Timing App

Over the years, I've tried various ways to keep track of my writing. Last year, I logged my daily words counts for my dissertation to monograph writing for about ten months, until being a new professor meant I stopped keeping the log. I kept writing, mind, but ran out of steam in tracking my word counts. However, since I submitted my manuscript a few months ago, I've not been writing productively nor been diligent about tracking where my writing time goes. I've started three or four projects and made little progress on what I need to be doing.

Advice from sources as diverse as Jessica Abel and Paul Silvia suggest keeping track of where your time goes as one step towards being more productive. When I relaized I spend an hour a day reading the newspaper, the excuse I have no time begins to make no sense.

A few days ago, I started to use Timing an app for MacOS X. I've not purchased the app yet, but I plan to because it solves two issues with using a Google Sheet or a custom Tinderbox file to track word counts.

First, the friction of making an entry is almost nill: Click a menu icon, name the item, assign the project, and you're done.

Second, unlike my Google Sheet or Tinderbox, the focus here is not word count, but time. I find writing words easy enough. 99% of my writing is revision. As such, many of my words count entries last year were estimates, a rough guess at how many words I had revised.

I've come to think it more important to account for time spent writing, not words revised. There are other similar apps out there, but I like Timing because it does not sync to a cloud server and therefore there are no privacy issues, because it is not subscription based, and because there is no iPhone app.

The lack of an iPhone app might seem a weakness, but I find it useful to account for what I do on the computer, not everything I do.

A few days into using Timing, and I'm happy. If I am still using the app by the time the free trial runs out, I will purhcase it.