Timeular Review - A fun system to keep track of daily work productivity
Can a time tracking system save me time?
Why I bought a time tracking service
Recently I made the plunge and bought a time tracking tool. Now, I have used multiple platforms over the years, and if you read my blog a lot you probably notice I have used different visuals to keep track of what I am up to throughout the day. In this case, I have been struggling with time tracking since having a kid, so I decided to look for a new service.
But why pay for something you may ask? Well, there are some good reasons at this point:
Most of the free services I was using had some severe limitations. This included only being available through a browser and need to tracking time after the event, lack of syncing between a mobile device and computer, data collection and reporting were only offered under a premium service, etc.
Every year I need to track different aspects of my job in academia, and with increased concern related to demonstrating outcomes based on time spent, I felt it prudent to be proactive to track my actions throughout the year.
Consulting time tracking has increasingly become a focus for me, and I wanted something I could use to track external time worked on projects.
So why Timeular?
Well, I came across Timeular from some adds and several things stood out to me:
Clean minamalistic UI. I can’t emphasize how often some tools I have used in the past were so cluttered it was infurianting to use on a daily/hourly basis.
Integration across mobile/laptop synced apps. I can look on my phone and on my laptop to see what actions are occuring.
Ability to keep notes on activities. This was a must, and I what I like is I can #tag actions (e.g., #blogpost) and @Person (e.g., @start-up company) to track who I was doing the action for.
Now, one thing that Timeular has is a peripheral that is Bluetooth enabled that syncs with your laptop or mobile device to track time. This thing sits in a base, and you turn it on when you work, and then you flip it around. It has 8 sides, and each can be paired to an action (as you can see in my gallery above).
Now, the use of this device for me has been limited to be honest. I don’t have one workplace throughout the day. I can in one day, work in my office at campus, in the clinic down the road, and then back in my home office in the evening. There is no way I am lugging this thing around. Now, if I only had one workstation I can see the use of this, as it is a quick way to say, switch from tracking email —> phone call —> email —> work —> break, etc for someone in an office space or at home all day I feel. Nonetheless, the days where I do work at my desk on hours at end I feel it is a cool tool to grab. I think it brings a certain point of focus to what you are doing, and I ask myself if changing actions is worth it.
So what have I noticed so far?
This has been one of the easiest tools I have used to track my work thus far.
Easy to use.
Peripheral (for me) isn’t as useful
I like the data reporting features and ability to track intricate details for post-review.
I spend too much time on email.
I am increasingly paying more attention to items I do throughout the day. Seeing the clock tick-up as I work (as of now I have spent 40:40 minutes on blogging) helps me identify when I am slacking off or getting sidetracked.
Time is more precious than before (as I have blogged before) as after having a kid I have lost effectively 1/3 of my work time I used in the past so keeping on task is invaluable.
Now, I am using the pro edition, but I wanted the ability to track >8 tasks throughout the day. For some people this could be costly, but I have found it very useful after my first month and plan on continuing my subscription.