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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.

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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 March 25, 2020

How to Type Faster: 12 Typing Tips and Techniques

How to Type Faster: 12 Typing Tips and Techniques

Typing is a lot of fun, especially if you’re the type of person who loves to write. Whenever an idea comes to your head or you just want to communicate something, the feeling of scribbling things down in a computer is awesome.

Do you know that being able to type faster makes you more productive? In fact, it’ll save you 21 days every year just by typing faster!

Many people look up to master typists and wish that to handle a keyboard like they do. The truth is that none of them started that way, and they had to learn.

In this piece, you’ll learn how to type faster with some useful tips and techniques:

1. Work on Your Workspace and Typing Area

A lot of people believe that fast and correct typing will start when you can master the keyboard. But the truth is, you will need to begin with getting a workspace that is clean, properly ventilated, and comfortable. Also, for optimal typing, you will need to get a table and not out your laptop or computer on your lap.

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If you will be working for an extended period, make sure that you’re comfortable.

2. Fix Your Posture

If you want to type well, the correct posture will be seated, straight backed, and with your feet planted a little apart, flat on the ground. You wrists should also be positioned in such a way that your fingers can cover the keyboard. Tilt your head a bit as you can look at the screen properly as well.

Adjust your office chair so you’ll be able to easily play with the seat and get a proper posture.

3. Hold Your Posture

It is also very important that you keep this position as you type. Ensure that your posture is good, and this way, you will be able to avoid getting aches on your wrists. These aches have a way of slowing you down and keeping you out of rhythm.

Keep your back and shoulders from hunching, and while relaxation should be your key goal as you work on, also be sure to stay upright.

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4. Familiarize Yourself with the Keyboard

The keyboard is your tool here, so you will need to get to know it. Fortunately for you, most keyboards that you see will make use of the same layout; the QWERTY layout. It is called that because of the letters that make the top left corner. You’ll also find that a lot of keyboards have keys around these main ones that do several tings.

Here’s a nice video to help you familiarize yourself with the keyboard:

So, work on memorizing the positions of the letter keys, as well as some of the most used punctuation marks. You will need to understand where they are without looking at the keyboard. This is the only way you can learn to type fast.

5. Close Your Eyes and Say the Keys out Loud as You Press Them

Another great way to get to know the positions of these letters is to look away from them and directly at the screen. Then, pronounce the keys as you press them and see if you’re correct. This step will go a long way in helping you to memorize the keys, and it can easily help you

6. Start Slowly with Touch-Typing

Improving your speed as you type is a matter of developing your skill over time. However, the quickest way to master typing will be touch typing. If this is your first time with touch typing, then you might spend a lot of time on this step. However, once you can type without looking at the keys, your speed will increase.

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Now, this typing method might feel a bit alien, but you’ll improve with time.

7. Stick with It and Don’t Look at Your Hands

The whole essence of this step is to keep you from looking at your keyboard as you type, so that your fingers are made to learn how the keys work.

Again, you might find that your speed reduces when you begin, but just stick to it. Touch typing will help you to reach higher speeds and master it.

8. Practice, Practice, Practice

Mastering the touch typing technique will prove to be a bit finicky, but once your posture is up and you get your fingers where they should be, you can only improve by practicing.

Spare some time on a daily basis to practice and master both accuracy and speed. With continuous practice, you will also notice that you make fewer errors with time.

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9. Check out Some Online Games

There are also some websites that can help you with your practicing. They score you and record your words per minute, so you can try improving your record and competing with others as well. Here’re some of the nice sites:

10. Dictation Practice

If you don’t know what you can type, another alternative to getting good practice is to listen to something and try to type as you hear the words. There is no limit to the kind of things you can type, and you can even make the practice process more fun. So, get an e-book, an online lecture, or listen to a talk show and type. You could watch a TV show as well.

11. Monitor Your Progress

Ensure that you keep track of the progress you make as you go on. But it is important that you don’t get obsessed with how many words you are able to type in a minute. Rather, ensure that you stay comfortable while you type. With time, your words per minute will increase, and you’ll be able to clock up some high numbers.

12. Get Some Formal Training If You Want

There are actually a lot of specially designed courses and programs that will boost your typing ability. If you’re willing to improve your skill, get any of these and see how well they work for you:

Don’t just finish reading this article and expect that you’ll type faster. You do need to work on your skills. It takes time to type fast but, practice makes perfect!

More Tips About Typing Faster

Featured photo credit: Cytonn Photography via unsplash.com

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