Doing interesting work that doesn’t fall in the usual job grid can be equally fun (you do stuff on your own terms) and frustrating (awfully subjective ways to assess how far along you are from getting the work done, especially with no deadlines). Also, the duration between work and seeing the reward/ gratification in any shape (peer praise, monetary, observable impact etc) is fluid and tends to confuse one’s relationship with time - eg spending a lot of it learning a new tool that one never ends up using (?) It seems it is an issue I’ve had before among other challenges of working online, but also others like @Jonathan_Sundqvist testified to it.
I found tracking the work time works not just to keep myself disciplined, but also to have a realistic assessment of how long work takes, for future references.
Anything you tested already and could recommend? I have been using TimeTracker Lite from Spinso, but I don’t know why they call them free if it’s only a few months trial?? Free as in free trial
Any ideas? I’m looking for a computer app, not a mobile one.
I’ve worked my way through a lot of tools. But in the end I find that noting my time in a text file or a spreadsheet works best. Even if I use some of the frilly features of my text editor, it works just the same as if I’m typing into notepad. I even sometimes do it on paper.
Anything more automated just seems to detract from the keeping-myself-focused aspect of time tracking. Writing down that I have spent / will spend time on something forces me to check that I actually have been doing that.
When I’m working out billing, I just look back through the time records, and sum up the time spent on whatever project.
I do also have a little linux app called tomate, which I use for small increments of time. But I basically just use it as a countdown timer – “I will concentrate on X for the next 10 minutes, without interruptions”. Useful when I’m having trouble settling down to work – 10 minutes’ focus is long enough to get me into the appropriate headspace for working, but short enough that I can’t find excuses why I really need to check my emails first.
Good ol’ fashioned…
You may be onto something I guess in the end it depends on what works for each person individually. With a proper tracker and calendar view, I found after a couple of weeks there are certain days and time slots when I’m repeatedly more productive than others. Weird huh, especially since the work is not repetitive and you’d think some tasks have an impact on your mood more than others, therefore isolating any time effect…
The magic of online tools that start with T
Appearantly, Trello is one of the most used Organization App out there.
As I’m a lot into beautiful User Interfaces, I’ve spent a lot of time to find Toggl and through them TeamWeek. Both offer integrations and are developed by a tiny startup in Tallinn.
They offer at least free-as-in-beer plans.
Thinking about more advanced patterns like Taiga makes me wonder how we can integrate these magic #T4 into the H2020 metaconsortium we’re building now.