How to Track Time and Billable Hours With a Chromebook

Dave Greenbaum

If you bill your time to other people when using a Chromebook, you need to track it to create an accurate bill. Sometimes you want to be accountable to yourself. Trackers help you answer “Where has my day gone?” I always recommend a timer for students to track study habits. Lots of online services and apps are out there, but on a Chromebook you may need to track your time offline. Here’s a roundup of some great time trackers.

If you are offline, you don't need the sun to track your time. Photo by Clint__Budd - http://flic.kr/p/nQHnoE
If you are offline, you don’t need the sun to track your time| Clint__Budd

Time Doser

Time Doser is a countdown timer. You tell it how long you want to work and how many breaks you want to take. It then starts the timer and notifies you when it’s time to stop. You can’t specify the type of task or export the data. Time Doser is a great offline app when you need to work on something and stay focused. It’s the ideal Pomodoro-style timer for a Chromebook.

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It won’t help you track billable hours for multiple clients. For students though, this is a simple way to keep on track with your studying. It’s also the only app that can remind you to take breaks.

Need a dedicated Pomodoro timer? Try Pomodoro Timer. It works offline as well.

Task Timer

Task Timer is a Chrome app that lets you set a goal for a task. Once you set that goal, it counts down until the clock runs out. It’s not pretty or slick, but it gets the job done. You name your task, put in a goal of how many hours and minutes, and then you start the task. If you select Indefinite, then the task continues until you pause it.

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tasktimer

Task Timer won’t sync with your Google account or another device. The information stays local to your Chromebook. If privacy is a concern, this app has you covered. If you need to export it or backup your information, it lets you Export tasks as a CSV file. Any spreadsheet program will open that file.

If you only have a few tasks and only do them on your Chromebook, this app is a good place to start.

Got An Exam Coming Up? Your Chromebook is a great studying tool with some of these apps.

Timer by Timer-Tab

Timer lets you configure multiple types of timers. Your three choices are Countdown, Alarm Clock and Stopwatch. With a Countdown timer, you tell the app how long you want to work on something. The Alarm Clock lets you know when it’s a specific time. The Stopwatch tracks the total time.

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Timer isn’t much better than using an app on your phone, but keeping your phone around is a distraction. This Chrome offline app is a handy offline alternative.

Want More Tools for Students: Check out other online tools for students.

Progress Bar Timer

Progress Bar Timer doesn’t have a stopwatch-style function to track your time. Instead, you set how long you want to work on a task and the app tracks that for you. If you want to spend no more than two hours on a project, then go to Add bar and select Time for your progress bar type. When you’re ready, select start and the app starts counting down.

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What I like about this app is it lets you have multiple bars. That’s good if you want to study for 4 hours, get 1 hour in for each subject and give yourself four 15 minute breaks. This app will track all those tasks at once. You can then pause one subject, start your break, and start on the next subject.

This application will export your data to JSON format and let you import. That’s great for syncing between devices. Since it’s a Chrome extension, you could run it on a Mac or PC to keep your data in sync.

TrackingTime

TrackingTime is the ultimate time tracking tool on the Chromebook. It’s unique feature is it syncs via the cloud to an iOS or Android app. You’ll always have tracking available to you. It works offline and then syncs up the data when you get back online.

You’ll need to configure TrackingTime for each task and project. When you add a task, you’ll need to set a project it’s associated with. In this example, I added Writing as the Task Name and Guiding Tech as the project. You can put your custom information in these fields. I can put in a due date and an estimate of how much time the project should take. That’s good if you need to keep within an estimate you gave the client.

trackingtime

Once you configure what to track, the app runs in the background and even warns if you forget to track a task. After you get a few tasks in, it gives you an overview of how you spent your day. It also creates a report that you can present to a client or manager. That data is exportable to a .csv file. If you forget to open the app, it lets you put in a manual entry.
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For an offline app, it’s pretty powerful!

However you track your time, these offline apps have you covered when you use your Chromebook.

Also See
#chromebook #offline

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Dave Greenbaum

Written By

Dave Greenbaum

I have a passion for helping people make technology work.

For my day job, I own a computer repair business in Lawrence, Kansas. Drawing on my support background, I focus on practical technology from the user perspective. I enjoy it all: Android, Chrome OS, iOS, MacOS, Windows and everything in between.