Do you need apps to track time and stop wasting it? You never thought that juggling was a term you practice every day, one usually reserved for circus clowns or party tricks you tried to learn in college. However, as an entrepreneur, juggling is something you have to practice constantly so that all the balls, bowling pins, and rubber chickens (so to speak) of different sizes don’t fall around you.
Running your own business means pushing your vision forward, and all of those daily tasks are essential, yet stressful but can be a fun time.
Technology, in general, acts as a double-edged sword — it can smooth out distractions and procrastination, but it can also be a powerful tool in helping you prioritize all those everyday tasks and how you spend your time. Ultimately, you want to find yourself in that sweet spot of productivity – the intersection of both efficiency and effectiveness. To help get you there, check out these innovative tools that can help increase productivity, increase focus, and promote better time management practices.
It can be hard to estimate your time wasted if you don’t keep track of minutes and hours perfectly. But if you start looking at your day as 10-minute time blocks instead of a full 24 hours, you may be able to spot time leaks. Or, instead of writing off 10 wasted minutes each day, a smart calculator can figure out what it’s adding up in lost vacation time.
That’s why these apps and exercises are important.
- 1 1. Time Wasters Calculator (Web): How much time are you wasting?
- 2 2. 144 Blocks (Web): Track 10 minute blocks of time for the day
- 3 3. Time Budget Template (Excel, Sheets): Free time control spreadsheet template
- 4 4. SaveMyTime (Android): Keep track of the time every time the screen wakes up
- 5 5. Clockify (all major platforms): Free time tracking platform
- 6 Other time tracking software
1. Time Wasters Calculator (Web): How much time are you wasting?
SOP Software Way creates a fun little calculator to see how much time you waste in a year by doing things you can easily avoid or improve. It’s not an exact calculator, but it should give you a rough idea.
Time Wasters Calculator focuses on things that you would normally write off as an extra cost for everyday life. For example, it asks you to estimate the number of ineffective meetings you attend and the time you waste. Or how often you travel for work, or even how much time you spend dealing with email. All these small tasks can add up to inefficient time management.
When you see him for a small part of the day, you think to yourself that this is not a big deal. “It’s only 20 minutes,” you’ll say to yourself. But when you add up all those times you’re wasting through this calculator, suddenly that amount is so much more staring you in the face.
2. 144 Blocks (Web): Track 10 minute blocks of time for the day
Do you find yourself wondering how an hour went by so quickly? Well, in a normal 24 hour day there are 1440 minutes. What if you break it down into 10 minute time blocks and infer what you did with each one? 144 Blocks will allow a time tracker to note your activity six times an hour.
The web app is easy to use on mobile screens as well, thanks to its portrait layout. Slots are shown every 10 minutes every hour. Click on a block and you will get a list of activities. Choose a specific activity from the broader subcategories like sleep, work, commute, school, food, entertainment, exercise, etc.
Each category has its own color, and when you add these 10-minute blocks, it updates a major pie chart of how you spend your day. It’s a quick visual representation of where you’re wasting your time. Once you fill out the 144 pieces regularly, you’ll find wider patterns on the weekly dashboards.
3. Time Budget Template (Excel, Sheets): Free time control spreadsheet template
Time Budget Template is a free time management template by Smartsheet, which you can use in any spreadsheet program like Microsoft Excel or Google Sheets. For a more traditional logging, check out these free timesheet templates to keep track of your working hours.
This spreadsheet suggests a philosophy that you should treat time like a financial budget. In a financial budget, you have a limited amount of money that you allocate to different activities to balance your expenses and avoid overspending. The Time Budget Template applies this to time management, asking you to divide your 168 hours per week into different activities.
As you add minutes to each activity on each day of the week, the total number of hours will decrease. Increase and decrease the time for each activity until you “balance” the time budget and use up to 168 hours.
Helpful advice: Start with sleeping hours every day, otherwise you will keep adding other activities and you will burn so much that you won’t do anything.
Download: Time Budget Template (Free)
4. SaveMyTime (Android): Keep track of the time every time the screen wakes up
SaveMyTime is the best manual time tracker for Android I have ever used. By launching the splash screen every time you wake up the phone, it’s the simplest reminder to add to your activity history.
The application is not harsh either. You can click Ask Me Later to decline it when you are in an emergency situation. Other than that, the app asks you to add any of the nine types of activities you’ve been doing since the last time you logged anything. Click any activity and you’re ready to use your phone, and you’re sure the app has tracked how you’ve spent your time.
You can choose to add multiple activities as well. In this option, you will need to specify the number of minutes of elapsed time that you have spent on any of the activities. If you are not particularly disciplined about logging your activities to the time tracker, SaveMyTime is an unobtrusive option.
Download: SaveMyTime for Android (Free)
5. Clockify (all major platforms): Free time tracking platform
Clockify has become a new force among time tracking apps, especially considering the number of features it offers in the free version. You won’t find other apps that do all this while working across all major platforms. And this is one of the few apps that has both a time tracker and a timeline, so that you can log activity with any of the classic time management methods.
In case you didn’t know, the time tracker needs to start and stop a timer, along with writing down the task you’re doing. You can then add tags to it and record whether it’s an invoice (something you’ll get paid for or not), which makes it even more useful for freelancers.
The time sheet function shows you an overview of the week, divided by days and activities. In each cell, add the number of hours you spent. A very handy option is the simple “Copy last week” button, which instantly fills all cells to make the routine process easier.
Choose either method, but be sure to fill it out. It’s easy and convenient to start a timer or add an entry, so you don’t have any excuses. Go to your dashboard or reports at any time to see an analysis of your statistics. Although some of the advanced options are hidden behind paywalls, you will not miss it as a time tracking novice.
Download: Clockify for Windows | macOS | Linux | Chrome | Firefox | Android | iOS (Free)
Other time tracking software
Time management is all about knowing where your hours are going. You can either use apps like the ones above to log your activity after you’re done, or get into the habit of starting a timer when you start a new task.
If you are serious about time tracking, you need a good app. And like any productivity app, you need something that fits your needs better if you’re going to keep turning this into a habit. Read about these easy time tracking apps to find out what works best for how you work.