Re: Help me keep track of the time I spend writing, with meetings, and with Graphics.

Subject: Re: Help me keep track of the time I spend writing, with meetings, and with Graphics.
From: Peter Neilson <neilson -at- windstream -dot- net>
To: SB <sylvia -dot- braunstein -at- gmail -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 29 Jan 2008 10:35:19 -0500

According to what I've seen my lawyer do, there is software like this,
but lawyers seem to think of the idea of billing two projects (or
clients) at once as a feature. They bill you for the time you're in the
office, and simultaneously the client on the phone for the time he's
connected (or on hold). And loose minutes are rounded up to the next
quarter hour.

There's a joke about the lawyer who dies at age 44, complains at the
Pearly Gates to St. Peter that he was to young to die, and is told that
his billing records show him to be 97.

Maybe only my lawyer does that. It can't be universal. Right?

As for collecting time automatically for each project you were working
on, that's really not feasible. If you want fine-grained detail (which
in itself may be a misleadingly Bad Thing) you are best off just keeping
open a file in a text editor (I use emacs) into which you make the
appropriate notes.

Without your personal attention, any "automatic" system is going to
contain lies. For instance, you are using MS Word on Project Gamma when
the boss comes by and says, "Quick meeting in my office, now." Project
Gamma continues to gain minutes while the boss talks to you about
Project Delta for two and a half hours.

Sylvia Braunstein wrote:
> Is there a Windows application that can help me keep track of hours, dates,
> and time I spend writing (MS Word 2003) and using Photoshop, Visio, etc.
> without having to detail everything manually?
>
> I want to keep track of how many hours I am working and when. So, at the end
> of it all, I want to be able to look at a bunch of data (including when I
> start and when I stopped) and see that I worked for 35 hours on chapter 1,
> mostly between 11 pm and 2 am, or that the entire project took me 700 hours
> of writing.
>
> Ideally it would be some kind of small widget where you just press "start"
> and "stop" every time you work, or something that detects automatically that
> you did. The problem is, what do you do with open documents that are left in
> the background that are on hold or that you use as a reference?
>
> I think that such an application might also be useful to track what the
> progress of other Tech Writers.
>
> Desired qualities:
>
> 1. Free (ideally)
> 2. Widows compatible
> 3. Has a widget interface of some kind (not essential)
> 4. Keeps track of the amount of time AND the time of day and dates
> 5. Data is downloadable into csv format
> 6. Web app is OK but must be able to record time while I'm not connected to
> the internet (and then upload later).
>
> Does such a thing exist?
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References:
Help me keep track of the time I spend writing, with meetings, and with Graphics.: From: SB

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