Time Tracking In The New Year
I have dabbled in time tracking tools in the past (RescueTime & Timing), but most of them were far too granular and only worked if I was sitting at my ‘computer’. With more work moving to mobile and some being nowhere near a device, I needed a more flexible solution. I decided to go with more of an open-ended ‘traditional’ time tracking tool to accomplish my needs this time, the tool/service I am using is called Toggl. I picked this one because it’s a simple tool that allows me to track the time I want in the way I want.
So what am I going to track? Well, the breakdown changes slightly as I progress through the year and get a better understanding of what types of activities I am doing day-to-day, but at a high level, these are the things I am going to be tracking.
- Meetings (Internal vs. External)
- Presentations (Creating vs. Presenting)
- Project Management
- Software / Hardware Testing (Related to work products)
- Travel (Actual time spent traveling for work)
School (Arizona State University)\
- Time spent completing coursework
- Career Growth
As of this post, I am 17 days into tracking, and it’s beginning to become a habit. The hardest part or tracking time is remembering to start and stop timers when doing various activities. Regarding this, Toggle does make it easy to go back and fill in time slots from earlier in the day or for previous days. This function is quite helpful when I do a daily recap and find items that I forgot to track.
I would like to keep this up for all of 2018, so I can see what a year of data looks like concerning how I have spent my time. I think this could be very useful in both a personal and professional capacity.
Do you do time tracking for personal or professional reasons outside of billing clients? What do you do similarly or different? I would love to know!
For a really good overview of Toggl, check out this post over at Freelance Effect.