Written by 5:32 am Bookish, Organizing

How to Track Reading Challenges With a Spreadsheet

Reading Challenge Tracker Spreadsheet

Tracking the books for reading challenges can be a bit of a hassle so here’s how you can build a spreadsheet to help monitor your progress + a template!

Different Types of Challenges

There are 2 different types of challenges …

  1. One type has multiple categories or themes e.g. our very own Monthly Motif Challenge.
  2. The other is the type where you read a certain number of books, e.g. Follow the Clues Mystery Challenge or the Shelf Love Reading Challenge.

Organization – List Your Challenges

✼ On one of the tabs of the spreadsheet – list your challenges.

For challenges that have categories or monthly themes (#1 above), put each challenge in it’s own column and then list the monthly themes or categories below it.

Then create another column with for “Other Challenges” and list all the challenges below it (you could list all challenges – even the ones with themes if you want).

reading challenges tracker

✼ Create a column for “Other Challenges” where challenges that don’t have categories or themes will be listed.


Organize the Challenge Tracker Tab

✼ Create another tab – the Tracker. This will have the list of books and a way to track which challenge each book belongs to.

✼ Create columns for book details. For example, my spreadsheet has columns for …

  • Book Title
  • Author
  • Genre
  • Setting (I’m doing a location based challenge)
  • Read (have I finished reading the book)
  • Rating

reading challenges tracker tab

✼ Create a column for each of the challenges with themes or categories. E.g. my spreadsheet has columns for …

  • Monthly Motif
  • Diverse Reads
  • A to Z Location Edition
  • Around the World Through Language

challenge tracker


Use Data Validation to Create Drop-Down Lists

✼ Use the “Data Validation” command to create drop-down lists in a cell under each of the challenges.

So, in a cell under one of the challenges, eg. Monthly Motif Challenge

  • Right click on the cell
  • Choose “data validation”
  • In “Criteria” select ‘list from a range”
  • Click the icon and go to the “Challenge” sheet and select the list under the appropriate challenge.

reading challenge validation

✼ Copy and paste this cell into the others in the column.

✼ Do the same thing for all the other challenges and “other challenges” column.


Now, fill in the book details, and select which challenge, or which category of each challenge the book is for.

Example Reading Challenge Tracker

Example Reading Challenge Tracker Template (Google doc.) – Copy and Paste it to make it your own.


How do you track progress on your reading challenges?

(Image Credit)

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Tanya Patrice
Tanya is an avid reader - teenage boy wrangler - husband tamer - knowledge seeker.
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Tags: , Last modified: January 1, 2019
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