So, back on July 30, 2014, I decided I wanted to see if there was a good word count tracking app I could use for my writing. I had made such a search several times over the years, but had never found anything I quite liked. Finally, on that day, I discovered the app for me.
The app I now use is called Writing Journal and you can see the icon in my writing folder on my iPhone. I don’t know if this app is available for any other phones or devices.
You can search for this app through the App Store. You can search by the name of the app, Writing Journal, which you will have to scroll through several apps to get to or you can search for Word Tracker and it will be (at least for me) the first app that pops up.
When I found this app, the free version allowed you to track one piece of work at a time. So, for example, say that I finished Book 3 of my series and then wanted to track Book 4, I would need to delete the Book 3 Project in order to create one for the next. Therefore, if you are one to work on multiple projects at once, you would only be able to track one of them with this app. There is, however, the option to pay for an infinite number of projects.
When I bought the app, it was around three to four dollars. This allowed me to track as many projects as I wanted without losing the data. As you can see in the image below, I am currently only tracking two projects. One is already complete and the other I just started for NaNoWriMo.
You can name your project, select your project type, and set your word count goal. (This project was eventually split into two books, which is why I had the goal set as only 20,000 and it ended up being around 80,000 words)
Once a project is set up, you can begin tracking your word count and time. You can either set the timer by hitting Start Writing. At the end, it will bring up a screen when you hit Stop where you can enter your word count. Or you can manually enter your time and count by hitting + Session. There, you can enter your start and end time and word count for that session. I prefer to do it this way as I tend to forget to start and end the timer.
Once you start writing and adding your word count, the true magic of Writing Journal begins. There is quite a bit this handy app does, but I will probably bore you by writing about all of it. So I will show you what it does.
Tapping STATS brings up various totals for the project you are working on. As you can see, it tracks quite a bit. You have total hours and words so far, words for the day, and numbers for the current week.
Tapping DATA brings up a log of all your sessions, divided by days. You can scroll through every session for each project using this.
As you can see, at the bottom of DATA, you have the option to export the information or display it as a graph. These two options are new and I only noticed them yesterday. I can’t say if these are available on the free version or not.
When you select Export Data, it brings up an email message. Simply insert your email and send it.
Doing so will send you a file that can be saved as an Excel spreadsheet. I had to use the AutoSum to display the total word count and minutes spent writing. (I put the column labels at the bottom so that you could see them. They are actually at the top of the spreadsheet) I don’t use the Notes option but of course you can if you need them.
Now back in the DATA option, you can tap GRAPHS. This is probably now my favorite thing to do with this app. You can use the graph to display your yearly word count and hours spent writing, as well as your monthly word count and hours spent writing. I hadn’t paid much attention to how long I was working on my last novel and when I looked at this graph (the two on the left), I realized it had taken me only about 4 months to write it. (The two on the right are for my most recent novel.)
And then finally, you can post your graphs on Twitter or Facebook by tapping Share Graph at the bottom.
So that is it! I hope this answers the questions I have been asked regarding this tracking app. If I haven’t, please feel free to comment at the bottom of this post and I will get back to you as soon as I can. Hopefully I will be able to answer them. Now off to working on my NaNo novel. 😀