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Lifehack App Review: aTimeLogger for iPhone

Lifehack App Review: aTimeLogger for iPhone

Keeping track of your time and the things that you do with it is one of the foundations of being productive. It’s always good to take a look back at your day, week, month, or year and see exactly where your time went to make sure that you are giving your attention to the right things.

aTimeLogger is a free application for the iPhone “for tracking your everyday activities.” Let’s take a look at what aTimeLogger has to offer for time tracking your life.

Design

aTimeLogger has a decent design setup with a grid of buttons for launching activities so you can start timing them quickly as well as a tabbed navigation for viewing activities, logs, categories, reports, and more settings. The background is set to a “chill” theme which is basically a cold looking stone background and with dark accents around the app, but you can simply change this by going to More > Settings > Other > Theme and picking something more to your liking.

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With aTimeLogger you can add a time log by simply clicking the button for the log you want to create (like “Work”, “Transport”, “Eat”, etc.), the app will notify you that it’s starting the log (which can actually be turned off in settings) and the timer will start at the top of the screen. The developers made a good decisions to put a “plus” button at the top right of the Activities screen so you could report your own custom log in case you didn’t use aTimerLogger to track it. You can then choose which Activity you want to associate with it.

The Log screen allows you to see your time logs by day, week, or month in either a list form or a handy graph. The graph isn’t too important at first, but once you get a lot of logs in there and become obsessive with the app (like me) then the pie graphs are a great way to look at how your time is spent.

The design of the categories screen is a little clunky and isn’t necessarily apparent what you can do from here. Basically this screen is used for creating, editing, and organizing your groups and activities. You can have groups of groups and a bunch of activities in each group. You can then use the groups for report making and viewing.

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Features

aTimeLogger gives the user the ability to create, what appears to be, unlimited number of activities to track, unlimited groups to put these activities in, view logs by day, week, month and get reports on each of your activities or entire groups. You can also export your reports to CSV or HTML for using them on your computer for other purposes.

With aTimeLogger you can import your own custom icons for activities, although the stock offering is pretty great actually. You can also track multiple things at once, say if you are driving to work and listening to a podcast you can track a “Transportation” and “Entertainment” activity.

In the settings for aTimeLogger you can turn turn on quick add and turn off warnings for starting new activities when one is already running. This is a really nice feature as the little popups tend to get annoying after the first one. You can turn off auto-lock of your phone so the interface will stay open when you are in the app. For log settings you can change the view of the logs like turning on multi-line comments, turn on whether your logs are grouped or just a flat list, and in the pie chart you can toggle showing unlogged time.

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aTimerLogger allows you to backup and restore your logs with iTunes File Sharing.

What’s good

The thing that I like the most about aTimeLogger is its ease of use. To start logging some time it’s as easy as starting the app and tapping an activity button. Also, looking at your log history is simple and self explanatory too, just go to the list and see your data. There isn’t a lot of cruft in the app and the developers made sure that aTimerLogger was approachable for anyone that wanted to start tracking their time.

I love that you can also export your reports in CSV so data crunching side can have access to the numbers for even more detailed reports.

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What’s not so good

The biggest thing I can’t stand about aTimeLogger is no automated backup of your data; you still have to plug your phone into iTunes and sync it with File Sharing. A simple Dropbox or iCloud integration would fix this pain point.

Also, it would be nice if there was some sort of notification that you could setup that would allow the app to notify you that a log as been running for a certain amount of time. I sometimes forget that logs are running and don’t stop them in time. At the very least you can manually edit the time lapse of your log.

More by this author

CM Smith

A technologist and writer who shares advice on personal productivity, creativity and how to use technology to get things done.

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Last Updated on October 16, 2019

11 Meeting Scheduler Apps to Boost Your Productivity

11 Meeting Scheduler Apps to Boost Your Productivity

Automations are key to improving efficiency. Set the system up right from the beginning and you’ll reduce the amount of no-shows and cancellations.

Whatever your business is, with automations, meeting scheduler apps do more than just streamline appointment setting. They prime your workflow for maximum results.

Meeting scheduler apps are awesome if you use them right. Use them wrong and you can look like an arrogant elitist.

In this article, I will share with you 11 great meeting scheduler apps you can start using today to boost your productivity.

1. ScheduleOnce

    ScheduleOnce is an industry leader and robust solution. Whether you work alone or have a large team, ScheduleOnce can support you.

    ScheduleOnce allows you to create multiple users and multiple calendars. I use one calendar for booking podcast guests with automations set up to prep my guests for our interview. I use another calendar for strategy sessions and coaching calls.

    ScheduleOnce also has embeddable widgets so you can keep the scheduler inside your own website.

    Starting at $7 a month and a 14 day free trial, ScheduleOnce can fit a variety of needs in business.

    Available on Web

    2. Calendly

      Calendly stands out for its clean, easy to use interface. If you like clean design, Calendly might be your choice. It too has robust automations and integrations for individuals and teams alike.

      You can try Calendly free for 14 days. Their basic plan is free while their most robust plan is only $12 a month.

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      Available on Web | Google Chrome Extension

      3. Assistant.to

        For those who use gmail, Assistant.to is a super simple solution.

        From inside an email, you click on the Assistant.to icon and pick times your free. Assistant.to embeds the times directly into the email so the recipient can quickly pick a time that works for them.

