Skip to content
Swizec Teller - a geek with a hatswizec.com

Do you use any special time tracking software?

Jonas asks if I use any special time tracking software. A common question in fact. People ask me all the time ๐Ÿค”

Yes, several.

I have 2 primary and 2 secondary time trackers these days. Used to experiment with a lot of different tools and according to The Good Shit Stays principle, this is what stuck.

  • Klok for areas of time
  • Toggl for billable hours
  • RescueTime for focus tracking
  • Timeular for sidehustle areas of time

Areas of time โ€“ Klok

You're familiar with calendars. They specify your agenda, your plan for the week. If you color code events you can take one look and see how much time you spend in meetings, at the gym, studying, or whatever.

Here's my calendar

8RoOYk3

I suck at calendars. Never could make them work for me. Been trying for 10 years.

When was the last time you did everything in exactly the same order at exactly the same time as your calendar said? For me the answer is never.

That's where Klok comes in. Klok gives you a birds-eye view of what happened. Not what you intended to happen.

I use it to track time on broad projects. How much time working out? How much time sidehustling? How much time writing? How much time at work?

Here's a fairly typical week

M1nyLdv

Pink-ish is sidehustle stuff, green is client work, purple is running, grey-ish is gym time.

You can see I've been good about going to bed around midnight, waking up early, and that I took Valentine's Day evening off to hang with The Girl.

You even get a high level piechart of how you spend your time.

EB2zw05

About half my time goes to paid work, a quarter goes to sidehustle, and a quarter to self improvement. Self improvement tracks high these days because of marathon training and some Ramit Sethi courses I'm doing.

Got data going as far back as 2009. Some fun stats:

  • 1807 hours on my first startup
  • 5073 hours on blog, sidehustle, etc
  • 6181 hours on self improvement
  • 1971 hours on college
  • 10352 hours on paid work

So now we know why I never graduated ๐Ÿ˜…

Billable hours โ€“ Toggl

Never bill by the hour. Always know how many hours you're spending.

That's how you know if the project fee (or your paycheck) was worth it. Try to account for all time spent, not just butt in seat time.

Toggl is great because it's a timer.

Click track and it starts tracking. Klok does that too btw but I find Toggl is more fine-grained. I can track overhead and work work separately.

jietonQ

You get pretty charts. Helps you know how much time you're spending and where. Differences between Klok and Toggl are good area to optimize.

Klok says you spent 10 hours at the office and Toggl says you worked 8. Why?

Focus โ€“ RescueTime

RescueTime runs in the background and keeps watch. Tells you when you're being focused and when you aren't.

This level of detail is too fine-grained for manual tracking and that's the point. You tell RescueTime which apps you consider productive and which you don't and it makes pretty graphs based on your activity.

wXvRVtO

You can see I've been pretty good this week. Actually spent more time creating than talking about creating.

And only 7% social networking! ๐Ÿค˜

A great companion for RescueTime is Gyrosco.pe. One of the most beautiful apps I've ever seen built with React and D3.

Here's a look at my public dashboard

GqUbjdp

Those intertwined green and red lines, that's how focused I was through the day. Great way to visualize it.

Sidehustle areas โ€“ Timeular

Timeular is the newest addition to my flock of time tracking apps. I use it to measure different areas of creativity.

Writing, video, livecoding, marketing, stuff like that.

It isn't super useful and I don't look at the charts very often, but I like that it comes with a physical device that you twist and turn and plop down to start your timer.

n0TTk6t

I waver between "That has too many sides" and "Ugh not enough options". It's neat though, great idea.

If I had one at work I'd use this instead of Toggl :D

The charts are ... okay

ZJpa7sO

๐Ÿคจ

And that's how I track my time, do you track your time?

Also that was 5 things wasn't it? Five things Friday! ๐Ÿค˜

Cheers, ~Swizec

PS: honorable mention because it's really cool. Kristian Heruc compiled a list of many hundreds React Resources It's real good. There's even a list of some of my React stuff โค๏ธ

Did you enjoy this article?

Published on February 22nd, 2019 in Personal

Learned something new?
Want to become a high value JavaScript expert?

Here's how it works ๐Ÿ‘‡

Leave your email and I'll send you an Interactive Modern JavaScript Cheatsheet ๐Ÿ“–right away. After that you'll get thoughtfully written emails every week about React, JavaScript, and your career. Lessons learned over my 20 years in the industry working with companies ranging from tiny startups to Fortune5 behemoths.

Start with an interactive cheatsheet ๐Ÿ“–

Then get thoughtful letters ๐Ÿ’Œ on mindsets, tactics, and technical skills for your career.

"Man, love your simple writing! Yours is the only email I open from marketers and only blog that I give a fuck to read & scroll till the end. And wow always take away lessons with me. Inspiring! And very relatable. ๐Ÿ‘Œ"

~ Ashish Kumar

Join over 10,000 engineers just like you already improving their careers with my letters, workshops, courses, and talks. โœŒ๏ธ

Have a burning question that you think I can answer?ย I don't have all of the answers, but I have some! Hit me up on twitter or book a 30min ama for in-depth help.

Ready to Stop copy pasting D3 examples and create data visualizations of your own? ย Learn how to build scalable dataviz components your whole team can understand with React for Data Visualization

Curious about Serverless and the modern backend? Check out Serverless Handbook, modern backend for the frontend engineer.

Ready to learn how it all fits together and build a modern webapp from scratch? Learn how to launch a webapp and make your first ๐Ÿ’ฐ on the side with ServerlessReact.Dev

Want to brush up on your modern JavaScript syntax?ย Check out my interactive cheatsheet: es6cheatsheet.com

By the way, just in case no one has told you it yet today: I love and appreciate you for who you areย โค๏ธ

Created bySwizecwith โค๏ธswizec.com