Have you ever begun your day with a fairly aggressive to-do list?
Then gotten to the end of it thinking, “What the hell happened?! The day is almost over and I hardly got anything done!”
We’re human. It happens.
Well, one of the lovely things about the Internet is that there are a TON of tools to help you hack your life. And, one of them I recently came across is called Toggl.
At the core, Toggl is simply a web-based timer. You enter what it is you’re working on, then hit “Start”. And Toggl will keep track of how long you’ve been working on that task. When you’re done, hit “Stop”.
But, here’s where Toggl gets interesting…
You can group tasks by project, whether the time is billable or not… and you can run a ton of reports to see where your time has done. If you’re running a team, you can use Toggl to track the activities of everybody on your team.
Toggl can follow you around, too. There’s the web-based interface and that works very well. But, there is also a desktop application as well as a mobile smartphone app. And these three solutions stay VERY well in-sync. It is almost amazing how I can start the timer, say, on my iPhone and almost immediately see the timer update in real-time in the web-based interface.
So, what’s the use of this?
Well, for me it is twofold:I now have a running record of where my time went. I can later refer to the reports to see what I was up to, how that impacted statistics for the week, and how I can improve efficiency.Having a timer going holds you accountable. It just helps keep you on task and not let your mind wander when you’re supposed to be working on something. And, this alone, while a bit of a mind hack, increases productivity like crazy. It helps keep you AWARE of the time ticking away and you start treating it like the resource it is.
Toggl is free to use, with a few limitations that will be unimportant for single users. And, for the full list of features, it is only $5/month. For the added benefits to productivity alone, it is a no-brainer in my book.
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