First, I feel profoundly stupid.
I would have sworn that when I last reinstalled it last year, I logged in and I had the license code saved somewhere - either in my licenses folder or in a saved note. But it's not in any backup I can see of my backup folder, and it's not in opera notes, or in my abandoned evernote, or in my fastmail notes... not sure where else it might be. Probably saved somewhere on the work computer I have since returned to the company I am no longer working for...
And more stupidly I went on the sphericaltech.com site earlier this year as I suspected I would need it again and was checking whether there was a new version to upgrade/buy etc.
And now they seem to have vanished. And I should know better.
Anyway, what did spherical tracker do?
- log the address bars of all open windows, application and document name, email subject/recipient etc.
- track breaks and interruptions, calls and meetings
- allow you to review your work every day and assign activity to projects
- learn to automatically assign particular documents, folders, programs to particular clients. Allow that to be changed over time without affecting past entries.
- produce nice reports that help when building timesheets
- it had more features for companies, groups etc. but these are what mattered to me
Question 1: anyone does by any miracle know this company or people in it that could help me get my old key back and continue using it
Otherwise considering that once in the flow of a day of work I am unable to remember to click buttons to track what I am doing, I need something like this.
I found the following:
* Qlockwork, for Outlook. Tracks all activities but shows the resulting timeline and reports within outlook. I like how the time usage shows up as a calendar (although it would be even better as a diary, imo, especially as the calendar seems to be picked up by synchronisations etc. which is undesirable). I used it less than a day and the report seems to freeze, could be because it is less than a day. But obviously if it cant do a report without a crash it is out.
* Chrometa. Modern "app" look. Seems solid enough. Far too much of a pain to use to assign things (mouse interactions sluggish and selection jumpy). Also the program window always makes it look like you have only 20 minutes active work, although the report comes out correct. I have only the desktop standalone tool, havent tried the webapp aggregation yet. Does catch break but I am getting too much time wasting around the assign-to-project phase to disqualify it.
* Timesprite. looks quite a bit like Spherical. Assign-to-client via "grouping" windows, almost a 1-right-click action. Didnt look like it at first but best option perhaps so far
* Worktime. Fancy reports by type of activity, top sites, top documents - havent quite figured out the assign-to-client angle, seems you create it by typing simple rules or by setting a general context for all you do and then changing anything that was an interruption. Manual logging of other stuff. Has frozen on me.
* open tempus - free software tool. not clear where to start
I also remember that there is a coding snack that does the logging on this very site but I am not manually doing the analysis and reports
There are also 2 web based solutions that claim to do the same, but they are pay-per-month and I am not sure I am interested in pay per month.
I want spherical back, but failing that, are there others I should consider?
PS: will go get the URLs and add them asap