Time Tracker Professional is a desktop Mac application that automatically tracks the time you spend on various application as well as the actual documents inside the applications.
The beauty of the app is that it offers more detailed and automatic tracking over other web solutions that require manual input every time you start and stop a particular task. With Time Tracker Professional, you don’t have to remember all that.
Once the app is started, it remains running in the background, meticulously tracking everything you do on your Mac.To activate the main UI, simply click on the little Time Tracker logo on the top status bar. The application will continue to run until you manually exit.
One of the major goals when building Time Tracker Professional was to start with the most basic and simple User Interface (UI).
We didn’t want to introduce too many bells and whistles, and believed the simpler the UI was, the quicker our users would understand it, and the more productive they’ll be.
The UI is divided into 5 main sections:
- Projects and activities pane. This is where you organize how you would like to view the data. A project is a grouping of one or more activities. An activity is a specific task you did such as graphic design, web development, coding, research, etc.
Example: you can create a project called "ACME Design" and then assign one or more activities to it.
- Graph pane. Graph is a visual representation of the specific Project or Activity you picked in the left pane. It allows you to quickly see where the bulk of your time is spent.
- Tasks pane. These are the actual applications and documents (or web pages) you have been using. Every application that you use is automatically tracked under the "Unassigned" activity. It's up to you to categorize it into other activities by dragging and dropping it.
- Status Bar. This is displays the number of specific tasks that are shown.
- Date picker. Clicking on the date picker button allows you to narrow down your history by a specific data or a range.
Tracking Your Tasks
As soon as you start Time Tracker Professional, it immediately goes to work by actively watching what applications are active at a given time.
So if you’re writing a document in TextMate for 35 mins, then switch over to do some number crunching in Excel for 25 mins, then go a browse the web for 50 mins, you’ll see that Time Tracker Professional has correctly placed such data in the task pane.
Another important point is that not only does it track the applications you’re using but it also tracks the individual documents that you’re reading or writing within those applications. That’s an important functionality that’s appreciated by freelancers and other knowledge workers.
Organizing your tasks
Organizing your tasks is a breeze.
Organizing works by assigning each task (the lower right pane) to its corresponding Project or Activity in the left pane. You do this by dragging the item from the right pane to the left pane.
You can categorize a whole application (with all its corresponding documents or web pages), or just a specific document to its proper Activity (in the left-hand pane).
Example: If you look in the picture below (click on it to enlarge), you can see in the right-bottom pane that several applications have been tracked: Photoshop, Sublime, Firefox, Xcode, etc.
Now what you can do is drag each application or a document to the left-hand pane into a proper activity (under Projects).
Example: If you’re working for a client called “Acme, Inc”, you’ll probably want to define several activities under this project such as “web development”, “documentation”, and maybe even “Skype” to show how much time you’ve spent on Skype calls with the client.
From the right-hand pane, you would then drag “Skype” application into the "Talking to client" activity under “Acme, Inc”
Your final setup on the left-pane after having spent some time organizing might look like the following:
- Project: “Acme, Inc”
- Activity 1: “Web development”
- Applications/Documents: Xcode, NotePad
- Activity 2: “Documentation”
- Application/Documents: Microsoft Word, TextMate
- Activity 3: “Talking with Client”
- Applications: Skype
Viewing Past History
You can utilize the existing presets: today, yesterday, last week, last month, or you can make a custom date range by select the individual from and to dates.
Have more questions or concerns? Simply email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I almost always answer all emails within 12 hours (usually even much faster).