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I am looking for a program to time projects and activities, both computer- and real life-based, allowing me to tell him to start and stop timing this or that activity, in a very light, background, non-invasive way, and possibly keping past data about time intervals spent on various activities.

I have been trying out such a program called TrackTime, but it is (at least on my 10.5 MacBook) quite slow to react, and cannot show easily data for more than five or so activities.

Any suggestion for such a program?


UPDATE: Thanks everybody for your answers, but I am not sure I have yet found what I am looking for. For instance, while I appreciate the usefulness of these features, I am not interested in iCal integration, nor in the ability to create invoices.
Basically, what I am looking for is just a sort of "multi-timer", in which each timer can be easily started/stopped, and which logs the timings in any readable form. It may well be, as someone suggested, that it can be done with just some script.

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9 Answers 9

I like/use Billings.

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Please add more information. –  daviesgeek Dec 1 '11 at 18:54
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TimeLog, Chronories or TaskTime4?

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Links please! And please don't just post names. Describe them. What are the pros/cons of each? –  daviesgeek Dec 1 '11 at 18:50
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OfficeTimer (app) Slife (web-based) RescueTime (web-based) Other good time-based apps (that dont answer the question): AlarmClockPro, Cuppa

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Slife was great as a desktop app back in the day. –  supertrue Oct 13 '11 at 21:56
    
Please add more information than just names. You need links and a short description of them. Also, if it doesn't answer the question, don't add it. –  daviesgeek Dec 1 '11 at 18:51
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I strongly recommend Minco, which has tons of customisation features, but sits quietly in the menubar.

In fact, it's SO unobtrusive that I sometimes forget to use it!

But it's very slick app, and has a free trial if you download from the developer's website.

It's also available on the Mac App Store.

I'm not affiliated -- I just think it's a great product because it looks awesome, works very well and has plenty of hooks into iCal (and options for logging activities to calendars and even dynamically writing a text-file that can be imported into a spreadsheet or other apps later)

Very nice app.

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As an associate of Touch Studios, an app developing company, I recommend our time-tracking app Finch. Finch does time tracking in an automated way: With the option to start the program on login, it runs in the background, records what windows you have open, and learns how to tag them based on your customized preferences and past behavior. At the end of the day, you get a bar chart showing where your time went. It's a really great app if you have trouble with the traditional 'stopwatch' type apps.

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ChronosX

I've only been using it for less than a full day, but it seems to work well, tracking precisely how much time you spend in each app and, most of the time, telling you which document or web page was foremost at the time.

The downsides are that it only seems to store stuff in iCal, which has been pretty awkward so far; it exports in .odf which is a useless format unless you install Open Office or something similar; and it crashes at the end of the export.

Still, it seems to track time well and it has a 30 day free trial, so it's worth a try.

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I've been looking at TimeTrack 2 for a similar reason, though I like it because it's supposed to report time intervals back to FogBugz for me. While the FB integration is somewhat broken right now, the actual standalone timer functionality of the software is pretty good. The price seems a little steep and if you read through the GetSatisfaction posts for the app the support and feature updates aren't great (I was the first person to generate any activity in their bug DB in 25 days and the outstanding bug reports have been stale for quite some time).

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As the FAQ seems to allow, I add an answer to my own question.

I have had a look to Time Tracker (free) and Cronograph (€19.95), which seem to have some features in common. Both are quite non-intrusive, allow creating projects and tasks within each project, and to time single tasks (no more than one task at a time). No invoices, client handling and the like, which are things I personally do not need.

I have been trying out mostly the first one, with good results so far.

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I use rescuetime. It categorizes applications, websites and documents on how helpful these are towards your productivity.

It also shows how much time you've spent on distracting applications, documents and websites like facebook, games and such.

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We're looking for long answers that provide some explanation and context. Don't just give a one-line answer; explain why your answer is right, ideally with citations. Answers that don't include explanations may be removed.

    
Thanks for your answer, HMage! Can you please add more information about the software you linked to? How does it answer the OP's question. Answer on Ask Different are expected to be more than a link, and need to give a specific answer to the OP. –  daviesgeek Aug 15 '12 at 2:22
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