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Find out how web developer Chris increased his focus time

estimated reading time: 3 min 

As a remote worker, it’s very easy to lose focus and get distracted by the things one needs to do around the house. “Every working day is typically about 7 hours of billable work, but if I take an hour lunch, walk the dog twice in the middle of the day, try to start laundry, etc… I found that I’m spending nearly 11 hours just to get my 7 hours of billable in to ‘call it a day’.”

Chris works as a web developer at Happy Cog.  When working remotely it can be challenging to not let other household duties stretch your workday.

Chris knew that the first step to master this challenge would be to get clarity about the situation and start tracking his time.

He could then use this data to focus on getting his work done in fewer hours.

How Chris tracks his time in detail

In the beginning, he had a long list of activities: “I used to have every individual side project as their own activity, but then I decided to merge them and use #tags and @mentions to track the individual projects”.

He narrowed the list down to a few personal and work activities. For work, he tracks his Top-level projects as individual activities and uses the @mentions for individual issues. For his side projects, he uses one activity called Personal activities. 

Additionally, he has one activity called General activity that is a catch-all during work hours. On this side he tracks things like stepping away to the bathroom, grabbing lunch and walking his dog.

More focus time by shifting non-work related activities

The distinction between “not working activities” and “working activities” helped Chris see how much time he wasn’t focused on work.   “The more time I spend on General every day the more time I need to make up later that evening.”

The analytics showed him that he had way too many tiny entries. “They were just 5-10 minutes long because my focus would keep shifting. ”  He saw that he needed 11 hours to get his 7 hours of billable work done. That’s when he knew he had to change something.

He started shifting his household duties to later in the day. In addition, he said no to a lot of other things that took away his focus for work.

This helped him narrow down his working day and created a longer period of focused time. AND more free time afterwards.

BIO 

Chris works remotely as a web developer for Happy Cog, a full-service digital agency that combines design, development, and marketing to solve complex business problems using a creative and user centered approach. Timeular is on his side since September 2018.

Say hi to Timeular 2.0

Our mission at Timeular is to enable you to spend more time on what really matters. Accurate time tracking and a great overview of your time spending is a crucial first step in that direction, which is finally available with Timeular 2.0 ?

To improve how we spend our time towards our goals, we strongly believe in the Track-Understand-Improve cycle.

  • Track your time and get objective data on how you spend it.
  • Understand where your time goes and discover timesinks.
  • Improve: Find ways to improve based on your possibilities and measure your progress.


This update marks a big milestone along our journey and after months of designing, discussing, development and testing we could not be prouder to finally get your hands onto it.

So what is new in Timeular 2.0?

Besides a ton of improvements and fixes under the hood, the interface of Timeular has fundamentally changed. Curious? Let’s dive right in. Here are the top 4 changes in Timeular 2.0.

 

TLDR;  ? See the walkthrough here

  • The weekly view is the all new calendar-like appearance of Timeular.
  • It shows you a whole week of time tracking at a glance and gives you a great overview over how you spend your time.
  • Zooming allows you to adjust the level of detail you want to get on your data from birds-eye view to being every minute of your time.
  • Creating and editing time entries has become very fast and seamless.
  • Starting/Stopping/Switching your time tracking is now way easier and running time entries can be edited.
  • Timeular can now handle collisions in your timeline and make sure you reach the state of your timeline you want.
  • The status of your Tracker is now always visible so you can be sure what’s going on.
  • Join our deep-dive-webinar on April 10th to learn more.
  • Download it here

1) Appearance

The weekly view is the all-new appearance of Timeular as a calendar like application. It gives you a view onto a whole week of your time data and allows you to easily spot gaps as well as things you might want to take a closer look at.

Seamlessly navigate through different weeks by using the week-by-week navigation or date picker. This allows you to easily check up on your time tracking for any weeks or discover time spending patterns across weeks.

You can easily zoom in and out to choose the level of detail you want to get on your data. So zoom out to get a rough overview over what you did when, or zoom in to get into the nitty gritty and inspect every short distraction and how it affected your day.

weekly overview of tracked data

2) Time Entries

Time entries in your timeline give you all the needed information like activity, duration or note at a glance or by hovering over small entries. Time entries can be dragged and visually modified in the interface making it easier than ever to apply small changes.

With weekly view, creating, changing and deleting time entries has never been easier. Simply drag or click to create or edit a time entry, get smart input fields and elements to apply your changes and visually move time entries around using drag and drop. Time entries smartly snap into place so you don’t need to edit them later.

Consecutive small time entries are grouped together so they are not overlooked while giving you all the needed information and access to more details with just a click. This allows you to have a birds-eye view on the structure of your week, while still seeing little distractions that pop out.

Timeular software time entries blocked

In your time tracking, you can’t do two things at the same time (don’t get me started on multitasking ?). So weekly view helps you to deal with conflicts of different time entries in your timeline. If you change a time entry and it conflicts with others, Timeular now gives you a great overview of the situation and allows you to easily overwrite interferences or revert changes.

two time entries conflict

3) Tracking

With weekly view, starting, stopping and switching your time tracking is always just one click away. With all your activities visible at the sidelines, simply click the play/stop icons to change the current tracking. Add notes and tags to your current tracking right here to categorise your time and get great insights later.

