Frequently Asked Questions
(If you are looking for help on Timing's purchase process, please see our dedicated Pricing FAQ.)
What does Timing do?
Timing automatically tracks which applications, documents and domains you spend time with. This way, you can quickly figure out how much time you spent on different projects and which activities (like games, Facebook, Twitter, etc.) have the worst impact on your productivity.
How does it work?
Timing can track your activities by placing a tiny utility (called the menu item) into your menu bar that automatically tracks your activities. As long as the menu item isn't running, Timing won't be able to record the time you spend using your Mac.
Which applications is Timing compatible with?
Timing automatically tracks the currently viewed document of the active application. Below is a list of applications which have been confirmed to be supported by Timing. Applications listed with a have not yet been tested, but are supported with very high probability.
In general, most document-based applications are automatically supported by Timing.
And even if Timing can't track document paths for an application, it will still track the name of the application and its window title.
It might very well be supported anyway —
Download the free trial and check for yourself!
(And please let us know if you discover any supported apps not listed here.)
|Chrome & Chromium|
Office / Writing
|PDF Expert||(window title only)|
|Cyberduck||(connection name only)|
|Yummy FTP||(connection name only)|
|Ingredients||(window title only)|
|X11||(window title only)|
|Remotix||(connection name only)|
Graphics & Illustration
|Final Cut Pro X|
|Pixelmator||(image title only)|
|GIMP||(X11 application, thus window title only)|
|Inkscape||(X11 application, thus window title only)|
|Netbeans||(project title only)|
|Sublime Text 2 & 3|
|BBEdit & TextWrangler|
|MacVim & AquaMacs|
|Smultron & Fraise|
|Parallels||(tracks app name and window title of Windows apps in Coherence mode)|
|VMWare||(VM name only)|
|VirtualBox||(VM name and window title only)|
|MailPlane||(account email address only)|
|Adium||(window title only)|
|Spark||(account name when reading, email subject when writing)|
|Airmail||(subject of email being written only)|
|MPlayerX||(video title only)|
Audio & Video Editing
|Logic Pro X|
|Pro Tools 12|
|Final Cut Pro X|
Can Timing extract data from Parallels?
Timing can't cross the VM boundary, so tracking individual files edited in Parallels VMs.
If you are using "Coherence" mode, though, Timing should at least be able to track individual apps and window titles.
However, we still recommend to download the free trial and see for yourself.
If you need more detailed tracking inside Windows VMs, have a look at Timing alternatives for Windows.
The best way to see if your app is supported?
Does Timing slow down my Mac?
Much care has been taken to ensure that the menu item will not slow down your Mac in any way. Although it tracks your activity every second, the menu item's average CPU usage is less than 0.5%. In addition to that, the menu item uses a maximum of 30 megabytes of system memory. Regularly memory consumption will be much less. The activity storage is also very small, growing by just a few megabytes per month.
How about privacy? Can I disable tracking for some activities?
It seems like Timing didn't track some activities.
Normally, Timing should be able to track activities in all apps — even if Timing doesn't support tracking document paths in a particular app, it should still track the app's name and window title.
But if some activities seem to be missing, please check the following:
- Make sure that you have selected a date range (in the picker at the top of the window) for which Timing should have tracked data. If in doubt, "Past 90 Days" is a good choice.
- Make sure that the helper menu item is running and tracking has not been paused. If it isn't, you can start it via the main app's Timing menu and let it start automatically when you log in.
- Make sure that you have allowed Accessibility support for Timing.
- Make sure that the activity is not filtered out by your project selection in the sidebar.
- Make sure that the activity is not filtered out by your filter selection in the toolbar.
- Make sure that the activities in question are not covered by the Blacklist. If in doubt, try removing all Blacklist rules to see if that helps.
- Try restarting the Timing menu item. You can quit it by clicking the menu item itself, then restart it from the 'Timing' menu of the main app.
Is there a way to export my activities?
Yes. We have a dedicated article on that.
Where does Timing store its data?
Timing normally stores its data in the
Library/Application Support/info.eurocomp.Timing2 directory of your user folder. There are also cases where it stores its data in
Library/Application Support/info.eurocomp.Timing-lite, or
Library/Application Support/info.eurocomp.Timing-setapp. You can open it by selecting 'Go To Folder' option in the Finder's 'Go To' menu and entering
If you'd like to e.g. restore your Timing data from a backup, simply copy those folders mentioned above to the same places on your new system.
