We have already examined various sides of the self-tracking movement, such as moodtracking or lifelogging. Could tracking our daily tasks also help our professional lives by enhancing our productivity? If you are one of the people who struggle to stay away from Facebook or other time-consuming websites in order to complete your real tasks, or if you always leave your to-do lists half finished, time-tracking tools may be a great solution to your problems!
Do you mostly work on your computer?
If your professional project requires Internet research and you are afraid you will end up surfing on time-wasting websites for most of your time, you can choose one of the many web browser extensions that help you concentrate on your work. A good example is StayFocusd. StayFocusd is a highly configurable Google Chrome extension that controls the time you can spend on time-consuming websites. Once you have consumed your allotted time on the sites you have marked as blocked, they will be inaccessible for the rest of the day!
If you are a freelancer or if you need a time tracking-tool in order to bill your clients honestly, you can try using Harvest or Paymo. Their features include tracking of the time that is spent for a project and details on the time spent, so that you can provide extensive reports to your clients, for the working hours they are asked to pay. You can even export your data to CSV or Excel spreadsheets. These online applications are also perfect for team work as they let you manage your collaborators’ time and approve their timesheets.
An application designed for personal use
If you wish to focus more on tracking your personal activities and just want to see where your time is going, you can choose a Smartphone app such as RescueTime or Mite.go. With Mite.go you can navigate through your personal time entries, add multiple timers that you can pause and resume whenever you want and easily track how much time you spend in each of your activities.
With RescueTime on the other hand, you can also track how long you spend on your mobile apps and phone calls and get a report on your top distractions and categories.
So what do you think? Would time-tracking tools be useful in managing your personal and professional time?