Time Tracking app for your MacBook

I have seen Timing, Toggl & Rescue Time app for the Mac. Can anyone share there experience or suggest another app. Thank you :slight_smile:

I had wanted to do time tracking for ages and was struggling to get it to work, i found that setting timers really just did not work for me. its incredibly rare that i actually get time to sit down and do anything with interruption.

I was at the point of writing my own time tracking software when I found timing it took awhile to convince me that it was the solution that i was looking for, but i appreciate that it won’t work for everyone.

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This is a screenshot of my timing app open to the yearly view, as you can see I started in April.

Timing comes in three flavours Productivity, Professional, Expert. The main difference is the level of detail in the reports, I bought the Professional version and I wish I had sprung out a bit more for expert as I have changed the way my projects work since i started and some of there filtering features would be nice to have now.

The reason timing works for me is that the vast majority of my time is spent on a mac doing something. I love my iPad to bits but the tasks i current use it for i don’t feel the need to track.

If there are tasks i want to manually track i can, so for instance you can see that i have spent almost 23 hours at lunch, and those are all manual task entries so that i can track if lunch is starting to get out of hand. Timing recently added syncing across mac’s so i run it on both my work machine and my personal machine, which is awesome but has caused some slight changes to the way that I use it to track time. but I expect the sync service to mature.

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Timing can be as automated or as manual as you like, it comes with a collection of “projects” which you can nest under each other, projects can have a number of rules to control how tasks get sorted

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The rules editor is very powerful in controlling how time gets sorted into projects. Earlier when I noted that I lately had to rework how I tracked time because of the syncing update, this was mainly why, on each machine I had setup a verity of projects and rules around how to file time in applications because the project was scoped to that machine. I had to remove my rules and rebuild them, so I am hoping that in the future features are added to help with these kinds of issues as syncing matures.

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The main reason I wish i had sprung for timing expert is indicated by the above screenshot, all three of those projects are sub projects of the education project, (I try to invest 2 or more hours every day into self improvement) Annoyingly they each show up as a project in there own rights as opposed to one big education project that i can drill down into. Reading around I believe this can be fixed in the expert version with filters but don’t hold me to that.

This post is already getting a touch long so I won’t get into details about the reporting export options, but there are alot, you can get your data in pdf or a raw csv dump with different data included, so if you need to produce a report on how you spent your time you can.

Lastly you can drill down into a project to see how much time you have spent on each task

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I just use RescueTime and I think I still have it installed on my computer. I should see and get back into that just to see what I’m using it productively for.

Thank you for the detailed post - very useful.

I tried Timing as trial, but it never clicked for me.
I guess I needed to spend a bit more time breaking down my initial Projects/Categories, to be able to see the value.

However, the single biggest friction point, to me at least, was the process surrounding what happens when you are away from the computer.
The little pop-up that appeared when I returned, made zero-sense to me, and I couldn’t work out what I needed to select, in order to have the time captured.
If memory serves, it asked something along the lines of whether it needed to stop doing something, and I couldn’t. for the life of me, work out whether I needed to OK that, or do something else instead…

I hope the above makes sense? I would be very appreciative if you could maybe popup something explaining how that process works? It might just be enough to get me back to trying it again!

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I’ve used Timing several times, but it never has been successful for me. Perhaps it’s my work pattern, but even after weeks of me “training” it, Timing can’t figure out what I’m doing. Every day it has hours of time where it can’t categorize things. I just ended another week long trial of it; still no better.

Toggl is a slick-looking app that I find impossible to use. It takes far too many clicks and taps to enter stuff and it has lots of modal dialog boxes that drive me crazy. Far too inefficient. And the text on the iPhone app is miniscule.

Frederico Viticci recommended Timelogger, but it’s fiddly and the text again is too small. The tap targets are likewise small. It’s hard to tell which timer is running. Generally, the interface is terrible. If he thinks this app is sufficient, then his home-grown solution must have been truly awful.

I want to track my time in about 10 different categories — I’m using professional software to track billable hours, so I don’t want really detailed info. I have not found any app or system that can beat a paper record. Paper is tedious and slow, and requires manual data entry, so I can’t do it daily. But every other method is even more tedious, or doesn’t track the right things, or is so badly designed that it is frustrating and prone to errors.

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Try this software service https://www.timedoctor.com/