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Writer's log

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Posted by Hugh
Jul 17, 2018 at 10:53 AM

 

Dellu wrote:

>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?


I do; I use a simple Excel spreadsheet of my own creation.

A cursory Internet search will turn up quite a few Excel, Numbers and Google templates of varying sophistication, complexity and elegance, e.g. Jamie Raintree"s http://jamieraintree.com/for-writers/. Usually, like Jamie Raintree’s, they’re designed for writers of novels, but I’ve also used mine for long-form factual efforts.

Many grew out of templates designed for NaNoWriMo, the American national novel writing month. All enable the recording of words per day and the totalling of those per week and often per month and per year; some offer writing duration in hours and minutes, allowing a “productivity” calculation; and a few go so far as having space for notes on such things as personal mood, details of the writing itself, and comments on the day’s work from the writer.

There also used to be some writing-log apps in the iOS app store; I haven’t checked lately. Of course, on the Mac, Day One or MacJournal could probably fit the bill. And, for ultimate simplicity there’s the nice WordCounter app, which counts the words every day and records them on a calendar.

I do believe that most writing logs can help to enhance writing productivity, if only by instilling in the writer a “don’t-break-the-chain” kind of determination to keep going. Use of some of the more complex templates can themselves be a time-sink, however.

But a productivity boost of 400 per cent? If only.

 


Posted by Stephen Zeoli
Jul 17, 2018 at 11:07 AM

 

The author David Hewson explains how he uses Ulysses to keep a writing diary for his novels:

https://davidhewson.com/2016/09/07/how-to-manage-a-book-diary-in-ulysses/

Steve Z.

 


Posted by Jeffery Smith
Jul 17, 2018 at 06:16 PM

 

As a graduate student, I was expected to keep a daily journal of everything we did in the lab. Not doing so meant possibly making the same mistakes again. If alchemists had kept better records, they would have spent fewer centuries trying to make gold from the same mixture of metals. Now that we are better at information technology, we shouldn’t have an excuse for making their mistakes. That said, I tried using Day One until they decided to go to a subscription format. I haven’t found a replacement, but try to keep some records in Evernote. I may try Tinderbox. DevonThink is too much. Bear and Ulysses are subscription. Scrivener might be good.

 


Posted by Dellu
Jul 17, 2018 at 09:52 PM

 

Jeffery Smith wrote:
>That said, I tried using Day
>One until they decided to go to a subscription format. I haven’t found a
>replacement, but try to keep some records in Evernote. I may try
>Tinderbox. DevonThink is too much. Bear and Ulysses are subscription.
>Scrivener might be good.

Have you tried Findings? (http://findingsapp.com/)
It is designed specifically for scientists. I am also in graduate school. But, I am not doing a lab.

 


Posted by Dellu
Jul 17, 2018 at 09:57 PM

 

Hugh wrote:


>I do believe that most writing logs can help to enhance writing
>productivity, if only by instilling in the writer a
>“don’t-break-the-chain” kind of determination to keep going. Use of some
>of the more complex templates can themselves be a time-sink, however.
>

Exactly. Writing a log is not about counting words. It is about reflecting on your directions as a writer.
Logging has a great psychological advantage, like DR Andus noted, to reduce writer’s block and procrastination.

The interesting part is the writing tasks (todos) themselves can be included in the log (be part of the log).

The log woud indeed include more notes on crafting the directions of the writing; no making decision about what to write and what to exclude….motivations, moods etc.

 


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