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Tom's Guide to Time Tracking Tools

Personal Task Manager (PTM)

time tracking tools

The timer actually counts the time that you are in the application itself. So in the case of the screenshot (above) while three applications are running, the timer only counts when you’re actually interacting with one of the three apps.

PTM can be annoying when it segments the task time units. Notice in the screenshot above how many individual units there are. There is an option for adjusting the log duration – ranging from five to 30 minutes – but the Task Log view can become cluttered.

Contrast the Task Log view with the summary and you get something that is very simple, but still confusing. In the image below, notice the Windows Task Manager type of display, showing bar levels to indicate total activity. For some reason the summary does not include idle time (which makes up the bulk of the Task Log entries).

time tracking tools

In the Statistics tab of PTM, you get another view of your activity. Where the Summary and Task Log link the application activity with the task, the statistics view shows raw data on application usage over a given period of time.

time tracking tools

It would be useful if that data could also be directly correlated against the tasks, though that doesn’t seem to be an obvious option. Also, you cannot directly export the data for additional analysis.

There is a good deal of power in the version of PTM we tested (1.4 RC2) but it is still a work in progress. As the PTM source code is open, the program might grow and improve over time.