A Short guide to 750Words (the site that’s helping me cope with 2020)

The good news is that my physical health has slowly been improving over the last few months (for which I’m extremely grateful). I’m still living with chronic illnesses, but thankfully I’m no longer considered high risk in regards to Covid-19. However, I still missed a few weeks of work recently for health reasons, and I’m currently only working part time as per my doctor’s orders. Maybe in the future I’ll write a bit more about it because that’s not what this post is about.

Anyway…2020 huh?

This year has been absolutely wildly, and we’re all struggling to feel normal again. But nothing about this year is normal, and it’s really overwhelming for a lot of us (myself included). I was feeling really low a few weeks ago, and I decided to start journaling again. I love to journal, but I have severe eczema on my hand makes it very painful to write in notebooks, so I decided to go digital. As part of my new journaling ritual, I began typing morning pages. If you’re unfamiliar with the concept, you can learn more here, but basically every day you brain dump for 3 pages (or about 750 words). A lot of people do it first thing in the morning, but that’s not always practical for me. I tend to write in the evenings or before bed, but on days I’m not working I’ll get done in the late morning.

But if I’m not writing in a notebook, then where the heck am I writing?

I write on 750Words. It’s a website specifically made for people to write daily pages. The design is incredibly simple which helps me stay focused, but I do appreciate that you can change the heading and entry font colors. I currently have green and purple because it’s spooky season. Below is a screenshot of what an entry looks like (I already wrote my pages for today so I’ve blurred it out). The rectangles at the top represent different days, and the Xs mark the ones you have completed. If you miss a day (or fail to complete it by midnight) it will be represented with a /. Days with no mark are yet to come. As you can see, I’ve got a 15 day streak going!

Why don’t I just write in Pages or Microsoft Word?

I like writing on 750Words for a couple reasons: 1) it’s all stored online which means it doesn’t take any space on my computer, 2) you can earn badges for reaching different writing goals which are actually kinda motivating me, and 3) you can view your daily stats.

So what are the badges?

When you sign up for 750words, you automatically earn a badge for starting. After that there are badges for accomplishments such as writing for different number days in a row (the highest being 2000 days which is 5 years of writing every day), writing consistently at either early morning or late night, total word count, speed, and more. There’s also an option to schedule breaks, so you can go on vacation or stop writing for a bit without it affecting your streak. I started 750words a while ago and accumulated a handful of badges at the beginning (shown below). I’m growing more consistent, so I’m currently on the road to my 30 day badge.

And what kinds of stats do you see?

You can click on any finished day to see how many words you wrote, the total time it took to complete, your total typing time, words per minute, and how many times you got distracted (paused for 3 minutes or more). It’s all organized into a bar chart and graph as pictured below:

When you scroll further down the stats page, it shows two sets of pie charts. The first set shows you the mindsets you were in while writing. Then you see two larger pie charts. The one on the left shows you different emotions evident in your writing, and the one on the right shows the different topics you wrote about it. Next, you’ll see some bar graphs that show you things like verb tense, senses, and person. It also gives you a rating similar to movies. Mine’s not picture, but today was PG-13 because I tend to curse. You see the info for today’s entry below:

At the very bottom, you’ll see which words popped up the most. The bigger they are, the more times they appear in your entry. I was actually mapping out plans for Angie Americana in today’s pages, so I’m not surprised to see how big the word ‘blog’ is, and of course there’s a curse word thrown in too…

You’re probably thinking there’s no way this could be free…

…and you would be (mostly) right. When you initially sign up for 750words you get a 30 day free trial which is definitely long enough to figure out if it’s something you want to commit to. If you decide you want to use the site after the trial, it only costs $5/month to become a member. I might not write every day, but I’ve still gotten a lot of use out of the site, so it’s worth the money for me.

And that’s 750Words in a nutshell!

I’m enjoying using the platform, and I’ve been getting more consistent over that past few months. It feels great to finally feel like I’m establishing a comfortable routine in a year that’s anything but ordinary. I can’t tell you how helpful it’s been to see all my writing data in an easy-to-read format. I often talk about patterns I see in my entries with my therapist. If 2020 has been a tough year, for you to sort through, I highly recommend starting up with 750Words.

*Note: This is not an ad. I just really like the site.*

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An American teacher exploring expat life and early education in an international setting.

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