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Timekeeping
Thread poster: George Hopkins
George Hopkins
Local time: 03:30
Swedish to English
Jul 10, 2008

Mainly re translating.
Can anyone suggest a simple program or software for keeping a record of effective time spent on one or several items?

I find it difficult, if not to say impossible, to keep a record of the time that I spend on a particular job and would like a fairly easy way of keeping check. Perhaps a time recording program that works like a screen saver, ie, switches off and on as I proceed or do not proceed.

Work gets interruped by switching from one job to another, by phone calls in and out, coffee breaks, visitors, grandchildren and whatnot.
Furthermore, I can sometimes work for hours without a break but often forget to make a note of the time used for productive work.

Looking forward to helpful, concise and explicit suggestions.


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Steven Capsuto  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 21:30
Spanish to English
+ ...
My approach to this is relatively low-tech Jul 10, 2008

I try to avoid billing anything by the hour (precisely because keeping track of the time is a hassle). But if it's unavoidable, my solution is moderately low-tech:

I open Windows Notepad, create a .txt file for each current project's hours, and I note my start and stop times. Every time I modify the text, I also hit "Save." So, for instance, by noon today, the text file for one project might look like this:

Thurs. 7/10: 9:12-9:28; 9:40-10:05; 11:15-11:55;

At the end of the day (or, more often, at the start of the next day), I add up the number of minutes so that by 10 a.m. tomorrow the file might look like this:


Thurs. 7/10: 81 min.

Fri. 7/11: 9:00-


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xxxLia Fail  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 03:30
Spanish to English
+ ...
try this Jul 10, 2008

http://www.syntap.com/

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Sabela Cal  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 03:30
English to Spanish
Many apps out there Jul 10, 2008

I second Lia in her recommendation. I also find Time Stamp very useful.

If you find it doesn´t suit your purposes, though, maybe you could start from here: http://lifehacker.com/software/time-tracker/. There seem to be many timetracking applications to choose from, from the very basic to the more complex.


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Jennifer Barnett  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 03:30
Member (2009)
Dutch to English
+ ...
timekeeping using WorkTimer 2 Jul 10, 2008

I found WorkTimer 2 for free on the Apple web site widget section. It was the simplest of various to be found there.
Very easy to use and you can time several projects on the go using separate "clocks'.

www.apple.com/downloads/macosx/business_finance/worktimer.html

Microsoft no doubt provides similar free widgets.

Another keyword is 'time tracker'.

You still have to remember to clock on and off!

Good luck.


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Jabberwock  Identity Verified
Poland
Local time: 03:30
Member (2004)
English to Polish
WorkCoach Jul 10, 2008

I would recommend this simple app:

http://www.donationcoder.com/Forums/bb/index.php?topic=6694.0

Although it does not have the advanced reporting features the other programs have, it has one great advantage - it tracks time automatically, based on the titles of the active window.

For example, you can define that whenever your active window contains "Trados" or "Firefox", (but not "Facebook"!), then you're working on the translation project. It also switches off time recording if the computer is idle for some time, therefore talking on the phone (or sipping coffee) in front of the Word window does not count...


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Claudia Alvis  Identity Verified
Peru
Local time: 20:30
Partial member
Spanish
+ ...
Syntap's Timestamp Jul 10, 2008

Another recommendation for Timestamp.

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xxxJPW  Identity Verified
Local time: 02:30
Spanish to English
+ ...
About timestamp Jul 10, 2008

Syntap's Timestamp

Another recommendation for Timestamp.


Will this work on a Vista OS, which isn't specifically mentioned on the website? Has anyone used it on a Vista computer? I'd like to give it a whirl.

TIA,

JP.


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Astrid Elke Witte  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 03:30
Member (2002)
German to English
+ ...
I use Time Panic Jul 10, 2008

I have been using it since March and I find it really good.

