Nov 17, 2020 The most powerful time tracking apps offer dashboards and reports that let you break out daily, weekly, or monthly time spent per project, per person, or per client. The ability to create an invoice or export data. Once you aggregate all your time spent on your work, you have to be able to take action on it. Best Time Tracking Tool for Outsourcing Marketing Tasks. This free time tracking app does more than just track business and marketing objectives – it let’s you track your entire life, with a simple iPhone app. At the end of each day, ATracker builds a report that shows how you spent your day.
“How satisfied are you with your physical health in the past four weeks?”. Knowing how a patient is feeling, what their symptoms are, and if they experienced any changes is often essential information to healthcare professions and clinicians alike. The use of patient diaries, or symptom trackers, can offer valuable insight into any range of symptoms and assist in making more informed decisions about a diagnosis or treatment based or recognise symptom fluctuations accompanying a new drug.
Depending on the clinicians or the research, self-reported questions on symptom tracking can vary immensely both in detail and time. Doctors will frequently ask their patients to keep a diary for recent health events, such as pain, fatigue and quality of life over the last 24 hours, the previous week, or the last month. The timeline of these symptoms can be analysed together with new treatment regimens or lifestyle modifications to gain valuable insight into a patient’s response.
So what are our options for symptom trackers? How can we also promote self-management from the patient’s side to take more charge of their health? In the past, we have relied on pen, paper, and a good memory. The downsides to these diaries and methods however often lead to low adherence, misplacement, and time consuming analysis. By shifting these diaries to the small buzzing electrical devices we all carry in our pocket, we can remind patients to answer at predefined times, we can create backups of the data, and instantly analyse it.
What is a digital symptom tracker?
A digital symptom tracker is a computer software that allows a person or patient to self-report medical events and track what they felt and when it happened.
Traditionally patients have used paper booklets to track their symptoms. Paper logs have many upsides, they work anywhere, don’t require extra devices (beyond a pen), and they never run out of batteries. But this also means they can be misplaced or lost anywhere, without a backup, and the processing of paper diaries and notes also has its obstacles ; interpreting handwriting can lead to mistakes and data analysis is not instant.
To cope with the challenges of pen and paper data collection doctors and researchers have been using digital symptom trackers for decades.
With the advent of the smartphone, virtually anyone carries in their pocket a powerful note-taking device. App-based diaries ensure that entries can happen anywhere, anytime and can be coupled with push notifications to ensure measurements are not missed.
Key features to look for in a health journal app
1. Data protection
Data security is a crucial feature of these sorts of systems. Although any app with annotation or data collection capabilities may seem fit for tracking our health, there are essential data protection features that must be regarded when using a mobile app for tracking our health.
An example of the standard security features that a health journal app should have is passcode locking. If someone finds a smartphone with medical data, they should enter a passcode to unlock it, even if the smartphone has a general passcode enabled.
Also, the data should be stored locally encrypted. If the device is lost, this will mitigate the risk of someone gaining unlawful access to that data.
Clinicians and patients should look into what standards and regulations the mobile application they want to use complies with, such HIPAA, 21 CFR Part 11 (FDA) and Good Clinical Practice.
2. Data sharing and remote access
One of the benefits that a health journal app has over paper is the ability to visualize the data and share it with others quickly. Not all mobile apps store data in the cloud, some only locally.
Assure that you choose an app that is capable of providing remote access to the data and that even if the device would be lost, the data can be retrieved. If you are doing clinical research, check that the data can be exported in CSV or SPSS and with enough metadata that other researchers could possibly use it in the future.
3. Data collection versatility
Logging symptoms is all about capturing qualitative and quantitative data. In practice, this means creating a form with variables and fields. The complexity of your questionnaire will depend on the kind of data you want to collect. In some cases, advanced features might be required such as branching logic (a new page or question appears dependent on the answer of a previous one), automatic calculations, image and video capture.
Make sure the app you want to use will be able to handle the kind of symptom data you want to keep track of.
4. Reminders and push notifications
Making data collection a habit is no easy task, with the many distractions that patients have they will likely forget to enter data. Increasing engagement and adherence can be aided by push notification that remind a patient when to check their blood pressure or answer a set of questions on how they are feeling.
You want to get as much done as possible during your day (duh, right?), and productivity tracker apps can be just what you need to kick your motivation and focus into high gear.
There are tons of options out there, which can make it overwhelming to find a solution that works best for you.
We’ve pulled together some of our favorite productivity trackers—as well as some other helpful apps we think you should know about. Take a peek, download your favorites, and prepare to conquer that to-do list of yours!
