The written word makes the world go round.
As soon as we open our devices, we are met with a plethora of content. Whether it’s the news, education, gossip, or the article you are reading right now, a writer (and often an editor) is behind it.
Writers and editors of all kinds often have issues with impending deadlines. Simply put, you cannot force yourself to write when there is no inspiration.
Yet, if you are a professional writer, deadlines will be a key part of your life.
This is why you need to be as consistent with your writing as possible. That often means developing positive habits. In other words, you will need to write every day.
Tracking your progress while writing can seem like a tedious addition to an already difficult task.
However, it can teach you discipline. It can also help you realize how hard you are working and whether you’ve improved.
Here are the top seven best time tracking apps for writers and editors.
1. Time Analytics
This application is geared toward professional (freelance) writers.
Time Analytics is a time tracking application that uses timesheets to give its users an insight into their work. It is especially convenient for freelancers who want to make sure they’re getting an accurate report on their billable hours.
The time tracking system offers two tracking options.
The first one contains an automatic timer. In other words, all you have to do is create a task and click a button to track your time.
The other option allows users to create entries manually and enter the time spent on a task (aka an article or different text) after they’ve finished working on it for the day.
Each time entry contains an hourly fee field.
Again, each one is also connected to a specific project and can be set to a specific client if you’re working with multiple companies. In other words, you will be able to allocate expenses to the right clients automatically.
Why Should Writers and Editors Use Time Analytics?
As we have previously mentioned, Time Analytics is a great software solution for freelancers who want to manage their time effectively. Also, as you probably know, writers and editors are some of the most sought-out freelancing professions.
Time Analytics makes a freelancer’s life easier through accurate time tracking and other features.
Timesheet filtering is a great way to see, for example, how many hours you’ve spent working for a specific client. You can also export this information into Excel. Then, you can send your clients an itemized bill either for the month or the complete project.
You can also set up mandatory fields when it comes to filling your timesheets. This means you won’t be able to submit the timesheet if you haven’t supplied it with important information. You can create a template in the program, and use it for all projects.
Finally, Time Analytics will deliver many useful graphic reports. this means you will be able to track not only your time but your business overall. This means you’ll be able to notice negative business practices and eliminate them even before they take a serious toll on your finances.
- Time tracking – you can either use an automatic timer or create manual entries. The entries can be connected to specific projects and clients as well
- Notes – create notes for yourself or your clients within the timesheets. This way you won’t be overcrowding your actual work, but won’t forget to comment either
- Clean interface – Time Analytics has an extremely simple interface. This means anyone can use it in only a few minutes a day and provide all necessary information
- Hourly fees – you can set up different fees for different clients. In other words, you will be able to accurately calculate costs for all clients
- Reports – even though the timesheets are incredibly simple to fill, you will still receive many useful reports that can point to potential business mistakes
2. Write or Die 2
The name of this app itself will resonate with writers who get distracted easily. Rather than focusing on the financial side of things, Write or Die 2 focuses on motivating writers to get to writing.
The app is based on the principle of reward and punishment. You can set up a specific goal and time to complete it. The rewards and punishments consist of different images and audio files. These can be extremely unpleasant or calming, depending on your success.
Currently, the second version of the site is fully functional, while the third is being developed. You can use the app either via the website, desktop, or iOS app.
- Reports – receive reports on your sessions, number of words, invested time, etc.
- Reward or punishment – motivate yourself to write your goal count or suffer the consequences
- Customizability – create the perfect interface for yourself
Write or Die 2 is free
3. Time Doctor
Time Doctor is another universal time tracking app. This means it’s more focused on tracking your work habits and the business side of things. It takes a relatively strict approach to time tracking.
In other words, your activity will be monitored. This includes apps and web pages you use during the day. There is even an optional screenshot option. If you are looking to analyze your work habits, you can rely on Time Doctor to give you accurate insight.
The platform is a great option for freelancers due to its simple integrations with different payment platforms, including Payoneer and Paypal. This means you’ll be able to receive payments directly proportional to your work.
- Activity tracking – learn where your time goes, and identify your biggest distractions
- Payment integrations – receive payments through the app
- Reports – learn how you can increase your productivity and get paid more
RescueTime is one of the most famous time tracking applications. It has existed for quite a while, and it has proven its usefulness again and again. The platform is available on all devices. This means you can wake up in the middle of the night, be inspired, and write on your phone. This time will also be calculated into your goals and fees.
As writers often don’t make the distinction between personal and work time, RescueTime could be a great addition to their routine. Namely, the app tracks user activity and monitors web pages and apps they’re using at any time.
It also features a Focus Work option, which eliminates distractions and multitasking.
- Focus sessions – eliminate multitasking and distractions from your workdays
- Multiple devices – work from any device and at any time
- Activity tracking – let the software track the apps and web pages you are using
Freedom is a productivity app created to eliminate distractions. As most writers know, it’s extremely easy to get lost in the opulence of the internet. Hence, a distraction-blocking app is a great way to go about things.
Freedom is available on Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, and Chrome. Additionally, you can use a single account for multiple devices. The settings will synchronize across all of them.
You can choose to start a session at any time. However, if you prefer routine, you can set your schedule upfront.
Finally, Freedom gives you an option to select your distractions – applications and sites you don’t want to access.
- Scheduling – create a schedule to support positive work habits
- Device synchronization – set up your week and follow the plan
- Customizability – select the web pages and apps you want to be locked out of
6. 750 Words
You may be wondering why is this number – 750 words – that important. Namely, this number is enough to fill three pages of a book. This pace allows you to estimate the amount of finished text you’ll have relatively accurately.
This application can be used as a great means of motivation. That is its primary purpose, and it manages to do it through a reward system. Each day of writing awards you a point. Getting to 750 words will give you two points.
The application delivers reports in the form of charts. These charts show your progress and writing habits. Finally, there is a growing community of users. No one will understand you better or help you write yourself out of a corner than your fellow writers.
- Word counter – see your progress and improve your habits
- Community – receive advice and talk to fellow writers
- Reports – see how you’re advancing and what you can improve
750 Words is free for all users
Bookflnow is another tracking app dedicated exclusively to writing. The creator of the app is a prolific writer herself. This means she understands you and can help you become more productive.
The application is cloud-based, which enables users to write from any device as long as they’re logged into their account.
The software was created to be as simple to use as possible. That means anyone can use it without having to learn the ropes for a while.
The app comes with different useful features. For example, you can brainstorm and keep your plans in one place. You can also define your daily word count goal and track whether you’re reaching it.
- Import and export – import already started works in progress
- Reports – understand the way you’re pacing yourself
- Editing – change scene order through a drag-and-drop system
Whether you are a freelance writer or want to create the optimum conditions to finish your WIP, you can use some help.
Being a writer isn’t an easy feat. You could be struggling to focus, get inspired, or keep writing a consistent number of words. On the other hand, you could be struggling with charging your clients.
Either way, you could use a way to keep track of your writing.
Consistency is extremely important when it comes to nurturing your craft. There are many great options when it comes to time tracking for writers and editors. We wrote this article in hopes to help you no matter which issues you’re facing.
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