by Barry Dysert
(last updated May 1, 2017)
Toggl is a great little utility for those of us who want to keep an accurate record of times spent on our projects. You can use the Internet version and/or the desktop version. (They appear to use the same database, and launching Toggl is slow enough to indicate it's going out to find its server.) Nevertheless, I use the desktop version so that I don't have to keep yet another browser window open.
Before we get ahead of ourselves, the first thing you have to do is create a free Toggl account at https://toggl.com/. You do your configuration tasks there, and then when you launch Toggl on your desktop it behaves the way you set it up. When I launch Toggl I see a sparse, simple screen. (See Figure 1.)
Figure 1. Toggl's control screen.
I can immediately enter the project task I'm about to work on and click Start. For example, say I'm about to work on a task called "Main Screen development." I enter that text in the text box and click Start. The timer then starts. (See Figure 2.)
Figure 2. Using Toggl to track my time.
Note that you could enter a project and/or a tag (which may be useful if you create reports). So let's say I work on my task for a while but then switch to another task for some reason. I click the Stop button, enter my new task's name, and click Start again. (See Figure 3.)
Figure 3. After stopping my first task.
After clicking Stop, Toggl remembers the project on which I just worked.
So I just enter my new task and click Start again, which starts the timer running (from 0) for this new task. If I later return to my "Main Screen development" task, I stop the new task and click the green right-arrow beside the "Main Screen development" task and the timer for that task picks up where it left off.
Toggl is a free download:
You can, if you choose, get a more full-featured version of the software if you are willing to pay a monthly fee. In addition, the company has mobile apps for Toggl that work with a variety of devices. Full information is available at the website.
This tip (13018) applies to Windows 7, 8, and 10.
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