Bloggers, writers, and authors often have the need to track their word count in some way or the other as they progress. This helps in several ways.
An increasing word count encourages you to keep going. Many times writers have to stop their progress to check if they have reached, exceeded or still need to complete a set word limit. Stopping in between can tend to mess up a thought chain, and when you get back you’re back to the start of the process. So having a tracker rather than having to stop and look back every once in a helps accomplish much more.
Tracking writing progress can help you plan. You can check in real-time how long it takes you to plan, write, and revise your pieces. That’s pretty important if you are on a deadline or if your publisher, or Content writing Department editor want to know how long it’ll takes you to write on average. Based off the time you took to write your last few pieces or books, you can give a realistic estimation.
A consistent check on your progress keep you committed and capable of realizing your writing goals, and helps you make adjustments. There is always the factor of human error when assessing ourselves, and you may miscalculate your writing speed. In such cases a tracker can help you catch yourself in time and let you gauge deadlines correctly.
Once you’ve decided to track of your writing speed or progress, there are many methods at your disposal.
Writing Tracker Spreadsheets
Writers often use spreadsheets to enter their daily word count and time details. A writing tracker spreadsheet lets you to monitor your writing in terms of word count. It may also provide summaries and allow you to create graphs. You can track your daily or piece based writing word count, set monthly word count goals, or count your word progress to display on an overview sheet. Simply create your own spreadsheet or download one online as you prefer. Microsoft Excel, is a popular spreadsheet option and if you are new to spreadsheets, it would make an excellent starting point.
Creating Graphs for Word Count Tracking
A graph helps you visualize your writing progress. You can gain quick insights, and record information about your word count in your spreadsheet. When choosing to make graphs, simplify it as much as you can. Don’t lose focus on colorful backgrounds, fonts or 3D styles as oftentimes these add-ons obscure your data and divert attention away from important insights. Remember your purpose is to provide maximum information through the visualization of your data in the word count tracker. You can opt for a free account at Writer’s Database or StoryToolz, which let you to create graphs displaying your development.
Writing Progress Bars
Another option is to display a progress bar on your website, or your blog. Progress bars are simply used to show the progress of a task, just as when you are uploading or downloading something from the internet. In android development, there is a class called ProgressDialog which can easily create a progress bar. The internet has readily available free progress bars such as the progress meter at Writertopia or a simpler version would be the word meter on Critique Circle.
You could go non-technical and maintain a calendar, daily planner or journal to file away your daily word count, tips, hacks, challenges, and successes. Separating each writing milestone outlining your book, such as writing first drafts, and revising can help you note how long each step takes you.
Adding these non-technical tricks was for you writers out there who are wary of technology, but in my opinion, technology is the be-all and end-all of our times. I would suggest it is time to jump aboard and move full steam ahead with any of the apps below.
Google Docs Writing Tracker
The Google Docs Writing Tracker automates how much you write each day by logging and tracking your pieces. It can record your daily word counts onto a Google Spreadsheet. It is also capable of generating a Daily Writing Almanac message summarizing your writing stats, streaks and records. It will generate an email detailing what you wrote, and showing differences from writings of the previous day.
This is a great tool designed for those who write in Google Docs. It can record and work well with plain text files, Markdown files, HTML, or any other file type that is plain text (not . DOC or DOCX, for instance).
Writeometer is simple to use. You can set a daily goal and a final goal for your writing project, and set a projected alarm to be reminded to write. You can set daily writing reminders, a twenty-five-minute timer to check your writing speed, use of a thesaurus, word clouds, and inspirational quotes, and a writing log to watch your progress.
Writing Schedule Apps
Writing isn’t easy, but there are many apps to help you stay organized and focused. These (mostly) free apps for writers will help you organize any writing project comfortably.
ProWritingAid is an online style guide, writing coach, and editor. It accentuates potential drawbacks in your writing that an average grammar checker will miss, like overused or abstract words, transitions, and abstract words, to help you have a well-guided, organized writing journey.
Hubspot’s Blog Topic Generator helps generate great blog ideas and topics, especially when you’ve hit writers block and coming up with new content.
Milanote is a user friendly, easy-to-use tool that set your story ideas and projects into visual boards. Visualizing your content helps you track everything from character, to plot relationships and order of scenes. Milanote’s allows you to write notes and to-do lists, upload images and files and to save images, texts, and links from the web.
Scribus is a free, open source platform that lets you craft professional layouts for everything from fliers to magazines. Scribus is both easier to use and cheaper than tools like Adobe InDesign but you may need some help getting started.
Or you can take matters in your own hands and get a customized, bespoke application made for you specific to your writing needs. Adding in features will be up to you, whether you would like to link it to a dictionary or thesaurus or require images to be added to it. Make that decision as to what features you would like incorporate into your digital solution, whether you want it to be a simple spreadsheet or an overall solution is your choice: we will help you get there.
Get in touch today. We’re ready!