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Ally’s story of having 4 times fewer disturbances with Timeular

estimated reading time: 3 min 

Ally is an engineer and an author. As an engineer, she got interrupted a lot:

“There were heaps of unplanned tasks delaying my actual work.”

These tasks kept her from being focused and getting her work done. Furthermore, she had to hand in a timesheet for her work and provide her boss with the number of hours she worked for different clients “which was more like a random guesstimation.”

Fewer disturbances & better estimating

After one month Ally trained herself to have a natural instinct of tracking her time. And it was worth the effort:

“On average, I have four times fewer disturbances than I did a year ago.”

After the Analytics showed her how much she got distracted, she decided to reject a lot more things.

Ally tracked her disturbances to see how much time they consumed. She had one side with a flash ↯ for that. Whenever someone interrupted her she switched to the ↯ . “This was amusing for my colleagues and they were like ‘oh, oh, she turns the Tracker to the flash!”

After she saw in her Analytics how much she got distracted, she decided to say “No” more often. The statistics helped Ally to practice discipline and to see her progress over time.

bar chart

Bar chart showing the time Ally got interrupted from Augst 2018 to June 2019.

Moreover, she got better at estimations of tasks. “Historical data of how much time I’ve spent on a specific client is as accurate as it gets,” Ally reported. Her time sheets are generated by a macro that works with the .xlsx export.

It also brings psychological benefits, since one can see where the time went instead of having the feeling “like you did nothing at all”.

How to use #hashtags for client billing

With Timeular Ally tracks different activities for her work and freelance life.

“I tried to come up with activities that were broad enough for different projects, yet distinct enough. Then I chose the most used ones for the Tracker.”

The other activities, that she doesn’t need all the time are just tracked in the app. She tracks Regular Work, Deep work (Getting Things Done),  Calls, Breaks, Meetings, Unplanned, small activities, external appointments, travel time and education/training. For her freelance life, she tracks writing, editing work, timeline-work, research, and backstory.

Ally wants to know how much time she spends on different clients and on which tasks. This helps her have a better sense of how much to charge. For billing the right client, she uses #tags to write down the client’s internal ID. “If I have to call a client back, it’s an entry for the activity “phone call” with a note ‘#ID:801’. When a project is done, I’ll search my data for “#ID:801” and book the hours in the specific JIRA-case. It’s a matter of fifteen minutes at most, if you’re booking grouped by actual activity.

To see how many hours are collectively spent on meetings, Ally uses the @mention function for writing down who actually attended them.

Ally’s tip: Don’t let your data just rot there.

“Track meticulously, but also look at your data. Don’t just let it rot there.”

Don’t just track your time for the sake of tracking your time. Look at the data you get out of it, because you will only be able to improve something if you reflect on what you are currently doing.

“If you’re working in an office environment, you’re gonna be shocked how little of your day is spent on actual productive work, ” Ally laughed.

BIO

Ally is an engineer and an author. She started using Timeular a year ago.

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. 🙂