Tracking time

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Personal Productivity for Lawyers

This quick-start guide to Getting Things Done and Inbox Zero also includes two shortcuts for those who want the benefits of GTD without having to learn the system.

If you have read much of this blog, you know I have a major obsession with time tracking options. I have tried a variety of options, including Time Matters, Time59 (online), GnoTime, BK Task Timer, TTime, and many more.

All are lacking something. Most are too complicated. Tracking time is an inherently simple thing. All you need is the date, a description, and the time billed. If you have more people in the office, it can be nice to automate the assignment of different rates, but it is just as easy to generate individual time sheets for each employee.

In the end, I have decided to go with a comparatively low-tech solution: spread sheets. Spread sheets are platform-independent, have little or no learning curve (great for new or contract employees), and are far easier to view and edit. Mine automatically computes the total charges billed to date, so it actually takes less time to generate a bill than with a comprehensive package like Time/Billing Matters.

The only thing it doesn’t do is have a timer. In Windows, TTime is an elegant solution. Online timer Toggl is another good solution. Stopwatch works fine in Linux, and I’m sure there are a lot of other options (in addition to just writing down start and end times).

This is a reminder that although technology allows us to do a lot of complicated things, complicated is not always better, particularly for a simple task like tracking time.

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  • David Fitch

    Here’s another low cost time tracking program – Responsive Time Logger

    I tracks time and creates billing invoices and records that are exportable to QuickBooks.

    You might find it a good addition. I have been using it for 7 years.

    http://www.responsivesoftware.com/

    David Fitch

  • Sam Glover

    Thanks. There are a ton of good options out there.