I picked it originally since (from my perspective) it was created by a local person - who is also very helpful if you contact him.

http://www.timepanic.com/english/

Astrid

[Edited at 2008-07-10 16:56]


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Claudia Alvis  Identity Verified
Peru
Local time: 20:30
Partial member
Spanish
+ ...
Vista Jul 10, 2008

It does run in Vista.

John Paul Weir wrote:

Syntap's Timestamp

Another recommendation for Timestamp.


Will this work on a Vista OS, which isn't specifically mentioned on the website? Has anyone used it on a Vista computer? I'd like to give it a whirl.

TIA,

JP.


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KSL Berlin  Identity Verified
Portugal
Local time: 02:30
Member (2003)
German to English
+ ...
Long live low tech! Jul 10, 2008

Steven Capsuto wrote:
... my solution is moderately low-tech:

I open Windows Notepad...



Great minds think alike

I've tried various timers, but they require just as much discipline or more than this approach. The advantage to Notepad (or any text record) is also that I can take notes on stopping points, problems encountered, etc. Just finished a 90,000 word proofing job keeping track of time by this method, and it worked brilliantly. Every time the phone rang or I needed a break I just typed the stopping time and which string ID for which of the kazillion resources I stopped at. The localization tool I was using for the job was also a bit unstable, so running notes in the text file were also a good way to keep track of progress and get back to where I left off when the tool would crash!

[Edited at 2008-07-10 18:30]


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Noni Gilbert
Spain
Local time: 03:30
Member (2007)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Time stamp Jul 10, 2008

Have just downloaded Time Stamp. Oh wow. Wish I'd found this a little earlier, but still, with increasing special format translations landing on my lap, this looks SO useful. Just a little worried I will become addicted to looking at how much my charges are adding up to... Does it take long for the novelty of this to wear off? Thanks Lia and all.

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Boyan Brezinsky  Identity Verified
Bulgaria
Local time: 04:30
English to Bulgarian
+ ...
Keep records in a spreadsheet Jul 11, 2008

I use a simple electronic spreadsheet with several columns - starting date, starting time, ending date, ending time. Then I can calculate the hours spent in each session using a simple subtraction formula (taking into account the possibility of starting in the evening and finishing in what is already the next day). And at the end I can simply add all these hours to find out how much time the project took.
Since a single file may contain several spreadsheets, one can track multiple projects in a file.
And I enter the times manually. In the rare occasions when I forget, I usually am able to determine the times from the time stamp of the file. And when even that doesn't help, I simply make up the numbers - half an hour more or less doesn't really matter to me, since this statistic is for my personal use only.


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xxxUSER0059  Identity Verified
Finland
Local time: 04:30
English to Finnish
+ ...
Journal, in Microsoft® Outlook Jul 11, 2008

George Hopkins wrote:

Can anyone suggest a simple program or software for keeping a record of effective time spent on one or several items?


For the eventuality that you happen to use Microsoft Office: Outlook includes the Journal section for this purpose.


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xxxJPW  Identity Verified
Local time: 02:30
Spanish to English
+ ...
TimeStamp / Windows Vista Jul 15, 2008

I have downloaded this program now and it seems to run OK, although the interface looks a little austere, or spartan.

But a wee word of advice for those running it on a Vista OS: the help files [.hlp format] - to get you started of course - are not automatically available as Microsoft has taken access to this feature away from the new Vista system. Typical. I must admit I don't really understand this, as F1 works for most applications when you need help. Instead I was getting a window which said "Why can't I see the help files for this blah blah blah".

So to get access to the help files, follow the link (you should see one) to the Micsrosoft website and there you may download a couple of plug-ins and perhaps you might need to tweak your registry settings a bit too: always a bit dicey...

I did both - without really knowing what I was doing (curiosity killed the cat) - but I have now got access to the help files that were written for the program, so I must have done something right.

It was sort of straightforward, but not, at the same time, if you see what I mean.


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