Best Mac app for time tracking - multiple projects simultaneously?

I kind of imagine this is how a lawyer might feel. I have three or four major projects going on at a time, and a lot of times I’ll find myself flipping back and forth from project to project during a day, sometimes in short bursts (10 minutes here, 15 minutes there, etc.)

What I’d like is some way to track this stuff easily. I can turn on / turn off the individual timers, but I’d like something that keeps the running tally throughout the day so I don’t have to do each session at the time I do the task change.

I was hoping the Streamdeck’s built-in timer might work, even though it’s only a countdown - but if I stop the countdown it immediately resets.

What would be ideal is an app where I could start/stop timers from something like the Streamdeck.

I might be asking for a lot here, but anybody have any ideas?

Toggl works well with the Streamdeck.

It’s been a while, I think this is what I used.

I never needed to pay for toggl, as I didn’t do billing, etc.

It will also (if allowed) keep account of which apps/windows you’re working in through the day.

Their iOS app is good too, or you can use Timery.


I take a different tack using Timing app, it tracks the time you spend in different apps / files and allocates it to projects. I could never remember to flip timers on and off, so this is much better and captures all your time. It also notices when you’ve not done anything and will prompt whether, for example, you’ve taken a phone call or break.

I still enjoy the simplicity of Brett Terpstra’s “Doing”

I stumbled across it a few years ago, and it’s my go to tracker during the day

What I love about it is the simplicity and clear text taskpaper format it produces


+1 for Timing. It’s part of Setapp if you have that, and it tracks what you do, and later you can go back and categorize if you forget to start/stop timers. Works great.


Another vote for Timing. I use it via Setapp. I’ve tried to use Toggl for the past couple months and I’ve gotten better at starting / stopping timers, but I still miss it often and Timing just works better for me.

I did find another option that looks promising though called “Clockify”. It’s free, and it seems to support a lot of what Timing does. Likely not as well integrated though. But it’s cross-platform and free.

I have used Timing app because it was there with SetApp subscription. It’s great I’d say. Recently I started testing Toggl Track, because the ease of integration with Stream Deck, and the Billing feature. I do not use it for direct billing, but helps if you have multiple clients, with different rates across different projects.

How do you go back and categorize if, say, you have three clients where all of your work is being done in BBEdit / Terminal and the browser?

Will it learn that, for example, I spent x amount of time in a particular tab, and that tab is almost always related to Project X?

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Timing tracks documents and file paths as well as apps, so you can usually see what file you were working on or what website you were looking at. It also works across multiple computers if you have it set up on both, which is a nice feature).

The nicest thing about Timing is that it seems to know when you’re doing something and when you’re not, even though the same apps / files are open. What I find with button based systems is that it’s too easy to loose track when, for example, you take a phone call. Either I’d neglect to turn off the timer when answering a call, or I’d fumble finding and turning on the right timer when I’d worked out who was calling and that it was billable time. Timing just noticed that you didn’t work on the computer for period and asks what you did, or if you open a new file or email or whatever just switched straight to that project. It should be compulsory for all law firms to buy Timing for their staff or STFU about not being good at time recording! Also firms who moan about there being too much unrecorded WIP at month end or not putting in enough billable hours when you’ve been forced to spend half your time doing stuff that’s not part of an active matter and thus can’t be recorded. Not that I’m peeved or anything.

I’m a recent convert to Timing. When I set up projects I can specify multiple keywords to associate with that project, which Timing recognises in documents and URLs. For example, here’s a university course where I’ve assigned keywords both for the official course code and for the abbreviation that people actually use.

Screen Shot 2021-08-06 at 12.39.08 pm

As others mentioned, it will show you the title of the documents/window.

I’m not sure if it can get that granular, but there are a lot of ‘smarts’ built in.

The developer is also extremely responsive. I actually bought a license even though I have Setapp just because I was so pleased with the developer’s responsiveness.

Definitely worth a trial, I’d say.

What did you settle on in the end and how’s it working out?

I’m using a StreamDeck + Toggl. It works okay. My main challenge is that sometimes I’ll have a billable call or something and I won’t be at my desk, so I have to remember to double back and log entries. This is made more difficult if it’s an insanely busy week and my call log fills up, because old calls can fall off.

But most of the time, it’s just a matter of reaching over and clicking a button.

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You should check out Timery on iOS. It’s just a client for Toggl like your Streamdeck plugin, so it’ll just be an extra interface for the same data.