Do you write? Whether you’re a professional writer or just enjoy writing as a hobby in your spare time — if you write a lot, you should have a look at Ulysses, the writing app for Mac, iPhone and iPad.

The app is popular among freelance writers, bloggers and novelists alike and has even been awarded with an Apple Design Award in 2016!

And with Ulysses 12 and Timing 2.2.1, we joined forces with the Ulysses team for much tighter integration between the apps, allowing for detailed tracking of your writing time.

Read on for more details on Ulysses and the integration, as well as the chance to win one of five one-year subscriptions for Ulysses!

Ulysses is both a powerful tool for managing your texts and a focused editor that lets you concentrate on getting your words down. You work in a beautiful, distraction-free environment. Ulysses’ library lets you organize your writing according to your needs, be it a novel, a collection of articles, or a diary. You can organize your texts with filters and keywords, you can set yourself writing goals, and much more.

Ulysses’ export function is very capable — the app lets you easily export to a host of standard formats such DOCX, PDF and ePUB. Also, you can upload your texts directly to a WordPress blog complete with images and tags with just a few clicks.

Ulysses works on Mac, iPhone, and iPad and syncs seamlessly. That way, you can have all your writings always at hand.

As you can imagine, it’s possible to spend a lot of time in Ulysses. Thanks to the integration with Timing, you can find out how exactly that time was distributed across all your writing projects.

Ulysses lets you organize your writing projects into hierarchical groups; the writing itself is done on so-called sheets (sheets are somehow equivalent to documents) inside those groups. And with Ulysses 12 and Timing 2.2.1, we are bringing sheet-level automatic time tracking to Ulysses.

From now on, Timing will show you exactly how much time you spent in each Ulysses sheet as well as the groups that enclose it. That lets you easily get an overview of how much time you spent working on a particular chapter or even the whole book!

Imagine you are working on a novel and have set up the project similar to David Hewson’s group structure:

You’ve got a top-level group called “My Writing Project”, which contains two sub-groups “Manuscript” and “Management”. The first group contains your actual writing, whereas the second group contains things like notes or descriptions of characters.

Apart from these groups, you might have other writings in Ulysses, such as reports, shopping lists or poetry. When tracking time, you don’t want all of that to count towards the same “time bucket”. What’s more, you may want to track the actual writing and your notes separately. Fortunately, Timing can do all this for you. Open up Timing and switch to the “Review” section, where you can create your own projects. For instance, I’ve set up a simple “Writing Project” here:

It has three subgroups: “Web Research”, “Writing” and “Character Descriptions”. I’d like to track my usage of Safari into “Web Research”, working in my Manuscript group into “Writing” and working in the “Characters” group into “Character Descriptions”.

You can automatically categorize activities by creating rules for them. For instance, if you want to consider all surfing activities in Safari as “Web Research”, select the “All Activities” project, hold the (alt/option) key and drag Safari from the Applications card onto “Web Research”. Now, all surfing in Safari will automatically be counted towards that project.

Similarly, if you are editing a sheet in Ulysses like this:

That time will be tracked in Timing as “iCloud ▸ My Writing Project ▸ Manuscript ▸ The Sassafras”. So, to assign all writing time in the “Manuscript” group to the “Writing” project, simply drag the “Manuscript” entry from the “Paths” card and drag it (while holding the key) onto “Writing”:

Finally, you can do the same for Character Descriptions by dragging the path “Characters” on the activity. Please note that for the paths to show up in Timing, you first need to create and open at least one sheet in the groups to let Timing pick up the paths.

From now on, every time you work in these groups, Timing will track the activity and add it to your projects, helping you find out how much time you spent writing in a group or on a sheet. That way, you know exactly how much time you spent writing that book or even a particular chapter!

Get Ulysses

Ulysses can be downloaded for free on the App Store and the Mac App Store. After a 14-day trial period, a subscription is required to unlock the app on all devices. The subscription costs $4.99 monthly or $39.99 yearly. Students can use Ulysses at $11.99 per six months.

In addition, both Ulysses and Timing are part of Setapp, the service that gives you access than more than 100 apps for just $9.99 per month! You can sign up today to get access to all these apps (and others like Aeon Timeline, which also integrates with Ulysses) immediately.

Your chance: Win a Ulysses subscription!

In addition to the new integration between Timing and Ulysses, we have partnered with the Ulysses team to give away a total of five one-year subscriptions for Ulysses!
Simply perform one or more of the actions below before Friday, Nov 10th, 2017, to enter into the giveaway.
The giveaway has ended now. Congratulations to the winners:

  • Stephen S
  • Jesse B
  • Sarah K
  • Cristóbal T
  • Charlotte H