Friday, September 27, 2013

Free Word Count Chart in Excel or Google Docs

by Savannah


Today we're giving you a free and easy way to track your word counts each day, based off a system I use for each of my books. Below I'll show you how to either download this file for your own use, or put it in a google doc of your own.

I've hosted the file in Google Docs. If you click on the link below it will take you to the document. You don't even have to be logged in or have a google account!

Click here to see the word count chart!

To Copy the File to Your Own Google Doc

  1. You must have a google account to access google docs, naturally. If you have a google account and don't use the google docs function, you're really missing out! Google docs is great for hosting files you want to keep, or easily collaborating with others. Kat and I use it all the time for brainstorming! We even used a google doc to help establish the schedule for this blog project :-)
  2. While viewing our word count chart go up to File, and select "Make a copy..."
  3. A menu will pop up asking what you want to name your document. Name it anything you like!
  4. Once you press "Okay" google will open your copied document for you in your own drive. Neat!
  5. You may now edit the document for your own purposes.
To Download the File into an Excel Format
  1. This will only work if you have a more recent version of Excel, and can open .xlsx documents.
  2. While viewing the word count chart, go to File and select "Download as..." then select "Microsoft Excel"
  3. Presto! This should download the file for you, and you can save it to your own computer!
More Things You Should Know

If you click on the tabs below, you will see that I've created some handy charts for you that mimic what you might be used to seeing on NaNoWriMo.

The Words by Total tab, for example, will show you this:

The numbers on these other tabs pull from your main tab -- do not mess with them if you want your chart to stay accurate!

This little chart I have on the main page can be confusing. If, while viewing the document through the link above, you hover over the cells with the little yellow flags in their corner, you will see comments from me explaining what they do. However, if you download the file those comments will go away, so here's an explanation for you:

Daily Goal: That's how many words you need to write per day to keep up!

Prior Word Count: This is a cell you use ONLY IF you have a previous word count on your project. For example, I've been working on my book already, and have 19,828 words written, so I'd put 19,828 in this cell. The rest of the cells are calculated to subtract your prior word count from your manuscript total, so you get ONLY what you've written since October 1st. Pretty cool, right?

Monthly Goal: You know this already! That's how many words we're writing in October!

Short Goal: This shows how many words you have left to write to hit the goal of 25,000. Obviously right now we're all short of our goal by 25k :-)

MS Total: This is where you put in the total number of words in your manuscript when you want to check how many words you've written. For example, if I had my 19,828 in the Prior Word Count Box, and I wrote a little, and I checked my total word count and found I had 20,828 in my document, when I put 20,828 in the MS Total Box, it will show me in the Today box how many words I've added (1,000). Cool!

Today: The Today number is calculated by looking at the total number of words in your manuscript (that you put in the MS Total box), subtracting your Prior Word Count, and subtracting other words that you've written in October as recorded in the chart. What you're left with is how many words you've written today only! When you're finished writing for the day, be sure to put this number in the box for the day where it belongs. Then the count for the Today box will go back to 0, and you're ready to start again tomorrow!

Added Since Oct 1: This box just subtracts your MS Total from your Prior Word Count to show you how many words you've added since the project started.

If you have questions please feel free to comment or email me directly for help!


We hope everyone has a great weekend! There's a lot to get ready for before our start date on Tuesday, but let us know if you need anything!

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