Where does the day go?
June 9, 2008 5:40 AM   Subscribe

Does anyone have helpful software suggestions to help me track my time and notes during the course of a work day?

So, I am looking for a way to track my time and (if possible) insert notes.

Bast case scenario: PC tool (online works, too, but on a desktop, I would assume I could get to the tool faster) that allows me to pop in, type in what I've been working on (kinda like twitter), have it date stamp it. Also, I can add notes about phone calls that are retrievable and are time stamped.

It should be super fast rather than feature-rich (in fact, if I could hit some keystroke combo and have it pop up, that'd rock). I don't need a load of reports, but just a way I can see what I did that day and if I need to go back and see what I agreed to at the time, that'd be perfect.

Any thoughts?

posted by rev- to Computers & Internet (7 answers total) 11 users marked this as a favorite
There is a free windows timesheet tool but for the life of me I can't remember its name.

Anyway, plurk is a new twitterlike with a time line. I'm pretty sure there is the possibility of using plurk as a time-tracking tool. You can also look at rescuetime : this tells you how long you spent on face book an how long you spent in Word or Excel or Powerpoint...
posted by Baud at 5:52 AM on June 9, 2008

Have you tried toggl?
posted by prefpara at 6:18 AM on June 9, 2008

I actually wrote a little Windows app that does this for my own personal use. The app just has one window with a textbox, and when you enter in some text and click submit, it adds it as a new line in a file with this format:

Thu Feb 21 2008 07:32 AM: Reading email
Thu Feb 21 2008 07:56 AM: Done with mail
Thu Feb 21 2008 07:58 AM: Waiting for patches to get installed
Thu Feb 21 2008 08:18 AM: Patches are done

There is also a button to view the file in the default text editor, where you can edit it, delete items, etc.

I put a shortcut to it in my QuickLaunch bar, and I also set up a hotkey in AutoHotkey so that it pops up every time I push CTRL+ALT+T. So either way it only takes me a few seconds to bring up the window, type something, and save it to the file with a datestamp.

If you think that would be what you need just let me know and I can email it to you.
posted by burnmp3s at 6:30 AM on June 9, 2008 [1 favorite]

I used to use TimeTracker when I needed to keep track of my day. It's online and free. I don't have my login anymore, but I believe you start a timer going and give it a description and then come back and stop it when you're done with the task. And you can restart a timer, I think. I believe you may also be able to do multiple simultaneous timers. I also think I remember you can back-date things - so if you forgot to start the timer and then spent an hour on something you meant to time, you can go cheat and just alter the start time. It's been a while though.

They have a message on the site now saying they won't be making any more changes to it, and that if you want something more feature-rich, you should try their partner's app, Harvest. Online, but not free. $12/month.
posted by Askr at 6:53 AM on June 9, 2008

if all you need is a date and time stamp plus simple text notes, an ultra-simple Windows solution would be to use Notepad to keep a list; to insert a date+time stamp, simple click F5. All you'd need to do is keep it open and save it after you've finished each log entry. You could copy and paste daily notes into another more sophisticated word-processing package if you needed to make them more attractive.
posted by davemack at 4:16 PM on June 9, 2008 [1 favorite]

I don't use it myself, but TimeSnapper would have been a godsend to me when I did timesheets. Basically it sits in the background and can take screenshots throughout your day. It has note taking features as well.
posted by rdhatt at 6:34 PM on June 9, 2008

I haven looked into things like Slife and most of the things in those previous ask mefi questions. However what those things can't do is track when I'm in a meeting or out with a client. What I also loved about Slimtimer was that if I had forgotten to tick it on, I could always go back and edit a task .

I think the ultimate solution to this problem is if SlimTimer would just work again. I've been using it for almost a year and I've become so dependent on it.
posted by DrDreidel at 9:03 AM on December 17, 2008

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