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Keeping track with SlimTimer

May 26, 2010

“Where did time go?” is not just a fundamental question of human life, but also a very practical one when one has to send bills, reflect upon efficiency of work processes, or simply know that one has done enough as a freelancer to deserve a break in a workweek-with-little-structure.

Of course, one can keep track with pen and paper, but that takes too much time for doing the calculations necessary to analyze entries regularly enough and in sufficient depth. There is a large array of electronic tools to help out here, from simple spreadsheets on the laptop to advanced project management systems on the Web. However, many of these tools suffer from functionality overkill, and also make reporting for, for instance, billing purposes quite a pain.

For years, I have been using a free, nifty little tool, called SlimTimer, with which I have been fully satisfied from the beginning. It’s got only a few simple functions, but those are just the ones, elegantly shaped, that one needs to do down-to-earth time tracking. I therefore consider it one of those rare “Zen tools” that are functional, usable as well as a pleasure to work with. Have a look at the philosophy of its  maker, Richard Smith.

The Run Reports-screen gives a flavour of what SlimTimer has to offer:

  • Reports can be generated at different levels of detail, from the Pivot summary to the Timesheet full list of entries.
  • Entries can be organized by self-defined Tasks (e.g.  Travel, Projects, Conferences), Tags (e.g.  to allocate entries to customers or specific projects), or even Users, when using the tool to track time in collaborative projects.
  • Various date ranges can be easily selected. For me, the most useful ones are This Week, Last Week, Last Month (billing!) and Custom.
  • Reports can be generated in a print or CSV version (for further processing in a spreadsheet).

The interface is really intuitive, so create an account, and get started immediately with getting a much better grip on where all that time rushes to. SlimTimer can thus help you take another step on the way to better time management and ultimatelg getting more things done.

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