Time Entries

While most of Timing's time tracking is automatic, there are always some bits of time that "fall through the cracks".
For example, it is almost impossible to accurately assign every single one of the hundreds of things you do on your Mac each day to the correct project. In addition, Timing can't automatically record time that you spend away from your Mac.

That's where "time entries" come in. They let you assign a fixed block of time to a project of your choosing, no matter whether Timing has already recorded any app usage for that period. This makes time entries ideal for a variety of use cases:

  • Time entries allow you to be less diligent with assigning all your app usage, because the time entries will fill all the gaps. If you can skip all the small bits of unassigned app usage and use coarse time entries for those instead, that can save you a ton of time assigning your activities. We strongly recommend watching this video on the recommended workflow for using app usage and time entries together for best results.
  • Keep track of times that you didn’t spent in front of a screen, but that you still want to be accounted for. Meetings and calendar appointments would be examples for that.
  • Quickly assign all times in a particular range of time to a particular project. For example, you could describe what task you performed and why, rather than just seeing the apps that were used.
  • Annotate ranges of time with a more detailed description (time entry title and notes) than what is possible with app usage.
  • Fill short as well as long gaps in your tracking.
  • Time entries are more easily exportable to e.g. Zapier, the Web API, and invoicing tools.
  • Time entries also make for a cleaner timesheet to provide to clients for billing purposes.
  • If time is double-counted because you were active on two devices at the same time, you can create a time entry covering that time range to prevent double-counting.

Table of Contents

Video Tutorial: Combining App Usage and Time Entries, for the Best of Both Worlds

Creating Time Entries

Because time entries are so important for assessing your time accurately, Timing provides plenty of methods to create them, depending on your use case and work context.

From the Timeline

Timing automatically recognizes blocks of time when you have worked on a particular project.
It will highlight these as colored blocks with a '+' sign in the timeline on your "Review" and "Details" screens.

Simply click one of these blocks on the timeline and enter a description of what you did, then click "Add Time Entry":

You can also keep the key pressed while clicking a block to immediately create a time entry, skipping the customization dialog.

Alternatively, if none of the suggestions on the timeline suit your needs, you can also click and drag on the timeline to select a specific time range. Then, click the button that represents the time range you just selected in order to create a new time entry covering that range.

Through Call Tracking

(Please note that this method of creating time entries requires Timing Expert.)

Timing can automatically recognize whenever you start a video or audio call in many popular meeting apps.
Once a call has ended, you will receive a notification like this:

When you click that notification, you will be presented with a time entry editor to enter your meeting details. If you have allowed Timing to send notifications, there is nothing to set up – it just works!

Call tracking is compatible with plenty of apps, including the following:

  • Whereby
  • Zoom
  • Slack
  • Microsoft Teams
  • Google Meet
  • Skype
  • FaceTime
  • TeamViewer

You can configure this functionality using the "When a video call ends" setting in the Timing preferences.

From Your Calendar

(Please note that this method of creating time entries requires Timing Expert.)

Once you have set up Timing's Calendar integration, your calendar events will start showing up on the timeline. Click an event to create a time entry:

You can also keep the key pressed while clicking the event to immediately create an entry, skipping the customization dialog. Timing will automatically try to guess the correct project for the new entry from the event's properties and pre-fill the entry's title field.

By Starting and Stopping Timers

You can also create time entries by starting a timer from the Timing tracker app sitting in your Mac's status bar: Alternatively, this feature is also available from the main Timing app's toolbar: When you start a timer this way, Timing will ask you for a few details, then assign all subsequent activities to the corresponding time entry until you stop it: After the estimated duration, Timing will check in with you whether you are still working on your timer.

You can also tweak the time at which the timer should have started by pressing the -5m/+5m buttons. This will move the start time back and forward by 5 minutes, respectively. If you keep the key pressed while clicking these buttons, the time will shift by one minute instead, while the key lets you jump in 15-minute intervals instead. Similarly, the "prev" button will move the timer's start time to the end time of the previous time entry, letting you seamlessly switch from one activity to another without leaving gaps in the timeline.

