Been quite awhile since I wrote one of these “Thank _____ It’s Monday” articles!
I said recently that I’ll only write on here when I really feel inspired/motivated to. I once had a dream of covering every affiliate program there is on here and providing reviews, however I’ve really narrowed down the gambling affiliate programs I work with over the last few years and rarely add a new program.
I could do just generic datasheets but eh – I would rather not list programs if I have no personal experience with them.
Today I want to write an article to talk about a new product that has drastically changed my productivity for the better – Timeular.
Here’s what it looks like:
Essentially it’s like an 8 sided object that tracks the time you spend on a particular project. You can either use stickers on each side to note what you are doing, or they give you a pen to write it.
So for example I am writing this article just now so I have it flipped up so “Content Writing” is pointing towards the sky. It’s tracking the time that I spend on content writing. No need to track things via a stopwatch or anything anymore – just a little flip and I’m good.
If I finish content writing and want to do some reading of SEO forums or websites I could flip it to the “Reading” side. Then maybe I want to write up my sports tips. Flip it to the “Sports Tips” side and I’m good to go.
it presents the data beautifully as well. Here’s a random day in the life of Dealer Dan:
That might look a bit generalized. For example “General / Misc TDL” doesn’t really tell you much. Either does “Sports Tips”. However I can also track within that category. Let’s click on “Sports Tips” for example.
So as you can see by utilizing hashtags when I start an activity, I’m able to break it down a level. So I’m able to see not just how much time I spent writing sports tips that day, but I can see how much I spent on particular sports.
It tracks all of the times as well. It tells you what your average start time is, average end time, average entry length, average tracked per day etc. It’s pretty damn neat.
Rather than try and create a flow within this article, I’ll instead bring up some talking points in regard to Timeular that I’ve received from friends and employees in regard to it when I tell them about it.
How did I discover Timeular?
I wrote an article last month about how I’ve started working in one hour blocks. It’s something new I have started this year which is tracking the time I write.
One of my friends and someone I work with on various projects had discovered Timeular via reddit last year, and got it for me as a Christmas present as he knew I was tracking time I worked. Initially I was just using the stopwatch app on Windows, and then writing it all in a notebook which was quite rudimentary.
It took me a little while to set this up. I only set it up at the tail end of last month. However when I did, I instantly adapted to it and it has been a game changer in regard to how I work.
What are the Main Benefits?
There are quite a few. The biggest one for me is focus. Especially in the times we live in as of this writing, it’s a bit too easy to chat with people or browse news sites for the latest headlines.
On one side I have a Chatting / Non Work entry and when I take a break – even for a minute – to respond to messages or see the latest news in regard to the virus or whatever I have to flip it over.
Just that little physical process is enough to keep me focused on a task. Because I know that responding to one message can incite a full conversation with someone. What I do is remain focused on my task until it’s finished, THEN flip it over, take maybe 1-2 minutes to respond to all messages as promptly as I can, scan the news sites – then flip it over and get back to work.
Another benefit is just seeing how much time I spend on various projects and then calculating the hourly rate on it, and whether it is worth it or whether I should dedicate that work to something that gives me another hourly rate. I’ll just make up some numbers here as an example. I could look at it and see that I am earning on average $120 per hour working on WWE Tips, but only $18 per hour working on Golf Tips. Well that gives me something to analyze; are the golf tips worth it? Should I be spending more time on WWE Tips etc? What’s WWE got going for it that Golf doesn’t have going for it? Can I get that hourly rate of golf up?
Having the raw data will help you with these decisions.
What if I have more than 8 things I want to track?
While it only has 8 sides, via the app (on your phone or on Windows) you can set up additional items to track and then manually track them. I currently track about 14 different things that way. Of course the most common ones that I use while sitting at my desk are all on the actual physical device.
What do You Use It For?
To be honest I’m still finessing what I use it for. I’ve kind of got a work/life balance going with it. One issue I have had in life is that I don’t think I spend enough time watching TV shows or playing video games for example. So I actually track that now. It also encourages me to take more breaks during work to get those numbers up.
I also use it just to track hobbies that I have such as cooking, and then also when I workout or go out for runs. I love just being able to see that sort of data presented out there within the pie chart.
Work wise, I have more generalized items that I break down slightly. Such as “Sports Tips” then broken down into the various sports. My “Daily To Do List” is another I track although I just keep that as is, as opposed to breaking it down into items such as e-mails, my daily bookmarks for reading/research etc. However you can use it for what you want.
One thing I really enjoy is when I take 20-30 minutes to read something work related, and I track that all within there. It really feels like that time I spent reading something is “worth it” if that makes sense.
Why Not Just Use an App?
You could and Timeular actually has an app you could use rather than the physical device. However for me? Staying off my phone is a priority. We all know how cellphones can be in regard to distraction. if I pick it up with the intention of switching it, I may see notifications that will get me distracted.
It’s also the physical act of it. It’s a lot easier to simply click stop on a timer and chat with a friend for a few minutes, as opposed to having to flip it over.
Who would benefit from Timeular?
For me – anyone who works from home. I know how hard it is to separate home/work life and I feel it is very beneficial for that.
Anyone who gets distracted easily. Have you ever sat at the end of the day and thought “Wow I really didn’t do much work today?” Or maybe you can’t even really remember what you did that day. I’ve been there. That’s why Timeular is very helpful for me. It’s really neat looking at the end of the day and seeing everything I did. It also is very motivational in regard to getting me to spend time on various projects etc. Especially projects I may be neglecting. Then I’ll look at how I have only spent 30 minutes on that in the last week, and amp that up the next week.
Basically it holds you accountable.
Will it stop me from getting distracted?
I personally find it does. I’ve noticed a big change in my work even from when I was tracking the time I worked.
For example using the notepad/stopwatch, I’d see that I had spent 4 hours working. Yet I had been at my computer that day for over 7 hours. Where did that 3+ hours go????
Now? I have that “Chatting / Non Work” side where if I am just browsing the web or social media or chatting with people – it tracks that. And what a surprise – the first few days using Timeular I noticed that was taking up 30%-40% of my day. Amazing how it all adds up like that.
Now chatting / non work takes up on average about 13% of my day and I’m getting better at focus and making that less.
Whats your favourite thing about it?
That it encourges me to work on a wide variety of different projects just to “see” them on the pie chart, and that it holds me accountable for slacking off. The latter is probably my favourite part of it.
How Much Does it Cost?
You can order just the tracker and it comes with the free app. It costs $89 USD.
Or you can get the Tracker plus the Pro app. This has a 6 / 12 months subscription option but I’d suggest doing the $249 Lifetime membership instead. That’s what my friend got me for me and it just makes much more sense.
To be honest I’d suggest purchasing just the tracker first. You have the free app and that’s good enough for now. Then if you feel you would benefit from pro, upgrade it to any time. If it hadn’t been a gift, that’s the method I would have did.
I’m not even sure if I get the necessary benefits from the pro version or not. However I would try the free one and if you like it, look at the reasons to upgrade and whether it is worth it or not.
If you have any additional questions about it, feel free to shoot me an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org