Beeminder Forum

Measuring (sometimes negative) progress writing

Has anyone come up with a strategy for measuring progress when you’re editing a book and the word count can go up and down? I’m writing a technical (programming) book using Google Docs for the draft and I’d like to make sure that I make progress every day. The downside is that as I’m finishing a chapter, I often end up deleting chunks of it in the editing process. So already in the first few days of setting a goal I’m struggling to maintain a positive word count with URLminder. I’m not married to the idea of counting words - even if it just made sure that the last updated date on the doc is under 24 hours that would be fine to make sure I’m doing something daily.

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One typical idea is to measure the size of the diff (lines added, changed, or deleted) rather than the word count. I know Google Docs does keep track of history, but I don’t know how easy it is to extract information about diffs.

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I think that if you use the Draft integration (which I’ve not tried, myself) it will count words added AND words deleted so that any editing work done on the draft is captured.

Here’s the help doc for it:
(Please let someone know if you find anything weird or wonky or confusing in there! If you see something, scream loudly about something. :wink: )