Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Tracking Time

I am long on ideas and short on time.  I only expect to live 100 years.  

Thomas Edison said that but it might as well have been me.  I have been trying to create more time in my creative life... 



Deadlines help.  Alot.  I have three pieces of Japanese embroidery to complete by October which is no small feat.

I've committed to stitching two hours per day to accomplish that goal.  The intention alone has helped to improve the total amount of time I spend stitching.  I wake up early on days when I know I'll be busy or I stay at the frame longer one day if I know I won't be able to find time to embroider the next.

I also got myself a buddy...a fellow student in my class who is also trying to graduate in October.  We text each other to support one another and help keep ourselves on track.

Both of those things have helped my productivity but the tool I started using over the weekend has been a total game changer.  I am loving it and I just have to share.

It's a time-tracking app on my iPhone called Toggl.


You can download it for free from the App store.  Like many apps, they have a more robust application that you pay for but the simple one is working quite well for me.


Many of my fellow Japanese embroiderers track the time it takes to stitch their pieces, some for insurance purposes.  I am often asked by friends how long a project takes me to stitch and I usually have no good answer.  Well folks, those days are over!

Over the weekend I went looking for an app that could keep track of my time across all my projects.  I found this article which reviewed a number of apps...many of them were for tracking billable time or invoicing...neither of which I needed.  I narrowed my choices down to two, ATracker and Toggl, and found that I liked Toggl best.

When you first open the app, you press the timer "Start" which takes you to a screen to designate your project.  Below I have Sake Box listed but I could add a New Project if I was starting one...


Once I touched Sake Box, I'm asked "What are you working on?"


I've been entering "Goldwork" because I would eventually like to know how long the Goldwork takes me.


Here you can see the cumulative totals I've spent on Sake Box - Goldwork over the course of a few days...


Toggl will track your total time by week, month, year and its reports feature lets you look at total time spent by project.

I am absolutely thrilled with this new tool...I just might have to add my iPhone to my list of essential needlework tools.

I hope this helps you find time for your own projects.

Have a good Time!

P.S. Thanks to onthevergeofsnapping and Andrea D for finding these two articles about Uncle Bill and his tweezer invention: here and here.    I found it fascinating in this story that Uncle Bill's tweezers almost didn't get made.

13 comments:

Dolores said...

Looks like a great tool indeed. However, I don't have a cell phone and pencil and paper will have to do.

bluemuf said...

Hi Susan, I really enjoy reading your inspiring posts and always look forward to receiving updates of new ones.

You probably have been to this website, but in case you haven't I thought you might Find it enjoyable. The woman does period costume embroidery and her site is full of wonderful eye candy. She has been working on the Game of Thrones costumes for the last five seasons.
http://www.michelecarragherembroidery.com/index.htm

Karen

Gerry Krueger said...

I did order a TWO pack of the tweezers...

Rachel said...

I have a time tracking app, but I forget to use it!

Reconstructed Fabulousness said...

Thanks for sharing this app Susan, I did try and track via spreadsheet for a while but you always forget to think about when you start and finish a session or for days at time and have to try and recollect but with this app your phone is always at hand no matter where you stitch. BTW LOL to the 6,642 emails and 22 missed calls ~ you must have been busy stitching :-) Rae

Mary Ann said...

I don't own a cell phone but it looks like an amazing idea.

Judy S. said...

Just got my tweezers in the mail today. Thanks! No fancy phone here though.

L'Arbre aux Perles said...

Hi Susan, I always admire the way you find answers to all my problems! I also get the same question: how long do you need to do this? So I will get this app on my new iPhone. Thank you for your blog, it's a place with so much beautiful stitching and inspiring thoughts about life!
Josiane

Carol- Beads and Birds said...

You always find the BEST apps. I use Evernote all the time.

I don't need to track my time now, but I sure wish I had when I was working!! It's still a fun and useful app to have. It's applications are endless.
xx, Carol

Mosaic Magpie said...

Phone in hand and will be looking for the app.....6,000+ emails!
xo,
Deb

Jane said...

What a good idea, I always keep track of my JE projects but use a timesheet, maybe I'll give this a try. Good luck with getting everything finished for October

Heather said...

I can't gnet past the 22 missed calls & 6642 emails.... I'd be curious how long it takes to go through them:). What amazing art work! Thanks for sharing.

Kerry Leslie said...

Such a beautiful project! Loved hearing about the app - now I need to get a phone so I can get an app! lol

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