The Artist’s Hobo Tool: 5 Tools to Measure, and Increase, Productivity


This month’s focus is all about planning and productivity. As we create a marketing plan and track writing progress, it’s important to have tools to help you in your productivity.

Let’s start with the simple options: a stopwatch and a notebook. Sometimes going old school with an easy approach is the best way to go. So what is better than putting a notebook right beside your writing desk, use a stopwatch to monitor your time, and create a log of your accomplishments. It will seem small at first, but as you see each line added, eventually you’ll accumulate an impressive list, showing how persistence works in the long run. It’s better to write a couple hundred words every day than to do writing blitzes that are sporadic and unreliable in results (A personal opinion, not an fact closed for debate by any means).

Now that we’ve gone simplistic, let’s get technical. If you want to monitor your progress with a broader approach, Day One is a great journaling app. It can be a constant reminder for you, you can actually set reminders to write in the journal on a weekly, or daily, basis. What better reminder is there than a smartphone buzzing you for not writing?

Another great app that would be ideal for your writing, specifically, is Word Count. With a fantastic app logo, and simplistic functionality, it’s great to track your writing progress. You can have multiple projects and set your word count goals. While there are no social media sharing features or other advanced aspects, but it fulfills its purpose very nicely. The app serves a need and does it well. If you want other options, check out Adrie’s great post on her blog about three word count applications.

Of course, a lot of these avoid one thing, accountability from others. There’s a fantastic tool being used by one author who is on fire right now, Hugh Howey. He has his progress bars on writing very blatantly displayed. While it sometimes isn’t best to just imitate the successful, it’s better to blaze your own trail; however, here is a link to create progress bars that can be embedded on your website. Have your followers see your writing and where you’re at because the notion of disappointing others can be a fantastic motivator.

Finally, there is a magic tool that can help. Create a calendar. However, don’t just put tasks down to complete, schedule a block in which you will do something that, for many, seems near impossible. Schedule a time in which you turn of all electronics, WiFi, and cell phones. On this calendar, when you are finished, write down what you accomplished. See what happens and write down on a calendar what you accomplished without technology to bog your day.

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