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Unfortunately I often have situation that I often need to go to another task or stop working for a while. That's why I need time tracking software. I prefer desktop software for Windows with one-time fee (or yearly for new upgrades).

I don't need any invoicing module or sending reports for clients, it has to be just for myself. Best option would be setting manually timers which are visible in Windows tray and the software should stop timer after x min of inactivity. Of course there should be possibility to create tasks, clients and so on. And it would be great if there were some charts/statistics that let me optimize my time usage.

I'm looking this kind of software for a long time but cannot find anything. Many solutions are just online, desktop ones usually doesn't offer any statistics/charts.

What I've already checked:

  • Grindstone
  • Klok 2
  • Manic Time
  • Fanurio

None of them is what I'm looking for.

What software (if any) do you use? What's your best solutions to optimize your time usage and not to be disturbed by e-mails / forum or any other tasks when you are realizing your goal?

We're looking for long answers that provide some explanation and context. Don't just give a one-line answer; explain why your answer is right, ideally with citations. Answers that don't include explanations may be removed.

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    This question appears to be off-topic because it is about software recommendations, not Freelancing. Try softwarerecs.stackexchange.com – Canadian Luke May 9 '14 at 16:45
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    But in my opinion time tracking software is very important for freelancers who often have many clients and have to switch between tasks and need to know how much time they spend on their clients – Marcin Nabiałek May 9 '14 at 17:19
  • My reasoning stems from this meta discussion specifically. Based on the answers, it does not look like it would be helpful to future visitors, let alone now (one answer specifies he doesn't run Windows anymore, so we don't know how effective that answer is). I'll reopen for now, but I'd prefer more community involvement for whether or not we allow these types of questions (asking for recommendations). – Canadian Luke May 9 '14 at 17:24
  • I made a chrome extension that reminds me after x minutes that x minutes have passed, and can be reset. This extension runs in background so it's still open when no chrome browser is open. I think i will work on it more so i can include statistics and stuff. I made it so it reminds to take time off computer after every x minutes to do some walking and some squats. I have set it to 25 mins. and then take 4 mins off. This all equals Better Mood, Increased focus, and Reminder that time passed. If you want it i could give it to you.. – Muhammad Umer May 23 '14 at 23:17
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Toggl works for me for several years. It is an online service but they have a desktop app (as well as Android/iOS apps); Their desktop app detects the inactivity and asks you to keep or drop this time. The basic functionality is free and I like their online reporting features. They also allow downloading CSVs with your time and tasks; I used to write programs what took this input and created the invoices in the client-specific format, so there is a room for automation of your lower level bookkeeping.

As to the tracking the time wasters, I use RescueTime (paid version); I set up a few messages what pop up when the trigger is met, like: "You spent a hour today reading news. Maybe you are updated enough to start working." and so on.

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This might not solve directly your billing time needs, but it's really helpful to track your productivity and see where you spent your working time: RescueTime.

You install a small application that stays in your tray and it tracks all your windows, generating later a report on your productivity.
It can automatically categorize a LOT of applications, and for those he understands wrong or doesn't know, you can set what the window means: very productive, productive, neutral, distracting or very distracting. That sums up to a productivity score for your day. You can also ignore some applications that have no actual meaning and you spend very little time on (such as file explorers).

There's a paid version that adds features such as offline time tracking (you can manually enter what you did, such as meetings or client calls, as the app asks what you were doing when the computer was idle), integrations, and even deeper statistics and other stuff I don't actually know because I didn't use the paid version after the trial :)

This was the only application that really helped me stay focused - because I was afraid of receiving that dreaded email by Sunday morning saying I wasn't productive D:

Dashboard

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I quite like TraxTime for this sort of thing. Simple punch-clock like interface, easy to edit the in/out times if you forget.

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    When was this software released? It looks like about 10 year ago or more :) Interface on screenshots doesn't look very modern – Marcin Nabiałek May 9 '14 at 10:50
  • It has been around for ages. Yeah, the aesthetics may not look that modern, but the functionality is what you're after. I've found it a good fit for my brain and work style. – Evan May 9 '14 at 20:26
  • Evan, can you edit this to expand on how this addresses the question? Short, one line answers are the main reason why we as a community generally close these types of questions as off-topic. Thanks for helping to possibly avoid that here. See Anton's answer above. – jmort253 Jun 1 '14 at 15:54
  • As comments said, that software was quite old. So old the website is now parked. – igorsantos07 May 26 '17 at 4:05
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Have you tried HiveDesk Yet? The tool servers great in terms of tracking time of remote workers, they offer a cross platform tool for Time Tracking and task management that makes remote team collaboration easier. It is a powerful and simple-to-use project management tool to manage your team and tasks. We have experience the best of satisfaction with this time tracking software.

protected by Canadian Luke Jul 17 '17 at 16:49

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