Silicon Valley, the birthplace of Apple, Google, and Facebook, is a living legend thanks to the controversial stories that it has spawned. It’s now a well-established fact that Silicon Valley has spread far beyond the San Francisco bay to change the way we work. In some ways for the better and some for the worse… (cough misogynism in tech cough glorifying overworking cough).
The fact remains, however, that Silicon Valley has been able to churn out companies that operate on a worldwide scale time and time again, which quickly become household names. So what’s the magic formula, and how can you get some? Well, it won’t turn you into Bill Gates overnight, but Snippeting is a good place to start. Let’s look at what it is, and how to effortlessly integrate the practice into your work week. Doing so will increase your productivity and help you establish what high-level tasks you accomplished, versus where you procrastinated or lost time.
What are Snippets?
If you haven’t already heard of Google Snippeting, the technique developed by Larry Schwimmer during Google’s growth phase, then it’s time you pull up a chair and learn about it. The simple but extremely effective habit of reflecting on your day or week has been called ‘snippeting,’ Snippets are short, weekly “micro-reports” where you fill in all the things you worked on and accomplished during this past week. This lets you instantly reflect on what you’ve been working on, making it much easier to answer the question “What the heck did I spend all that time on?”
Come Friday, you simply write down all the things you did that week (that is, if you still remember them). If you are like us and have already forgotten half of these by then, that’s where Timing can help (more on that below). Whether you’re a hobbyist in the spare bedroom, a small business owner, or building a medium size company, you can use Timing and snippets to make yourself and your team more productive, more accountable, and generally just better.
Why Should I Use Them, and Who Else Does It?
The process of Google Snippets has been adapted by many other companies in Silicon Valley, as a method of peer management. Rather than stopping work to send a report, snippets mean you can jot down your ideas as you go — whether it is a thought, a comment, or a compliment — and then you can review them at the end of the day.
If you have a team, this means that you can leave feedback as you go. Shopify, the ecommerce platform, took this a step further to use the snippet method to crowdsource their bonuses, which are awarded monthly rather than yearly. Their Unicorn platform, where employees leave comments and feedback as snippets, is where peers review each other to express thanks for a job well done, which translates into their bonus each month.
If you don’t have a team, then your snippets become a vital place for recording the reflective thoughts necessary for your productivity. If you have emails to send, things to do, or thoughts for later, you can jot them down and review them at the end of the day. There’s nothing too small to journal — even emotions are useful to keep track of, so you can help yourself achieve a happier and more stress-free style of working by reviewing how and when negative emotions arise.
How Can I Do This With Timing?
Timing makes it easy to answer the question “what apps and documents did I use?” when you’re reviewing your week. Let’s talk about how to review your day, before we go into more detail about snippeting using Timing. You’re probably already familiar with the review screen, so if you’ve set up your rules, you might have something like this at the end of each day:
Timing has already organised a lot of your time, but there’s more to be sorted. Simply click on blocks of time and type in what you were doing, whether it’s sorting through payroll, doing client work, or going to the gym when you were away from the laptop. That way, all that time will be assigned to that project, and you see on your timeline what you had been working on:
And if you’d rather customize what time to assign to a task, you can simply click and drag on the timeline, then click the “Add Task” button in the title bar to assign the time you just selected:
Want a fast way to include more details? You can add a project management or issue tracker ID to the title of your task, to help you easily cross-reference what you were working on when it is time to review it, without having to write too much into the title field. It’s in your issue tracker, after all! And if you’d like to look up all the work done on a particular issue, simply use Timing’s search field in the top right of the window to filter for the issue ID.
Your timeline should now look nice and neat, with different areas of your time labelled and sorted together, like this:
Pretty, right? Look at all that time you spent being productive! Go you. It’s time to turn it into snippets, so you can feel even more efficient and know what you accomplished. We recommend doing this at the end of every week, so you don’t get too caught up in this every day and use it as a method of procrastination. To create your snippets, go to the Reports tab and select the “Weekly Snippet” preset like so:
You’ll find the Weekly Snippet option on the dropdown:
Once you click on this, Timing will show you everything you worked on this week ordered by project, and listing the snippets you have attached to them. Your list will look something like this:
By grouping your time this way, you’ll not only know exactly how much time you’ve spent on each individual project, but how that time is broken down. You can celebrate your wins, target areas for improvement, or send a shortened version to your boss or clients so they can see how awesome you are. See how creatively you can use this information, by tracking it over several weeks or even months, and become the most productive form of yourself possible.
Want to start keeping track of your time more efficiently, and creating your own snippets?Read More…
Download a free trial of Timing now!
Feeling like time is slipping through your fingers, with no real concept of where it’s gone? It sounds like you’re in need of our productivity hacks. It’s time to take back control!
At the end of 2017, we wrote an article on how to make 2018 your most productive year yet. If you haven’t read it yet and printed out the PDF for your wall, then go and do that now — we’re not even halfway through January, so there’s still time to set yourself some New Year’s resolutions. If you did read it and you set yourself New Year’s resolutions about timekeeping, how’s that going?
