To manage your money well, you must know how much you spent every month, even every day. Similarly, to manage you time well, you have to know how you are using it. After trying time tracker from online to offline tools, from free to paid apps, I spent years to develop a spreadsheet works that is simple but works like a charm.
Just watch this Time Tracker in action
In short, this time tracker will help you record the time that you used daily, then give you a bird view of how you use it monthly in colorful tables and graphs. Based on the results, you can adjust the way you are using your time for more effectively. You can also use it as a habit tracker tool if you want.
How to use this Time Tracker Spreadsheet
There are three sheets in this time tracker spreadsheet.
- Sheet Rec – Here you can fill your daily tasks and the amount of time that you spent
- Sheet Rep – Report tables with colorful graphs help you see how effective you spent your time
- Sheet Data – For editing the Tags and Prior System for better tracking your tasks
Time Tracker Sheet 1 – Record Sheet
You can use this sheet as a time tracker in the past, or in present. Each row is a task:
Month : Enter this month in numeric format, 1 to 12
Date: Enter the date of today in numeric format, 1 to 31
Task : What you have done? Giving each task a name is a good habit in time management skill.
Prior : I use ABCDE method of Brian Tracy, you can change to other system in the Data Sheet.
- A – Action Now: Something you must do, very urgent
- B – Big dream: Something important, but you can choose to do now or later
- C – Vitamin C: Something that is nice to do. eg. your hobbies, listening to music, surfing websites…
- D – Delegate: something you should delegate to someone else, but you did it yourself.
- E – Eliminate: It was wasted time, you should not do it in the future
Tag: Keywords used for tracking the tasks in the Report sheet. You can replace Tag1, Tag2… in the Data Sheet. Here is the Tags I used in my Time Tracker Spreadsheet.
- Blog: writing blog or fixing something on my blog
- Edu: reading, watching something to improve myself
- Book: writing my next books
- Pro: creating something creative to sell in the future
- Plan : time for planning ^^!
- Play: watching movies, time for hobbies…
- Heal : related to health, jogging, meditation…
- Other: other things to do…
Start : The time you start the task, in hh:mm format. Eg. 17:00
End : The time that you finish the task, in hh:mm format
Long: If you filled both the start and end cell then, this time tracker will automatically calculate the amount of time you spent for that tasks in minutes. If not, just fill in the amount of time that you spent for the task here.
Time Tracker Sheet 2 – Report Sheet
The Tag Report Area
Looks colorful and a bit complex, right? But it’s very simple and useful.
The number 12 in A2: is the recent month. YIf you want to see the results of past months, just write the number in A3. The default value in A3 is Zero, meant this tool will automatically show you results of recent month.
Tag: It’s the heart of this tool. Tag is the keyword that help you recognize the task or activity that you are tracking. You can edit the Tag Name on Data Sheet. But keep in mind that you shouldn’t change it too often, because it will only automatically change in the REP sheet, not REC sheet.
Limit (minutes) : At the begin of each month, you should decide how much time you will spend for each activity or task, then write them in column B. Then this tool will track how much time you spent for that Tag each day (in percentage)
Today Limit: Show you how much time left for that Tag Today (in minutes)
Month Limit: Show you how much time left for that Tag this month (in hours)
The percentages and color: This is the amount of your time spent on that tag compared to the maximum time you spent for it. The cell color will change followed by the value. Green is good, other colors are warning signs (too much, or too little)
Effective : It will calculate all the cells with the percentages below 150% in the collumn and let you know the average.
The Prior Report Area
After filling the record sheet with some tasks, you will see how much time you spent on each type. Spending so much time on A will make you stress, spending too much time on C will make you lazy. Try to find a balance. My balanced rate is B 40% :A 40% : C 20%
You can see the 78%, I call this the “know your time rate”. Assume that we spend 12 hours sleeping, bathing, moving and other personal things. So there are 12 hours you can spend doing useful things.
The formula here is (A+B+C)/12*100%. If that result is high, you are managing your time well. The low result shows that there is too much ineffective use of your time (the guide here is try to reduce D & E time).
If you use other system, just change A, B, C, D, E to something you like in the DATA sheet.
Some tips to use this time tracker spreadsheet
1. Know your spent time from the beginning
For each task, if you have not filled in the “end” or “length” column, this tool understands that you are working on this. It will automatically calculate the time from the beginning.
2. Automatically startup with default tab
Time tracker is essential key to success in time management. To remind yourself do it everyday, just make this the default tab of your web browser when it opens.
3. Focus on important tags :
With this tool, you can track every minute you spent on every task. But my advice is thath you should only keep track of important tasks then ignore some tasks like sleeping, bathing, brushing my teeth…
For example, I need to improve my english. So the tag “Eng” is very important. If you want to reduce time on facebook, try a tag name “face” and set the time limit to 60 minute a day. If you spent 120 hours on facebook, the cell will be coloured as black.
How to get this Time Tracker spreadsheet
Just leave your email below, then I will send you direct link to download this template that help you become the time-master of yourself. Please note that I hate spam, too.
Consistency is key in time tracker
To me, a day with red tags is not a problem. But a day with white tags is a problem. White means you did not spend time on that tag. Red, you spent a little time. Remember, a man who exercises each day for 1 minute over a consecutive period of 365 days, will definitely become stronger than a man who exercises for 365 minutes for just one day. So be consistent!