This is going to sound like a product endorsement, and I suppose it is, but I just downloaded this thing (which is free) and I love it! I was looking for an app where I could keep track of my word count outside of NaNoWriMo, and this was the first app that popped up on my search. It had a lot of good ratings so I thought, what the hell? This turned out to be a good plan!
First of all, it’s more than a word counter. You start a project, and then you update that project as you go. You set a daily goal and a project goal, and it gives you the date you should be finished if you match that. Or, you give it a deadline and an overall word count goal, and it tells you how many words you need to write in a day in order to achieve it. It keeps a graph to chart your progress over time. Here’s a screenshot. It’s in French but you get the idea. The middle image is the project screen (note the inspirational quote about writing at the top of it). The left image is the graph, the right image is a bar graph of the same project for quick viewing to get a sense of where you’re at.
But I think the best feature is the timer. It offers a standard 25 minute countdown to word-sprint in. The timer starts as a bright green circle that will fade to white, then turns pink and finally red as the time counts down. It will notify you with a sound and/or a vibration when the timer runs out, and run it in the background or take over the whole freakin’ screen (my preference, especially since I have disabled my notification sounds on my phone due to chatty Facebook friends.)
And it’s brutal! I accidentally started it and tried to shut it off. It asked me “did I really want to fail this session?” The options were, “Keep writing” or “It’s important.” I clicked “It’s important,” and it offered me an inspirational quote about how “words are loaded pistols,” said by Jean-Paul Sartre, and then it gave me the option to either quit or to “keep firing pistols.” I guess I would classify all of this as “gentle nagging.”
You can set little rewards for yourself for doing the job. For instance, they start with “eat a cookie” or “take the dog out for a walk” for your 1 guava award (and yes, they use guavas as their counter-thingy). “Browse Facebook” is a 2 guava award (I made it a 3 guava award for myself; I would spend all day Facebooking if I wasn’t really firm with myself.) The sidebar menu shows a little guava icon with a number to keep track of your total right at the top, plus your menu options.
On top of all this, it posts inspirational quotes to inspire you on command, plus under the toolbox, it gives you a word of the day to expand your vocabulary, access to a full thesaurus and dictionary, and a “word salad” option to spark inspiration (the one that spoke of Piccadilly and Tutankhamen puts me in the mind of a steampunk book, but that will have to wait!)
Anyway, it’s free, and you can get it on your phone app store, or at the link below.
Now I gotta go back to work! I haven’t been on Facebook in a couple of days and I’m sure my friends are starting to miss me, and I need one more guava before I’m allowed to do that. 😉
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