Tool to track 100% of my time?
October 14, 2012 11:41 PM   Subscribe

What's the best tool to track all my time?

In the name of taking control of my time, becoming more productive, and eliminating pointless time leaks, I want to start tracking all my time.

I'm looking for an app that will allow me to easily enter what I'm doing and to time how much time I spend on each one.

I've looked on the Google for this, and I've found mostly apps that either:

1. passively track how much time I spend in different applications or on different websites, or
2. timers that are designed for tracking billable hours, and that allow you to start and stop the time you spend on various projects

I want an app that will allow me to see how I spend every hour of the day and see where my time goes. It wouldn't even need a "stop" button, because I would just go from task to task, i.e. going from "sleep" to "writing in my journal" to "showering and getting dressed to" to "eating lunch" and then to "e-mail."

Ideally this app could then output reports in two formats:

1. an actual day calendar where I can see how I spent my hours and minutes
2. aggregates of how much time I spent in each category, i.e. "meals," "work," sleep," and so on, by day, by week, etc.

Not a must, but if it also had a way to pop up and ask me what I was doing at a set interval, that could provide some helpful data.

I'm on OSX Mountain Lion, and I'm also open to web-based tools. Thanks!
posted by incandescentman to Computers & Internet (6 answers total) 16 users marked this as a favorite
I think you can use Google spreadsheet with a form to do most of this.
posted by vidur at 11:50 PM on October 14, 2012 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Org mode
posted by vsync at 12:53 AM on October 15, 2012 [1 favorite]

Best answer: I use - it has an OSX app and web-app. I think it can do all the things you mentioned, though might require two clicks instead of one when switching from one task to another. Good thing is that you can setup projects (sleep, work, meals) and work on them multiple times to track the hours. At one point I used it to track how much exercise I get and how much TV I watch so I was sort of using it like you want to. Give it a shot, it has a free version.
posted by chime at 4:33 AM on October 15, 2012 [1 favorite]

aTimeLogger is an iphone app made for this. you can add and define your own categories and it's up to you whether you set it so multiple tasks can run at the same time (both eating a meal and socializing, for example) or whether you switch from one to another with a single tap. i haven't used it for long enough to speak to the reporting capabilities.

my main gripe is that while you can edit start and stop times after the fact, which is helpful if you left a timer running for a little too long, as far as i can tell you can't manually add tasks to the past, which is too bad if you accidentally left it on "work" for 24 hours straight.
posted by nevers at 6:12 AM on October 15, 2012

What's wrong with using one of those business tools for billable hours and just make your own categories? There's no reason you can't clock in and out of your activities all day long, and the better programs will allow you to analyze your time in various ways.
posted by Leontine at 11:21 AM on October 15, 2012

I use an electronic adaptation of this paper task tracker. It outputs the results in a csv, so you can do what you want with spreadsheet graphing etc.
posted by Lyn Never at 12:07 PM on October 15, 2012 [1 favorite]

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