Thursday, January 24, 2013


One of my favorite writing tools is a fantastic and free online app called WriteTrack, available from Written and coded by David Gale, and funded solely through donations, WriteTrack does exactly what it sounds like - it tracks your progress towards a predetermined writing goal. While there certainly are other basic word-count tools available online, none that I am aware of have the breadth of features that WriteTrack offers.

The first thing you do is to create a Challenge for yourself against which your daily progress can be measured. Here's what that looks like:

Here you input the name of your Challenge, any notes to yourself that might be relevant, your start and end date, and your total target of words for the challenge. If you are using this tool in conjunction with the annual NaNoWriMo competition, you can actually link your challenge directly to your NanoWriMo account. You can also set whether or not other users you add as Friends on WriteTrack can view your current progress on any Challenges you create.

Each day at the top of your calendar WriteTrack displays your total goal, how much you need to have written to be on track, and where you are currently. 

Here, you can see I failed to complete this particular challenge. By the end, I was still over 3,000 words short of my goal. 

Now then, here is where this app really shines:

For any given Challenge, the app automatically figures out how many words you need to write each day to make your goal. Each day, you input your progress, and it automatically adjusts your goals for the subsequent days to keep you on track. Here, you can see one of my challenges from last November. If you track my progress from day to day, you can easily see how my daily goal changed based upon my progress.  Days in which you make or exceed your goal display blue number, while days you fall short display in red. You can also go in and set a "weight" for any particular day, which will act as a percentage multiplier for your goal that day. Above, you can see several days where it lists a Weight of zero. These were days that I knew in advance I would not be able to write, and thus the daily goals took that into consideration from the very beginning. Of course, you could use this feature to also increase the amount you wanted to write in a single day too.

Finally, WriteTrack has all sorts of handy graphs and charts for those of you who enjoy endless statistical analysis of your writing habits. I personally find them a bit cumbersome and not truly all that helpful, but some of the information is certainly useful.

So if you are the type of person who is motivated by personal goals and likes a rigorous way to not only track your progress but also adjust on the fly to keep you on track, I would wholeheartedly recommend WriteTrack. And hey, it's free - so what do you have to lose?

So are you motivated by these types of goals in your writing? What tools do you use to keep you on track? What features would you like to see in this sort of application? As always, I'd love to hear your thoughts. Until next time...

1 comment:

  1. This is an awesome app!!! I'm going to use it now, thanks so much for sharing!!