Timeular tracking with tags

4) Tracker Status

While all this gives you a great way to use the Timeular app, it all comes together with the Timeular Tracker. You can now always see the status of your Tracker right in the weekly view.

Timeular with no Tracker connected

We at Timeular believe that getting a clear picture and overview over where one’s time goes is the best starting point for understanding habits and patterns and discovering things to improve. This is why we built Timeular 2. Sounds good to you? Join our deep-dive-webinar on April 10th to learn more. 

Please let us know if you need help or have feedback for us. Happy to hear from you anytime.

Make your time count. ⏰

Team Timeular

P.S.: A humongous thank you to the whole team, Wolfgang, Oleksii, our alpha testers and all amazing people using Timeular every day and giving us such great feedback.
P.P.S.: Like the update? Please share the love: Twitter | Facebook

What’s new in Timeular 1.8?

Partey Time ?? We have just released a major new version of Timeular (1.8) for Windows and macOS.

Besides many bugfixes and improvements, we introduced some new features and shortcuts that we hope will make your time tracking easier and give you more insights into where your time goes.

This article guides you through the major changes in 1.8. and highlights how the improvements might help you. Ready to dive in? Ok – let’s do it.


TL;DR: Here are some highlights

  • New: We reworked all notifications to better keep you up to date about your tracking
  • New: We made changes to the analytics and added more useful metrics like average start and end time
  • New: Timeular now reminds you to stop or switch tracking after a certain tracking duration. The optimal duration can be automatically calculated or manually entered.
  • New: We added shortcuts to the date picker (analytics) to make it easier to select common time frames such as yesterday, last week or this month.
  • Fixed: Issue that prevented some users from creating activities
  • Fixed: Date and time settings would sometimes not persist and thus reset upon restart.

1) Smart Reminders – Long Task

Timeular now reminds you to take a break or switch tasks after a certain time of tracking. So after you have tracked for an unusually long time, Timeular will give you a little heads-up by displaying the notification below. You can then either decide to stop your tracking or simply hit No and continue your work. The automatic estimation of the perfect time entry length gets better over time and makes sure you get enough breaks. 🙂

Time for a break notification

If you’d like to manually enter a time duration for this reminder, you can easily do so in the application settings as shown below. Simply enter a time and Timeular will make sure to remind you.

Long Time Entries Reminder

Reminders and Pomodoro Timer

We know that many of you really like the Pomodoro technique to manage your time and focus throughout the day (we love it too). This new reminder lets you define timer intervals, easily stop and take a break and get started again with the flip of the Timeular Tracker. Hope you like it.

No need for that time machine: Automatically stop tracking at the end of the day

Another great way to use this reminder is to make sure tracking is stopped at the end of the day. You can now configure Timeular to automatically stop tracking after a tracking exceeds a certain length. So if you leave your office and forget tracking, Timeular will stop the tracking for you.

Tracking was stopped notificationSo no more tracked-through nights and awakenings full or remorse and regret where you just want to go back in time and stop that tracking. Wait … I’m mixing things up here. Anyways, you get the idea. We hope you like this feature and this makes your life easier.

2) Date picker shortcuts

When looking at the analytics of your time or if you want to filter your time for export, you will likely always go for time frames such as “last week”, “this week“ or “last month“. As we want to save you time that you can spend on the really important things, we added shortcuts that let you select these time frames with a single click.

Calendar filter

An overview of your time tracking this week/month or year is just a click away. Hope this saves you some time. ?

3) New metrics in analytics

Ever wondered what the short/medium/long time entries in the analytics were all about? I will say this: It made sense at some point ?. We replaced these with more useful metrics such as average start and end time of your tracking or average duration of tracked time entries.

statistics of the time entries4) Bugfixes

In this release, we were able to fix many bugs and lay the groundwork for great things coming up (can’t wait to get your hands on it).

The fixes include:

  • Some users were not able to create or change activities in the application. This is bad and we apologize – fixed. No jokes here, we messed up.
  • The time and date format settings would not persist after a restart of the application. Sorry about that. We.fixed.it *restart* fixed/we/it *restart* ah.damn.it
  • Random advice completely unrelated to this release: If you ever display notifications in your product, you better make sure they don’t crash your app. (…sorry)
  • Integrations were not showing up immediately upon configuration in the apps
  • Some users experienced that their software would not react to flipping the Tracker or putting it back into the base. As you suspect, this is kind of essential for our product to work. 🙂 We worked with those users and could fix it while improving overall connectivity and reliability for all users. Nothing can stop you now. Go get em, Tiger.
  • The calendar date picker could not scroll back/forward more than one month. While we encourage you to live in the moment, this was clearly too much. Fixed. Sorry.

We are very happy to finally bring this update to you. Please note: This update will be shipped to desktop users first. Mobile versions will follow.

In case you need help, have feedback/ideas or there is anything else we can do for you – Please reach out anytime. Happy to hear from you. support.timeular.com

Thanks,
Christoph and the Timeular team.

