Using Time Tracking Tools Effectively

One of my current projects is to more effectively track my time. While I keep decent track of the time I spend on clients’ projects, I’m not so good about watching my own time. After all, there’s less of a financial incentive at play.

The question of that financial incentive is part of the problem, though: since I’m building more projects without a client paying directly for more time, I need to know if I’m making a good investment of my minutes and hours. Tracking this time requires a mental shift. But I’m already seeing the value of even the small amount of data I’ve already collected.

Beyond the matter of mindset, the biggest difficulty is actually remembering to switch on a timer or another tracking device. I’ve had to resort to sticky notes and other visual reminders that ask if I’m tracking my time. It’s like developing a little bit of OCD on purpose. Once the habit is in place, time-tracking does get easier.

In fact, I expect that part of my work to get dramatically easier over the next few years. I can already track the websites I spend my time on with RescueTime; if I could see the particular page (like what email folder I’m spending the most time in) I might be able to translate that data into effective time-tracking pretty easily.

2 Comments

  1. Mark Hirsch   •  

    Hi Thursday,

    I’d love to help in your quest to be manage your time more effectively. My company’s tool TimeTracker *automatically* captures your time…and learns how to assign that time to the correct job code. This means that you’ll have a granular understanding of your time…with virtually no effort.

    Could I offer you a brief 15 minute demo so that you can understand the utter simplicity and incredible insights of CreativeWorx TimeTracker? One other note, TimeTracker differs in that it privately captures your time directly from the most popular applications you use…and if you’re a creative professional, we’ve got great news: TimeTracker was developed by former Adobe employees and integrates directly with the Adobe Creative Suite and Creative Cloud applications.

    I’d love to have you try out TimeTracker. There’s a free option at our website. Please let me know if you choose to do so. I think you’ll love it!

  2. Arlen Mark   •  

    Proofhub is another tool that helps a lot to track time as well as project progress. I’d suggest you to check this out as well.

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