About two years ago, I met a coach at a conference who told me about the tool TimePanic and I started to use TimePanic to track my time. – In the beginning, it was just for fun, but I continued to track my time because of the interesting insights and I’m still learning a lot about myself, today.
It was quite easy to start: Quickly download and install the software, set up regular working hours as well as current projects and colleagues and simply start to capture all activities.
The tool can be used via a symbol from the task bar or it can remain opened all the time. I prefer to have TimePanic open all the time to get a gentle reminder to capture my working hours without gaps from time to time.
Customized favorites allow you to start frequently used activities with a single click. This makes it easy to activate new activities on the fly in case of incoming calls or externally initiated conversations to be right back for the intruder.
In addition to the “day view” – which is used to capture data – the “year view” provides an overview about the sum of working hours of the different days and the “report view” makes it possible to create much more detailed reports to analyze how many hours you have spent on the different projects within a defined timeframe.
Since I started using TimePanic, the capturing of tasks – which can be done within seconds – quickly became a habit for me and I don’t want to miss the benefits anymore.
The biggest benefit for me is the fact that TimePanic forces me to work in a single-tasking mode. Due to the fact that it is not possible to book time onto different projects in parallel, I’m forced to focus on just one single task at the time. – Changing times can be avoided and the task will receive my undivided attention.
In case of interruptions by colleagues that drop by or in case of incoming phone calls, TimePanic helps me to remember what I did before the interruption occurred.
In addition, frequent “intruders” can be identified and as soon as the colleagues realize that their interruptions are captured, intrusions will be reduced automatically. But this not only helps to reduce interruptions by others, I also gained the insight not to interrupt colleagues for every single question right away. Instead of this, I tend to bundle questions to minimize interruptions, now.
TimePanic also allows to evaluate the different types of activities to improve the daily planning. For example, I learned that I shouldn’t spend more than 2/3 of my time for task processing, because the rest is consumed by administrational tasks such as inbox processing, task management, or conversations that don’t have direct connection to projects.
Last but not least, time tracking with TimePanic helps me to verify my effort estimations on my to-do list, which results in an optimized planning and increases my productivity as well.
TimePanic is available for Windows only and can be installed or runs as portable version on a memory stick. For private use, there is a free version available. To learn more about TimePanic, please visit http://www.timepanic.com.
As soon as you gained some experience with the tool. Please feel free to post your insights!
PS: If you are interested in buying the premium version, please consider using my affiliate link: http://tinyurl.com/7fxalgb ;-)