Use These to Track Your Time…
It probably comes as little surprise that we’re big believers in the fact that time tracking can make your life easier. The first step in keeping a watchful eye on your time is to find a tracker that works best for you.
Here are six different ones that we think are well worth checking out.
1. Toggl Track
What it Does: Toggl Track is a simple to use time tracker which offers apps on almost ever platform. What sets Toggl apart from the others on this list is its ease of use—all it takes is the push of a button to start logging your time.
With just one click of a button, you start your timer—meaning you can spend more time actually getting work done, as opposed to figuring out how the app works. Toggl Track also offers powerful and flexible reporting and integrations with tons of different apps and tools you’re already using.
What it Costs: Toggl track is free for single users. For teams there is a 30-day free trial, with plans starting at $9 per user, per month (when billed annually).
What a Reviewer Says:“Toggl was the most helpful yet most unobtrusive time-tracking software we used and should fit the best into most people’s workflows, whatever apps, computers, or devices are used.” – NYTimes Wirecutter
What it Does: Another time tracker, Hours helps you to account for every hour of your day. You can keep a running list of different timers, and then switch between them on the fly—giving you a realistic breakdown of where your time went.
The visual timeline and reports empower you to look at how you utilized your time, and then make adjustments to become even more productive tomorrow.
What it Costs: Free
21 Day Fix Container Tracker
What a Reviewer Says:“This app has the right features to help you accurately track your time and take notes on what you were doing and for whom. You are also able to set the blocks of time you want to track by so if you charge your client in 15 min increments it will automatically track to those increments in a no worries way that allows you to focus on the job at hand.” – App Store Reviewer
What it Does: If you want to bring a little gamification to your time tracking efforts, you’ll love Forest. This app encourages you to stop getting distracted by your phone and focus on the task at hand.
You set a timer within the app, and you’re not allowed to check your phone during that time. A tree will grow during that time period—unless you exit the app to check something on your phone. At that point, the tree dies. Your goal is to build an entire forest (hence the name of the app). It’s a fun way to keep yourself focused!
What it Costs: $1.99
What a Reviewer Says:“This app is the best for those who need a little visual stimulation and extra incentive to stay productive. I truly hate exiting the app during a work session (thus killing my little sapling), and I get a lot of satisfaction from seeing my daily forest grow. The app has kept me from getting distracted by calls, texts, and web-browsing on many occasions.” – App Store Reviewer
4. Now Then
What it Does: Now Then is another helpful solution for people who want to track their time. From the option to create your own task list (rather than sticking with a structured template) to the flexibility to switch between tasks with ease, it’s a great option to keep a watchful eye on how you’re utilizing your hours.
What it Costs: Free for the basic version, with the Pro version available for $2.99.
What a Reviewer Says:“The app is just what I need for easy flipping between multiple projects that I have to account for for two different employers. It also makes it VERY simple and fast to correct the occasions I forget to flip the log to a different project. I generally hate logging my time and am always moving back and forth between work on many projects, the simple interface makes it effective for me.” – App Store Reviewer
What it Does: RescueTime isn’t just about tracking your time—it’s about understanding your time and improving your time management skills.
It runs in the background of your computer and mobile devices, tracks your time spent on various applications and websites, and then gives you a report that you can use to get a grasp on where your time went that day.
Chances are, you’ll identify plenty of ways that you could be more productive!
What it Costs: RescueTime Lite is free forever. RescueTime Premium costs $9 per month, or $72 per year (which gets you four months free!).
What a Reviewer Says:“RescueTime is an outstanding tool for anyone who wants to make the most of their time. Whether you’ve got a Twitter habit you need to kick or you just want insight into your habits, and time-management skills, this is the tool for you. RescueTime is a rare five-star product and one of the best productivity tools we’ve ever tested.” – Jill Duffy in her review for PCMag
What it Does: Momentum bills itself as a habit tracker and—while it can help you track time spent on tasks—it’s primarily focused on helping you build healthy time management habits. It’s based on the “don’t break the chain” principle of habit formation.
Every day that you complete a desirable habit, the chain grows longer. It’s an intuitive and motivating way to stick to those new routines and behaviors you want to implement.
