Story Tracker for Mac

Story Tracker for Mac is now available for direct download and on the Mac App Store. You can learn more about the app here. The following should address any questions or concerns you may have about Story Tracker for Mac. I’ll be updating this post as new questions arise. Let me know if I’ve missed anything!

1. When will Story Tracker be available? When will it hit the Mac App Store?

Story Tracker for Mac is now available for download here and from the Mac App Store. You can learn more about Story Tracker for Mac here.

2. What Mac OS X operating system do I need to be able to run Story Tracker for Mac?

The app works on Lion (OS X 10.7.x), Mountain Lion (OS X 10.8.x), Mavericks (OS X 10.9.x), Yosemite (OS X 10.10.x), El Capitan (OS X 10.11.x), or Sierra (macOS 10.12.x).

3. I already have Story Tracker on my iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch. Do I have to buy it again for the Mac?

Yes, if you would like to run Story Tracker on your Mac, you’ll need to purchase it direct from my site, or eventually from the Mac App Store. The Mac version includes some additional features over and above the iOS version, including enhanced search and printing capabilities. I first began work on Story Tracker for Mac soon after the announcement of the Mac App Store, back in January 2011. While it does re-use some code from the iOS version, the app had to be substantially re-designed and re-written for the Mac platform. Unfortunately porting the app to the Mac wasn’t as simple as you might think!

4. I’m not sure if Story Tracker for Mac will suit my needs. Is there a free trial version available?

Yes, it’s available for download from my website here. The app is initially in an unregistered trial mode, limited to 5 stories, 5 markets, and 5 submissions. It will also only allow a single database window, and database import is disabled. That should be enough to give you some idea of whether the app will work for you. Purchasing a license either within the app or via my website unlocks full functionality. You may also purchase via the Mac App Store.

5. I have a Story Tracker database on my iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch. How do I transfer it to Story Tracker for Mac?

You’ll need all devices on the same local WiFi network as your Mac. Then follow these steps:

(1) Tap the Backup Database button on the Tools screen within the app on your device.
(2) Create a new database within Story Tracker for Mac and save it to your Documents folder.
(3) Click the Import Database button in the document window toolbar within Story Tracker for Mac. This is the button next to the printer button. The button has an arrow pointing to the right, away from the device icon. You can also select the Import from -> Story Tracker Mobile App item in the File menu.
(4) The Import Database window will appear. You should see your device shown in the Devices section. If it isn’t there, double-check that you’ve selected Backup Database (or Export Database) on the Tools screen within Story Tracker on your device. Check the Messages box in Story Tracker for Mac for helpful information.
(5) Select the device you want to import from, then select Restore Complete Database in the Import Options section. You may also choose to Import Stories and Markets, Import Stories, or Import Markets.
(6) Once you’re satisfied with the selected device and import options, click the Import button.
(7) An alert will appear indicating whether the import was successful. Click Ok.
(8) The database in Story Tracker for Mac should now match the database on your device.

Note that the above steps will completely replace the contents of the Story Tracker database within Story Tracker for Mac, unless you’ve chosen not to restore the complete database. In that case, you may see duplicate entries in your database after the import is complete.

6. I have a Story Tracker database in Story Tracker for Mac I’d like to transfer to Story Tracker on my iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch. How do I accomplish this?

The steps are similar to question 5 above, except you must select either Restore Database or Import Database on your device, and click the Export Database button in the document window toolbar within Story Tracker for Mac. This is the toolbar button with the arrow pointing toward the device icon. When the export is complete, you should consult the pop-up alert on your device for further instructions.

7. I have an iPad, an iPhone, and a Mac. How do I keep the databases in sync between all of these devices?

Story Tracker currently doesn’t have a simple means of keeping databases synchronized on separate devices. However, it is still possible to transfer the database between devices manually. You first need to backup the database from the device with the most current copy to your computer (or from your computer to the device). The steps for achieving this are shown above in questions 5 and 6. A good workflow is to use your Mac as a hub for the database, updating that after you’ve made changes on your device.

8. I have the Story Tracker trial version and just bought the full version. How do I transfer my data from the trial version?

When you purchase the full version you’ll be provided with license details to unlock the app. The trial version and the full version are the same app – there is nothing further to download. All of your data will be accessible the next time you run the app.

If you’ve purchased via the Mac App Store, you’ll need to save the database from the trial version to somewhere you can easily locate (the Documents folder, or your desktop, for example), and load it within the Mac App Store version. The trial version of the app may be deleted once you’ve transferred the database.

9. I have a whole spreadsheet of submission data I’d like to import into the app. How can I do that?

Provided your spreadsheet program can export to CSV format and allows you to specify comma separators and dates in a particular format, you should be able to import it into the app. Story Tracker expects to receive CSV data according to the CSV template file, available in the Downloads section of the site. This template file can also be found via the File -> Import from -> CSV menu sequence within the app.

10. Can you incorporate some new fields into the app? Can I change the names of any of the data fields?

Incorporating new fields may be possible, but keep in mind that any changes will also need to be made to the iOS app version, where screen real estate is very limited. I’ve tried to select fields that would be useful for most writers using the app, and have tried to minimize clutter as much as possible. The Notes field may be used to log information that isn’t captured by any other field. Sorry, the names of the data fields cannot be changed.

11. What is the X icon in the toolbar used for?

The ‘X’ icon (next to the ‘+’ icon in the toolbar) is used to delete a particular story, market, or submission. It has no effect until you select an item from the list. Clicking on one of the rows in the table will select that row and highlight it in a brown colour. To delete the highlighted story, market, or submission, click the X icon in the toolbar. Alternatively you may select Remove Item from the Edit menu. Note that if a particular story or market is associated with any submissions, an alert will appear asking if you still wish to delete the story or market. If there are no associated submissions, the highlighted item will be deleted immediately.

12. What does trunked mean?

The Trunked? field appears on the Story Info screen, with options of Yes or No. It essentially means you’ve put the story away in the trunk (or drawer, filing-cabinet, or hard-drive) and don’t plan to submit it anywhere again. You’d typically do this when you’ve exhausted the list of markets you planned to send the story to, or if you don’t think it’s good enough to send anywhere. In practical terms, when Trunked? is set to Yes the story will no longer appear in the drop-down list when you create or modify a submission. You can decide to un-trunk the story at any time by setting the state back to No.

13. I have questions, feature requests, or concerns that aren’t listed above. How can I contact you?

You can reach me via email (StoryTracker@andrewnicolle.com), on the Story Tracker Facebook page, or on Twitter (I’m @andrewnicolle). I can usually respond to queries within 24 hours. If you like Story Tracker for Mac, please spread the word. Thanks!