I need a timer to track my development time

Posted on 2005-04-13
Last Modified: 2011-09-20
I'm looking for a shareware/freeware timer I can use to track my development time.

I've seen simple timers with a start/pause/stop feature.

Problem is - I'm often doing 5 things at once and forget to start and stop.
I'm doing some work for someone and I have no idea how much time I'm really spending on it because of all the other stuff I'm doing

I'm looking for links to any good timer programs.

Ideally if it could track the time I spend in each application, that would be great, especially great if it could only count time when I'm typing/using the mouse etc... That way if I get up to have lunch the timer stops.

Question by:fruhj
    LVL 25

    Expert Comment

    I'm not sure if there are any existing applications that offer this (that are easily found at least)...

    Do you have Java installed on your machine? If so, then I can provide you with a Java solution?

    LVL 25

    Expert Comment

    By the way, with my Java idea, it will only be able to record the amount of time that your mouse is active.. rather than how long you're in an application, etc..

    So, you may want to forget that idea ;)
    LVL 5

    Accepted Solution

    You develop using different programs and while those programs are working, they use different amounts of CPU. The activity of every program you are using during your development process can be traced and measured. In fact, your computer already does that, but it doesn't show you. Depending on the platform you are working on, there are several ways of reading the amount of time while each program is running.
    On Unix machines there are 2 commands: "time" and "/bin/time" which provide simple timings.  They report the total execution time and some other global statistics. You can use them on any program. You can set programs to be timed automatically (without typing "time" first) or change the output format by setting the csh time variable.
    You can download this:
    and this
    and read more about it here:
    More about timing, including some Fortran code for building an application (if you are familiar with Fortran) you can find here:

    If you are using a Windows platform and just need a freeware timing program to help you with your work, then download this:
    or use this link:
    The program is called SnapTimePro and  has "The ability to 'snap' (capture) the time at any moment (like the split/lap control of a conventional stopwatch). Automatic assignment of percentage weights to captured times - these weights continuously adjust as new times are recorded. In the SnapTimePro Report, you can add a comment to each snapped time to indicate what the time means. This can be done at any stage - as each time is snapped, or afterwards. You can also mark which times you would like excluded from calculations. You can 'rewind' the stopwatch back or 'fast-forward' the time, and begin timing from that point. When you do this, the timing results already in the SnapTimePro Report automatically adjust. Automatic calculation of shortest, longest and average time gaps. Extensive reporting capabilities - you can produce a CSV textfile of the raw timing data, a document-like, formatted textfile of the timing results, or a formatted Word document of the timing results. You can save and load Timing Sessions. User-definable system-wide hotkeys - instead of using the mouse, you can start, stop, reset the stopwatch, snap the time and invoke the SnapTimePro menu from within any other application by means of keyboard hotkeys of your choice, even if the main SnapTimePro Control Panel is not visible. Control over mouse response - if you use the mouse to start, stop and reset the stopwatch, and to snap times, SnapTimePro lets you decide whether the controls should activate as you press the mouse button down, or as you release the mouse button. Control over Display appearance, transparency and positioning - you can adjust these at any stage."

    I hope this helps you out,
    LVL 12

    Author Comment

    Hi Wesley,

     I was out in class today, and will be out most of tomorrow, I'll try these out asap and post points if they work for me, thanks for the replies

    - Jack
    LVL 12

    Author Comment

    Thanks Wesley, I checked out snaptrackpro - it wasn't what I was looking for, but I found a few others that look promising, one of which is by the author of snap trax pro: AppTrak

    The other was called Smart Work Time Tracker

    Between one of those I think I'll find what I'm looking for.

    Thanks again, and sorry for the delay in getting back to this.

    - Jack

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