This is a personal blog, please observe Think Hour for ad hoc quasi-diary writings and Big Ideas for my ratified longform items. I will see you there.


2021-02-01


Time Keeping // Toggl

Boosted

En route to bettering ourselves, we need to be very aware of our time-spending habits and attention supply. While not keeping tabs on tasks distinctly from tracking time spent on them, I did task+time both on the app “Boosted”, and before that “Forest”. I had to switch for a few reasons. I went from “Forest”, an application that probably works on the web (edit: looks like it is also phonly), where you plant trees and they grow with pomodoro or other time-unit spending, to a less gimmicky and more robust-feeling one in Boosted, which I spent probably 1.5 years using with varying dedication. Boosted let me export all of my timekeeping data in CSV form, so kudos to them for this freedom that I probably didn’t consider before moving in and even paying premium charge.

Getting Things Done

There is a borderline absurd cottage industry of “productivity guru” talking-head wearing-jawbone types, hobbyist/obsessive task-listers, real-life infomercial recipe noters orbiting kitchen islanders and after-market plugin/app makers offering time tracking solutions on software suite or tools that already exist - all centered on what amounts to putting text and keeping spreadsheets on computer. To make matters worse, this “sector” of the computer-user E-conomy is near perfectly balanced in its appeal/demand across enterprise/business and personal use. Luckily for me I recently changed out of the “Google Workspace” area and into Micro$oft realm, where their “To-Do” and “OneNote” tools gave me some direction or foundation alongside the cloud space I ordered. That is to say I had very little direction, since even looking into “Power Apps”/”Flow” - and third-party google-result flooding automate/integrate services like Zapier - to at least automate task/project-creation as a backbone I couldn’t find any straightforward time-integration, and the request for direct time-track implementation into “To-Do” is, despite community backing, unnoticed after years. It’s fine, I enjoy having control over tool federation, you can tell by my decision to rely entirely on Microsoft outside of a timekeeping widget.

I should make note of some of the various tools (both task/productivity and/or timekeeping) for posterity, and there are some pretty nice looking ones that I almost went with:

In the end I resolved to remain using Microsoft 365 tools alongside time-keeper of choice “Toggl”. The toggle with no e app is simple and flexible. Looking back it would be over-complicated to time-track every step of tasks and goals as recorded and noted in To-Do, I enjoy a broad overview and active-use instead of whole hog integration and automation. The tool is really perfect and great - while seemingly designed as a more “enterprise” solution, the free plan works great for personal use, you can import and export data in simple CSV form (might need to edit it slightly in spreadsheet editor), there’s an app available on every platform and the report/graph to analyse your activity is okay. I’ve spent 24 minutes putting together this web log post so far. I went back and threw together a list of other tools I saw, now I’m clocking in at 1 hour 4 minutes. Now I am approaching 1 hour 4 minutes 33 seconds.

Toggl Track