I really enjoy time tracking threads on HN, the domain is straightforward enough for every time there to be an absolutely different set off tools and approaches, without major incumbents dominating the field. The discussions always inspire me to think about my time tracking tool - https://github.com/Klaster1/timer-5 - in a different light and seek inspiration from others.
Feedback for the landing page:

Specify up front what it is, including what it is for. I don't recognize the UI in the animated screenshots. Does it require some special OS? Some special software for which it is a plugin? Is it a plugin for some other software?

The pitch at the top just says it's a csv based time recorder. But then it says "Just enter tsr [foo]" - but where? First I thought a shell. Then I thought the VSCode command palette.

I learned near the end that it's usable with both Alfred and Raycast but I don't know what those are either. And there is talk about Finder (Which I know is an OS X thing). This is a clue that I might not be able to use it - maybe I'm on the wrong OS?

My guess after studying the page is that it's a plugin for "Launchers" (is that a thing?) running under OS X, namely launchers "Alfred" and "Raycast"?` Perhaps a paragraph like that could be used up top?

I get the intention. The challenge for me is that I don’t have any notion of flicking from one task to another, so I’d install this and guaranteed use it once, maybe twice. Then poof, I’ve forgotten all about it and I’d rediscover it next time you post on HN.
I would like a physical timer with a keep-alive button.

You can start the timer and it will count up. Every 15 minutes or so a bright and noticeable LED will light up. If I push the button the LED turns off and the timer continues. If I don't push the button the timer pauses. I have 5 minutes to push the button. (When the timer pauses it subtracts half the time since I last pushed the button.)

And make it a big clicky arcade-cabinet style button that is fun and easy to push.

Also built something slightly similar - without the need to interact https://github.com/frans-fuerst/track Works on Linux with XOrg and Windows only unfortunately..
I like the demo. I also like very much that you try to keep the features down to a minimum as you write:

I tried a few other tools over the years, but the number of features they offer often distracted me from using it efficiently, making time tracking an effort on its own.

While tsr may not have an extensive list of features, it has proven to be effective for my needs, and I believe it may also benefit others in similar situations.

In that vein I wouldn't add any new features and seriously consider removing tsn.

This is how I track the time I spent on projects by analyzing the window titles.

1. Create a list of product names and folder names for each client.

2. Change settings of applications/window manager to include more details in window title.

3. Log every window I interact with.

4. If I don't open a window including one of the keywords in the title for x minutes I stop the counter.

I would recommend looking into org-mode for task-based time tracking and documentation (probably using org-capture), it's one of the basic use cases.
Cool! I used to have my own back in 2005/2006 I remember. Mine was written in AHK and worked by periodically asking me what I was doing.

Since then I switched to Manic Time which just logs the open application and window title. (In the free version, more features in the paid version which I use now even if the free version is really good.)

The benefit of your approach and my AHK script is it encourages thinking about how one uses the time during the day and not only towards the end of the week when the timesheets are due.

I did something similar as an AutoHotkey[1] script on Windows[2].

I just hit Win+N, a small window appears, I write a line of text, hit enter and it gets saved to the quicklog.txt.

[1] https://www.autohotkey.com/

[2] https://gist.github.com/knagy/4cdb5af48e23a6b33299d3f2fb2d4f...

edit: replaced the inline code with a Gist link

Looks really cool Appreciate the gifs you created to demonstrate how it functions. I'm looking forward to use it with the Windows launcher once you adapt it.
Question: why? I read your post and the readme, but I still don’t know. Perhaps some background?

I’m unfamiliar with both Alfred and Raycast, and while a quick search tells me they are application launchers, that of itself tells me little, since I do not use any and don’t know what problem they solve.

Since I’ve been using Mac OS for many years, I’m guessing it’s a problem I don’t have or don’t know that I have.


I use ActivityWatch which has a browser and vs code plugin and it just tracks what i do by itself in the background. As soon as I spend a second having to do something with the time tracking software that is a second lost. It should be passive and in the background. It's by no means perfect and sometimes buggy.. but works for me.
Nice one! I made something somewhat related a while back... I still use it.


There is nothing like solving your own problems.

I really like Tyme for time tracking. It works quite well for me, is dirt cheap, has a great UX across both my iphone and my macbook and gives me flexibility around start and end times so it's easy to keep it roughly accurate.

That said, I don't use it for detailed task observation. For example while writing this my "management" timer is running and this is definitely not managing my team. I use it for directionality more than anything else.

Great idea! I would use it without a second thought if this could take my notes and push them into the my Daily Obsidian note, along with timestamps. :D
I don’t know what Alfred and Raycast are but if I could type it at the command line then makes sense to me and is useful.
Anyone also using Timewarrior? It's FOSS, command-line and also dead simple.
Is there a launcher for Windows that can run this?
Is there a way to pause/end a task?