Should Writers Use Time Tracking Software?

If you are a writer, then you already know just how easy it can be for time to get away from you. Freelance writers have it rough when they do not take the time to come up with a schedule that works well for them, their work, and their clients. Many writers, being creative types, also have trouble trying to work in what they may at first feel is a restrictive environment. However, the true successes in the field of writing – any type of writing – are those who know how to best manage their time.

Without proper time management, deadlines pass and projects get away from them easily. Issues with time management might just be one of the reasons that so many writers seem down and miserable half the time! Getting their time issues under control does not actually have to be very difficult. In fact, with time tracking software, it is actually quite possible for writers to learn how to complete their projects and make more time in the day for things such as talking with real people rather than staring at blank pages.

Where Does the Time Go?

Many writers, whether they are working for freelance projects for clients, or they are working on a novel, have a love/hate relationship with research. It is necessary, and it provides more authenticity and authority to any project. However, it also takes time. Some writers have trouble managing this time. They fall down the Google rabbit hole and one discovery leads to another. Before they realize it, they’ve spent a good chunk of their day on research and they’ve finished no actual writing.

Others spend all of their time on outlines for their projects and never get to actually writing them. Still others are taking marketing by the horns and marketing themselves and their projects. Yet, they do not work on any new writing; they only market. Writers need to take a balanced approach to every aspect of their business – and they do need to think of it as a business if they want to succeed.

Of course, these are certainly not the only ways that writers are mismanaging time. They have the same distractions that so many other people have on the web, including all of those videos on YouTube that are just calling out to them, as well as the social networks where all of their friends are chatting. Time tracking software can show you all of those distractions, but it is up to you to have the willpower to keep away from them.

Writers can use time tracking software and management tools as a way to get more from their day. Once they see where they are spending all of their time, and they can see why the day gets away from them, it becomes much easier to make adjustments and alter the schedule.

Finish Your Projects

By keeping better track of time, it helps to make the writer more efficient overall, and this means that he or she should be able to complete projects more quickly. Freelance writers who are writing for clients will find that they have happier clients, and the streamlining of their day could actually help to make it easier for them to tackle more projects, which could lead to more success.

You will also find that the time tracking software can help you to complete the projects you start. This is a problem that many writers have. They start a project and they never follow it through to completion because they did not anticipate everything they need to do. By tracking how you are spending your time, and planning the project better, it becomes far more feasible to complete. You can break the project down into simple steps that make it seem achievable.

Works for All Types of Writers and Other Creative People

All types of writers can benefit from using time tracking software. Freelance writers will find that it can make tracking their time, eliminating wasted time, and providing proper billing to clients much easier. Those who are writing novels, screenplays, and more will find that it is a great tool to help keep them on the right path. Even those who are new to writing and only doing it part time will find a wealth of benefits from adding time tracking software to their toolbox. Those who are in other creative fields will find the same exact benefits.

Choose Good Software

You also need to make sure that you have quality software to help you track your time. It needs to be easy to integrate into your current schedule. Thus, the software needs to be very easy to use so you will actually take the time throughout the day to update your time tracker. Otherwise, it will not do much good for you at all.

More Time Management Tips for Writers

In addition to tracking your time, here are a few other great tips for writers to get better control of their time management.

  • Limit your daily research time, and only research the items relevant to your project.
  • Have daily goals, as well as weekly, monthly, and project goals.
  • Make better use of time wasting downtime. If you are waiting in a doctor’s office or for your car, take that time to do some writing or bring along your tablet so you can research on the go.
  • Remember to take breaks too. A break where you can rest your eyes, your fingers, and your mind is not a waste of time. You need to have some breaks to help clear your head before you get back to it. Just make sure the short breaks do not turn into long breaks.
  • Do not take on too many projects. One of the pitfalls that many writers face is that they are simply trying to do too many things and to please too many people. Limit the number of projects you have and then give them your all.


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  • Mohammed ALAMI says:  (@mozalamiseo)

    Wondering if you added the ability to track time by entering literally date and time instead of Play button ?

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Yast has to be the easiest to use time tracker, period. Keep up the great work! Glenn Murray - Divine Write

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