        While it doesn’t have all the bells and whistles of apps like Calendly or ScheduleOnce, Assistant.to is completely free.

        Available on Web

        4. Acuityscheduling

          Acuity is a robust meeting scheduler very similar to ScheduleOnce. It integrates with CRMs, Email Marketing platforms, Analytics tools and accounting software.

          It comes with a 14 day free trial. They have a free solo account but if you want the benefit of the integrations, you’ll start as low as $15 a month and can cost up to $50 a month.

          Available on Web | iOS | Android

          5. Pick

            Built for simplicity, Pick is direct and easy to use. You can create your own url extension like pick.co/yournamehere and it integrates with Google calendar and Office 365.

            At $3 a month, this is a great tool for quick scheduling.

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            Available on Web

            6. X.ai

              For those who are early adopters of AI, this may be the solution for you. X.ai created two AI assistants they call Amy and Andrew Ingram. After setting up your account you simply CC them on your emails with the person you’re wanting to schedule and the AI assistants will email your guests from there until your appointment is set.

              This type of scheduler feels more personal because of the dialogue. There are stories on their site of people thinking Amy and Andrew are real people. X.ai integrates with Google, Office 365 and Outlook.

              Starting at $29 a month for an Individual account and $39 a month per user for a Team account, Amy and Andrew are ready to schedule meetings for you. Want to try it out first? They do have a free trial.

              Available on Web

              7. YouCanBook.me

                is another competitive solution for scheduling meetings online. You can manage the calendars of your entire team, configure booking forms, and integrate with your calendar.

                They have a free account branded with their company name or you can have some control over your branding and appearance at $10 a month for all their features. Either way, this company is worth a look.

                Available on Web

                8. Doodle

                  Doodle is unique in the space of meeting schedulers because it helps groups of people find a time to meet that works for everyone.

                  It integrates with your calendar and allows you to send a poll to all invited. Once people vote on the poll you can see which time works best for everyone.

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                  You can also run polls for food preferences if you’re scheduling a lunch meeting or a section of town if people are coming from all over.

                  While there is a free account, you’ll unlock it’s potential starting at $39 per year.

                  Available on Web | iOS | Android

                  9. WhenAvailable

                    WhenAvailable is another scheduler that works for groups of people. You can use it to schedule a pickup game of basketball, decide on your next book club or book your family reunion.

                    Their free account allows up to 20 guests, unlimited events and one contact group. For $15 a year you unlock all the goodies including reminders and chat messages.

                    Available on Web

                    10. Rally

                      Like Doodle and WhenAvailable, Rallly is helpful for scheduling meetings and events with multiple people involved. You create a poll and everyone votes. It’s quick and easy.

                      Unlike Doodle, it doesn’t have as many features, but it’s entirely free.

                      Available on Web

                      11. NeedtoMeet

                        Finishing strong, NeedtoMeet is our last app that allows you to schedule meetings or events for multiple people. It has mobile apps, custom urls, easy polling, notifications and commenting.

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                        NeedtoMeet also allows 1:1 Meetings for things like performance reviews for your whole team. You send out the your calendar slots to your team and they can only pick 1 slot, minimizing the amount of emails and scheduling you have to coordinate.

                        While they have a free account, you can unlock all features for only $19 a year.

                        Available on Web

                        Bonus: Don’t Make These Common Mistakes When Using Meeting Schedulers

                        In the excitement of streamlining your scheduling process, it can be easy to forget the feelings of those you’re inviting to meet. I know. I’ve done this.

                        To say “Hey, schedule time on my calendar” feels colder than “Hey, here’s my calendar. To avoid all the back and forth, pick a time that works best for you.”

                        Always make sure to frame your invite with your scheduler app with the benefit to them and why we’re doing it this way rather than the old fashioned, personal way.

                        A little finesse goes a long way. Without it, you risk seeming transactional and cold.

                        Some meeting scheduler widgets you can embed in your site can take a couple seconds to load. If you go this route, make sure there’s text just above the widget that lets your guest know the calendar will appear below and to wait for it to load.

                        If you use an online meeting tool like Zoom, it’s also important to explicitly let them know the meeting will take place on Zoom and include the Zoom link in the email reminder. Many make the mistake of not clarifying where the meeting will actually take place which can create last minute chaos at the time of the meeting.

                        Should you require special settings, like ethernet, external mics or lighting, let your guests know that on your thank you page and reminder emails so they are prepared for the meeting and you end up with the best meeting possible.

                        With clear communication in your automation, your meeting scheduler tools can almost perform like a virtual assistant for a fraction of the cost, or free, depending on the app you choose.

                        The Bottom Line

                        Meeting scheduler apps are diverse in features and unique in design. Before committing to one and realizing it’s not a fit, I recommend exploring which 3 might best fit you and then doing a trial with each of them at the same time so that you can see how they feel as you use them side by side.

                        Scheduling meetings the old fashioned way can be tedious. Conversely, finding a scheduling app that works seamlessly in the background is heavenly.

                        Like cell phones, meeting scheduler apps are moving from a nice-to-have luxury to must-have necessity in the lives of productive people. As you explore your options, stay true to your brand and the tools that have worked well for you to this point and simply find a meeting scheduler app that plays well with what you have created.

                        Featured photo credit: rawpixel via unsplash.com

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