I have used Time Recording - Timesheet App by DynamicG on Android for a couple years now. When I first started using it, it was the only time tracker that I could find that recorded and allowed editing of start and stop timestamps. It does everything I want and need and is easy to use, but it does not have a Web Interface, which would be handy for entering notes.
So, this month, I’ve been testing out Toggl, solely because it offers both a phone app and a website. I’ve mostly been using the free version, but switched to the paid version today to test the extra functionality.
It’s going OK, but I thought I’d share my experiences so far.
Summary / Spoiler
The Web UI is good, the Android App is painful.
Some things I like
The Web UI in general; my current tracker is phone-based only, so that’s a plus, and it is laid out very well.
The play button on previous entries, allowing you to start the same task again (and it remembers the project, customer, and notes)
The visible feedback when filtering a list. It makes it very easy to see.
Tags They’re easy to add, filter by, etc.
The charts are cool and can show me at a glance where my time is going. (But my customers don’t really care about that, so these are really just a nice to have)
- The Android app is terrible. It looks good, until you click something
- It doesn’t use the common time spinners
- To enter time, you have to clear out the old time,
- But backspace takes a good second per character to enter,
- It doesn’t respect the switftkey keyboard (despite it showing in the taskbar); for example, swipe left should backspace an entire word; longpress backspace does the same. Toggl deletes one character when doing this.
- And before I set it to 24h format, this was unbearable
- text entry for the tasks are just as bad
- I just don’t use the phone app for anything other clicking start and stop, and even that is questionable.
- Given that I’m looking to replace an app that exists only on the phone, this is near a dealbreaker
- Fix the spelling of your name. I have a hard enough time speeling things korecktly without you dropping letters from it. - Do you know how hard it is to not type an
Do you want people to think you are teenagers that are so cool you cannot be bothered to spell out words, or developers who take their craft seriously? Given that most teenagers don’t need a time tracking app, I would hope the latter.
Lack of reporting flexibility and options
My current time tracker displays the start and stop stamps; it’s not bad that you hide yours, but it took a while to find and edit them, and going back to my comment on the phone, it’s just not realistically editable there.
Consider that if you enable rounding, you do that on the start and stop tags. The precision is maybe nice, but really not necessary, especially if rounding is enabled.
- I don’t mind that rounding and extra reporting options are under the pro license; I just wish I had more options.
What I must have
I must be able to report my time filtered by client, reported by month, offsets in decimal format, totaled by day. Out of the box,
- You can report by month
- You can easily filter by client
- You can export daily totals but it excludes notes
- You can export notes in the detailed view, but it doesn’t total by day, and doesn’t offer to collapse the notes together.
- The time difference in the exports is in HH:MM:SS format,
- but I can hack that with a formula in LibreOffice, assuming C1 contains the time worked:
What’s funny is that after seeing the play button on Toggl and forcing myself to try to write a bit more reusable of messages, I poked around a bit in my current tracker and found the same functionality.
It has all of the reporting options I need, and I’ve been taking notes in a text editor and copying them into the app at the end of the month, so I may be sticking with it. Also, the free version has all of the functionality of the pro version, except for Google Calendar Sync, and, they let you run the free version as long as you like. The pro version removes ads and it’s a one time fee of $2.95, so test out the free one for a while, and then shell out the $3 for a solid app. It will import all of your free data and settings.