I am trying to decide how to track the time I spend in different activities/projects and I found this post by Torello. The answers are good but it is a very old post (9y), so I think it would be good to see how the landscape has changed in this time.

If you use any kind of time-logging, please describe the process and link to the software, spreadsheet or other system you use (if possible). It would also be interesting if you comment on whether you time-log only for work or also for non-work related activities.

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I log time in a TSV file, with the following format: (start datetime, end datetime, category, comment describing what I plan to do and what happened)

I use emacs as my text editor and I have keymaps to insert the current (at that moment) datetime.

I use the "Bearable" app for very rough time logging. It has a system of toggles for "factors" where you can specify what factor was present in a 6-hour interval of your day. Since I am mainly interested in correlations with other things I measure, a primary purpose of "Bearable," this low resolution is a good compromise. It also makes it easy to log after the fact. "Did I do this activity in this 6-hour period?" is a much easier question than remembering down to an hour or quarter-hour granularity. The downside is I can't tell how much time I've invested in a particular category.

I do much more detailed time logging at work with Jira and the "Tempo" plugin. I can then look back when I create my monthly reports. And I can use the per-ticket data to estimate the effort required for future tickets.

My idea so far is to use a spreadsheet set to something similar to this:

where the cells are checkboxes and the erased text would include different chores, types of work tasks/projects, and entries such as commuting, sleeping, eating... probably I would also include hobbies or something similar to "other fun", "other productive", "time wasted". Then it automatically counts how many boxes are checked for each column and so tells me how much time I spent in each task/chore/etc.

However, I am really not sure if this is going to be useful in the long run. I think that this degree of detail will be very useful at the beginning to get a sense of how much time I spend in all aspects of my life, but probably in the long run it makes more sense to track work time? Does this seem like a reasonable method? Any feedback is welcome, thanks.

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