Set yourself some goals

Our priorities for Novlr development are making the editor as good as it can be. After that we will be looking at making the whole novel-writing experience as good and productive as possible. We think being able to set some goals for yourself – daily writing goals for example, or weekly – will help motivate you and keep you on track. Doing this also means we can congratulate you when you’re doing well – something that doesn’t happen enough for aspiring writers. Whether we go so far as to introduce a anthropomorphised paperclip à la MS Word circa 1997, we don’t know!

Please let us know what sorts of targets you would be interested in setting and tracking.

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71 replies
  1. admin says:

    We had a great suggestion for goals and targets sent in by email from Meg:

    You could set something up for the month of November such as-
    – NaNoWriMo;
    – Get Started (goals such as: write something everyday, remind via FB, tweet or email.)
    – A medium level with the ability to set word goals (judge by the saved words at the end of everyday)
    – This could be personalised to different word counts, time of day reminders, etc.

    Reply
  2. Yvonne Jocks says:

    I would really love it if your Goals feature included a status bar (or circle chart). That is one of my favorite things about NaNoWriMo — visually/graphically seeing how my daily bars match up with how far I *should* have come in order to make my goal. Yarny had a simple bar that filled in with color as I kept writing, but one even more like NaNo would be great 🙂

    Reply
      • Mikie says:

        I agree with Yvonne–seeing a progress bar is a great motivator. It could be a bar graph, a pie chart, a status bar (like in a video game), a badge that could be earned daily, whatever. Something like that would definitely make me come back and get to work the next day!

        Reply
      • Ann says:

        Desperately looking for the kind of visual feedback I get from NaNoWriMo’s stats page. I would pay a lot just to get the status bars and the line graph goal vs bar graph actual.

        Reply
  3. admin says:

    Some other suggestions in an email from Eleanor:
    * For goal setting, rather than telling Novlr that I want to write 400 words every day, I want to be able to input a due date and a total wordcount goal. Novlr should dynamically calculate my daily wordcount, to be updated based on how much I’ve already written and preferably with an allowance to pre-plan “days off” and “easy days” where I write with, say, 25% effort on weekends and plan to take every 6th week off to catch up.

    Reply
    • Chris Musgrave says:

      I agree with Eleanor. Scrivener has a similar feature that I find invaluable. Failing that, the ability to set a daily/weekly/monthly word count goal and having that plotted on the statistics graph would be a great addition for me.

      Reply
      • Graham Brand says:

        I see we’re going to get some sort of progress bar for NaNoWriMo. It would be highly motivating if the progress bar worked out where we were based on word count achieved and proportion of the month that had passed, and was coloured green if we were ahead of the target, but then orange to increasingly more unpleasant shades of red as we fell behind.

        Reply
    • K.A. Mitchell says:

      One of the things I love the most about working in novlr, (the insta save has been worth my membership a dozen times already) is the statistics. I’d love the ability to calculate my words per day based on my deadline, with a bar or circle graph toward completion. Watching the bar turn green is very rewarding.

      Reply
  4. Heather Meloche says:

    I would also love to be able to set up goals independent of November Nanowrimo – like, set up a total goal with different start and end dates, for those of us who do Nano challenges in the other months of the year.

    Reply
  5. Clare says:

    Suggestion via email from Cordenia: I think it’d be cool to set alarms like: Time To Write! Maybe that’ll replace my calendar events – OR- even can set calendar events FROM Novlr.

    Reply
  6. Marika Ann says:

    I would also like to be able to set up different goals for different projects. So, I can have x amount of words to write a day for one project, and a different amount of words a day for a different project. As someone who frequently has multiple projects going on at the same time, this would be extremely helpful to keep everything in order.

    Reply
  7. Matt Wilkinson says:

    I was thinking that different levels of daily targets might be good. Bronze, Silver and Gold levels. Bronze would be the bare minimum of words you should be writing a day, Silver is the preferred target and Gold is when you excel yourself. You could choose to skip a certain amount of days per week, but you can also set how many days a week that you’re allowed to skip. Then, weekly targets could take all of that into account.

