[kwlug-disc] Time tracking utility

Oksana Goertzen ogoertzen at gmail.com
Fri Nov 4 12:17:56 EDT 2011

Hi Andrew et al,

I'm mainly looking for something to track time, to substantiate what I've
been working on - i.e. where my time goes and to what project, not so
much for billing purposes (for work, at work).  Like you, ideally something
web-based and easily available/portable would be great.  :)

Thanks for your input.


On 1 November 2011 09:23, Andrew Kohlsmith (mailing lists account) <
aklists at mixdown.ca> wrote:

> On Thu, Oct 06 10:25:05 AM Oksana Goertzen wrote:
> > I was wondering if anyone could recommend a
> > good time tracking utility?
> (late to the party, but fashionably so, I hope).
> I have struggled with this very problem for a while. My requirements are
> simple: I want to be able to enter time in a relatively human way, not be
> locked in to someone's app or backend service, and have my data stored on
> my
> own hardware.
> I've tried a multitude of system tray utilities, desktop widgets, web
> services, iphone apps... you name it. They all failed, largely due to
> failing
> the "relatively human data entry" or not being available to me at any time,
> any where.
> I ended up doing something a little unusual. I started using a service
> called
> Yammer. Yammer is essentially a company Twitter. It's private, unlike
> Twitter.
> I can enter data via their web interface, via their iPhone app, or even
> through an XMPP (aka Jabber or GTalk) bot. They allow me to subscribe to my
> own feed via RSS, so I can pull my data back into my own hardware via any
> aggregator.
> It isn't strictly a time tracker, but I use it as one thusly: "yesterday
> worked 9a-6p on $foo" or "3h on $bar" or "11h trying to figure out $baz for
> $quux."
> Generating timesheets was a matter of going through the RSS feed with
> keyword
> filters. For me, that meant company or project names. A manual search is
> kind
> of disgusting, but it is easily scriptable when I have time to do it
> myself or
> money to hire someone to do it for me.
> VERY human-centric data entry. Available damn near ANYWHERE. Data stored
> in my
> own hardware. Infinite flexibility in filtering and reporting. WIN!
> Then Yammer started stinking. They changed their plans so I had to pay for
> feeds. Their XMPP bot was unavailable 90% of the time. They didn't respond
> to
> support requests. Fail. I started looking for an alternative. I found it in
> Socialcast. Everything the same, different company. They even offer a
> twitter-
> compatible API so I can use any app that can speak Twitter to enter my
> data.
> Back to winning.
> I'm planning on expanding this use of a "feed" to create a messagebus
> similar
> to dbus. Basically I can write notes, reminders, todos, etc. and have an
> army
> of bots watching the feed and interpreting the data. so something like
> "pick
> up the kid @3p" will send me a reminder notification via XMPP or Growl at
> 2:30.
> "check oven +30m" will do something similar. "[ ] reschedule dentist appt"
> will create a todo. You get the idea.
> I'm sick of having my data locked away in other people's formats and
> servers.
> I think I may have finally found something that works very well for me and
> is
> flexible enough to grow. If Socialcast also goes belly-up I can always set
> up
> my own twitter service and everything will just port over.
> -A.
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It's never too late to be what you might have been.
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