The Impossible Habit - Tracking my Time

There is one habit that I always wanted to do, but somehow I never managed to do it consistently, drumroll; time tracking.

My colleagues that worked together with me in agencies would have to remind me every Friday to fill my timesheet to bill the customers.

I tried everything. Yeah, of course, there are automatic time and location trackers and everything, but they don't show me the value of something, or I would have to combine all the data by hand. That's not an option.

Plus, an automatic time tracking tool cannot understand if I use the time while commuting valuable. Sometimes I am driving very moderate and listen to an audiobook; then, the time was worthwhile. But sometimes I get into the car, drive with 230 kilometers per hour like a maniac. This example sounds harsh, but I don't have a better one ;).

I think you get my point. When I am tracking my time, I want to do it manually to be able to identify it right. I will use helpers, like lifecycle, to show the locations I have been. But I want to track it consciously. Otherwise, it has nothing to do with a habit.

The Plan

I am not focusing on calendar dates to start anything, so I won't wait until the first of February to start this. I also haven't waited until a magical time to stop smoking, because that wouldn't have worked.

Today the idea came, so I started today. It's the 27th of January 2020. I will do this at least on the 27th of February 2020.

After a little research and some of the things I already know, I will build my routine on three tools.

  1. Toggl will be the heart of this, it has an API, reports and exports, everything I need
  2. Lifecycle is just an iPhone app that tracks my location and stores it locally. I will use it as a reminder if I forget something. It also figures out thinks like transport, home, and sleeping.
  3. Timery I just saw in a video by Christopher Hurley. It lets you define more or fewer templates for Toggl. Let's see if I will use that.

I want to track more than 90 percent of my awake time and categorize it as much as possible.

But there are also things like that I will not track, like time with my girlfriend. There I will just put in a heart or something like this ;). That's the quality time that I don't need to quantify.

Throughout the day, I will mostly use my phone to do it. In the evening, I will review it on the notebook or tablet and change categories and tags if needed, to have the best analysis possible.

If you are interested in updates, check my daily blog. Don't worry, I will, of course, write a roundup after that time, and share what I have learned, what works, and what doesn't.