    Reply
  8. Rae says:

    I would like the choice of being able to put in how many words for my novel I’ve already written. Nano does this and still helps you keep on track. Seeing that I’ve written a lower amount than I know I already have is slightly discouraging for me.

    Reply
    • Clare says:

      Hi Rae, thanks for your comment. We are still ironing out a few creases with the stats but Novlr should keep track of how many words you have in your novel. You can then see a further breakdown of your stats under “My Novels” – I hope this helps and good luck with the writing! Clare

      Reply
  9. Clare says:

    Email suggestion from Korrine: During NaNoWriMo a lot of people give themselves a gift, or treat when they reach a certain number of words. I think it would be great for goal setting if after reaching that set amount there would be a surprise. For example after reaching 25,000 words confetti and balloons rain down across the screen, or after reaching 1,667 for the day a message comes across that gives you permission to have sanctioned procrastination time.

    Reply
  10. Laura says:

    I think it would be really great to keep this goal-oriented setting after NaNoWriMo. I’ve found it really helpful to keep the NaNo bar open (though I’m not participating in NaNo this year) because it helps me see a bigger picture. Though I don’t have a personal goal of 50k for the year, I love the section that says how many words I need to write per day to reach that goal. Maybe if there were a way to set overall goals, goals by month, goals by week, goals by day, etc to maintain a similar environment for non-NaNo novels/months?

    Reply
    • Clare says:

      Hi Laura, Thanks for your comment. We really value your input as we want to get it right for you guys. Any more suggestions, just let us know! Clare

      Reply
  11. Thomas says:

    Some more suggestions from Matt from Facebook:

    I’d like the goals I set for the day to appear on the bar on the bottom of the screen in a progress bar, then I don’t need to keep loading up the overview screen. Being able to set three levels of goal for each time increment would be nice too, so you can have a bare minimum, ideal number and super productive levels. Nested goals would be good too, so weekly and monthly goals are also available by adding the daily goals together. I’d also like to be able to set my own number of lazy days so that I can choose not to include a particular day in the overall goals for the week and month. You could have a button to declare that day a day off, but set the maximum amount of days you’re allowed to do this. You could also select days of the week for this to happen automatically. I think that’s about it. grin emoticon

    Reply
  12. Peace says:

    My first NaNoWriMo and I’m loving it. Want NaNo goals year round. They have NaNo camp in April and July where you set your own goals. Goals are very important. Daily goals would be nice, too.

    Reply
    • Clare says:

      Glad your first NaNoWriMo is going well Peace. Thanks for your suggestion about daily goals. What has also been suggested is weekly and monthly goals so you can have an option 🙂

      Reply
  13. Clare says:

    Great suggestion from Laura via email that could work well with Goals and Targets: I was just tweeting at Novlr and was thinking – maybe there should be a way to sync our Twitter accounts to our Novlr accounts so you guys could know who we are more immediately? Maybe we could also have a way to tweet word count updates (especially during NaNo!)? I’m sure there would be other ways having a direct link to social media would be beneficial too!

    Reply
  14. Carol Klavon says:

    I can’t seem to find any way to have two writing projects going simultaneously…I have two very different supernatural thrillers that I would like to work on simultaneously…is there anyway to add another project?

    Reply
    • Clare says:

      Hi Carol. Sorry you can’t find it. We are going to make it more accessible in the near future! If you go to the settings sidebar> scroll down under your statistics to your novels, you should fine an “Add New Novel” button. Here’s a video on how to do it if you get stuck – http://novlr.org/questions/#toggle-id-10 🙂

      Reply
  15. Clare says:

    suggestion via email for how she would like goals and targets to work: A reward every time you write ten thousand words – something that makes us want to write another ten thousand words.

    Reply
  16. Clare says:

    Suggestion via twitter for motivation from @Modhabobo: email reminders to people who haven’t logged on for (checks last time I was on) …. ages to get them writing again!

