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Toying Around with Plugins

ProgPressI just found a cool little plugin to help me keep track of my monthly writing goals (checkout the progress bar on the right).  I find that charting my progress works well for me.  The only way I was able to maintain this month’s membership in the Double O Club was because I charted my progress.

A few days ago I was contemplating starting a new blog.  On that blog I wanted a simple way to chart progress so I spent some time combing the web looking for something that was easy to implement and did what I needed.

After implementing it on my new blog, I thought it would be nice to have here on No Job for Mom, so here it is.

ProgPress Plugin

The plugin is called ProgPress .  It’s a WordPress plugin.  It’s simple and easy to download, install, activate and use.  It uses smartcode or the more traditional comment style code that programmers use to make comments within programs. If you don’t know anything about commenting in programs, it’s okay.  Smartcode is just as easy, if not easier to use.  For example, to put the October progress bar on NJFM all I had to type was :

The ProgPress plugin also has NaNoWriMo support so you can track your novel progress.

Tracking My Writing

I keep track of the articles I write in an Excel spreadsheet.  Therefore it wasn’t tough for me to insert the necessary information. At the beginning of each month I list my writing goals and try to achieve the goals by the end of the month. As I write something, I document it in my spreadsheet.

Writing GoalsI’m not so sure I’ll update my progress bar daily.  I guess it will depend on how much I feel like goofing off.  If I’m not in the mood for writing, but in the mood for playing around behind the scenes, I might update it more frequently.  Other times, not so frequently. Rest assured, however, I will update it before the month is out to see how close I am to reaching my goal.

Publicly Committing

Having public goals helps to keep me on track. That said, I do put more weight on making money than my article count. I feel the same way about page views.  I can only pay the mortgage with money, not article count or page views. While I enjoy keeping track of my writing, the real measure of success for me is how much money I have left over at the end of the month.

Time to Change

Now that I’ve uploaded this post, I can change the number from 94 to 95.  Just one step closer to my goal!  🙂

{ 10 comments… add one }
  • Crystal October 27, 2010, 12:20 pm

    Too cool, Felicia – I love stuff like this! DS recently added a similar progress tracker to the work desk and I find it keeps me better on track. Of course, beings my real goal is to write less upfront and more for myself, I guess the DS progress tracker may be counterproductive:)

    • Felicia October 27, 2010, 12:43 pm

      I’m with you Crystal. I like the DS tracker, it is motivating, but I guess its time for me to get back on the residual track.

  • Deanna October 27, 2010, 1:44 pm

    Cool gadget. I love gadgets like this. Did you notice if there was anything like this for Blogger blogs? Also, I’m impressed by your goal of 123 articles for one month – and that you are already on #95. Not sure if I could ever do that many articles in just one month. I must be slacking. 😉

  • Crystal October 27, 2010, 4:23 pm

    Wow, Felicia – the progress bar for Blogger is great! Not sure what I’ll use it for but I’ve got it on a blog I use for testing only and I love it! I couldn’t understand the installations instructions, however, so just pasted it in as a gadget and it works. Hope I didn’t screw anything up too much:)

  • Master Dayton October 27, 2010, 9:27 pm

    Cool post! I am definitely the type who does better when I have a goal sheet set up and can watch as I get there bit by bit. This definitely seems like the type of plugin I could actually use. Thanks for sharing, and glad to hear you’re staying on pace!

  • Jason Penney October 28, 2010, 1:32 pm

    Hi Felicia,

    I’m glad you’re finding ProgPress useful. Thanks for helping spread the word about it. I think this is the first time I’ve seen it used to track # of articles. Cool!

    FYI: if you ever want to put a shortcode in the body of your post (and not an image) you just need to double up the square brackets and they’ll show up as a single set of brackets instead of expanding the shortcode.

    • Felicia October 28, 2010, 2:45 pm

      Jason, thanks for stopping by. I’m really getting a kick out of this plugin. It’s definitely a motivating tool.

      Thanks for the tip on the double brackets (I originally tried quotes, but that didn’t work).

  • Reena October 28, 2010, 1:55 pm

    I love the goal tracker on DS, although it hardly shows green for me 🙂 Maybe next month. Thanks for the motivation, Felicia.

  • Christina Crowe ( @CashCampfire ) October 29, 2010, 1:33 pm

    Awesome Felicia!

    I’ll check it out. I’ve been wanting to find an easy method to track my progress on my blog. This sounds like it just might be the ticket!


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