Finally, to save time, you can also start a new timer at any time by pressing the ⌃⌥⌘T shortcut.
In addition, the tracker app's menu also gives you the option to quickly resume your most recent timers without having to enter anything.

Pausing and Resuming Timers

When you click the Timing menu item, the „Quick Start Timer“ list should contain your most recent timer at the top of the list. So the recommended way to pause and resume a timer is to simply stop it, then start the same timer again via the „Quick Start Timer“ list later on. In addition, the „Start Timer“ dialog triggered e.g. via the ⌃⌥⌘T shortcut should also suggest the timer you used previously at the very top of the list.

From Idle Time

If you enable idle time detection in the preferences, Timing will ask you what you did whenever you return to your Mac:

And if you forget to fill out this dialog, don't worry; you can still create time entries for idle time later on via the timeline.

As before, the "-5/+5m/prev/next" buttons will shift the time entry's start and end times as desired.

Automatically With the Entry-O-Matic

(Please note that this method of creating time entries requires Timing Expert.)

You can also use Timing's "Entry-O-Matic" feature to automatically create time entries from the app usage that Timing has recorded for you:

You can find more information on the Entry-O-Matic in the documentation.

On the Go: Via the Web App

There are plenty of situations when you'd want to track time even when you are away from your Mac.
Make sure to install the Timing web app onto your phone so that you can use it for quickly starting and stopping timers while on the go.

Manual Entry Via the Time Entry Editor

Finally, there's also the old-fashioned way of entering a time entry's properties manually:

  1. Click on the button labeled "New Time Entry" in the title bar of your Timing window.
  2. Select a project that the entry belongs to, or create a new project.
  3. Enter a title. Timing will automatically make suggestions based on your existing time entries and projects, or you can write a new one.
  4. If necessary, add notes.
  5. Now, add a "start" and "stop" time. You can also click and drag on the timeline to set the entry's start and end times.

Editing Existing Time Entries

In some cases, you might want to edit or delete an entry that you have already created, rather than creating a new one. Timing offers several options for this:

Editing the Latest Time Entry

When you want to edit the most recent time entry, e.g. the one you just started or created, you can do so via the menu of the Timing tracker app in your status bar:

From the Timeline

You can also edit an entry from the timeline. To accomplish that, select the day on which the entry took place via the date range picker in the toolbar, then click the entry on the timeline to edit it. Alternatively, you can right-click the entry on the timeline, then press "Delete" to delete it.

From Activity Lists

If you do not remember which day exactly a time entry was on, consider selecting a long date range that should definitely include your entry, e.g. "Past 90 Days". Then, go to the "Details" screen in the Timing sidebar and look for your entry. If you can't find it right away, try entering part of the entry's title in the search field at the top right of the Timing window to filter for it.

You should now be able to see the desired entry in the activity list. Double-click the entry title to edit the title of all time entries with the same name in the selected date range. If you only want to edit a single occurrence of the entry, you can also click the small triangle next to the entry title to expand it, showing the time of each individual occurrence of this entry. You can double-click any of these to edit it, or right-click it to delete it.

Overlapping Time Entries

When you create a time entry in a range that already contains other time entries, Timing will give you the option to either replace the existing entries with the new one, or to create a new entry that overlaps with the existing ones. In the latter case, Timing will count the time that is covered by both entries twice. This is useful if you want to track time spent on multiple tasks at the same time, e.g. when you are working on a project while also attending a meeting.

Time Entries Capture App Usage

Please note that manual time entries represent you telling Timing what you've been working on, so they intentionally “capture” and overrule any app usage. When you start a timer (or retroactively create a time entry), you tell Timing “I am working on ABC, regardless of what app usage is being tracked”.

If you would like to then re-assign parts of that time entry to a different project, you could click and drag on the timeline, then create a time entry in the selected time range, which will “split” the existing time entry if the option to replace existing time entries in this period was selected, or it will simply create a new time entry “parallel” to the existing one if this option was not selected, as outlined above.

There are also various other ways to manually create time entries as outlined above. In addition, the Entry-O-Matic can also be useful for creating entries from app usage.

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