    Reply
  17. Kyle Adams says:

    I would love to see a sort of training program that you can pick a number of words per day as your goal and it can give you writing exercises and goals to train yourself to write more.

    Reply
  18. Kat says:

    I would love a feature that displays how close to you are to your goal somewhere on screen when you’re not in focus mode. Also, different types of goals outside of just word count, like setting a time limit that tells you when you’ve reached your goal.

    Reply
    • Clare says:

      Hi Kat, thanks so much for your comment and suggestions. We have had some great suggestions recently for goals and targets that include time limits in particular 🙂 Thanks again! Clare 🙂

      Reply
  19. Clare says:

    Great suggestion from Noah via email:
    TOPWATCH SPRINTS/TIMED WRITE-OFFS FOR YOUR NOVEL…

    My idea was that you could maybe incorporate our very own personal 5, 15, 30, 45, 60 minute stopwatch. Five total levels/options to choose from and challenge yourself to write more and worry less. The thought process behind it is that in this world, we are always constantly on the run. But having a set timer for fun, at our whim to use any moment of the day or night, would be a lot of fun and encourage increased productivity in short bursts of time! You put it to the bottom left hand corner of the main writing hub. And you could keep track of the stats and your average for each individual minute frame you go into whenever.

    What’s everyone’s thoughts on this? Thanks Noah! 🙂

    Reply
  20. Clare says:

    Suggestion via email from Hamza: I’d like you to consider adding something that a writer slain with procrastination could want. Perhaps something as of Procrastination Busting Machine, that could devour the writers-block and increase our productivity in word count even more.

    Reply
  21. Keely says:

    I’m not sure if it’s been mentioned, but Wattpad tries to do something called “JustWriteIt” every month where you must write a minimum of 10,000 words in one month, and it doesn’t require that you finish your story in that time, but it’s supposed to help you get your story started. It would be cool to select it in Goals, type in what time span you have to write, in case you start participating late, as well as being able to type in the amount of words you would like to accomplish–10,000 words being the minimum you can enter–and have it count down the days until your deadline. And when you reach your goal before your deadline, you could receive an email or an updated on your Novlr account like “Success! You’ve reached your JustWriteIt goal!” and then it gives you an update every time you exceed your goal by 5,000 words with encouraging comments like, “This is awesome, you’ve written 5,000 more words then you anticipated!” or “Wow, look at this, you’ve written a total of 15,000 MORE words!”
    I know that there is a word count in the corner, but I’m human and I like to be recognized for my hard work, especially when it’s being kept to myself XD LOL

    I’ve not used to the NaNo goal yet so I’m not sure if its something that has already been implemented.

    Reply
    • Clare says:

      This is great, thanks Keely. Congratulatory emails sounds like a good idea and as you say a little personal high five moment! Thanks for the suggestion! 🙂

      Reply
  22. Jennifer says:

    Some things I look for in stats when writing are: daily stats, overall word goal, a date goal (such as having 50,000 words by 4/3/2016 and it would tell you how many words you had to write each day to get to the target amount by the target date), chapter goals/wordcount (so we don’t have chapter 4 with 3,500 words and chapter 5 with 1,540), and readability/grade for overall project and by chapter (I know this was brought up in another suggestion, but when I think of word count and goals, this automatically comes to my mind too).

    Reply
    • Clare says:

      Thanks Jennifer! Goals and targets will be developed soon. We have the tab now so we want to fill that section so your thoughts and ideas are really useful! 🙂

      Reply
  23. Bryce Calderwood says:

    What I’ve long wanted was basically NaNoWriMo’s tracking and goal features all year ’round, not just during November. I want the ability to set a simple daily word count and see how ahead or behind I am in relation to it. One thing NaNo did that I liked was it told you how many words/day you’d need to write to catch up to your monthly goal and that I would like to see in Novlr.

