Blogs are great to this kind of work, we can easily start one and have a daily record on what we have done specially if we have to share the process with a team or our supervisor.
Gantt charts are great to organize our time, we can divide our project in different tasks and assign a time to each one. Through a Gantt chart we can easily see what has been done, what has to be done and how much time is left.
Here you have some tips on how to organize the whole process:
1. Your topic should be narrowed down and research question chosen before summer.
2. If possible start gathering information during the academic year so that during the summer you only need to refine your research to suit your topic.
3. Finish the preliminary work for your essay in advance. (readings, experiments, gathering of quotes, preparing data...)
4. Do an outline and ask different people to read it in order to make sure that is understandable by everyone.
5. Make sure your essay is going in the right direction, and isn't on the line with another subject's criteria.