Have you ever worked an entire day and wondered where the time went? Or tried to estimate the time you needed a project and realize you were way off the mark?
We’ve all been there. Tracking your time can help.
If you do a lot of web work, simply run Timer Tab in the background to track time, set alarms, or start a countdown. If you’re working under a deadline, need to limit the hours you spend on something, or need to be reminded when to do something, Timer Tab is a one-stop-shop. If you’d like to get fancy, you can even customize the background of the timer. Timer Tab doesn’t provide reports or data export, but it’s great to use with the Pomodoro technique.
Toggl offers full-featured time tracking for teams, but if you just want to get a picture of where your time is going, there’s a basic page you’ll want to bookmark: no frills, no features, just a stopwatch.
Tomato Timer is an online Pomodoro timer. If you’re unfamiliar, this time-management methodology has you work for 25 minutes straight, then take a break (the app lets you choose either a short break or long break). It’s excellent for both workaholics and the easily distracted ones.
If you need a time tracker that doubles as a distraction blocker, FocusMe is a great paid option that allows you to set focus periods (during which it blocks sites you identify as distracting) and remind yourself to take breaks.
If you need something a little bigger-picture, try RescueTime, which tracks all your activities and categorizes them (don’t worry, you can customize the categories if, for example, you are a digital marketer and actually do use Facebook for work). RescueTime gives you daily and weekly reports and productivity scores, and if you’re on the Premium plan, you can also institute a “Focus Time” in which it blocks distracting sites.
Tracking your time is crucial to productivity for two reasons: One, it helps you identify “time sinks,” or activities that you could skip or delegate to free up more time in your workday. Two, it helps encourage you to take breaks, which allows you to give your brain a rest — and that’s been proven to help you be more productive. So what are you waiting for? Grab one (or all!) of these apps and get started.