At the end of the day or the end of the week, do you sometimes wonder where all your time has gone? You meant to do this task or that project, but either never finished them or perhaps never even got round to starting them. Why are you always busy and why do you have no time for anything? What you need is a time tracker, an app that records how you spend your time, such as Jiffy for Android.
This free app can be used to record the time spent on different tasks, projects, work and so on. There are lots of apps that do this sort of thing, but Jiffy offers a nice interface and some interesting ways of working.
On the home screen is a button to add a project and this enables you to enter a customer name, project name, and tasks. You don’t have to use it for work though and you could just as easily set yourself as the customer, the gym as the project and the running machine, cycling machine and weights as tasks. You could then time yourself in the gym and then the time spent on each exercise. Whether you use it for work or personal time management it up to you.
The way that this information is displayed on the screen is quite clever and the project is displayed as a tile with the tasks listed horizontally across the bottom. Tapping a task starts the timer for that task. This makes it easy to start and stop multiple tasks within a project.
Go to the summary screen and you can see the amount of time spent on each project, and tapping a project shows the time spent on each of the tasks. You can view the last day, week, month, year or a custom time period. It shows nice little charts of what it called worktime distribution, in other words the relative amounts of time spend on each project or tasks within a project. A calendar view shows the times spent on projects and tasks too.
The free version limits the projects to three, but these can have several tasks each, so you can track multiple tasks.
You can buy JiffyTags and these are the size and shape of a small coin. They are actually NFC tags and when a JiffyTag and phone come together and touch, it starts the timer on the project or task associated with the tag. You need a phone that supports NFC, of course. The idea is that you stick a JiffyTag to your computer, notebook, key fob, lawnmower or whatever project or task you want to track.
Jiffy is a nice, simple, easy-to-use app. It does not allow you to track costs by setting hourly rates for work done, and it cannot create invoices for projects completed and so on. It just tracks time spend on tasks.
The biggest problem I had was remembering to stop a task when I had finished. For example, I might start a task in the evening and forget to stop it when I go to bed, then the next morning find it is still running and has clocked up 12 hours or more. That’s not a fault with the app though, that is a human failing and it happens in all time tracking apps. A minor irritation is with the modern trend for pale text on white backgrounds, which is harder to read than good old black on white.
Overall, it's a good app and it's well worth trying the free version.
- Written by Roland Waddilove
- Created: 31 May 2014