Geekin' It: 750 Words and Journaling

In my experience, finding time to write is one of the hardest things for anyone to do and this is doubly true for college students. On top of writing papers for class and discussion board posts, who can find time to keep a record of their life or start tracking creative ideas? In comes 750 Words to save the day.

The premise of 750 Words is to make journaling a game. Every day your goal is to write 750 words about anything—whether it’s two pages from your novel, the start of your research paper, or what your cat ate for dinner. Once you’ve hit your goal you gain some points for that day and it gives you an emotional analysis of what you wrote about.

To track the subconscious feelings behind your writing, 750 Words uses the nifty computing services called the Regressive Imagery Dictionary and the Linguistic Inquiry and Word Count Library. These technologies give you detailed charts and graphs about the feeling you wrote about most (happiness, self-Importance, etc) and the issues that concerned you in your writing (success, religion, etc). There is also a general mindset indicator depending on your word choice and the syntax of your words. On top of that, there is also an indicator of how efficient you are while writing, your time orientation, and even the weather. For a person who has been journaling on paper most of their life, this amount of feedback is incredible.

For me, the incentive to keep coming back every day were the game elements. A simple scoring system that is reminiscent of bowling has been implemented. If you can reach your 750-word goal every day, the previous day’s score gets added to your current one creating a growing combo score. Every month your score resets and if you can write your name, it is added to the “Wall of Awesomeness.” If you fail, your name is added to the “Wall of Shame,” a public board showing your failure—and nobody wants that. Finally, you can earn the social media staples of badges and achievements for completing goals. If you write for 200 days in a row, you can earn a pterodactyl badge—this is now my life goal.

Even with all of these bells and whistles, the focus of the site tries to be as minimalist as possible. A simple white text-editor dominates the page and a subdued color scheme is easy on the eyes. There aren’t five “tweet this” buttons or a Facebook button to subscribe to, in fact the only way to get a reminder is through e-mail. 750 Words is clearly arranged, precise in its analysis, and addictive. If you’ve fallen out of journaling and need some drive, give 750 Words a chance.

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