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Author Topic: IDEA: Timer program to budget where time is spent  (Read 2265 times)


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IDEA: Timer program to budget where time is spent
« on: April 10, 2008, 06:40 AM »
I've been trying to pay more attention to how I spend my time and would love a program that could create a number of timers with customized titles (ex: sleeping, eating, television, friends, work). When the timer was stopped it would log the duration and reset the timer. It'd be great if it could break down the information by day, week, month, etc with percentages, totals, and possibly graphs. It'd also be great if there was a text log that recorded each event in chronological order and the duration of each activity, as I am an easily-distractable custodian who manages his own time sheet. And, though this might be a bit of a stretch, it'd be even better if it was a web interface/windows mobile program so that I could use it wherever I go, whether or not I have my computer. If that's impossible, it'd be great if the program could run in a 240-by-320 window mode, so that I could access the program via my phone's web browser and

I have been a long-time lurker of and haven't had any ideas until now. Thanks for everything you guys do.. and hopefully one day I can help the community with a little bit of programming on my own.


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Re: IDEA: Timer program to budget where time is spent
« Reply #1 on: April 10, 2008, 06:28 PM »
First thoughts:

What are you doing it for?  Is it primarily about jumping from task to task?  Or about time slipping away while you're focused on just one thing?  Or about keeping track of all those transition times like getting ready to go out which seem to take forever?  To track where your time goes 24/7 is a very ambitious project, so make sure you're working at the right level of detail for it to be practical.  You might be better off at first tracking just a part of your life.  Not only do your activities have different rhythms in different life-areas, but timing and tracking tools will suit some areas better than others.

The nearest I could think of to a catch-all would be using your phone, since it is so portable.  What operating system does it run?   There might be an application out there ready to use - or at least something tweakable and workable.  I can't imagine LogMeIn being useful though since it takes a while to start up every time - whatever you use probably needs to be simple and quickly accessible.  If you made frequent notes in plain text/memos (your email program if it's easy to access - why not?), using shortcuts, auto-complete or macros to enter "start" "stop" and "time now", you could probably get a good log going with very few taps/key presses.  That is the kind of raw data that you could easily copy into a spreadsheet and analyse from there.