Thursday, October 18, 2012 by Brendan Ganley
Have you ever wondered how much time you're really spending on each of your tasks? Sometimes tracking your time usage can bring some surprising and useful (and possibly disturbing!) facts to light. Konstantin Vorobyev's YaR Desktop app can help you collect this time-tracking information and put it to good use. Built on the Adobe AIR platform, it's a desktop application that runs on Windows and Mac, and uses our API to add and modify tasks in your Remember The Milk account.
When you're ready to start tracking your time for a task, simply double click on the task to open it and then un-pause the timer. If you move on to another task (or if you take a well-deserved lunch break), you can pause the timer and restart it when you return. When you finish the task, you'll have a record of the total amount of time you spent on it and YaR Desktop can optionally record this in the task's notes and/or in the time estimate field, depending on your settings. Normally, time will be tracked for only one task at a time. However, if you're the multi-tasking sort, you can mark a task as a "background task" which will keep the clock running even as you start the timer on another task.
And while it's important to keep focused on the task at hand, it's also important to maintain balance by giving yourself a break once in a while. YaR Desktop can help with that too. It can be configured for a particular "work/rest" cycle: a certain period of focused work followed by a rest period. You'll be reminded to take a break at regular intervals so that you don't get too caught up in your work.
In addition to the time-tracking functionality, tasks can be added quickly within the app using shortcuts that are similar to (but not exactly the same as) the Smart Add shortcuts, allowing you to define many of a task's properties at the time you create it. Existing tasks can be modified using either a drop-down menu or keyboard shortcuts. If you're looking for specific tasks, you can search within the app to locate them. Searches are performed by Remember The Milk server-side, which means all of your favorite advanced search operators are available for use.
It was quite an eye-opener for us to find out how much time Bob actually spends meticulously peeling bananas (we've set up a meeting to discuss) but once you have the cold, hard facts about how you're spending your time, there are limitless ways you can use the information to try to improve your work habits. YaR Desktop does a great job of helping with that first crucial step: gathering the data.
Searching for other apps to help you work with Remember The Milk? Take a look at our Apps page and see if something catches your interest!
Posted in: Featured Apps