After receiving a UserVoice message about productivity tracking, I’ve decided to write up this post for users who would like to improve their workflow by using Write!’s counters and statistics. Tracking the amount of writing produced per document is key to improving your efficiency as a writer. By using these tools, you’ll be able to see where the weak points in your process are and what areas you need to improve.
A Bit About Write!’s Counters
After you open Write!, you’ll see an icon in the bottom left corner of the app (“Tweet”, “Social”, “Email”, etc.). Clicking it will bring up a window with statistics for the opened document. It contains wordcount, character count (with spaces and without), number of A4 pages, reading time, and the most interesting statistic of all: how many words and characters per minute you wrote that day. Plus, the app will approximate what type of writing you’re doing by length. For instance, this post is correctly identified as an article, contains 688 words, is 2 A4 pages long (sans screenshots), and will take approximately 3 minutes to read.
Setting and Tracking Writing Goals
Productivity hinges on achieving goals, and now you don’t have to stop the process to count up how many pages you’ve finished. You can set an in-app goal for any statistic that Write! provides, except words per day and characters per minute. Here is how to use the feature: click the counter icon (document type by default), pick the stat that you’d like to set a limit on, double click it, and set your goal. That’s it!
Once you’ve done that, the icon will display your goal and start counting down to it while you work on your document. If you’re limited to, say, 500 words for your blog post, you’ll know you’ve hit the limit as soon as the icon starts displaying the amount of superfluous words in red. To remove the limit double click the stat again, remove the number you’ve put in, and press enter. Yep, that easy.
How to Use This Feature to Improve Productivity
Some writers like to go back and make changes while they’re still in the process of writing. Others prefer to write something in one go and not look back until they’ve sat down to edit. You should write in the way that works best for you, but, if you’re writing a 400 word blog post and your counter is showing that you’ve written 2000 words at the end of the day, then you might be stopping too much to go back and edit. Try making a detailed outline, write it from start to finish, and then come back to edit once you’ve taken a breather. Writing is rewriting, true enough, but a perfectionist is never finished, and if time is a concern, you might want to stop editing too much.
If you’re writing something lengthy like a novel, you should set a writing goal for each day and not stop until you’ve hit it. With Write!’s counter, you can see where the finish line is at a glance. That drink you want is just 500 words away, and once you’ve hit that goal, you’ll know you deserve it!
If you’re numbers-driven, you can track your work habits by using the words per day and character per minute counters. The counters are reset each day, so you should save the figures from each session, and try to beat yesterday’s score. For example: today I wrote 1300 words at a rate of 120 characters per minute. Share your stats with us in the comments!
In short, if improving productivity is what you want, data is what you need. Setting goals, tracking speed and efficiency is easy as pie with Write!’s counter tool. Check your stats each day and improve your output by saving them into a spreadsheet and comparing how well you did each week to the previous ones. Stick to a regiment, and you’ll be on your way to becoming an unstoppable writing machine.