Time Tracking Input Mechanisms?

Do time tracking tools have a low uptake because it's tedious to enter your activity data?

What do you use to enter time / activity data into your tracking tool?

If you don't use time tracking, is there a specific reason or is it just not something you've considered?

What if you could enter activity data through twitter or similar services?

Lastly, how much does the ability to (selectively?) share your activity data with others on related projects affect your choice of method?

Thanks for your response!

Posted on 2009-01-19 by brian in timelog .


I have used Freshbooks.com for time tracking. It's a pretty cool web app. Unfortunately, if my browser crashes, so does the time tracking I was doing.

I want to have the option of having the tool's icon in the tray where I can double click to start/stop the timer. Maybe an icon for each project you want to have going at the time.

Integration with a bug tracking system would be awesome. ie) your time was automatically posted (with optional comments) into the Trac ticket for a particular issue.

Twitter integration would be interesting for work done on a remote machine, but the data would be public, which might not be what you want.

It would be good to share the information with certain people, and integration with bug tracking tools would facilitate that. Maybe a digest (hourly/daily/weekly/etc...) could be sent to certain people (supervisors, coworkers, etc).

Kyle Tolle
2009-01-19 20:24:39


I got sick of the time tracking tool at work and built one (webapp) with the following style:

  • was designed for tracking specific time ranges, so you could see what you were doing at 9:20 on 1/1/2009 - which was the way our work worked.

  • was designed from the beginning to get out of your way for logging time so that you recorded enough information to come back later and fill in the details (like assigning to accounts if you didn't do it when logging)

  • allowed natural language data entry in a single text control - "1-1:45 out for lunch" or just "out" or "Fixing bug #1234 for project x"

  • showed time in a calendar style for the day

  • had an autocomplete for the input control that would pick out terms from our task management system and allow you to tag the time against the task automatically.

  • picked up commits from subversion and subjects of sent mails and added them as events, so if you didn't log your time you hopefully still had enough context (oh and logs phone conversations longer than a minute by accessing our Mitel VOIP system).

Didn't quite get round to a jabber interface so you could send the commands to it from iChat.....

AKA @jr_plusplus on twitter

Julian Russell
2009-01-20 04:27:09
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