The What, When, How Long and Who I do stuff with!

I was thinking today that it would be great if I had a way to track how much time I spend on stuff. For me, most of the stuff I do is done on one of two of my devices, my PDA or my notebook. So then I got’s to thinking, what if there was a program I could install on both, that collected usage data on what I was doing at any one time. For example, I would collect:

  • Time
  • Date
  • TaskID: This would need to be something coarse grained, like Email (if I was using Outlook of Pocket Outlook), phone calls, chats, etc.

Now, the idea is if my PDA senses I’m on the phone, it records who I’m talking to, how long I talk for, and links it in with my Outlook contacts to work out who they work for, etc. It would also need to support some kind of hot systray icon that could allow me to indicate starts and ends of non-computer tasks, like if someone chats to me at my desk, I could also activate this on my PDA with some icons on the Today page/screen. Then at scheduled periods, the PDA software and the computer software would sync up with a web service on the web, and on a daily, weekly, whatever frequency, would send me my activity report, and a breakdown of what I do, when I do it, how long I do it for, and who are the people/companies I do it with.

If anyone has seen anything like this, then please let me know, or if you’re going to write it, tell me so I can be the beta bunny 🙂

Comments (1)

  1. akashra says:

    There is a program for tracking this kind of stuff, which is available on both mobile and desktop devices – it’s called Microsoft Excel.

    Sadly, I have the same problem as you, and just cannot find a good solution for this.  I admit though my needs are a bit more in-depth – I need something that can track all my to-dos, with a catch though – it has to be able to extract TODO items from both MSVS projects and Eclipse (as well as Outlook, of course).

    I think the biggest problem with these kinds of applications is ease of accessibility.  I could keep a lot of this on a pad of paper, but then it’s unordered, hard to search etc.  But much easier to enter into – it’s just there.  It’s much harder on a PDA, and definately harder on a notebook – a tablet would do the job, but then I don’t have that luxuary.

    You could probably write some kind of integration plug-in to use with One-Note I guess, but that’s almost more work.

    Wouldn’t it be even nicer if this kind of task tracking was abe to be integrated into a bug tracking system (no, I’m not talking about Team Foundation Server etc – think smaller companies).

    If you find somethign that helps with any or all of the above, I’d love to know about it too!