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I would like something in which I can set targets - like write/edit 10,000 words a week, set a final end date for the project, set mini targets, track any lag etc.

The only PM software I've used in Ms Project, and in my limited experience, is not very easy to use. I'm specifically looking for something:

  1. Free
  2. Easy to use - one with a fast learning curve.

Ps- I know there is this question, but that talks more about software for writing your novel.

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This would be excellent. I looked for time-tracking software a while ago with no luck, but something that would make a Gantt-like chart to help figure out when I need to do each sub-step to get the book done on time would be good to have. –  Elizabeth Oct 5 '11 at 18:26
    
I am protecting this question, as we're getting too many "This is my favourite PM software", with no reference to if it's useful for writers –  Shantnu Tiwari Aug 6 '13 at 12:48
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6 Answers

up vote 5 down vote accepted

My old friend Scrivener has a number of those features, although it's not freeware. But seriously, $45 is not expensive.

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When the answers are "Critique Circle" and "Scrivener" (again), what does that tell us about the question? :) –  John Smithers Oct 5 '11 at 19:41
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That to two people with hammers, everything looks like a nail? :) –  Lauren Ipsum Oct 5 '11 at 23:59
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Even though it's not free, I'm still selecting this answer, as Scrivener is cheap enough, and is a million times better than MS Project –  Shantnu Tiwari Jul 17 '12 at 19:24
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Coal on the back of a shovel is better than MS Project. –  Lauren Ipsum Jul 17 '12 at 20:09
    
MS Project is pretty decent for a lot of things. For writing? No, not so much, unless your version of "writing" involves coordinating the activities of 25 people to create something. Even if it worked perfectly, it's not priced for individual writers. –  NotVonKaiser Aug 6 '13 at 12:25
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As a fellow freelance writer I can recommend Wrike. Initially I used it to set myself daily goals – like, to write 5000 words a day or to finalize a chapter by the end of the week. This simple app basically saved me from my worst enemy – procrastination. Now, there’s no place for putting things aside today and promising myself to catch up tomorrow.

All in all, I can say that the last piece I wrote took approx. 1,5 less time to finish than the one that I wrote before adapting Wrike. It also allows editing texts online. So, I made my editor a “collaborator” and now she reviews my texts right in Wrike and I can react to her comments instantly.

The version that I’m currently using is free, but I’m actually considering an upgrade to the paid one ‘cause there are some great features in it like Gantt chart that should be just great for visualizing my work progress.

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please clarify 1,5 less time. –  hildred Nov 30 '13 at 17:24
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AceProject might be the thing you are looking for. You can group your writing tasks according to group types like for example for articles whose topics are about health, then you can group them accordingly. To keep track of your tasks, you can set priorities and statuses of each task so you will know which task is which.

You can also try Zoho Projects. It's the same thing with Ace Project when handling tasks. It also allows you to set goals and milestones and keep track of deliverables and manage deadlines. You can assign tasks and priortize them using color codes.

You can check a comparison table of the various project management tools here: http://www.timedoctor.com/blog/2011/02/02/43-project-management-software-alternatives It's great if you can compare them so you can choose the software that you are looking for. By the way, MS Project would be an overkill for the type of management software that you want.

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Microsoft's project management software has a comprehensive system which allows user-controlled scheduling. The best part of the software is that it has enhanced our organization's team collaboration by providing a baseline for tracking progress. This time reporting system can be a real benefit for you, since you're working on a tight schedule. It will help you gauge your project status and the anticipated effort needed for the project's completion.

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I'm using something called Clarizen http://www.clarizen.com/MediaCenter/ProductTours.aspx . It is project management software, not aimed at writers particularly, but it is flexible for almost any project. You need to be comfortable around a computer to use it, but because it is cloud based you can use it from anywhere. Clarizen allows you to set milestones and goals, and gives you a priority list every morning - which I find really helpful. You can do a product tour online and see what you think. Good luck with the book!

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If you create a user account at Critique Circle, you can gain access to a number of online tools they have available specifically for writers. Below are some examples and the description they provide for each.

Manuscript Progress The Manuscript Progress tool can be a great motivational tool, as you will see a visual progression of your manuscript. You simply fill in the word count as you go along, and it'll give you a progress chart. You can also add goals so you can see how far you have to go.

Word Meter Builder Put your progress on your blog on in your signature on another site. The CC progress bar is massively customizable and is absolutely gorgeous. You can link it to your Manuscript Progress tool, to your NaNoWriMo account or enter the values manually.

Monthly Progress Challenge Do you believe in peer pressure? Do you have a competitive spirit? You can use our monthly progress challenge to set regular writing goals and measure your progress against other CCers. You can choose to have this information private, or you can have your progress chart visible on your member page.

Reminders The reminders can be a useful tool to help you organize your time. You can set any reminds you want. This is useful for all sorts of things — everything from deadlines (self-imposed or real) to dental appointments and your mother's birthday!

Another option is to just create your own spreadsheet to track your individual goals. You can use the first column to make a list of your goals (word count, pages, etc.) and then use each column after that to track the quantity for each time period you want to measure, whether it is daily or weekly. At the end of each row, add a formula to give you a running total. You could even translate this into a graph to give a visual representation of your progress.

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Steven, you luuuvvvv Critique Circle, don't you? ;) Anyway, I'll try it out –  Shantnu Tiwari Oct 5 '11 at 15:24
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I know I sound like a broken record, but they really do provide some good resources. I've found it to be pretty beneficial in a lot of ways, and I believe others will as well. –  Steven Drennon Oct 5 '11 at 16:20
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protected by Shantnu Tiwari Aug 6 '13 at 12:47

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