I’m a very low tech person. I’ve logged my time for many different weeks over the years, but I usually just use a word document, or sometimes even pen and paper. What I lose in snazzy visual representation, I feel I make up for with the ability to describe things at length, and break things into whatever time units I want (3 minutes…3 hours… etc.).
When people keep track of time for me for my projects (like Mosaic) I generally have them use a spreadsheet. It doesn’t allow for quite the same granularity as Word, but it makes calculations and analysis easier.
Of course, in this age of apps, many people have pointed out that there are time tracking apps that can do much of the heavy lifting for you. After all, many businesses need people to track their hours, so it’s not a huge leap to go from billing your professional time to “billing” all of your time (to projects such as housework, TV, sleep, etc.) While I don’t use any apps myself, I know that other people would like to. So I’m working on a round-up for Fast Company on some of the most useful time tracking apps.
If you use any of these, or have a different one you like, please let me know. What do you think of these? You can post in the comments, or you can email me at lvanderkam at yahoo dot com. I’m particularly interested in ones that have some functionality for your personal life, too. I haven’t included cost, and it varies from free to $9.99. I welcome thoughts on ROI as well. There’s:
Toggl — which has been mentioned by several as a favorite.
RescueTime — another one that’s been around long enough to have its devotees
LumenTrails Organizer – $9.99 but deals with everything in quantified self, it seems: food, exercise, etc.
ATracker — clean and minimalist, and definitely set up for personal tasks too.
My minutes — combines goal setting with time tracking, so potentially useful for minimizing time on things you’re spending too much time on.
Eternity time log — focused on broad categories of sleep, work, play. It’s good to track play!
Now Then — incorporates personal tasks as categories: social, travel, shopping, etc.
Yanomo.com — social features so teams share what they’re working on.
Photo: This snowman’s hours, like all of ours, are limited. However, I’m guessing he doesn’t keep track of them.