Daily Word Count in Scrivener

(This post assumes you’re already using Scrivener. If you haven’t made the leap yet, check out my post “5 Reasons You Should Be Using Scrivener.”)

I try to write 500 words every day (except during NaNaWriMo – all rules go out the window in November). It’s easy enough to keep track on when I’m working on a new draft, or even if I just get rolling on a small segment, but when I’m at the stage that I’m at now, when I’m editing and trying to fine tune, it gets much more difficult. These days, I monitor time spent instead of words written, but I still like to know, at the end of the day, how many words I added to my project.

So I am very excited to share that I learned a new hack for Scrivener to help with this. (Many thanks to UCLA Extension writing guru Mark Sarvas for this one.)

In Scrivener, go to the Projects drop down menu, then click on Project Targets (shortcut command shift T), and you will get a little window that pops up to tell you how many words (net) you have added in your current session. What’s more, if you click on the options button, you can adjust when the counter resets. I have mine programmed to reset every night at midnight.


If you give it a try, you’ll see that you can also track total words written, which I like because when you’re working on a section in Scrivener, you only see the word count for that section. I find it deeply satisfying to watch my total word count creep higher and higher.

I know there are about a thousand little Scrivener hacks that I could probably use, but it’s always a fine line between learning to use a great tool and just flat out procrastinating. Some day, when I have nothing else to do, I will spend a whole day watching Scrivener tutorials on YouTube, and then I will be a Scrivener master (wha-ha-ha), but for now I will settle for finishing my novel.


7 Responses to Daily Word Count in Scrivener

  1. Johnny April 23, 2017 at 10:41 am #

    Hello April,

    Thanks for writing this up! Just what I was looking for today. Sooner or later someone would search for this, and you came up high in the search results 🙂

    Been writing for years, but are now working on my first Amazon book about self-made salary and how to create passive income. No matter what background.

    Need to be consistent, so this word counts pr. day should bring some urgency to that I hope.

    • April April 24, 2017 at 12:42 pm #

      Hi, Johnny,
      I just checked out your site. I love the focus on mindfulness. It has been such a game changer for me.
      Good luck with the Amazon book. And keep me in mind when it’s done. I work on a self-made salary and have found the it requires an unending commitment to learning new things. (In fact, I tried to sign up for one of your upcoming events, but the sign-up page is in Norwegian (I think?). Do you have any English events coming up?)


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