Sunday, April 12, 2009

Make Your Writing Time More Productive

"Time is free, but it's priceless. You can't own it, but you can use it. You can't keep it, but you can spend it. Once you've lost it you can never get it back."—Harvey MacKay

By Scoti Springfield Domeij

For writers, time is money. So…how much time do you spend writing each day, each week, each month? Do you want to be more productive? The tools below will help you determine how you really spend your writing time. Choose the tool that best suits you.


Ever wondered how much you spend on different writing projects? myHours.com, a free easy-to-use, web-based time tracking and management tool, tracks the time you spend while working on various projects.



  • Create projects, tasks and generate reports
  • Calculate costs required to complete a project
  • Supports different date and currency formats
  • Email comprehensive task and project reports


Want to manage your writing time? Toggl, a free online time tracker tool, helps writers and freelancers manage and also time their working hours.



  • Put a time-tracker on your tasks/projects
  • Add a billing feature to timed projects
  • Invite other users to monitor project time and billing details
  • Export project time reports to PDF or CSV (Excel) files
  • Timer continues to run even if browser is closed
  • Multi-Lingual: English, Estonian, German and Spanish
  • Can be run as a desktop program, but still requires internet connection to access Toggl server


Want to measure the exact amount of time you spend on a writing project? Tasktimer times and measures the total working hours for each writing project or task over an extended period.

Tasktimer Features

  • Start and stop timer clock as many times as you want.
  • View tasks lists by current month, week, or day.
  • Add comments and generate reports (details) for each task-timed task.
  • Export task list along with the timer reports to CSV (Excel), OPML and RSS formats.

Track How Much Time You Waste Online?

Kick your internet time wasting addiction. It's too easy to procrastinate writing by spending more time online researching, surfing, or catching up with Facebook friends. How often do you kick yourself and think, I could have spent that time writing, writing, writing. These tools help track your online time and even provide reports to help you decide how to make better use of your time.


Are you a social networking junkie? Set LeechBlock to block time-wasting websites from loading in Firefox during your writing time. This productivity tool will help you avoid sucking the life out of your writing day, by blocking time-consuming sites for the specified hours that you stipulate.

Time Tracker

Do you spend too much time on Firefox? Do you open tabs faster than you can close them? Can't meet your daily word count? Keep track of how much you browse with TimeTracker.

This simple, yet effective tool, tracks the amount of time you're browsing around.


Where are you spending your time online? Facebook? Blogs? Google? Rescue Time, a web-based time management and analytics tool, helps writers who want to be more productive. It provides a bird's eye view of the sites where you spend the most time. Rescue Time allows you to set goals, like "spend less than an hour per day on Facebook or blogs" or "spend at least 2 hours a day writing." It also sends you a daily summary of how you're doing on those goals (via RSS) or receive real-time alerts when you exceed a goal target.

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