    Reply
    • Clare says:

      Thanks Bryce. We had a lot of great feedback from the NaNo tracker and we’re so pleased you liked it. We have the goals tab in the redesign so we are eager to fill it! 🙂

      Reply
  24. Perrie says:

    I think that having streaks would be cool, like each day in a row that you go contributes to the streak but if you miss a day then the streak restarts.
    Also when you complete goals then you get “money” depending on the hardness of the goal. With the “money” you can buy anything from different colour schemes for the page to keeping the streak going if you cannot write for a reason.

    Reply
    • Clare says:

      That’s a cool idea Perrie. I like the idea of a writing streak to maintain the pace of your writing. Thanks for the suggestion!

      Reply
  25. Chinxsie says:

    Nanowrimo is great but not everyone has the ability to accomplish things in a set time frame. It does get them to participate but also causes unneeded stress on some participants; that shows in their writing. It causes them to be rushed or not as detailed as originally desired, which does take away from EVERYONE’s enjoyment of the writing and causes the author to feel like it could have been better.

    Each individual should have their own goals, tailored to their needs. I would suggest a simple point system that gives rewards for each word goal made. Maybe for every hundred or thousand word accomplishment, you get so many points. Different fonts or prizes can be purchased this way, or physical prizes with accumulation of large amounts of points (Coupons for discounts on writing or art supplies or a book store (Amazon/Barns&Noble)??). A positive stimulus enables anyone to reflect positive on the actions they take to achieve the “Prize”. I say keep this point amount to one’s self so you don’t feel pressured that others are higher points than you. Most people tend to give up when they feel they aren’t “Good enough”, which is just simply not true (Everyone has the ability to be an amazing writer).
    Personally, I would like to be able to change the color of the background when I write (Though white is amazing, sometimes I need color so I can focus… Black and white is hard to focus on after a while) also different font would make me happy; I could change the font for when certain people are talking, etc. It is a neat addition, especially if your character has an accent and if you have pictures to go along! I find font can be just as important as the words you are typing (Don’t go TOO Crazy with the fonts, but some easy to read ones that have a little bit of “Flare”?).

    If “prizes” are not the desired path, I do go strongly with the word count goal system. Type so many characters and you achieve your goal. I just don’t agree with time limits because you can’t really rush greatness… :/ That’s just my opinions though.

    Reply
  26. Clare says:

    Great suggestions for goals from James via Facebook:
    > There are three kinds of goal tracking I can think of that I might use. One is for an hourly or daily appointment. Another is word count per day. There might be a Pomodoro kind of goal (if that’s the right term), which would entail keeping a minimum-words-per-minute activity going for a set number of minutes, whether it be 5 minutes or thirty. Another idea would be based on the book, 5kwph. You could just track our words per hour each hour of the day

    Reply
  27. Noah Nichols says:

    I really hope all of these ideas come to fruition (including my very own about the sprints/timer posted a little up above this post). Out of unbiased curiosity, if this section were to be put into development, would all of these awesome ideas be implemented? Or would there be a poll with every one listed that we can vote on?

    Reply
  28. Clare says:

    Support and suggestions for Goals and Targets from Cheri via email: I saw someone suggest notification pop ups to remind us to write. I think that would really motivate me. Especially if they showed up at random times. Also a reminder if I haven’t written in a few days. I want to write… I’m just easily distracted. I also have a hard time justifying my writing time to myself and I think a reminder pop up would make me feel like it was something I am supposed to do. (and then I’d do it)

    Reply
  29. Clare says:

    Suggestion via twitter from Dawn: would love to see a daily writing target you can ‘pop out’ so I can have it on my livestream – love the product, though! 🙂

    Reply
  30. Michael says:

    Let’s face it – a lot of us are going to want to be able to setup a goal like a certain desktop piece of software. I think from that experience, personally I would love to be able to either set a daily goal (with some kind of notification) or in the more elaborate, a project goal with start/end dates (but then you have to be able to say how many days of the week you’re writing so the math comes out right – way more complicated than just a daily goal).

    Whatever approach is taken (either of the above, or something else entirely), I think the key is to be able to get a notification when you hit your goal for the day. Otherwise, goal setting isn’t any better than just going into the Writing Stats tab to see how many words you’ve written today, and then to look at the nice chart at the bottom.

