Word Tracking for NaNoWriMo

Track and automatically submit your novel word count during NaNoWriMo

Jacob Wright avatar
Written by Jacob Wright
Updated over a week ago

Dabble has a special feature just for NaNoWriMo.

If you choose to participate in NaNoWriMo, Dabble will:

  1. calculate how many words you need to write each day to reach your goal

  2. allow you to mark days off (days you will not be writing) to give you a more accurate daily goal

  3. allow you to set a custom goal other than 50,000 words (especially helpful for camp NaNoWriMo)

  4. automatically submit your novel’s word count for you regularly (every 30 seconds, with sync) as you work on your novel

NaNoWriMo Invitation

When you log into Dabble, you will be invited to participate in NaNoWriMo up to a month before the big event. You can click on “Sign up now” to be taken to the NaNoWriMo website for registration. After registration (or if you already registered) click “Registered?” to move onto setup.

If you decline with “No thanks” Dabble will not ask you anymore about participating this year. If you change your mind, you can open this invite back up by clicking on your account menu (top-right) and choosing the “NaNoWriMo Settings” menu item.

NaNoWriMo Setup

After you accept the invitation, Dabble will ask you to enter some information in order to track your NaNoWriMo goals and automatically submit you word count. You will need to:

  1. Authenticate with NaNoWriMo, allowing Dabble to submit word counts on your behalf.

  2. Choose which Dabble project will be tracked for NaNoWriMo.

  3. Register the project on the NaNoWriMo website and specify it is the project for this event. Dabble will load your registered novel information. If you haven't set it up correctly, Dabble will ask you to register a novel.

Once you are all setup, continue to the goal settings.


Dabble calculates your target daily word count during the month of NaNoWriMo. To do this accurately, Dabble needs to know your target word count (by default this is 50,000) and how many working days you have left.

Select Days Off

If you know you will not be able to write on a given day or two, you can mark those days off. In the NaNoWriMo Goals dialog, click on days during the month to toggle them on or off. This will affect your daily word count to be more accurate.

You can also enter your own custom word count goal here.


Once you are all set up, you will see Dabble’s NaNoWriMo tracker in the right-hand column of your project when your NaNoWriMo project is selected. You will not see the NaNoWriMo branding in your other projects.

The tracker will show you today’s goal and how many words you have written today in the top section. Below the line you will see how many days are left, total words written, and total remaining.

Below the stats is a simple bar-chart for visualizing your words written during the month, highlighting today in blue. Mouse over the bars to see a tooltip with historical word count.

Tips and FAQ

Adjust Goals

To readjust goals or update settings, you can open the dialog under the account menu (top-right) and select NaNoWriMo. See:

Set Aggressive Goals Early On

If you want to have a more aggressive goal at the beginning of the month to account for unplanned slow days later, you can mark some days off at the end of the month in NaNoWriMo Goals (e.g. take the whole last week off) and then unmark them when it gets closer.

How do I remove it after NaNoWriMo?

The NaNoWriMo sidebar, menu item, and settings will automatically be removed 15 days after NaNoWriMo is finished. It is only available during/around the event and will not bother you all year long.

I want a tracker that isn’t just for NaNoWriMo

Every project can have a set goal!

What about offline?

You can continue writing offline and the word count will be updated once you are online. I you spent the day writing offline and didn't get online until the next day (or week), and if you want to ensure the days are correct for your NaNoWriMo submission, you may have to fix it manually. You can see exactly how many words were written each day by hovering over the bars in the graph in the right sidebar. We are unable to backdate the word submission to the correct day at this time because the NaNoWriMo connection does not allow us, even though we accurately track which day the words were written.

I wrote over midnight, which day are my words counted for?

Dabble tracks your words by session and by day. It will split your words accurately at the midnight boundary in your stats, but it can only update the "current word count" when sending it over to NaNoWriMo. If you want it perfectly distributed on NaNoWriMo's website, you will need to update it manually.

Help! I can't figure out how to register my novel on NaNoWriMo!

Go to NaNoWriMo.org and after signing in (if you aren't already), go to your project page by clicking on the link in the My NaNoWriMo menu.

If you are creating a new project, at the top of the Project's screen click Announce New Project and fill out the details. Be sure you have the checkbox clicked and event selected for NaNoWriMo 2019.

If you are trying to get an existing project associated with November's event, click on that project's title to go to its page. Click on the "Goals" tab, choose Create New Goal, then check the box at the top to associate it with the event and select the current NaNoWriMo event. If you don't see this year's event listed, it is because another project is associated with the event. You will have to delete that project or it's goal.

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