Struggling to get work done at home? I’m with you.
It’s 8pm on a Tuesday evening. I wouldn’t usually be working at this time. My partner and I both work full-time and with the current situation, like millions of other families across the world, we’re now looking after our two children at home…whilst working.
I also happen to work for a company that’s remote-first and whose product is incredibly useful for home-workers (Timeular).
Here’s a personal intro to it and how I’ve been making the current situation work for me.
What is Timeular?
Timeular is a simple way to track your time and understand where it goes. This enables you to make improvements to how your future time is spent.
It consists of a ‘Tracker’ and desktop and mobile apps, connected via Bluetooth.
This short video should give you a good idea of how it works.
So why track your time?
There are all kinds of reasons why you need to track your time, for example to produce a timesheet in order to bill a client accurately or to track how many hours you’re spending against a project. The chances are if you’re billing your time, you’re doing it anyway. If that’s you, then Timeular makes it much easier, much more accurate and personally meaningful.
If you’re new to time tracking though, it’s incredibly useful if you want to improve your productivity or keep your time in check. With my partner and I working 4-hour rotational ‘shifts’ between work and looking after our children, it helps me to stay true to my time and ensure I make the most of every minute I can.
At its core though, time tracking is a tool – it gives me the means to carve a better version of myself. And with what’s going on in the world right now it helps keep me organised and give me a sense of control (how I spend my time being one of the things I can control right now).
Easy with the Tracker
The Tracker is an 8-sided device that sits on your desk. Each side is assigned a task – phone call or social media for example. The sides can be whatever you like but should be relevant to what you do. Here’s mine.
When you start a task, flip the Tracker to the activity, just like I’ve done with Writing. When you change tasks, flip to the next and so on.
My artistic skills are somewhat lacking but some of our customers have designed amazing looking Trackers – see further down the page.
The Timeular app automatically populates a timesheet for you to see exactly where every minute of your day goes.
My first ‘shift’ starts at 10am, but I’m able to snatch 30 minutes when our daughter has her 9am nap!
I’ve not brought myself to assigning the task Grab snack for children or the myriad other distractions yet, but pausing the Tracker shows me exactly when I’m switching between work and life.
Turning data into action
But the app is way more than just populating a timesheet. It transforms the data into meaningful insight. I can see exactly where my time goes, how it’s changing, categorise entries and identify I’m most focused so I can at least have some control over how I’m tracking toward my goals.
Right now with my partner and I doing 4-hour on-off work shifts, it also helps me remain objective and not over or underestimate what I’ve worked.
Most importantly, if I get to the end of a day not feeling like I’ve achieved much, I have the insight I need to know what needs changing.
What should I track?
The answer to this completely depends on what you want to get out of time tracking. Firstly a few basics:
- We call things to track activities. You start and stop tracking activities to create time entries.
- You can add notes to every time entry to describe what exactly you worked on (optional).
- You can add tags (#) to every time entry to link it to a specific topic. This helps when filtering data and getting insights in what you spent your time on (optional).
So if your goal is to track client work, you may like to create activities as client names. Or if you’re working on projects, they could become your activities.
Personally, activities are more meaningful to me and I use the notes with #tags to categories my entries. So right now I’m tracking Writing with a note that reads “Writing content for people new to #wfh.” where the tag #wfh groups other work I’m doing on the topic, like producing images.
And whilst there are 8 sides to the Tracker, you can track more than 8 activities in the app or switch the activities on your Tracker.
Tracking activities as activities
Tracking projects as activities
Tracking clients as activities
Tracking as a team
Along with being a tool for personal productivity, with the app feature ‘Shared Spaces’ you can track projects or client work as team. It’s super useful for seeing where team time is spent, identifying bottlenecks and collaborating as a team. If you’re a manager forever chasing timesheets or fed up with estimated time entries, you may well find a remedy in Timeular.
Given the current lockdown, we’re also putting it to imaginative use internally – we’ve created a Shared Space for a planking challenge where willing contributors can track their time planking (for a bit of fun). I’ve been dodging the Slack @mentions for my participation, though…
Most importantly – especially in times like these – we’ve built it with privacy in mind: personal time tracked will always be private and any Shared Spaces entries are only visible after a day to prevent virtual looking over the shoulder.
“I found that I’m spending nearly 11 hours just to get my 7 hours of billable in to ‘call it a day’.”
Read how web developer Chris discovered how to separate household and work duties at home.
“…a great productivity tool for keeping you honest.”
12 Cheap Tech Items That’ll Make Your Work From Home Setup a Little Better – March 2020
Who’s behind Timeular and why trust us?
We’re a team of nearly 20 people dotted across Europe and North America who have worked remotely from day one. We’ve spent four years thinking about and crafting hardware and software to make time tracking easy, fun and personally empowering.
We’ve sold 40,000 Trackers globally to productivity-minded individuals and teams at companies as unique as Google, KPMG and Space X.
We’re fortunate to have amazing customers that are happy to sing our praises. You can read honest, unadulterated reviews on our Capterra page here (a selection of public tweets are posted below, too).
Tracker by @timeular helps a lot in #wfh situation due to #COVID19 . I like my job and often forget it’s past hours when I don’t have to catch my train. Remember that you can get #overworked and #tired even at home and it has negative impact to your immunity! #timemanagement— ブラミ (@blami) March 13, 2020
Take control of your time
Feel free to have a look around the site to read more about the Tracker and app. The Tracker itself comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee, so there’s no risk in trying it out for yourself.
If you’ve got any questions, our support team are always happy to chat.