    Reply
    • Clare says:

      Thanks for your input Michael. IT’s all super useful for us to read to be able to develop the best Goal setting feature out there 🙂

      Reply
  31. Jennifer says:

    Most of the discussion of goal-setting has been around word count, so I’d like to make a plug for other types of goals. For example, consistency (like the “writing streak” idea above) or simply time spent writing (e.g. 2 hours per week, 20 min per day). Making the time for writing is the bigger challenge for me and a goal I would set for myself over word count.

    Reply
    • Clare says:

      Hi Jennifer – thanks for your comment. We’re planning a goal tracker for NaNoWriMo which is what the ‘permanent’ one will be based around so make sure to check it out in November and see what you think – we’ll be focussing on words and time 🙂

      Reply
  32. Noah Nichols says:

    I’d love to see something like a timer/stopwatch feature for NaNoWriMo. You could set it for fifteen minutes, thirty, or even sixty. Then you could see your average during the timed sprints. That would really be a fitting feature for your Goals area, I believe.

    Reply
  33. Sam says:

    It didn’t keep my goal/achieved word count from one log in (on one computer) to another log in (same account) on another computer. This is incredibly frustrating, because the goal will essentially never be accurate. I should be able to use different computers/browsers with the same account and have the same information available.

    Reply
  34. Catherine says:

    Would there be some way of setting a time zone? It’s nice having a NaNo counter, but less so when it doesn’t seem to recognise all of my first day’s writing due to my being in NZ. For example, it says I have written 1,941 this month when I’ve actually written 3,119. It means other statistics are less than reliable too and thus frustrating.

    Reply
  35. BoJo Johnson says:

    Suggestion For Improvement:
    The NaNo Tracker restarts the tracking each day, but then doesn’t have the total done, making it look like you’re trying to write 50,000 words a day. It would be great to be able to see the percentage and numbers for the day but also the total.

    Reply
  36. malcolm marshall says:

    These ideas are fine if you have the time..
    BUT I am a warehouse manger, and have paper work to do in the evenings
    and I can’t mange to write every day.
    The idea for set number of words per day is great.
    one but I think you need to lower your sights a bit

    Reply
    • Clare says:

      Hi Malcolm. thanks so much for your comment. It’s great to hear that something even more simple could work for you. We’re hoping to develop this feature in the next few releases and will include simple goal setting targets and more in-depth ones so you can set it to your preference 🙂

      Reply
  37. Jessica Smith says:

    Anyone else having issues with the stats for NaNo? My writing stats say one thing, but the goals say another. I manually added up the word counts and the stats are right, but not the goal counter.

    Reply
  38. Brandon says:

    Is there any movement in developing the goals to intigrate with Camp Nanorimo which has just started? I’d like to be able to set a daily word count goal and have those stats tracked etc. Nothing too complicated just a way to say I’d like to reach this number and see how often I hit it.

    Reply
    • Clare says:

      Hi Brandon, Sorry we didn’t get to the goals in time for Camp NaNoWriMo. We’ll get something sorted again for November NaNoWriMo 🙂

      Reply
  39. Luke says:

    In looking at all the suggestions in this thread so far, I think they’re great. I especially like what someone said about planning for “days off” one’s normal writing schedule, writing extra to compensate for illness, etc.

    One of the biggest challenges I face as an aspiring novelist is finding the motivation to keep at it. In spite of the fact that there are always 1,440 minutes in a day, I, for one, often feel as if there just isn’t enough time to accomplish all I want to. “Life” gets in the way, goals go unmet, disappointment follows, motivation fades, and Novlr goes untouched for days or weeks or months at a time. Finding a way to hold yourself accountable while still accommodating the ebbs and flows of daily life will not only be welcome, but it will also set Novlr apart from its competition!

    Reply
  40. Noah Nichols says:

    So, when will this entire (awesome) area be switched to the blue bliss of in development? Asking for a friend. 😉

    Reply

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