How To Keep Track of Series

Posted February 14, 2014 by Debby in Uncategorized

Yes, ladies and gentlemen, it’s time for another How To! I put on my spreadsheet-making pants again this week to tackle something I desperately needed an organized system for: book series. I mean, I know right? So many series in the YA world, and it’s so easy to forget about them or just NEVER FINISH THEM AT ALL. WELL. I have the spreadsheet for you!

Now, before this spreadsheet, I used some Goodreads shelves to keep track of this: series starter, series following, series dropped lost interest, and series completed. It worked for the most part, but it did get harder and harder to keep up with as I started more and more series. So. Once again, I’m using spreadsheets via Google Docs. This time, I have four different tabs.

Tab 1: Series Need To Catch Up

2014-02-14 09_57_01-Book Series
First of all, there are series that I’ve started, that I want to continue, but where I’m running behind. Either there are more books out that I haven’t read yet, or the series is completed, but I’m just not done with it (see last column).

Currently I’m behind on 24 series. Ouch. Looking at this spreadsheet, I should really finish the Incarnate series and Divergent…. it would be nice and relatively easy to move those over to my finished series tab. *cough* Anyway.

Tab 2: Series In Progress – Caught Up

2014-02-14 10_03_48-Book Series
Of course, there are other series that I haven’t exactly finished, but there also are no more books for me to read at the moment. But I can’t forget about those either! So here I’m keeping track of the series in progress which I’m caught up on. For this tab, I added a column to show when the next book is coming out. I think that’ll really help me, because I can keep them sorted by the release dates of the next book and then I can keep up with them as they’re coming out. I don’t want to have to move these series back to the “need to catch up” tab. ;__; that would be an admission of failure.

Currently I’m caught up and following 17 series. I thought that number would be lower, to be honest.

Tab 3: Series I Finished

2014-02-14 09_26_32-Book Series
Now this is the tab that should make me feel better about myself. The series I’ve finished. As you can tell… I’m really freaking awful at finishing series. 13 in total? Seriously? Yeah. *hides* Last year I finished 6. This year, I’m at 2 already, which sounds better, but seriously. I need to get my act together. After all, it is one of my resolutions to finish more series this year.

I don’t know why exactly I wanted to keep track of the publication year, but I suppose it’s nice to see how far off I get from the publication date to when I finish. Mostly I’m going to revel in the feeling of satisfaction when I get to move a series from tab 1 or 2 to this one. Oh yeah man.

Tab 4: Series Dropped

2014-02-14 09_46_55-Book Series
This is where it gets interesting. While I confessed to you this week that I am terrible of giving up on books halfway through, I have no trouble deciding not to continue a series anymore. This is the only way to really keep the “series following/need to catch up” at a manageable number. Every once in a while, I browse through the series that I say I’m “following” and re-evaluate. I mean, there are some that I just lose interest in (like Delirium and Matched). Some made me rage (i.e. The 5th Wave, Witch Finder), but I actually finished the books. But obviously, I won’t be continuing with the series. I mean, I’m not a masochist.

Sometimes though, I might want to revisit dropped series – which is why I added a “reasoning” column here. Without having to search for a review or something, I can just browse and see which series might deserve a second chance. Currently, there are 24 series that I have officially dropped.

That’s It!

Anyway, that’s all I have to share for this spreadsheet. Obviously you could expand it to show genres, or the number of pages that you’ve read, or the publisher/imprint, or the average rating per series (that’s one I’m probably going to add soon). But this a bare bones way to keep track of all the series you’ve started reading. Now… how do you keep track of your series?



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18 responses to “How To Keep Track of Series

  1. I have a word document where I keep track of :
    -Series completely published.
    -Series ongoing.
    -Series DNF.
    -Series finished.

    Last year I finished 13 series and this year I want to finish at least 12 series. I’m also trying to figure out how many series I finished ever, but that’s difficult. I’m busy with 34 ongoing series and 25 completely published series. I’ve dropped 24 series for sure and there are 8 series on ‘maybe’

    Your awesome spreadsheet always put mine to shame, though, haha.

  2. This is SUCH a good idea.

    I’ve started ALOT of new series recently, and while some of the most amazing ones won’t be forgotten, some of the others might fall through the cracks. Which would be a shame.

