TinyTrackerUsage

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TinyTracker by Frank Tzanabetis



Installation


There is no installer; simply unzip and copy all the files to a new folder somewhere.

Usage


TinyTracker sits on your desktop, always on top of other windows so that it's always visible and doesn't get lost.
To run, double click on the TT executable.

Main Window

 File:Mainui-no-tasks.png  


Make the window really small

Double clicking on the title of the window or pressing Escape will minimise the window like so -

Off-minimised.png
OFF selected whilst minimised

File:Sampletask-minimised.png
Task selected whilst minimsed

The window will stay on top of all other windows. You can move it around by dragging it with the mouse and double-clicking or pressing Escape again will bring back the main form again.



When you first run the app, you'll notice 2 items in the list box - 'OFF' and 'Nothing'. The 'OFF' option, when selected, will stop all tracking so that no time is counted. Setting it to 'Nothing' is a task for when you're not doing any work. These options cannot be removed.

You'll also notice that a new file called 'items.txt' will be created when you first run the app and it'll be empty. This file is used to store all the current tasks that's available in the list box excluding 'OFF' and 'Nothing'. You can view and modify this file in any text editor (e.g.: Notepad).

File:Mainui-no-tasks-button-descriptions.png

To add a task, select the text field at the bottom of the window by either clicking on it or pressing Ctrl+A and type in your task. You can name your task with any text (see examples below). Press Enter or click the + button to add the task and tracking for this task will begin immediately and the items.txt file will contain the new task. If you have multiple tasks listed and you wish to rearrange them, you can do so with the mouse by dragging them to their new place in the list - 'OFF' and 'Nothing' are fixed at the top of the list, however.

After a minute of tracking (i.e.: when something other than 'OFF' is selected) a csv file will be created for the current day in the following format - YYYY-MM-DD-tinytracker.csv. For every minute that the app is tracking time, this file will be updated. You can open this file in a text editor or spreadsheet application to view it but note that applications like Excel will place a lock on the file and TinyTracker won't be able to update it whilst it is open in Excel.

Note that when the machine is locked, the task selected will also be tracked with the word '(Locked)' to indicate that the machine was locked whilst time was being tracked.

Keyboard shortcuts

F1 - Help/About/Settings. 
Up/Down - Change task. If the form is minimised, it will open the task list to allow you to select a task
Ctrl + - Add task (note that 'Ctrl =' works here as well so you don't have to hold the shift key)
Ctrl - - Remove the selected task
Del - Delete the selected task
Esc - Minimise/Maximise the form
Ctrl s - Show the summary form
Ctrl a - Put the 'enter task' text box into focus so you can type in a new task
Ctrl l - Add a zero-time label to the time track file. If you don't enter a name for the label, 'Label' will be written to the file. Useful for entering a quick note in your time tracking file

of if you wish to place a marker in the file for later reference.
F2 - F12 - User assignable functions

Summarising your day's work

To summarise the tasks for the day, click on the 'S' button on the main window or press Ctrl-s - File:Summary.png

The buttons at the top of the form allow you to view the summaries of previous days or of multiple days.

Example tasks
Personally, for each task, I write the job number first (which is a number that's assigned to a client and tracked in my timesheet system), then either a 'b' for a bug fix, 'd' for development/enhancement or 's' for support work, then followed by the item number from our issue tracking system. E.g.: JobNo18 d 5562 means Job number 18 in the timesheet system, 'd' means development work and 5562 is the item number from the issue tracking system. When I'm on a lunch break, I create a task called 'lunch' or if there's a company meeting I simply put 'company meeting' before locking my machine and heading off to the meeting. Note that by locking the machine, this task will be logged as 'company meeting (Locked)'.

Quickly summing up time
Double clicking on each line of text will quickly sum up times for multiple tasks at the bottom of the summary window. Here I've double clicked on the lines that contain "JobNo18 d 5562" and "JobNo18 d 5562 (Locked)" to give me a total time of 1.7 hours -

File:Summary-time-adder.png

Note that "JobNo18 d 5562 (Locked)" indicates that the machine was locked during that period of time.
Click the reset button to clear the total.

Search
You can search for any text in the summary which is useful if you're looking for a task over a long period of time -

File:Summary-search-field.png

Filling out your timesheets

Clicking on the 'calc' button will bring up the summary calculator which is a useful tool to assist in filling out a timesheet. You can select the text you wish to summarise first before clicking on the calc button like so (by not selecting any text it will use the first day's work that appears in the Summary form) -

File:Summary-tasks-selected.png

Then click the calc button to bring up the summary calculator with the tasks you selected -

File:Summary-calculator.png

We can now group the tasks together and remove tasks we don't want to include in the summary by placing a space between each group (using the enter key) and deleting any text we don't want -

File:Summary-calculator-jobs-sorted.png

Now when we click on the 'Disperse' button, each group is given its own group calculator -

File:Summary-calculator-jobs-dispersed.png

If you wish to use more or less groups, simply resize the window to increase or decrease the amount of group calculators.

We can now round up to the next 15 minute interval by clicking on the "Round" button on each group, or by clicking on "Round all" -

File:Summary-calculator-jobs-rounded-up.png

By using the + button here we can add a 15 minute task to add to the total time. In the 2nd grouping, we've added 4 tasks of 15 minutes each by clicking on the + button 4 times -

File:Summary-calculator-using-the-add-button.png

Changing Settings

You can configure various options in TinyTracker by pressing the F1 key from the main form -

File:Help.jpg

Then click on the Settings button -

File:Helpsettings.jpg

Minimised colour - The colour of the form when minimised.
Show time in main form/when minimised - Shows how much time has elapsed for the current task for the day.
Max minutes before creating a new line in output fileBy default it's set to 15 minutes, which means TinyTracker will create a new line in the output file after every 15 minutes of tracking the same task
Summary - Last X days - Allows you to set how many days to skip by in the Summary form - File:Lastxdays.jpg
Path - Location of all the output csv files. It will also contain a folder called CustomFunctions which is where you can install custom functionality for TinyTracker. By default it's set to the "Default path location" which you can click on to browse to.
Working minutes per day - Used in the summary and summary calculator forms to determine how much time is left in the working day.
Summary Calculator - add task minutes - How many minutes to add when pressing the "+" button in the Summary calculator.
Summary Calculator - rounding minutes - How many minutes to round up by. Setting this to a negative number will make it round down instead.
Summary calculator rows/columnsHow many rows/columns of calculators that appear when the summary calculatior is first opened.
Global hotkey to gain focusShortcut key to use to give focus to TinyTracker from Windows. Win+A is recommended. Changing this setting requires a restart to take effect.
Default path location- The path that is used to store all your csv files when the "Path" value isn't set.