Tuesday, 26 February 2013

The idea of a daily time cutter UI

It's either faith or satan - but usually if you're working you have to make reports. It really makes sense, I see the reason of course, but hate it too. All the complex idea that I managed to build up in head is destined for fading out under fragment of a second - when I need to think about how much time I've spent on what.
It shouldn't be too hard, but it is. Being precise and philosophical seems to be a bad behavior when you have to define your work. Was that really work or just preparation. Was that your fault or is that because the system is broken. Shall you  report the 10 minute you spent helping your co-worker? Or the 5 minute you were watching Beyonce?

And that's nothing. The illusion - or rather distorsion of the time and what you feel in your mind. Ah, horrible. So I was thinking what would be the right way to figure out what happened really on a day. The very first thing: you don't want to do that during work. That's highly distractive. It has to be visual - being a visual person I have more accuracy to estimate my time intervals than writing time values. It has to be flexible. I should able to adjust times.

So I came out with this concept:

You start with an empty page and empty daily time bar - where by clicking on a specific position you can add a divider:

All dividers are draggable. Having the full width bar with dividers could clearly represent the time you spent on something. You can adjust the start and finish times as well. When you add a divider you can name the new regions by the name of the work you did in that interval:

So slowly you can populate your report. When it's ready you can just open your time manager app and file the spent time values.

I've opened a repository on GitHub and probably write some words about it when it's testable.

As an extra - haha - yeah it's an even older idea - so imagine there would be an autocompete when filling out the task name. Sourced by feeds from your Jira, Harvest, Redmine or whatever. And with a single click you could import your report. Well, first let's make the UI stable.


Any idea is welcomed regarding the daily-report-cutter.



  1. Awesome idea Peter! I could totally imagine it as a browser extension, so that when I report my time in Harvest, I can use this slick UI and then it automatically fills out my time report for the day.

  2. Hi Balint, thank you so much :) The UI is almost ready. I had a few minutes yesterday and added the labels and positioning. It's Drupalcamp weekend but let's see if I can add some integration code.