Last year, I saw a lot of comments about Beat the Backlist participants wondering how to keep track of the books they read for this reading challenge. Because there’s an optional component where you can submit books for points, it can be easy to forget which books you already added. So based on the positive response from this past year, I’ve set up another tracking template for everyone to take advantage of for 2019!
When you open the template, you’ll see a How-To tab and the next one shows the actual template sheet. Each column is labeled and ready to go!
At the bottom of the sheet are tabs with the different Hogwarts Houses as well as the general Reader tab. All the tabs contain the exact same template. I just color-coded in case you really wanted to get into the team spirit.
You can delete all the tabs you don’t plan to use by Right Click >>> Delete. You don’t need them but it was easier for me to share them all on one document.
The main columns you’ll likely focus on are Title, Author, and Read. The first two are self-explanatory, and once you read a book, you can check the box in that row under the READ column. This will be used both to help you keep track and contribute to some super brief stats in the upper right corner of the sheet (I’ll get to that!).
This means you can add your TBR list to the spreadsheet and mark books off as you read them! When you mark a book as READ, that cell will turn GREEN!
You can also check off if the book was a re-read or not. It won’t affect anything and re-reads count for Beat the Backlist, it’s just something extra for you!
Finally, in the top right of the spreadsheet, you’ll see a few colored cells that calculate some VERY basic stats from the spreadsheet. Every time you mark a book as READ, it will count it in the first row. If you decide to add how many pages a book is in the PAGES column, it will also calculate how many pages you’ve read.
Note: It will only count the pages for books marked as READ.
There are 2 additional checkbox columns that you’re welcome to use or delete as needed. The first is for anyone who wants to keep track of which books they have and haven’t reviewed. Based on the sign-up posts I’ve seen so far this year, I thought this would be a useful column for many of you.
TO BE CLEAR, reviews are NOT required for Beat the Backlist. You don’t need to review ANY of the books you read, and they won’t count for anything, but if you’re a reviewer and want to keep track, there’s a column for you!
For those participating in the Hogwarts House mini challenge. . .
If you are joining the Hogwarts House mini challenge this year and want to keep track of which books you’ve added to the Google Form for points, you can use the checkboxes in the SUBMITTED column.
The title cell “Submitted to Google Form?” is linked to the actual Google Form so you can easily open it and add new books!
But wait, there’s more!
This year I set up a way for everyone to see the books read and submitted through the Google Form. This does mean that if you don’t submit a book, then it won’t appear so keep that in mind.
The Books Read Index pulls all the books sent through the Google Form and places them in a single spreadsheet in the same document as the points and teams listings so you don’t have to jump around to multiple documents.
You will be able to search all the books submitted to check out a particular title, author, your teammates’ read books, or even what you’ve already submitted!! It’s a quick way to check if you’re not sure and it updates automatically.
This index lists every book submitted AND will also link to a Goodreads page or Review if you include it when you submit the book. Adding a link is COMPLETELY OPTIONAL and does NOT give you extra points, but if you want people to check out your review or the book, it’s a great way to promote it!
I thought reviews aren’t required for beat the backlist 2019. Why is there a column for it?
After reading many of the sign-up posts for this coming year’s challenge, I noticed that a lot of readers indicated they wanted to improve their reviewing so I added an OPTIONAL column for it. If you don’t want to track reviewing, you can easily delete the column!
Do I have to use the tracking spreadsheet?
Absolutely not! It’s simply a resource I’ve created if you want to use it. If you prefer to use Goodreads, or pen and paper, or whatever other tracking method works for you (or none at all!) go for it!
What if I’m not participating in the Hogwarts House mini challenge?
This template is set up to work for any reader for the challenge. You will see additional elements in the spreadsheet that might not apply to you, but you can easily delete them.
Do you track the books you read?
Already have a method you’d like to share?
Plan on using the tracking template for 2019?