What it Costs: Free
What a Reviewer Says:“I hate the stereotype of moms never taking care of themselves or sacrificing themselves for their kids. I want to take care of myself, but I am so busy with work and taking care of kids I often forget about myself. This app helps me remember those little things and I have been able to reestablish the habits that make me ME! It has been fun to reclaim myself, even while taking care of the 1,000 other things that require my attention each day. And I am motivated by seeing how well I am doing with streaks, and even if I fail one day it is fun to see how many days I DID stay on track.” – App Store Reviewer
Use These to Make the Most of Your Time…
The above apps will help you track your time. But, when you’re keeping a close eye on how you’re spending those precious minutes, it also helps to use some tools that can make you even more efficient. Check out the below options to make the most of whatever time you have.
What it Does: If you’re always digging around trying to find your login credentials for a particular app or site, you need 1Password. Download the app and the browser extension, and you’ll gain access to whatever you need—all while only needing to remember your one master password.
What it Costs: Plans start at $2.99 per month when billed annually.
What a Reviewer Says:“I’ve had 1password since they were sold as individual licenses and from Day 1 it’s been the tool I rely on most heavily in my day to day tasks. I use it to store everything I might need to access to, from passwords to passport numbers. Form filling can be a bit spotty depending on the occasion and the 1browser could use more thinking through to be truly functional, but the ease of access and security can’t be beat.” – App Store Reviewer
What it Does: Are you someone who quickly falls into the black hole of the internet and spends hours perusing various articles and videos—when you should be working? With Pocket, you can save those gems for later. When you find something you want to come back to, put it in your Pocket. Then, it’ll be accessible on your phone, tablet, or computer—even without an internet connection.
What it Costs: Free, with a premium plan offered for $4.99 per month or $44.99 per year.
What a Reviewer Says:“If you don’t already use it, you’re missing out. It’s the most useful app there is and it keeps on improving. It allows you to save articles to read them later but it works with pretty much everything and has a ton of useful features. A must have!” – Google Play Reviewer
What it Does: With more and more people working remotely, it can be tough to keep track of what time zones your clients or team members are in—which makes it that much more challenging to schedule meetings. This is where Timezone comes in handy. The app allows you to keep track of where everybody is and what timezone they’re in. The app displays their photo and the time, making it totally painless to get a grasp on what time it is for everybody.
What it Costs: Free
What a Reviewer Says:“It’s really easy: you just set up as a team and send the link to everybody so they add their current location. After that, you can see where everybody is, what hour is it in their timezone, or what hour will it be.” – Remoters Reviewer
What it Does: Do you have all sorts of lists, sticky notes, and important reminder scattered across your desk and in your phone? It might seem like a good system, but it makes it challenging to find exactly what you need. Using Evernote can help you stay organized and on top of things. Put everything—from lists and images to audio files and even handwritten notes—within the app, and you’ll have easy access to those things whenever you need them. By the way, Evernote also integrates directly with Toggl Track!
What it Costs: The basic plan is free, with the premium plan priced at $69.99 per year.
What a Reviewer Says: “I can sync across multiple devices and am no longer afraid of losing my work. In the car and get an idea? Open evernote. Need to send a medical diary to my child’s doctor (he has evernote). Want to write articles for work or clip something to refer to later? Evernote. It’s been – I hate to say a “life-saver”…. but it’s pretty great.” – Google Play Reviewer
What it Does: Automation can save you time and the hassle involved in handling repetitive or menial tasks, and Zapier is one of the best solutions.
Using Zapier, you can link apps together to take care of your common actions. For example, you can set up a zap to automatically save any email attachments to Google Drive. Things will still get done—without you having to invest any of your own elbow grease. And, as an added bonus, Zapier also integrates with Toggl Track.
What it Costs: Free basic plan, with paid plans starting at $20 per month.
What a Reviewer Says:“Zapier integrates with most of the tools that we use, making it an ideal middle-man to automate many of our processes. The tool itself has a relatively easy learning curve, and you’ll be able to automate practically instantly when you start using it. It takes a whole lot of admin off our plate so we can focus on actually finding more ways to grow our business. The support staff are also great, they reply in reasonable time and can usually point you to the right solution for most of your problems.” – G2 Crowd Reviewer
Ready to Get More Done?
If you aren’t already tracking your time, we highly recommend you start doing so (although, fair warning: We might be just a bit biased).
Day Tracker App
There are plenty of great productivity trackers on the market and—while we’d love if you gave Toggl Track a try—ultimately it all comes down to finding something that works best for you and your own needs and workflows.
Take a look at the six time tracking solutions we’ve included above to figure out which one is a suitable fit for you. And, while you’re at it, check out some of the other productivity-related apps we’ve rounded up here.
That way, you won’t just track your time—you’ll actually make the most of it.