How to Set Up Writing Goals in Scrivener

One of my favorite aspects of NaNoWriMo in my pre-Scrivener days was it’s ability to calculate how many words you needed to write a day to complete your NaNo goal. This was something I’d always calculated by hand before, so to find a program that did the math for me? Awesome.

You can imagine, then, my joy upon discovering that the very same auto-calculate feature is on Scrivener for Mac. Except it’s a tad bit better, because you can customize it to your needs.

Unfortunately this feature, as of this writing, is still a Mac-only feature. But my hope is this will someday change and I’d guess that when it does, the process will be pretty similar. So.

For my Mac friends with Scrivener! Here’s how to set up your very own writing goal within the program:
  1. Go to Project > Show Project Targets.

  2. Select the word goal (highlighted in blue) and type in your word count goal for your manuscript.

  3. Go to Options…
  4. Select your deadline.

  5. Check “Automatically calculate from draft deadline.” 
  6. If you won’t be writing every day of the week, choose what days of the week you plan to write on.
  7. If you want to write on the day of your deadline, make sure that’s checked off. 
  8. Click OK.
And that’s it! Now every time you write, you can check how many words you need to keep to your goal by looking at “Show Project Targets” (which is under the Project menu, in case you forgot). And at midnight, it recalculates every day (assuming you did step 5) to keep you on target.

I especially love the auto-calculation, because when you miss a day, it adjusts for you so you can easily see what you need to do to make it up over time. And on the other side, when you write more than you need to, it’s pretty gratifying to see the number of words you need to meet your goal slowly decrease over time. :)

UPDATE (6/20/14): I've been told while Windows doesn't have the full functionality shown above, it DOES have a project target section that allows you to set a word goal. So everything before Step 3 works in Windows. Yay!

Do you use this feature on Scrivener? 

Twitter-sized bite: 
Do you have Scrivener for Mac? Writer @Ava_Jae shares how to set up your writing goals within the program. (Click to tweet

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