How to Make a Progress Tracker

I’ve recently created and tested a “progress tracker” for my knitting project. In theory, this can be used for other projects that require tracking progress, such as reading a novel, reaching a running mileage goal, or anything else! Take a look at my first one and I’ll walk you through how to make one!

 

Why Use a Progress Tracker vs. Check-Boxes?

A progress tracker is great for quantitative, measurable goals (such as running 50 miles in a month, reading 200 pages in a week, etc.). It allows me to visualize my goal and see how close I am to finishing it. You can literally take a ruler and line it up with your progress to predict what day you will finish if you continue at your current pace! Don’t get me wrong, check-boxes are great too, but they are better for qualitative, non-measurable goals (such as calling mom and dad once a week, taking my vitamins everyday, etc.). Take a look at my progress tracker below! Keep in mind, this was for a single project. My how-to section will allow you to make progress trackers for multiple projects (or books, fitness mileage goals, etc).

 

For my first progress tracker, I only created space for one project. It was a simple pattern, so I wrote down the stitches, needle size, and yarn weight as well. Each day, I would update how much longer my scarf was!
For my first progress tracker, I only created space for one project. It was a simple pattern, so I wrote down the stitches, needle size, and yarn weight as well. Each day, I would mark in how much longer my scarf was!

 

How to Make a Progress Tracker

Step 1: Set-up the y-axis (vertical)

Start by thinking of what you want to measure. Here, it’s the length of the knitting project. For you, it could be pages in a book or miles to run in a month. Then, estimate the maximum value for any project/book/goal you might have in the near future. For me, I chose a length of 6 feet because I know I won’t ever knit a project longer than 6 feet — that’s exhausting!

Next, you’ll have to do some math to make sure whatever you choose will fit on the page. Don’t forget to leave room at the bottom to record your project/book/goal descriptions. Here, I’ve made 4 boxes for each feet, meaning that each box is 3 inches (1 feet = 12 inches, 12 inches / 4 = 3 inches). For a runner who wants to run 50 miles in month, they might do 2 miles per box!

Setting up the y-axis. Start with the larger milestones, in this case, it's the number of feet my scarf is!
Setting up the y-axis. Start with the larger milestones, in this case, it’s the number of feet my scarf is!

 

Mark up the in-between boxes carefully — don’t lose count! Although if you mess up, there’s always white-out or a fresh page!

Count the smaller intervals carefully! Here, I chose to go by intervals of 3 inches.
Count the smaller intervals carefully! Here, I chose to go by intervals of 3 inches.

 

Step 2: Set-up the x-axis (horizontal)

Repeat a similar process with the x-axis. All of my knitting projects will take less than 3 weeks to complete (I hope) so each box is worth 1 day. I start by marking where each week starts and ends in case I lose count as I mark the numbers.

Setting up the x-axis by marking where each week is separated.
Setting up the x-axis by marking where each week is separated.

 

Step 3: Project Description and Start Dates

After marking each of the Days 1 through 21 (or in your case, it could be different lengths of time, such as Week 1 through Week 21, depending on the nature of your goal), record the start day of your project/book/goal. This will correspond with “Day 1”. What I also like to do is write the project name, with some basic specifications, like the yarn weight, needle size, and goal length. This also allows me to color-code the graph in the future with future projects! You can save pages in your notebook and compare knitting paces this way.

You can see I simply filled in the x-axis with day numbers. Then, I began placing in space for project descriptions, for multiple projects!
You can see I simply filled in the x-axis with day numbers. Then, I began placing in space for project descriptions, for multiple projects!

 

Step 4: Using the Progress Tracker

Start by marking your goal length and the deadline. Here, I want to knit 2 feet of my cowl within 3 weeks. Each day, mark where you are in the progress, even if you didn’t make any progress that day. Soon, you’ll have a good idea of how fast you go and when you might finish!

I marked in my goal for this project, which is 24 inches, or 2 feet, which I want to finish in three weeks. You can see it marked in blue on the right!
I marked in my goal for this project, which is 24 inches, or 2 feet, which I want to finish in three weeks. You can see it marked in blue on the right!

 

The Progress Tracker is ready to use!

Ta-da! The overall view of the progress tracker. When multiple projects come into play, I'll update!
Ta-da! The overall view of the progress tracker. When multiple projects come into play, I’ll update!

 

1 Comment

  1. […] the addition of a progress tracker for something I started. The progress tracker idea came from Blue Paper Trail. I’m going to leave you hanging on what it’s being used for. […]

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