P.S.: (Now more than ever) Value your time ?

What’s new in Timeular 1.6?

The past months, we have worked very hard to understand current problems and improve the Timeular Tracker and our Timeular software for you. So here it is the Timeular 1.6 update.

We talked to hundreds of users and gathered feedback to build the easiest way for you to track your time and get meaningful insights into how you spend your time.

We have a lot of exciting things coming up starting with this update.


TL;DR: Here are some highlights

  • New: Update for your beloved Timeular Tracker which enables always-on mode. It will automatically reconnect when you flip it and therefore track more reliably. No need to hit the black button again.
  • New: Immediately see if your Tracker is connected via the menu bar icon.
  • New: Edit any time entry directly from the statistics screen.
  • New: Click start/stop notifications to directly modify the corresponding entry.
  • Fixed: Faster start and reaction time.
  • Fixed: Auto-Save of notes you enter.
  • Fixed: Default length of time entries slots is now 1h.
  • Fixed: App would not open properly after update.
  • Fixed: Wrong element highlighted in the navigation bar.
  • Fixed: Design improvements and color changes (especially Windows).

1) The always-on mode:

My Nana always used to say: “If your team ever builds a Bluetooth device, you better make sure it’s connecting properly son!”.

Well, we all have had our fair share of issues with that and we’ve been working very hard to fix it. So we are happy to announce that we started rolling out an update for the software on your Timeular Tracker (also called firmware) that will fix this.

But wait…

  • Does this mean I don’t need to switch the Tracker off and on ever? Yes. (Ok. You should switch it off when you take it with you…but that’s it)
  • Does this mean the device reliably reconnects (upon flip) when my computer went to sleep / wakes up? Yes.
  • Does this mean the Tracker reliably reconnects (upon flip) to my phone when I leave / and return to my desk? Yes.
  • Does this mean I don’t have to worry about if all is set up and working when I just want to switch tasks? Yes.
  • Will this reduce the battery life of my Tracker significantly? No. (no seriously, we promise)

(Making you proud here Nana – miss you)

What will the update look like? Easy:

1) You will receive an update of our apps (desktop, mobile)

2) A little red dot shows up next to your Settings

3) Simply “follow the rabbit red dot” to update your Tracker in a few minutes

4) Done.

Timeular 1.6 update

Note: You might need to insert a new battery to perform the update (we will guide you through the process) but can re-use the old one afterward. We need an 80% charged battery to make sure we don’t run out of battery during the update process.

We will ship this feature gradually to all our users. So it might take a few days till the update pigeon comes by. We are very excited about finally getting your hands on this and can’t wait to hear back from you.

❤️ Thanks very much to all our users who have helped with their time and feedback. Special thanks to Cindy, Christoph, Susan, Kaleb, Katrin, Tobias, Josha, Lars, Mirko and so many more. ❤️

2) Connection status in the menu bar:

Here’s the thing: It’s very important to us that you don’t need to worry about time tracking and don’t waste any time or energy on checking up on it – nothing should stand between you and tracking your activity with a simple flip.

We are working on many things to make sure you can rely on this under any circumstances. In addition to the always-on mode of the Tracker, the desktop applications now show you the connection status of the Tracker directly in the menu bar/status bar. When you see the check mark in the Timeular icon, your Tracker is connected and ready to track. Its always-on mode makes sure this checkmark is there.

Timeular 1.6 update ZEI connected

Please note: In order to be able to see the icon instantly under Windows, simply drag it into the visible area of your status bar.

3) Edit time entries in report screen:

Statistics are great. Most of us have been in this situation: You look at statistics and realize that you need to change a time entry or add a note. Up to now, it was not possible to do this straight away. Good news: now you can.

With this update, we made it possible to edit notes and time entries directly from the statistics screen. So with two clicks, you can now add a note including hashtags and mentions. With three clicks you can edit the time or activity or delete the entry. Did you know the average pc user clicks over 425 times a day (in all applications). Just saying.

Timeular 1.6 add entry

Other changes in this update include:

  • The desktop application is now faster to start and use. Still working on it but shifted up a gear for sure.
  • The applications now auto-saves notes you entered. So none of the notes can escape your tracking anymore.
  • Adapted descriptions texts at the top of the applications so the displayed expressions better explain offered functionality given the application state and usage context they are easier to understand.
  • Manually added time entries now have a default length of an hour. Whoever found the 13:00 – 23:59 default timeslot useful: I want to talk. About your life.
  • Design changes: The scroll bar now feels at home on Windows and we improved the color scheme.
  • Notifications on the desktop are now clickable and directly take you to the corresponding time entry.
  • Fixed: The app would not open properly after an update. Which is the anti-definition of an update, really.
  • Fixed: Sometimes the wrong menu-item in the left bar would be highlighted. No jokes about that – that’s just a bug.

We are very happy to finally bring this update to you. Please note: This update will be shipped to desktop users first. Mobile versions will follow.

In case you need help, have feedback/ideas or there is anything else we can do for you – Please reach out anytime. Happy to hear from you.

Thanks,
Christoph and the Timeular team.

P.S.: (Now more than ever) Make your time count. 🙂