In November, one of the NaNo Facebook groups I belong to had a post that introduced me to a site still in beta called My Write Club. I tested it out with tracking my various writing goals for December, and now I’m here to report!
Note: no one asked me or approached me to make this review! I thought it sounded good, wanted to check it out, and now I’m passing along my thoughts and opinions in case you might want to add this to your toolbox.
What it does/How it works
It allows you to create your own status bars. Do you like NaNoWriMo’s progress bars? My Write Club lets you make your own. When you add a goal, you set your unit of measurement: words, chapters, scenes, and pages, among others. It will even let you customize it to something not on the list.
For example, I wanted to track number of times I blogged, so that bar counts by posts.
Then you set your target goal, description (this will appear as your project title), and deadline. And you’re in business.
You can even add friends. Friends receive emails when you update your progress. You can even comment on their goals or progress, which is great for cheering each other on.
When you’re done, you can archive the goal so you don’t end up with a super cluttered page.
- It’s simple. Straightforward. It doesn’t have a whole lot of bells and whistles because tracking is its only purpose. That makes it highly approachable to people like me who find themselves easily overwhelmed with these things.
- Progress bars are an excellent incentive for me. Something about the quantitative, visual element makes me feel more accomplished.
- In addition to the status bar, it shows you a graph of your progress. Yet another visual incentive to write and input my progress regularly.
- The ability to archive projects, and even reactivate them later on.
- The friends element. The ability to cheer each other on is fantastic and motivates me to do more. My Write Club also allows you to participate in word sprints – join a public one or create your own. I haven’t checked this feature out yet, but I love that it exists.
Cons (more a wishlist of additions)
- It might be too simple for some of us. A little customization for at least color and layout (though I’m sure it would be a headache and a half to code), and I’d love to be able to include text like a quote, excerpt, or summary for the projects.
- I’d like to be able to choose a beginning date for a project so I can set them up in advance for tracking things like monthly goals or challenges. Currently, it starts tracking from the time you create the project, and I want my graphs to be cleaner than that.
- Currently, it only gives you graphs and a status bar with percentage completed. I’d love to see it generate a few more stats, like a daily average and how much you need to write each day to reach your goal. Maybe include the ability to change the frequency so something like weekly or monthly to accommodate for the different counters that just don’t work so well with considered on a daily basis.
- Right now, there is no ability to delete a project or to create any sort of order among the finished goals. I will overrun my archive in short order, which detracts from the whole point of an archive (for me, the ability to look back and feel a sense of accomplishment at all I’ve done), thanks to the unorganized number of projects.
- You can’t customize how frequently you receive updates of your friends’ progress. Every time they update their projects, you get an email. With a lot of friends – or just one like me who’s tracking five projects at once.
By and large, I like the site. It has been good for my motivation and productivity, which is always a win. But the number of things I’m tracking on there is not currently sustainable. I need to cut back and find a better balance.If this sounds like something your wrier brain would work well with, check it out! Give it a try and let me know what you think!