens. They're chickens), and an extensive tea collection. When she's not writing, she battles the Oklahoma elements in an effort to create a productive, permaculture urban homestead.