Since my last spate of regular updates, I have been looking for something to really help with keeping track of my writing goals. At the moment, I have a day job (which I love, don’t get me wrong) and sometimes it can make writing difficult. I’m really struggling some days to help get myself on some kind of writing routine. For me, setting myself a goal (and a deadline) helps. For something like writing, there are a myriad of ways to set yourself a goal. It can be in how much time you want to spend. It can be in word count (my preferred method), or characters, or– the list goes on.
Finding a reliable way to keep track of your goal can be a bit troublesome. I did some Google searching one day. I was looking for a way to keep track of word count. I love the graphs and the progress bar that you get with NaNoWriMo; I wanted something like that, but not just for November. I stumbled upon Pacemaker.
It has become invaluable in keeping track of my goals. I’m the type that getting to see how far I am can help me keep going. It gives me motivation and satisfaction. What I like about Pacemaker is that it is supremely flexible. You can use a lot of different metrics like word count, time, sections, chapters, pages. They have even added things for those needing to keep track of other goals like money, fitness, steps, etc. I used it for outlining and since I tend to do outlining in my WriteMind before I start writing, I used pages for my metric. It also has a wide variety of ways in which to proceed. For example, using a steady goal means that it will automatically calculate how many words (or whatever) you need a day during the time limit you set. You can do other settings aside from a steady pace as well. There’s Rising to the Challenge, Biting the Bullet, Mountain Hike, Valley, Oscillating, and Randomly. The great thing is, you can change it as much as you want and it calculates automatically based on your settings.
One of the other things I love about it is that if you know specific days or specific dates are going to be better or worse for your goals, then you can either skip them, have the daily goal change to be less than other days, or more depending.
They also have four different ways to view it. There’s the table, the graph, the calendar,
and the bar graph. Personally, I keep it in calendar as I’m working on things, but I love looking at the bar graph every so often and when I complete it all, I plan on saving the graph and printing it out. There is also a progress bar up at the top of the screen at all times, which is lovely.
Now, I have the Premium account because I wanted to be able to use everything they have as well as everything they plan on coming out with. Their free account gives you the ability to make two plans at a time. The premium account (at $8 a month or $72 for the year) gives you no limitations plus more features. I have found it more than worth the price, but even the free account might work well for some. One of the features you can get with the premium account is another calendar view that shows all of the current projects/goals you may be working on at one time. So if you are working on a novel, maybe another outline, or a short story plus if you want to keep track of how often you go to the gym, it would all be there at a glance. There is also the ability to put a small description for each project and I do believe that is only for premium as well.
There are a few things I would love them to do, mostly have a mobile app and not just browser based, as well as maybe a built in timer. But then I’m greedy and I love one-stop shopping as it were. The less windows/apps/things I need, the better! As it is, I use Pacemaker and an Android app called Writeometer. But overall, I do love Pacemaker and I love the fact that they are so responsive to their community! They quite lovely and I can’t wait to see everything they come out with in the days, weeks, months, and years to come!