Do you remember those simple little egg timers that sat on the kitchen counter? For all sorts of reasons, my mom would kindly crank that thing and say “You have 15 minutes to clean your room.” Or more likely, it would be a timer to mark how much longer I could play outside. My room was always clean. Either way, that egg timer kept me on task.
Do you wish someone would turn the timer on for you when you start social networking your day away? Here are a handful of Web-based tools that may help.
A Task Recorder
Wondering where your day went? Toggl will show you. It works on a PC, Mac or mobile device. You can budget and pre-define tasks for a team. It integrates with QuickBooks and FreshBooks. Once you sign in on the Toggl homepage, the site will ask you what task you are tracking. It has a free plan for up to five users.
Personal Trainer for Productivity
RescueTime is trying to make your more productive. The home page image asks: “Am I really spending my days the way I want to?” You have to download a light application to your Windows machine and then verify on the RescueTime website, but it is easy. Then, the program asks you questions to determine what makes you productive versus what distracts you. It is tracking your time in applications and on websites in the background. It then shows you where you are spending your time. I had Chrome and Microsoft Word open as I wrote this post and it recorded exactly what I did to complete this post. Impressive.
The Simple ApproachThe closest I've found to the egg timer is OnlineClock.net. It is a simple countdown clock. You pick a time and it starts counting and buzzes you when the time is up.
Focus Booster has a web-based and desktop version for its elegant solution. It allows you to set how long you want to work on a project. The cool thing is that it also lets you set how long of a break you want to take in advance. The buzzer sounds and you know to take your break, which is also timed.
This post was not focused on time-tracking for invoicing purposes (Toggl offers billing fuctionality), but if you need more in that direction, here are three more that I’ve tried: Let’s Freckle (great name), Chrometa and Clockodo.
Find more productivity tools for small business.