Wait. What? Isn’t that heresy? I’m not so sure. Here in the 21st century we have more apps available to do more tasks, and I can say honestly that I don’t use my Mac as much as in years past thanks to iPhone and iPad, but it still does the basics for me. My Mac captures words.
To that end I’m certain that I’m not much more productive that in years. Past. Years ago I counted words in articles and research papers. Today I count words in articles and research papers. I’m still a graphics designer wannabe with a mild color blindness problem, but today there are apps that ease the visual pain, so there’s that.
Today I disclose a couple of Mac utilities I use to count words and count clicks. Clicks? More on that in a moment. The counting words app is called Word Counter Pro.
WCP counts words, characters, sentences, lines, and paragraphs. It also counts hard line breaks, indented paragraphs, and whitespace (if you’re into such things).
Getting to the statistics is easy enough. Type and past text in the Word Counter Pro window. Or, drag and drop text to the window (doesn’t work in all Mac writing apps, but all I’ve tried and I have and use plenty). Or, have WCP watch a specific text file as you write. Or, have it count words from apps that support Actions Extensions (some do, some don’t; trial and error is your friend).
The custom preference settings are nominal but give you options to measure line count against page size, change margins (which impacts line count), and so on. It also handles most popular word processor file formats including RTFD, RTF, TXT, and even DOCX.
What’s not to like? Other than the fact that whatever productivity I’ve gained in writing on a Mac probably isn’t enough to quantify. Still, it’s nice to know and compare because performance measured is performance improved (or, so I like to believe).
What about clicks?
This is more of an interesting stat than anything useful. Earlier this year I installed Mouse Miles on my Mac. It measure mouse-pointer movement, keystrokes, and clicks. If you’re curious about how many months of your life have been devoted to brushing your teeth, then you’ll understand the motive behind Mouse Miles. It keeps track of how much clicking and mousing and pointing you do in feet, inches, yards meters, miles or whatever.
There’s not much to gathering the stats you want. Install Mouse Miles, check the stats every now and again. They’re in the Menubar. I’ve had mine running for a few months and I’ve moused around for over 12-miles, performed over 1,090,312 left clicks, but only 3,072 right clicks, but well over 1.2-million keystrokes.
If only I could get paid by the word. Or the letter.
Utilities such as Mouse Miles and Word Counter Pro don’t do much more than massage your curiosity gene, especially the former, but the latter can give you an idea of just how productive you are over time, but it would be nice to count words on a per day basis, too.