    I might kinda steal this idea XD



    *sobs at 90-something series I’m behind in*

    (Real talk which will be paranthetical to my keening bc it feels right at the moment: I keep mine all in one spreadsheet. I like your different spreadsheets, but I’m also not sure if I wouldn’t be too lazy to move books between them. Hmmmmm. I might try it anyway.

    You are my spreadsheet tweetheart.

    It just occurred to me how dirty the word spreadsheet sounds.

    I think I’m done.


  4. Ini

    This is such a wonderful idea to keep track of series..I’m a person that starts series and doesn’t finish it, not because it wasn’t interesting, I tend to lose track of it. Honestly, this idea never struck me. Maybe I’ll work on it. Usually if have all the books in series i tend to finish it up.

  5. I seriously have a love affair with all of your spreadsheet posts, Debby! You’re an organizer after my own heart <3 I've been trying to figure out how to keep track of series (especially since I'm reading so many lately), so it's almost like you read my mind when you came up with this. THANK YOU <3

  6. First off, I just want to say that I am a brand new follower (like only 2 days) and I LOVE your blog!! I keep track of series on a word document. Each series title is numbered and then each book is bulleted and followed by book number in parentheses. If it is not released yet, the release date follows the parentheses with a hyphen and date. Once I finish a book, I use strike-through. Once I finish a series, I move it down under the finished series header.

    I also have a series-to-finish shelf on Goodreads. I’m currently in the middle of 54 or 56 series. I can’t remember off the top of my head right now, but it’s an insane amount. And I’m trying so badly not to start new ones, but it’s so hard!

  7. I love this! Mostly because I just love spreadsheets. And because I’m a series addict.

    I thought about creating one to keep track of my series, but instead I made a secret GR group. Mostly so I could look at all of the pretty covers. 😛

    I have 6 different threads for tracking my series:

    1. Finished: Series that I’m finished with.
    2. Abandoned: Series I don’t plan on continuing.
    3. Complete + In Progress: Series that are done, that I’m currently reading.
    4. Continuing + In Progress: Series that aren’t done, that I’m currently reading.
    5. Complete + To Read: Series that are done, that I have my eye on to start.
    6. Continuing + To Read: Series that aren’t done, that I have my eye on to start.

  8. Yay more spreadsheets! I started creating my own spreadsheets because of you – books read and ARC-tracking – and I’m loving them. I feel super organized! I think tracking series is a great idea too. Although it’ll take some work to create cause i’ll have to look back at what i’ve read, I think it’ll be totally worth it. Thanks for sharing another awesome how-to!

  9. I just went through and did this today. I’m impressed with my statistics. I went through a binge reading series phase in middle school so that is where most of my finished series have came from. I’m hoping to change that this year.

    My stats:
    16 series finished
    11 series to finish
    5 dropped series

    I think I’m in a pretty good place. I count doulogy where I have read the first book so many I could finish pretty quickly.

  10. Ok, I’m a little late to the game, but boy did I have fun creating this spreadsheet and filling it with data. I’m a data junky! Thanks for the great examples. I think this is going to instrumental in helping me track my series books. Its also going to motivate me to catch up on the ones I really want to. Here are my stats:

    1. Currently, you are doing way better than me, I’m behind on 43 series!!! UGH On this tab I also added a column for notes. This is where I add a comment where I can find the next book, like if its at the library or how much it will cost me on Amazon.

    2. I have 22 that I’ve caught up on, but still am waiting to finish as the books release.

    3. I’ve only finished 8 series total since the year 2000. Yeah you thought your stats were embarrassing. I’m going to crawl back under my rock right now. I finished 5 series in 2013, which was a good year for me, but none yet for 2014. I need to get on that huh? I think the only reason I did well in 2013 was that I was involved in a challenge of some sort. It was motivational for sure.

    4. I don’t like to quit books either. I guess my sentiments resonate yours because I have 34 series that I have dropped. That huge, when I analyzed this data I was shocked. Most of them I lose interest in or the first book just pretty much sucked.

    Thanks for showing me this useful too. I’ve had a lot of fun playing around with the data and think it will be a huge help in the future.