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Writer's log

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Posted by Dellu
Jul 16, 2018 at 05:43 PM


I just read a research suggesting that writing a log boosts productivity (book: Publish & Flourish: Become a Prolific Scholar), up to 400%.

Do you guys log your writing progress?
do you use any outliner tool for this kind of purpose?


Posted by Paul Korm
Jul 16, 2018 at 09:08 PM


I do not.  Though I write quite a bit, most of it is for clients and is on case.  Amount written is not a meaningful metric for me.

However, I know Ulysses has interesting widgets for tracking writing production.  I wouldn’t pay the price of Ulysses just to get it, but if you own Ulysses and are not in the 50% who are turned off by it, then it would be worth a look.


Posted by Dr Andus
Jul 16, 2018 at 09:59 PM


I do log my writing progress (activity and output, such as word count) in the same Google Sheet where I’m recording my work times (pomodoros and breaks), but I have not noticed any miraculous 400% improvement.

It’s just a necessity for me to deal with my writer’s blocks and motivation problems and tendency to procrastinate.


Posted by Franz Grieser
Jul 16, 2018 at 10:03 PM


Well, I do earn a large part of my living writing books and articles. And I do not log my progress. It’s not the number of characters or words I write per day that counts for me but content and quality (what I wrote) and satisfaction (how I feel about it). And that’s not a question of numbers.

In the past, I tried several times to log progress. But found myself “forgetting” to log the progress in the spreadsheet I set up for that. It simply didn’t matter to me. What did matter was my publisher urging me to let go of the first chapter ;-)


Posted by Luhmann
Jul 17, 2018 at 05:04 AM


When you have a large project that needs steady progress over a long period of time, keeping a log or meeting a minimal daily goal is useful for getting one to be productive even on a slow day. With the latest major update Ulysses implemented this very well, allowing you to now set such goals at the project level rather than only at the level of individual sheets (as before). Goals could be something like “at least 500 words per day.” I find it useful to set the goal low, because once you reach the goal you are likely to keep going - it is more a way to make oneself set aside time to focus on writing each day than a quota. This only really works for the first draft however, it is much harder to use word counts when you are revising or editing. Then it might be useful to have a goal of spending a minimum of 90 minutes a day or something of the sort.

It serves a different purpose, but Ulysses ability to set a goal of a certain time when read aloud is useful for drafting conference papers…


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