2019 has brought a lot of changes to my workload. I joined Mac Power Users, which radically changed how my work week looks, bringing to an end to a couple of projects and requiring changes to others.
I knew that to make informed decisions about my time as an indie, I needed data. Your gut will always be wrong about how you think you spend your time, but raw numbers don’t lie.
For time tracking, I turned to Toggl. It’s a robust time-tracking platform with apps on the web, Mac and iOS, and the free plan was more than enough to meet my needs.
To begin, I made a list of all the different categories a single task could fall into. My list is long, but broad enough for my needs.
- Relay Admin
- Relay Development
- Relay Membership
- Relay Travel
- Other Shows
- 512 Membership
Hackett Technical Media
- LLC Admin
- Freelance Writing
Setting all this up in Toggl was easy enough, but the service’s apps are a little … lacking. I run the website as a Fluid app but on iOS, Toggl’s official app is seriously bad. Just this month, they shipped their first iPad version. Yikes.
Once logged into Toggl with Timery, the app syncs seamlessly — and shockingly quickly — with the service. I’ve stopped a timer on my phone to see it stop in the web browser instantly. As far as apps that sync with web services, Timery earns a gold medal.
It doesn’t end there, though. Timery’s design is far better than Toggl’s, and the app comes with a bunch of goodies including a widget, a nice dark mode, a customizable homescreen icon and Siri support for starting, stopping and checking on timers.
Many of these features are unlocked via subscription for $9.99/year. If you’re tracking your time, it’s money well spent.
While Timery supports the vast majority of features found in Toggl, there is one that I’d like to see, if possible: reporting. In his review on MacStories, John Voorhees has the same wish I do:
The Toggl web and iOS apps include charts to visualize how you spend your time. Weekly, monthly, and yearly reports can be generated and compared with time logged for earlier periods. If you’re a Toggl subscriber, project-level reports are also available broken down by each project’s tasks. I rely on these reports to give me a sense of what I’m working on relative to other projects and prior periods and see if how I feel about my workload is borne out by the data. It’s the kind of information that allows me to evaluate if I’m working on the right projects and make periodic adjustments. I know this is on developer Joe Hribar’s radar and look forward to seeing what he comes up with in the future.
Even without reports, Timery has earned a place on the homescreen of my iPhone and iPad, and I hope it makes the jump to the Mac sooner rather than later.
- Anytime I am doing research for something that may end up in columns and podcasts, it goes here. When I’m watching the WWDC keynote in two weeks, this will be the timer that is running. ↩
- This includes running my off-site backups, tinkering with my home network or switching to-do apps. ↩
- I’m on the Board of Directors for Operation Broken Silence, a non-profit run by my brother focused on issues in Sudan. ↩