If you'd like to transfer your Timing license to a new Mac, please have a look at the corresponding FAQ entry.
And if you'd like to start over from scratch, simply delete the folders mentioned above (although we recommend backing them up first).
You can then have Timing re-create its sample projects and filters by running the following commands in a Terminal window:
defaults delete info.eurocomp.Timing2 SampleTasksCreated defaults delete info.eurocomp.Timing2 SampleFiltersCreated
The app's settings are stored in the
Library/Preferences directory of your user folder, with filenames
info.eurocomp.TimingHelper.plist. There might also be preferences in
Will Timing track the time I don't spend at my Mac?
Timing will automatically suspend tracking after a configurable time of inactivity (3 minutes by default, but can also be disabled altogether). It will resume as soon as you return to the Mac. In addition, idle time tracking is disabled when the frontmost app prevents your screen from going dar.
How can I verify that Timing's idle time detection and "Ask for Activity after Being Idle" is working?
As soon as Timing detects that you are idle, its icon will fade a bit (i.e. it becomes a bit "grayer" than pure black).
The next time you e.g. move the mouse after the icon has faded, Timing will present a "What Did You Do?" pop-up if you have enabled that in the preferences.
To make idle time detection kick in faster for testing purposes, you can also reduce the idle time delay in the preferences.
Please note that there are a few limitations to idle time detection:
- Adding Tasks (including by asking you what you did after you were idle) is only available in Timing Professional and up. In particular, the Productivity edition will not ask you what you have been doing.
- Timing only looks for keyboard and mouse activities in determining idleness. When you use either, the timer resets.
- We try to detect when an app keeps your Mac awake (e.g. when watching a video) and disable idle tracking in this case.
This also applies to e.g. giving presentations and using an app in full-screen mode.
- Correspondingly, some apps intended to prevent your Mac from going to sleep (e.g. Caffeine) will also prevent idle detection.
- Note that Timing will consider a running screensaver as idle time, so if you set your screensaver to kick in after five minutes, Timing will consider you as idle from then on.
- Timing will not ask you what you did if you have been idle for more than ten hours.
If idle time detection still does not work, try running the following command in a Terminal window and see if it works afterwards:
defaults write info.eurocomp.TimingHelper dontUsePowerManagementAssertionsForIdleDetection -bool trueIf you are using Timing via Setapp, please use
Can I enter time manually?
Yes. Just click the Timing menu item and select 'Start Task'. In addition, the menu item has an option to automatically ask you what you did when you return to your Mac after having been idle.
Why is Timing asking me to enable Accessibility support?
Timing has been designed to not only track the application you are currently working in, but also which specific document you are editing. In order to be able to find out the path to that document, a specific setting in System Preferences needs to be enabled. You can do so via the following procedure:
- Open the Security & Privacy preference pane from the System Preferences application.
- Navigate to the Accessibility section of the Privacy pane:
- Enable TimingHelper in the list of applications.
What is advanced Accessibility tracking?
For a few apps (such as Firefox, Skype and Slack), Timing can actively enable Accessibility support in these apps to provide more detailed tracking.
We have not noticed any adverse side effects of enabling Accessibility in this way, but if you are encountering problems with one of these apps, you could try turning this setting off and restarting the affected app.
Is there an iOS companion app?
Can I sync my data between multiple Macs?
Timing generates thousands of individual events every day. Syncing those reliably (and managing e.g. any overlap when you use multiple Macs at once) is very hard, so Timing unfortunately does not support syncing data at the moment.
(In particular, putting your Timing database into Dropbox or iCloud Drive is a bad idea.)
Lastly, the data tracked by Timing is very sensitive, so privacy is also a big concern when implementing sync.
An iOS companion app for Timing would require such sync. Therefore, it is currently not available, either.
Also note that automatic tracking such as Timing's is not possible on iOS due to system limitations, so the app would be restricted to manual (and possibly location) tracking anyway.
However, Timing's smart timeline already lets you easily fill in times when you weren't using your Mac. Make sure to check it out!
We do hope to offer sync and an iOS app at some point, but can't make any promises just yet.
