Time tracking without using timers

Daily provides a better way to track your daily activities without the hassle of toggling timers, switching tasks, or taking notes.

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Niels Mouthaan

Time tracking by asking what you are working on

Daily follows a unique approach to track your time. While most time tracking apps require you to toggle timers, Daily works by asking what you are doing. This way, you don't have to let your time tracker know you started working on something (else). We all forget to do this at times, making timesheets inaccurate, which can have significant consequences.

Daily's secret sauce

Daily periodically asks what you are doing, initially after 10 minutes. It will repeat this question every 20 minutes. You can configure these intervals via Daily's preferences. This unique way of working not only makes time tracking less of a hassle but also keeps you away from distractions.

You have two options when Daily asks what you are working on:

  • Select or provide an activity, and apply it by clicking the confirm (✔) button.
  • Dismiss the dialog by clicking the cancel (✖) button.

Dialog asking for activity

Providing an activity

Daily uses an algorithm to allocate time to activities you provide. It will also update the activities you provided earlier. This way, the accuracy of your timesheets is continuously being improved. Consider the following example:

You start working at 9.00. Daily will ask at 9.10 what you are doing. Since you are reading your emails, you provide Email. As you might expect, Daily allocates 10 minutes to Email.

Algorithm behind providing activities (part 1)

After 20 minutes, hence at 9.30, Daily again asks what you are doing. This time you are coding and provide Coding. Daily's algorithm will allocate 50% of the interval to Coding and the other 50% to the earlier provided activity Email.

Algorithm behind providing activities (part 2)

Again after 20 minutes, at 9.50, Daily asks what you are doing. Since you are still coding, you select Coding. Since the activity hasn't changed, 100% of the interval gets allocated to Coding.

Algorithm behind providing activities (part 3)

Dismissing the dialog

You can also choose to dismiss the dialog by clicking the cancel (✖) button. As a result, Daily distributes the interval over existing activities recorded for this day. It does this by taking into account each activity's duration relative to the total time recorded for this day. In other words: time doesn't get lost but gets distributed over other activities. Consider the following example:

Similar to the previous example, you started working at 9.00. You provided Email when Daily asked at 9.10 what you were doing. Now at 9.30, Daily again asks what you are doing. Since you are doing something minor that you don't want to record, you dismiss the dialog. Daily will allocate the interval to earlier provided activities for this day, currently only including Email. Hence, 100% gets allocated to Email.

Algorithm behind dismissing dialogs (part 1)

After 20 minutes, at 9.50, Daily asks what you are doing. Since you are coding and wants this to get recorded, you provide Coding. Daily allocates the full interval to Coding.

Algorithm behind dismissing dialogs (part 1)

Recording absence

Daily will ask what you have been doing while you have been away from your Mac. When you provide an activity, Daily will allocate 100% of the duration of the absence to that activity. However, when you dismiss the dialog, nothing gets recorded nor distributed. In other words: that time then gets lost.

Download Daily on the App Store