Review - Timing 2.0

As a freelancer who balances (or tries to!) multiple income streams, the ability to track my time effectively is essential. Especially when some of that time is billable. There are lots of time tracking applications available for macOS that track billable time, as well as others that track activity on your Mac itself. There are few, however, that do both. I’d also add that there is only one that does this to a level that I’d be comfortable endorsing, and that’s Timing 2 by Daniel Alm. 

A word on Daniel first. Daniel released the first Timing application in 2011 to great acclaim. Between 2013 and 2016 he worked at Google, however the pull of earning a full time income through app development proved to be too strong and he left to do just that. 

Timing 2 has all the hallmarks of an app that has received full-time care and attention.

Let’s start with the layout. As you can see, there has been no skimping on detail. In fact, if this is your first time using any kind of time-tracking software, you may consider the amount of information to be daunting. That’s a fair comment - there is a lot there. Stick with it though. After purchase, you’ll receive emails daily for the first week that nudge you gently through the different features. I deliberately held back on diving in too deeply and used these emails as my guide, so that I could fully appreciate the experience of a new user. I can say that the content of these emails is perfect for beginners and experienced users alike. 

On the Overview you’ll see that there is a timeline of the day’s activity as well graphs that show Projects and Tasks as well as Apps. There will be some initial work involved for setting up your Projects for tracking, however once done, a lot of the follow-up actions are performed automatically. Timing 2 is able to group tasks together and automatically assign “keywords” to add new tasks to existing groups which is a great feature. As well as this, keywords and manual assignment of activities can group together into different categories. As an example, I created a category called “Business Development” as a lot of my coaching work involves finding people to coach! This can be over the phone or through my laptop, however I need to track these activities. I also research for these blog posts (believe it or not!) so have a category called “Research”. I love this because just by looking at a report, I can see if there are any categories that I have been neglecting over a period of time.

Timing 2’s ability to automatically associate activities with actual projects is down to the following key points:

  • The time tracking is automatic. Configure it to start at login and everything you do is tracked (securely, no data is transmitted from your Mac, it’s all for your own productivity development)
  • Timing 2 will track apps, document paths, URLs, email titles, Message conversations as well as a lot more
  • Timing 2 offers automatic suggestions for blocks of time that belong together. Do you have a meeting and then write up the minutes afterwards? Block them together in one category. Timing 2 can then intellligently track.
  • You can create rules that will further automate the categorization of activities

As well as the automatic tracking of what you are doing whilst at your Mac, Timing 2 also allows you to create notes about tasks you’ve been working on AWAY from your Mac. Great for logging phone calls or meetings where you don’t have your Mac to hand. 

Getting data into Timing 2 is clearly an intuitive process. Is reading that data the same? 

You bet.

Timing 2’s ability to automatically associate activities with actual projects is down to the following key points:

The time tracking is automatic. Configure it to start at login and everything you do is tracked (securely, no data is transmitted from your Mac, it’s all for your own productivity development)
Timing 2 will track apps, document paths, URLs, email titles, Message conversations as well as a lot more
Timing 2 offers automatic suggestions for blocks of time that belong together. Do you have a meeting and then write up the minutes afterwards? Block them together in one category. Timing 2 can then intellligently track.
You can create rules that will further automate the categorization of activities
As well as the automatic tracking of what you are doing whilst at your Mac, Timing 2 also allows you to create notes about tasks you’ve been working on AWAY from your Mac. Great for logging phone calls or meetings where you don’t have your Mac to hand.

Getting data into Timing 2 is clearly an intuitive process. Is reading that data the same?

You bet. Timing 2 has a real focus on design and aesthetics. The graphs are beautiful as well as functional and easily show you your most productive times, the type of work completed as well as a chart of your most used applications. You can even assign a productivity score to a task. I have Safari set at 75% as an example as I use it a lot for research, however, there will be times when I’m goofing around looking for funny prank ideas for my colleagues. With each task having a productivity score assigned, I can feel confident in my overall Productivity Rating.

As an aside, I’ve given Twitter a Productivity rating of 0% to try and help stop me going onto it without using another third party application to prevent access. So far it’s working.

Timing 2 is great. If you are a freelancer with a Mac who needs to carefully track and manage their time windows, I’d say it needs checking out. There’s a great trial offer available, after which pricing comes in at $29, $49 and $79 for the Productivity, Professional and Expert editions respectively.

You will also be pleased to know that Timing is now available as part of the Setapp subscription package, provided by MacPaw!

Check it out