We have so many opinions about time tracking! To start, there are three fundamental ways to track your time:
For passive tracking, you should install RescueTime (and hook it up to Beeminder of course). And, being passive, you might as well set that up in addition to whatever other time tracking you do. It will gather useful data about what apps and websites you spend your time on, without you ever lifting a finger. We highly recommend it!
Stochastic time tracking is beyond the scope of this blog post but it’s in between passive and manual and doesn’t yet exist in a form suitable for non-nerds but if you are a huge nerd you can read about it on my other blog.
And that brings us to manual tracking, where it’s up to you to start and stop a timer for what you’re working on. If you’re billing for your time, for example, you probably need that. And we now have a definitive recommendation for what you should use: Toggl!
Toggl was already popular with Beeminder users (and vice versa, we hear) and people would set up IFTTT applets and Zapier zaps to send their Toggl data to Beeminder. But today we’re officially launching direct Toggl → Beeminder integration.
“It’s a slippery slope of sloth”
Pick any subset of projects, tags, or clients (or just count all Toggl-tracked time) when you create a Toggl-fed goal on Beeminder. You also choose how many hours per week you want to commit to, and whether to start with some initial safety buffer. Then just use Toggl like always and Beeminder will automatically plot your cumulative time spent on a fancy graph with a Yellow Brick Road denoting the rate you’ve committed to. Keep all your datapoints on or above that yellow brick road and Beeminder will always be free. If not, we charge you real money. It’s very motivating!
The power of Beeminder comes from the fact that you have to stay on track every single day. (Unless you get ahead and build up safety buffer, but you can never let your average rate fall below what you committed to.) Maybe you’re a freelancer and the time you spend working translates pretty directly to serious money. The (common) problem is that it doesn’t matter much if you slack off today, as long as you get serious tomorrow. Except tomorrow comes and becomes the new today and the same reasoning applies. It’s a slippery slope of sloth! Beeminder breaks you out of that pattern and gives you an immediate incentive to make incremental progress every day.
Ready to get started?