BubbleTimer: New Take on Time Tracking


BubbleTimer - Achieve your goals through better time management - Mozilla Firefox 3.1 Beta 2 (Build 20081201061100)There are plenty of time-tracking applications out there; we’ve reviewed more than a few over the years. But that doesn’t mean that there’s no innovation left in the field. Case in point: BubbleTimer, which wants to make tracking your time into an effective time-management tool rather than focusing solely on billable hours.

There are a couple of key features involved in this makeover. First is the utter simplicity of the product: if you ever did those “fill in the bubble with a No. 2 pencil” tests in school, you can use the BubbleTimer timesheet (and without getting graphite dust on your fingers, too). After you set up your activities, you just click to record time in 15-minute intervals.

The second useful thing here is goal tracking. For any activity, you can set a desired maximum or minimum time as a daily goal: “I want to watch TV no more than 90 minutes each day” or “I should be working on the squidbot project at least five hours a day.” As you bubble in your time, the system tracks how you’re doing on these goals; easy popup graphs give you a daily and weekly report on your progress (or lack of it).

You can also print out a more traditional tracking report if you want to use BubbleTimer to track, say, billable hours. But I suspect the product will be less used by those who want to track time back to clients (we mostly already have some solution in place) and more by those who want a watchdog on lifestyle change efforts. To make that even more effective, you can share selected times with others: imagine having your best friend able to see how long you spent watching anime every day.

BubbleTimer is free to try for up to 14 days, and $20 per year after that.

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