If time is money, and it usually is, then tracking your time is important; especially more so if you track time and tasks and get paid for the time you work– but even if all you want to do is see where the day went after it is done.
The methods used to track tasks and time are many and varied; some cheap, some not so much, but these days any time tracking app needs a handful of basics; task timing, iCloud sharing, and an iPhone app. Here’s a quick look at a Mac and iPhone app that does that, does it well, and does more.
Tyme Is Money
We live in a mobile world and increasingly one of my requirements for installing a Mac app is that there be a companion version for iPhone or iPad. This requirement is mandatory for time and task tracking because not everyone carries a Mac wherever they go. Tyme goes on the iPhone, too, and syncs back to the Mac.
Tyme for Mac’s interface is uncluttered and intuitive and maybe a bit over the top with color. A list of tasks can be viewed by a click to the Menubar. Global hotkey combos also let you stop and start task timing from the keyboard.
All timings can be adjusted manually, too (sometimes I forget to click Start; sometimes Stop, but I suspect that’s the case with every time tracking app; more of a human condition than an app issue). While you’re working on a task the Mac’s Menubar displays the running time and a total, but I would rather have a floating timer I could move around on the screen.
What is most notable about Tyme is the usability. The interface isn’t cluttered with options. It lets you set up projects and tasks, and time each one; individual tasks and total time– that makes it perfect for easy billing. Other options include the ability to round time entries automatically (like to the nearest 15-minutes, 30-minutes or whatever you prefer). Projects and tasks can be tagged then filtered for each search. Data can be exported as PDF, HTML, or the all important CSV file.
There’s much to like but, honestly, I prefer the iPhone and iPad version which also comes with a Today widget in Notification Center. If there are any features missing on the iPhone version that show up in the Mac version I haven’t found them. Projects can be archived, and Tyme keeps complete statistics on your work, including an option to set a budget for a project.
There are times when I’m overly impressed with functions vs. price. In the case of Tyme for Mac and Tyme Mobile for iPhone, they’re priced about right when compared to the competition. If you’ve never used a task timer before, either one would be a good start, not require much investment, and both have an acceptable learning curve.
Wait. One more thing.
Tyme for iPhone comes with a Watch app, and I would be remiss if I didn’t tell you just how cool this is. The only thing that would make it better is a couple of useful options. One, set the timer start as a Watch complication. Two, tie it into Siri so I could tell Tyme to start timing a particular project.