Projects and Rules 💡
If you prefer to watch a video, you can watch this video tutorial instead:
Projects are the fundamental way of accounting for your time in Timing.
They let you recall what you worked on, and for how long.
But having to drag activities onto projects every day is cumbersome.
Wasn't Timing supposed to make time tracking less cumbersome!?
That's where rules come in!
They let Timing automatically categorize your time without you lifting a finger!
And here's the best part: They are super easy to set up!
Remember yesterday's part about dragging activities onto projects?
Try that again — but this time, keep the ⌥ button pressed while dragging!
That's it — you have set up your first rule!
If you e.g. ⌥-dragged a keyword, Timing will from now on associate any new activities containing that word with that project.
Likewise for websites, apps or folders.
(Note that ⌥-dragging to create rules only works on the Review screen, though.)
Keywords (e.g. the project's name), websites and folders make good candidates for rules.
App rules are less effective because you might use the same app to work on several projects, which would cause conflicts.
What if an activity would match several rules?
Speaking of conflicts — sometimes an activity might match more than rule.
In that case, Timing will associate the activity with the first matching project it finds.
To determine what's first, there's a pane in Timing's preferences. It lets you change the order in which Timing applies rules.
Newly created projects by default get the highest priority, so they will override the sample projects' rules.
Okay, but what if you need to remove a rule again, or want to change a project's color or productivity score?
That's where the project editor comes in. Double-click an entry in the project list:
- Renaming and changing a project's color should be self-explanatory.
- You can also change the project's productivity rating.
Timing uses that to compute your productivity score on the Overview screen.
New projects start with a "neutral" productivity rating, so you might want to adjust this.
- And you can change the project's keywords — those will be used as part of the rule system explained above.
- If you want to make more complex changes to the project's rule, click the triangle next to Rule Editor.
In that case, make sure to read our in-depth article on editing rules.
Did you know that Timing also supports subprojects?
Just drag one project onto another to make it a subproject.
Alternatively, when you create a new project by clicking the '+' button while another project is selected, it will be added as a subproject to the selected one.
If you want to include a project's subprojects in its total time, try collapsing the parent project via the triangle next to it: Alternatively, you can ⌘- or ⇧-click on the project list to select multiple projects at once.
- Rules let you automate assigning activities to projects.
- To create one, simply ⌥-drag an activity from the Review screen onto a project.
- Keywords (e.g. the project's name), websites and folders make good candidates for rules.
- To edit a project's properties, simply double-click it.
- You can drag projects around to rearrange them and create subprojects.
That's all about projects!
By now, Timing should automatically give you a good overview of where your time goes.
In the next lesson, you'll learn what you can do with all this data, e.g. generating timesheets for your clients!