Me and the Mac go back more years than most Mac users. My first Mac came in the spring of 1984, and with a printer and extra floppy disk drive, was priced well over $3,000. For a Mac with 128k of RAM and a built-in floppy disk. And a dot matrix printer. All that experience also generates a somewhat jaded attitude about new technology and new apps. Few applications these days– on Mac, iPhone, or iPad– give me a warm and fuzzy feeling or evoke even a little gee whiz response.
What genuinely impresses me, though, is how far we’ve come in the decades since the original Mac tore a giant whole in my credit card limit. A new Mac, an iPhone, and a decent microphone are enough to create high quality broadcast level audio and video productions which would shame those I produced a few decades ago with a few hundred thousand dollars in equipment.
But enough about me. Except for this. I like statistics. Maybe it’s a guy thing. Maybe it’s a genetic predisposition, but capturing and analyzing data has always been a passion and dates back to the days of 4D on the Mac, circa 1984, and dBase II on a CP/M-based Osborne PC. Anybody remember the ‘green dot’ interface?
Regardless, I like numbers and one of the Mac apps close to my heart is Word Counter. For anyone who slings words for a living or just wants to know where all the time goes while slaving over a hot keyboard, Word Counter is the app to have.
Word Counter doesn’t just count words. Well, actually, that’s exactly what it does, and it does it in real time but in a number of different ways beyond mere numbers of words. First, it captures the number of words written in different apps and that gives you an idea of where your time goes.
Because it captures so much information beyond the number of words, Word Counter can also display when you are most productive during the day, and which days are more productive, but it analyzes the word patterns and can display the ratio of distracted writing vs. focused writing; in other words, real content creation vs. simple tasks like email and messages which are related to writing but are not real writing.
The basic numbers captured and the ratios applied adhere to the standard Eisenhower Matrix so you get a crystal clear idea how productive you are when writing by viewing just a few numbers and how they compare.
Word Counter’s ability to capture the total numbers as you use different apps gives you a quick idea of which apps are most useful vs. those most used, so you’ll know what to avoid and what to focus more attention. The app gets a lot of five star reviews and they’re well deserved. If you write, this is another of those must-have writer’s tools for your Mac.
There’s a bit of a hoop to jump through to install Word Counter, thanks to Apple’s Accessibility settings, but that’s nominal and takes only a few seconds (thanks to the pop up instructions, anyone can install the app).