Also, such a sync solution would most likely not use iCloud under the hood, as that makes it nearly impossible to sync data across platforms (e.g. to a possible web or Windows version) or add e.g. Zapier integrations or team functionality.
Here are some tips to handle time tracking with multiple devices:
- Timing Expert includes support for scripts that let you export your projects and tasks on one Mac and import them on another one. With them, you could essentially share your projects and tasks across multiple Macs.
- Export the data (e.g. as CSV) and then import it into Numbers or Excel to merge it manually.
- Use an iOS time tracker that Timing can import data from (currently Toggl, contact us for others) and import that tracker's CSV exports.
What team functionality do you offer?
Due to the lack of sync, there is currently no fully automatic way of aggregating times from multiple team members.
However, Timing's scripting support lets you automatically export reports and/or share a Project hierarchy across team members:
- Timing lets you automatically export reports via AppleScript.
You could then export that script to e.g. automatically email the report to someone.
You can then share that project dump with teammates, who can import it.
(Please note that these scripts are only compatible with the Expert edition of Timing.)
How is the Productivity Score calculated?
Each Project in Timing has a specific Productivity Rating assigned to it.
To calculate your Productivity Score, Timing simply takes the average of all those Productivity Ratings weighted by the time you spend on the corresponding project.
So if you spend e.g. two hours in a 100% project and one hour in a 25% productive project, your overall Productivity Score would be (2 hours * 100% + 1 hour * 25%) / (3 hours) = 75%.
Accordingly, to make your personal Productivity Score as meaningful as possible, we recommend assigning as much time as possible to projects and setting Productivity Ratings for each Project.
Tip: select the "Unassigned" project on the Review and Details screens to only see activities that have not yet been assigned to a project.
Is there a hotkey for displaying today's data?
Yes — ⌘-⌥-1. If you would rather use a different hotkey (e.g. ⌘-T), you can override it yourself as described in e.g. this article.
I have received a message saying that I can't re-assign app activities that are part of a task. What does that mean?
To avoid double-counting time, Timing can only assign a given period of time to at most one project.
In case a period of time is covered both by an app activity and a task, these two might be assigned to different projects, causing a conflict.
In that case, Timing will always count the time towards the task's project, so assigning the app activity to another project will have no effect.
So if you'd like to assign that time to a different project, you'll need to re-assign the corresponding task instead.
The easiest way to do so is by switching to the Reports tab and selecting one of the 'Timesheet' presets, as these list all tasks in an orderly fashion.
Then, simply drag the tasks in question onto the desired project.
Alternatively, try selecting the "Unassigned" Project before dragging. This will filter out all App Activities already assigned to a Task, preventing this error from occurring.
Is there a way to archive Projects?
Our recommendation is to simply create an "Archive" project, then drag other projects onto that one to add them as sub-projects.
See this article for more details.
How long is the free trial?
How can I uninstall Timing?
Is there still a version available for OS X Mavericks and OS X Yosemite?
Do you still offer Timing 1 somewhere?
Yes. You can still download Timing 1, which supports OS X Mavericks and OS X Yosemite.
I can't find a place to enter my license key?
Chances are that you have a license key for Timing 1 but installed Timing 2, which uses activation links instead.
Timing 2 is a free upgrade if you purchased Timing 1 in 2017, and a discounted paid upgrade otherwise.
Please follow these steps to claim your free or discounted upgrade.
If you would rather keep using Timing 1, you can download it here.
However, Timing 2 has been rewritten from scratch and is much, much better, so we really recommend trying it out!
How can I activate Timing on another Mac?
If you can't find your license link, please click here, then enter your email address.
If you have purchased Timing directly from us, simply click the activation link in the registration email you received from us.
That email was sent from firstname.lastname@example.org in case you need to search for it ;-)
Please keep in mind that each Timing license is only good for one person/family, and for at most 2/3/5 Macs (depending on the edition).
Please refer to our Pricing page for more details.
Why do I have multiple copies of the Timing Menu Item running? What can I do about this?
This can happen when you have multiple copies of Timing installed on your Mac at the same time — for example, when you are running both the direct-sale and the Setapp version of Timing (or a beta version) running at the same time.
To avoid this, either delete all but one Timing copy from your Mac and/or remove all but one instance of "TimingHelper" from the "Login Items" section in the "Users & Groups" System Preferences pane.