Reviewing your Day ✅
In the first lesson, we looked at how the Overview screen works once you have assigned your activities to projects.
Now, you will learn how to actually assign those activities.
If you prefer to watch a video, you can watch this video tutorial instead:
The Review Screen
Click the Review tab. You will see a screen like this: If this screen only shows little data for you, try using the date range picker to view yesterday's data rather than today's.
At the top you can see the Timeline. It shows what you did during the selected day, grouped into three rows:
- App Activity. Shows which app you were using during any given time, with different colors for each app.
If you want more details (e.g. what file or website you were viewing), hover the timeline with your mouse.
- Project. Colored according to which project you were working on at any given time, depending on the app activity above or the task below.
If this row is mostly empty for you, don't worry — we'll get to filling that bar in just a second.
- Task. Which task you were working on at any given time.
If you don't have any tasks yet, Timing will suggest some for you — these are the boxes with + symbols inside them. We'll cover that in more detail below.
You can zoom the timeline by ⌘-scrolling on it, or focus on a time range by clicking and dragging.
The timeline will disappear automatically if you select more than a single day in the date range picker.
To the left below the timeline comes the Project list.
It holds all your projects and how much time you spent in them.
You can click the + button in that list to create new ones.
Finally, we have the main area with four different cards:
- Keywords. Timing automatically extracts common words from the window titles and paths it tracks.
This is useful if the things you worked on for a particular project contain common words (e.g. the project's name).
- Websites. This group contains the domains of all the websites you visited.
Helpful when you use a particular website for a specific project.
- Applications. Should be obvious 😉
- Folders. From all the paths it tracks, Timing tries to extract the folder they are in.
Often, specific folders are related to distinct projects, which lets you identify them here.
Note that this can contain any kind of folders — those for files but also, say, mailboxes.
Assigning Activities to Projects
Now, to actually assign some time to a project, simply drag an item from one of these four cards onto a project:
If possible, try starting by dragging your project's name from the keywords list.
Congratulations, you have made the first step in organizing your time! ✅
Go ahead and assign a few more items to projects.
By the way, Timing has already assigned a few activities to the sample projects, but feel free to override or extend those assignments.
Also, try selecting Unassigned (or some of the sample projects) in the project list.
That way, you'll only see the activities you still need to assign.
By the way, activities can show up in multiple groups.
For example, time spent on websites will be counted towards both that particular domain and your browser app.
Just pick the groups that best represent your workflow.
(Manual time tracking with Tasks is available in Timing Professional and Expert.)
You might have noticed that some parts of the timeline have changed color.
That is because the timeline reflects your activities' projects.
In particular, there should now be more colored boxes with a + in the Task row.
These are task suggestions — click one to see what happens:
When you press the Add Task button, Timing will associate that whole block of time with a project.
More than one hour assigned with just a few clicks —
that's way faster than dragging all these activities one-by-one!
You can make this even faster by pressing the Option (⌥) key while clicking a suggestion; Timing will then immediately create a task without showing the "New Task" dialog.
By the way, Timing will even make (gray) task suggestions for time when you didn't use your Mac.
Those let you account for "offline" time, e.g. when you were in a meeting or went out for lunch.
In this lesson you learned about Timing's Review screen:
- The timeline gives you a quick overview of your day.
- To assign activities, simply drag them onto the corresponding projects.
- Tasks let you group whole blocks of time. You can create them quickly from the timeline.
By now, your Overview screen should give you a much better impression of where your time went.
But do you really want to do this drag-and-drop dance every day?
Luckily, the next lesson is all about automating this process!