Where does the time go?  I can’t count the number of times I have uttered that statement by the end of the day.  Some days just literally zip by.  The setting sun each evening serves as a constant reminder that another day has come and gone.  So to me, finding a way to keep track of my time is important.

Awhile back I came across a website that allows me to track my hours.  With just a few clicks of the mouse, I can start a clock, that records the length of time I am working on specific tasks.  Since my business requires working with multiple clients, I needed a time-tracker that would allow me to record the date and time I worked for each client.  In addition, since I work from home, (where you’re subjected to frequent interruptions through-out the day), I needed a program that would allow me to hit “pause” when needed.

Let me introduce you to Toggl, whose motto is: “Track Your Time Anywhere”.  First of all, Toggl (and yes that’s really how they spell their name – it’s not a typo) is a free web-based program.  There is nothing to download and nothing to install. You can use it from any computer (Windows or Mac) or mobile device (iPad, iPhone, Droid, etc.).

All that you will need to get going with Toggl is an email address to set up an account.  Once you login to Toggl, you simply type in the name of the task that you are working on and click the Start button.  With that, Toggl will begin recording the seconds, minutes, and hours you are dedicating to the task at hand.  Toggl then will continue to run in the background, while you busy at work.  As a matter of fact, you can even close the Toggl program and it will still keep recording your time.  Once you have completed your work, you merely launch Toggl and click the Stop button.  With that, your total time (including when you started and when you stopped) is displayed.

Another good thing about Toggl is that it has a built-in reporting feature.  That way you can get a real birds-eye view of where all your time is going.  These reports come in handy when you want to invoice clients at the end of each month or the end of a project. Toggl even allows you to see how much time you spent doing the same task across multiple dates.  I like how it even adds up all the time for me.  No math skills required.  Hurray!

As an FYI, while there is no cost to begin using Toggl, you will notice there are options to upgrade to more advanced versions.  Quite frankly, I have been using this program for several years now and have never had a need to go beyond Toggl’s basic features.

So whether you need to keep track of your time for business, or pleasure, Toggl is definitely a program worth taking a look at.  Finally as an added note, for those of you that are running your own business from home, Toggl can be configured to sync with QuickBooks.

P.S. Here’s some cool timer programs that Toggl makes available for free without even setting up an account:

#1.  Online Timer

  • Turn your computer screen into a full-screen online timer

#2. Tomato Timer

  • Pomodoro method-like timer

#3. Timer Tab

  • Countdown, Alarm, or Stopwatch in browser tab

By Gillian Whitney

Communications Consultant