Like many people, after the first week and the initial motivation has passed, you’re probably starting to falter on those things that you were “definitely, really going to do this year, honest.” So we thought we’d give you a little help and motivation by putting together this piece on hacks to make yourself the Terminator of productivity: an unstoppable machine who is going to dominate 2018 and make it yours.Read More…
Think that New Year’s resolutions are as passé as 2016’s software upgrades? That doesn’t mean that almost half of all Americans aren’t still making them. Of course that doesn’t mean they’re all keeping them, either, but resolutions can be a great chance to think about what you’d like to change from the previous year and what motivations you want to drive you this coming year. At Timing, we’ve been thinking about how we can be more productive — while also having lower stress levels and being happier, of course. We’ve put together these ten resolutions which we think will help make 2018 your most productive year yet.Read More…
If you’ve just made the leap from employment to freelancing or small-business ownership, or even if you’ve been doing it a while now, you’ve probably discovered the massive drain of keeping your accounts in order. It was all so simple when a different department was in charge, wasn’t it? Suddenly invoicing, payroll, tracking tax payments, and listing expenses seems to be taking up all the time you should be spending running your business.
Timing is all about saving you time; it’s what we live and breathe for — so you’re in luck. We’ve put together a complete guide to Mac Bookkeeping Tools for small and medium businesses. So if you’re finding that when you review your day a large chunk of your time is going into your accounts, we’re about to save you from that. We’ve mainly focused on cloud-based accounting software — the benefit of which is that it’s accessible from anywhere and on any device, and you need to worry less about keeping that data backed up. Small business accounting software which isn’t in the cloud can suck up too much time and money. Imagine billing yourself at your hourly rate for your accounts. Is it worth it?Read More…
You just quit your job! Congratulations, and welcome to the freelancer club. Before you put on your pajamas and enjoy trashy TV, though, you need to set yourself up for success.
Fear. Excitement. More fear. A desire to eat a lot of carbs. The emotions you’re feeling if you’ve just handed in your notice are complex ones. And tempting though it might be, now isn’t the time to sit back and relax. Self-employment, small business ownership, or freelancing isn’t as simple as putting an ad in the paper and watching the money come in. Done right, freelancers are significantly happier. Done wrong, freelancing can burn you out, burn out your bank account, or both.
How do you avoid that, and make the learning process of becoming your own boss as easy as possible? Here are the first five steps you need to take. Not tomorrow, or next week, but now. Which brings us directly to the first point.
Can something as simple as a time tracking application on your desktop change your mental, physical, and emotional health and well-being? Used creatively, yes! Here, we show you how.
If you were born in the 80s or 90s, you’re a millennial. And if you’re a millennial, then you’re probably stressed. It is official — we are the most stressed generation. This time of year doesn’t help either: The days are much shorter, meaning that by the time you look up from your laptop it’s dark, and the holiday season is approaching, pushing up your deadlines so you can take time off to be with your family. Don’t even get me started on the stress of being around your family, buying gifts, preparing for everything! By the time January comes, you need a holiday — but unfortunately, January is the worst month for mental health, so no chance of that, either…
If you’re feeling tired just reading this, then you’re definitely at least one step too close to burning out. It’s time to put off making excuses, and start looking after yourself by recalibrating your work-life balance. Using Timing, we’re going to show you exactly how you can do this. After all, without your health you have nothing — so why use a time-tracking tool that doesn’t help you stay in the best health possible, to do your best work possible?Read More…
Do you write? Whether you’re a professional writer or just enjoy writing as a hobby in your spare time — if you write a lot, you should have a look at Ulysses, the writing app for Mac, iPhone and iPad.
The app is popular among freelance writers, bloggers and novelists alike and has even been awarded with an Apple Design Award in 2016!
And with Ulysses 12 and Timing 2.2.1, we joined forces with the Ulysses team for much tighter integration between the apps, allowing for detailed tracking of your writing time.
Read on for more details on Ulysses and the integration, as well as the chance to win one of five one-year subscriptions for Ulysses!
In the latest episode of Core Intuition, Daniel Jalkut talks about switching from PayPal to Stripe as the payment method for his Mac app MarsEdit. This sparked a discussion on the corresponding Slack team about the pros and cons of different ways to handle selling your digital products.
European VAT rules, accounting and other distractions make this harder than you think!
In this article, I will outline the common payment options for digital products and their individual advantages and disadvantages. This is from the perspective of a Mac developer, but apart from the licensing aspect, it applies to all other digital products as well, including SaaS subscriptions and online courses.Read More…
One month ago (on May 9th, 2017), Timing 2 was released. Time for some navel-gazing!
More seriously, development started in April 2016 and the app’s interface changed quite a bit over the course of those 13 months:
This article illustrates how an app’s UI evolves during development, and highlights some subtle but important changes.Read More…