Word count is by no means the best measure of effective writing, but it’s a useful metric for tracking your progress.
The Mac Word Counter app by Christian Tietze lives in the menu bar and automatically tracks your word count across apps. This is especially helpful for us writers who can’t seem to settle on a single app for writing.
Even when Word Counter is out of site, you can have its menu bar icon display your running word count for the day:
You can specify which apps you want Word Counter to track:
Once you’ve added your apps, just click on the menu bar icon to see a breakdown:
Hovering over the bars gives you an hour-by-hour, app-by-app breakdown of your progress. Very cool!
You can look at your day-by-day word count history, which is also impressively sub-divided into hours and apps:
And that’s honestly probably enough for most of us–a detailed word counting tool that is easy to access, updates automatically, and tracks multiple apps.
But there is also a nice additional feature of being able to track word counts on individual files. This comes in handy especially for a file you’re working on via Dropbox across multiple machines. Word Counter will track the word count for you via Dropbox, no matter what device you typed the words on.
The only downside to this feature is you have to manually refresh (icon at bottom right hand corner in the image above) to get the word count to update. (UPDATE: I’ve just learned it does refresh on its own every few minutes.)
Word Counter does provide a solution to the as-of-yet-non-existent word count feature in OmniOutliner.
The only other possible area for improvement is that when you add a file for tracking from the File Monitoring window, you have to select “Monitor File” and go find it in Finder, rather than being able to just drag and drop a file from an already-open Finder window. This would be a nice feature for a future update.
The app is easily worth its $9.99, and there’s a free 14-day trial so you can test it out. Find it here.
Thanks to the dev at Word Counter for the promo code so I could review the app.