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Where does all your time go? It’s an easy question to answer, if you track your time. Toggl is a deceptively simple web application that lets you do just that.
If you’re like most people, your job (or jobs) requires that you focus on more than one task every day. It’s easy, under such circumstances, to have no idea which tasks are taking up most of your time – or, for that matter, which tasks are wasting your time.
With a full-featured web client plus apps for Windows, Mac, Linux, iOS and Android, Toggl can help you track your time anywhere you might be.
We’ve featured more than a few time tracking applications in the past. Toggl is unique, though, because it’s extremely easy to use and works on pretty much every device known to man. Let’s take a look.
Easy To Start
Before you do anything you’ll need to head to toggl.com and sign up for a free account. Once you’ve got your account up and running you’ll quickly be taken to the main time tracking interface:
If this looks simple to you, you’re right. All you need to do is write what it is you’re doing, then click the blue “start” button to start tracking your time.Are you adding a project you’ve already been working on for a while? Easy: just fill in the timer manually; for example, type “10 minutes” and Toggl will add 10 minutes to your new project, then count up from there when you click “start.”
You can add clients and projects to a given task, a very useful way to break your time down by category later.
Like the concept, but don’t want to manage your time in a browser? Don’t worry: there are apps for that. Download Toggl apps for Windows, Mac, Linux, iOS and Android here.
The apps all look basically the same. Here’s what it looks like for Ubuntu Linux users:
I keep this open at all times on my desktop and laptop. I find that a ticking clock gives me motivation to keep working. Note that these apps can’t do everything; the web app is certainly more full-featured. Still, these apps are great to have around.
If these apps aren’t enough for you, search the web. There are a few third party clients out there, including this Mac dashboard client for Toggl.
It’s not useful to collect data if you can’t access it later. Happily, Toggl makes creating reports of your hours easy.
You can show weekly reports, find out which projects are eating up your time, or just display a list. Want to only see hours pertaining to a specific project? You can do that too.
Need to send this information to someone else? You can easily export the data to PDF or CSV. There are plenty more options under reports, so be sure to explore to really find out what Toggl can do.
Limits to Freedom
Toggl is free to use, but many features need to be paid for. Tracking time for multiple people in one organization, for example, or tracking billable hours for the purpose of invoicing. Still, for most people, the free version should cut it.
Toggl doesn’t just track your time; it encourages you to use your time wisely. Knowing that a clock is ticking can drive you to get tasks done and to avoid distractions; at least, that’s been the case for me in the past couple of weeks.
Do you find time tracking to be valuable? Let me know in the comments below, along with any cool Toggl hacks you might know about.