Reading Asian Efficiency Blog is a real treasure. You get great productivity tips and services from some of the top Productivityists in the game.
I got a newsletter from them entitled The 4-Step System You Need to Be Less Stressed At Work and I came across another article linked to it from Asian Efficiency about Time Tracking. I intended to get an Excel spreadsheet and instead got introduced to Toggl.
What Is Toggl?
Toggl is a time-tracking app. One-click time tracking, so it is easy to track time without much thought. The only thing you need to remember is to actually start the timer.
Toggl is free and there is a premium version for more features.
Here is the Toggl interface in the Chrome browser. I set my Toggl up much like the example at The Asian Efficiency Blog. I have a list of projects, perhaps some more specific than what is required but it works for me.
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Setting up your projects is key. You want to track every minute of your day to get a sense of where your time is being spent so you know where you are most and least efficient with time management.
So far here I hadn’t done well. But that’s okay. As a new user, I just need to get a sense of where my time is going.
This is the timer part of the interface, which is self-explanatory. Select a project and start a timer.
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You add projects on this screen. As you can see I have plenty, and you can add as many as you want. You can also add clients to any project and have a team of up to five people for free. You can color code the projects as well.
My basic setup is: Work, Personal, Excess, Non-essential. You can basically assign these categories as tags. I am currently working on this myself but Work is anything that will help me further my goals. The tasks or projects under this tag need to be important and urgent. Most of the things I am doing do not fall under this category currently.
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Personal is for things like important but not urgent phone calls and emails. I also list reading and podcasts under this but that may change.
Excess is TV and Netflix, cleaning (while necessary doesn’t actually help me achieve my goals), sleeping, relaxing, etc. While a rested body is important to success and is important, it doesn’t necessarily count as urgent unless you are sleep deprived. Let’s hope that isn’t the case for you.
Non-essential are for things like blogs I maintain that while being a great endeavor, are just for fun and are neither important or urgent.
You can get weekly reports as well as detailed reports that will breakdown the time you spent on each logged project as you can see here:
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Toggl integrates well with other services like Gmail, Freshbooks, GitHub, and Todoist, which are services I use. It also integrates well with Quickbooks, Trello, and Asana.
Here you can see the integration between Todoist:
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Right from the task list you can start a timer and it will show up on Toggl on web, mobile, and even their desktop app. You can’t actually use to Toggl/Todoist integration on the Todoist desktop app, and they don’t have any plans to integrate that right now.
This is how you use Toggl in Gmail:
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One thing I noticed about this is that when you start a timer for an email, you aren’t able to start again for that same email. I don’t know if this is a bug but it would be nice to see this functionality fixed or come to the app.
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Coach.me is a brilliant way to keep track of your goals. While Toggl can help you determine how much time you are spending in getting to your goals, Coach.me helps you list them and gives you a little gamified motivation to do so with keeping up with your friends and answering questions.
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It is web and mobile based but so far I have only used the iPhone version. You can pay coaches for their services but I find I don’t need the coaching.
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These are two of my favorite apps to keep track of time spent towards achieving my goals and actually listing out each goal as I go along.
Did I miss your favorites? Let me know in the comments.