The time reporting macro that I blogged about a few months ago has been implemented as a C# Outlook 2010 add-in. The add-in's Visual Studio project is now available for download as part of the Visual How To Creating a Simple Time-Reporting Tool Based on the Outlook 2010 Calendar. This add-in has significant improvements in the input interface, and based on your input parameters, generates a time report file in Comma-Separated Values (csv) format.
This add-in uses the same principles as the earlier macro to track time you spend on tasks -
- You create an appointment in the Outlook default calendar to identify the time you spend on a task.
- You assign one or more categories to an appointment to qualify the task. (Note: if you multitask during a period of time, it is fine to assign multiple categories for that appointment. Do not, instead, create appointments that have one category each and overlap them with one another.)
- You can set up the two Outlook categories "Check email" and "Customer visit".
- You create a recurring appointment for 9-10am every morning, as this is the time you regularly spend on reading and responding to email.
- You assign that recurring appointment the category "Check email".
- Suppose you visited a customer today from 11-5pm. You then create an appointment for that period and assign it the "Customer visit" category.
- At the end of today, you can start the add-in, specify today's date as the time range to report on, select the categories that you'd like to report on, and generate the time-tracking report.
This add-in has significant improvements in the following areas:
A user-friendly interface allows you to select a date range and categories you'd like to report on, and whether you'd like a summary or detailed report
A dialog box for you to specify the location and time report file.
A resultant time report file in CSV format that you can conveniently view or edit in Microsoft Excel.