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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 December 18, 2020

Can Technology have Biases Like Humans?

Can Technology have Biases Like Humans?

Technology has taken a vantage leap in providing solutions for man. Before now, technology used to appear complex and would require a great deal of expertise to handle solutions available. Today, we have technology applicable in the simplest human activities as smart products with intelligent algorithms powering them as they make error-free judgments and provide intelligent and analytic solutions.

Does technology have all the answers?

This article from Credit Suisse, tells us that technology does not have all the answers because it has been found to exhibit “similar biases,” as humans. No one can discredit the impact of technology, but it is not totally free of human input and this is the reason we experience these biases in many areas we have technology holding foot.

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Creating technological solutions transparently

This article suggests that the process of creating technological solutions be made transparent and subject to contribution from many people who would end up as users of the product – male, female, young, old, learned, unlearned and all other preferences as we have them. It also underscores the importance of having women on product development teams. This approach is not sure to eliminate all forms of bias, but it is a good way to start in order to appraise the full benefits of technology.

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Technology as the connecting tool

Technology so far has been a major connecting tool amongst us humans. It is used and appreciated by all regardless of race, language and sex. In order to keep it less subjective to these arguments about human biases. I believe we should gather opinions on products and solutions before making them available to the public. This could be done by gathering input from intended target users and receiving feedback across the stages of production.

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“Recognizing the problem is a start…success will depend on inclusive technologies that meet this vast untapped market.” This cannot be more apt especially at a time when we look up to technology for solutions. We should not muzzle our progress with technology by battling algorithm bias. The first way to avoid this battle is by reading this article here.

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