The Best Word Count Apps for Writers

5 Word Count Apps That Will Skyrocket Your Productivity

How can you measure progress if you don't track it? That's one of the mantras we writers should live by. But what exactly is progress? Sales, sure, but before that comes our daily output of words. You've heard all the gurus suggest you should write every day, and I second that suggestion. 

However, especially for part-time writers, writing every day can be an impossible feat. These handy word count trackers do exactly what they say on the box - they count words. But they do so much more: they can help you build a writing habit, which leads to more books, which leads to more sales. So, as you can see, tracking words is not just a vanity metric: get your phones or your tablets out and start downloading!

Awesome Word Count Apps for Apple iOS

These handy Apple-based word count apps will load easily to your phone or tablet as indicated here.

WriteChain

Loads to: iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch

Cost: Free

WriteChain is a super snazzy free app created by a working writer for other working writers. As such, the app delivers so much more than just basic final draft word counts. You can track the number of words written per session as well as the running total. WriteChain views your daily writing sessions as a "chain," and tracks your output as well as any specific notes you wish to include about that writing session.

You can use the Preferences section to set your minimum word count for each "link" you add to your writing "chain." You can also set how many "coast" (non-writing) days you get before your chain is broken.

If you've ever had a problem with writer's block, procrastination or topic intimidation (who hasn't!), WriteChain feels like having a tiny digital cheerleader at your side yelling "You can do it, you writing rock star!" until you actually have!

Write On Track

Loads to: iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch

Cost: $ 1.99

Write on Track isn't free, but it comes with some extra bells and whistles that may be more than worth the two bucks you spend.

If you need reminders about upcoming deadlines, Write on Track gives you the option to set them. If you want to see how productive you have been on any given day, Write on Track will give you the overall day-by-day lowdown.

And if you participate in group writing challenges such as NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month), Write on Track is a great tool to see how far you have progressed and how far you have left to go.

5,000 Words Per Hour

Loads to: iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch

Cost: Free

5,000 Words Per Hour was created by former app-developer turned bestselling author Chris Fox. The app is based on the theory of 'Writing Sprints', described in Chris's popular book of the same name.

The app is extremely simple, with only a handful of functions in the free version (which is more than enough for most). As noted above, it's heavily based on the author's method of 'Writing Sprints', so I highly recommend reading the book before using the app. 

But, once you get a hang of them, 'Writing Sprints' can be extremely powerful and can turn your daily (or hourly) output into something incredible. 

NOTE: If you are looking to improving your average words per hour, definitely check out Chris Fox's book. Another great read is Rachel Aaron's book "2k to 10k". 

Awesome Word Count Apps for Android

These handy Android-based word count apps will load easily to your phone or tablet as indicated here.

WriteOMeter

Loads to: Android devices running OS 4.0.3 or higher 

Cost: Free

WriteOMeter has earned itself a 4.4/5 rating on Google Play - not an easy feat when you are trying to win over a community of stressed out, persnickety working writers! The app is free (one of my personal favorite words) and so functional you'll feel like you owe the creators a cut of your monthly take.

For example, WriteOMeter integrates with spreadsheet tools to export your writing log in .CSV form. The app also gives you the option to create a daily writing reminders. There is an inbuilt timer feature to time-box your writing work and additional creative tools (word cloud, thesaurus, quotes) to give you that little nudge forward when you need it most.

Best of all, the app even gives you an estimated completion date based on your word count to date. Now that's motivation in my book!

Writer's Progress Bar

Loads to: Android devices running OS 2.2 or higher 

Cost: Free (Bronze), $ 0.99 (Silver)

Don't be fooled by this app's icon looking like cheap clipart. If you are a visual person and prefer charts to tables, you will dig Writer's Progress Bar. The app gets its name from the internet search processing "progress bar," but this progress bar is loading just one thing - your writing progress.

Everything about this app is simple and clear from the get-go. The Bronze (free) version lets you track one project at a time. The Silver ($0.99) version lets you manage up to three projects at a time.

You can navigate to one or all three projects from the home screen. Once you've selected a project, you can see the progress bar (progress towards completion word count), total word count you've set and current word count.


So there you are. Whether you like lots of detail or bare-bones detail, color-block visuals or tables and charts, Apple or Android operating systems and lots of accountability or just a gentle little shove as needed, I feel certain you will find something in this "best of" list to get your words written, counted, submitted and published - without once sweating the small stuff!

Best Word Count Apps to Increase Your Productivity
  • Margaret Skeel

    Ok, I’m so 20th century that when i first saw this post, my immediate thought was “the word count on the bottom of my word doc works just fine for me”. But I read through the options anyway because I am trying to cope with new technology, and by the last few, I thought that there might be things I could use here. I decided to spend big and get the 99 cent silver version of Writer’s Progress Bar… Then I reread it and it says it’s for android devices. Is that just phones? I do all my writing on my computer since I gave up on hand written missives (sigh, I miss those simpler times). I’m sure not going back to one fingered typing on my phone! Maybe it’s a stupid question for some, but as a teacher, I believe not asking is more stupid any day 🙂 What the heck do they mean by “android device” anyway? Thanks for the help.

    • Brian Berni

      Hi Margaret! Yes, by ‘Android Devices’ they mean smartphones or tablets that use the Android operating system (Samsung, LG and many others, not Apple). If you want, I can suggest a desktop word count app. Hope this helps!