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Word sprints with friends (or strangers) in Writing Analytics
Challenges in Writing Analytics let you write together with other writers. During a challenge, you can see how the others are progressing, and they can see your progress too.
It's like working from a coffee shop with a group of friends but on the Internet. You may challenge fellow writers to hit a word or time goal during a day or invite them for a short, focused writing sprint.
This document describes how to join a challenge; how to create one and dives into the mechanics of the feature so that you can make the most of it.
To join a challenge, navigate to the Challenges section using the main menu at the top of the page.
Here you'll find all the public challenges that are in progress or that will be starting soon.
Clicking on the challenge title will take you to the its dashboard.
The description box will also tell you what the goal is. The owner of the challenge decides what the goal will be. The options are:
- Word goal — write at least X number of words
- Time goal — write for at least Y number of minutes
- Open goal — each participant can set their own goal (or have no goal at all)
On the left is a list of all participants along with their current progress.
To join, click the Join Challenge button in the top-right corner. A form will pop up prompting you to create a new session.
If you join before the challenge starts, you'll be taken to the waiting room:
As soon as the challenge starts, you'll be able to get going.
While you can only have one active session per challenge at any given time, if you finish working on one thing and want to keep going within the same challenge, you can add another session and keep writing.
Go back to the challenge and click the Add Session button. A new session will be added to the challenge. The words from all your sessions will count towards the challenge goal.
If you don't find a challenge or sprint that works for you, you can start your own and invite others to join you.
To create a new challenge, go to the Challenges section and click the New Challenge button. A form will prompt you to provide some information about your challenge.
You can select a goal and the start and end times. To attract as many participants as possible, leave a larger time window for people to join. Not everyone may be available at the same time.
To have all participants writing all at once — more like a writing sprint — set the time window to a time window appropriate for the goal (like an hour to write 500 words).
By default, your challenge will be listed in the app to let other writers join. If you'd prefer to only write with your friends, you can set your challenge to private.
Private challenges are not listed in the app. To invite others, share the link to the challenge with them.
After you set up a new challenge, click the Add Session on the Challenge view.
A New Session form will come up as if you were joining someone else's challenge. Fill it in, and you're all set.
Once in the editor, you can write as if you were working on a regular session on your own. The session's goal will be set to the challenge's goal.
You don't have to watch the time to end the session before the challenge time is up. You can keep working for as long as you like. Writing Analytics will only include words written before the end of the challenge in the results.
To see how other writers are doing, click the challenge widget just under your session's title in the editor.
By default, the widget shows the time left, but you can change this in the top right corner to show the number of participants, the total number of words written by everyone or even your current position on the leaderboard.
As people finish writing and end their sessions, their results will appear on the challenge dashboard.
You can see the total number of words and time spent by all participants collectively as well as the average figures per person.
This section also includes a few highlights like who was the most focused, typed the fastest or was the most productive.
Please note that these aren't final and will be updated until the very end of the challenge.
Have a bit of a competitive streak? The challenge leaderboard shows you how well you've done compared to the other participants. The order depends on the type of challenge.
The order is different for different types of challenges:
- word goal and open challenges — ordered by word count
- time goal — ordered by time spent writing
After the challenge ends, you can click on each participant on the leaderboard to see their session analytics.
You can only update or delete the challenges that you started. However, there are certain restrictions in place after other participants have joined.
You can always change the title and description. You can also make it public or private at any time. Making a challenge private won't remove any existing participants.
Deleting a challenge or updating the goal, start and end times after other participants have joined is not permitted.
To update a challenge, click the three dots in the top-right corner of the challenge screen and select Settings.
To delete a challenge, click Delete.
You cannot leave a challenge that you started at this time.
You can leave a challenge you joined by clicking the Leave Challenge button in the top-right corner.
Your session will be removed from the challenge, but it won't be deleted. You'll be able to find it on the Sessions page.