End of Year Word Count

Strolling over to the campus post office to send off the Facebook article (the document was titled "Facebook 5.1.doc" by the time I finally got through with it), I found myself daydreaming about a Global Word Count widget.

Such a widget would count words produced across applications (ignoring cut-and-paste), totaling up and displaying:

  • number of words typed in all applications
  • words typed per day, week, or month in the form of a bar graph
  • words typed in each application, displayed in a chart

Thinking next about how hard such a widget would be to produce, I became my own widget and started thinking about the things I've written this academic year (proposals, conference papers, short articles, longer articles), and then the things I've written this year (emails to students, letters of recommendation, feedback on student writing, lesson plans, html for course websites, even things on this blog).

Oddly, I could come close to an approximation of total pages of scholarship on the academic year but had no idea about the other stuff.

A pie chart for my past academic year—with pieces of the word-count pie indicating words written on scholarship, teaching, and administrative stuff—might look something like this? (blue=scholarship, green=teaching, red=admin) Though I'm really sort of guessing on the proportions ...


  1. them's a lot of words. maybe you should invent a grading widget? :)

  2. You're NOT counting copy/paste?!? But that's how I do most of my writing!