Free Download

Auto Timesheet - User Manual


Application overview

Description

Auto Timesheet logs the sites, files and applications you work with. The main purpose of the application is to gather information about the time a user spends on each application, website or file. The collected information can be used for personal time management, parental control, managerial control over the employees' time in an enterprise, timesheets, billing etc.

Autotimesheet registers all the applications running on the computer, when their windows are active, and logs the time of the activity.

Target audience:

  • Application Developers
  • Project Estimators
  • Sales Personnel
  • Technical Writers
  • Translators
  • RFP Bidders

Main features of the application:

  • Registering working time, thinking time (when the window is active, but there is no user activity) and total time spent with the application
  • Filtering of data by time range and other parameters
  • Flexible logging configuration (by window title, child window title, website URL, full or substring, etc.)
  • Assigning files, applications and websites into groups to summarize the time spent on them
  • Auto startup
  • Auto update
  • Export of collected data (HTML, CSV and Excel XML formats)

Security features:

  • Auto Timesheet does not send any information over the internet
  • All data is processed locally and reports are created right on your desktop
  • There is no need in an internet connection, web site or web hosting to host your data or create reports
  • The Contractor version of the Auto Timesheet is absolutely free and does not require any fee, license or subscription.
  • We do not gather your email address to download Auto Timesheet or its future upgrades

Visit the application's website

Please visit the application's website: http://autotimesheet.com
You can download the latest version of the application, read the latest news or ask questions.

Downloading and installing application. Starting work

Download the distribution file. Run the file to install the application. If the installation was successful, the application's icon will appear in the system tray (bottom right corner of your computer's desktop).

1

The application has been installed successfully and is now running on your computer.
Click the icon once, and the application window will open. It may be empty at first. Start any application or open a website. Then, return to the AutoTimesheet window and press the Refresh button. You should see a new project or a new group in the list (about projects and groups, please see the "Logging Projects" section).
If you closed the AutoTimesheet window, click the icon again to open it.
You will see a report of your time expenditures in the window that opens.

Logging projects

The term project for the purpose of this documentation is an entity (application or website) on which you spend time. Projects are by default put together into groups. You can organize projects into groups any way you like. For example, if your company uses Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook for marketing, you can put all three websites together in a group called Marketing, together with any Word documents for marketing campaign plans you write and project management software you use to manage marketing projects (in the common meaning of this word).

Autologging (Silent logging)

By default the application works in "auto-logging" mode. All the windows that become active get registered. The logged information can be edited later.

Autogrouping

To see groups, go to "Report" view (by clicking on the "Report" menu item in the menu bar).
The groups can be expanded, to view the projects that compose them, or collapsed, to view the total time spent on the projects from the group. A collapsed group has a "+" sign on the yellow icon in the leftmost column. Click on it to expand the group. The "+" sign will be replaced with a "-". Click on the icon again to collapse the group.

Initially projects are grouped by default. The visited URLs are grouped by the websites they belong to, and the files, by the applications used to process them.

1

1

You can assign projects to custom groups (see the Grouping section).

Project type

Spotting newly added projects

All the projects when they are first logged have a type of "Undefined" by default (the application logs them by default and will continue to log them until you change settings). You can change the "Undefined" ("U") type to "Normal" ("N") (the projects will continue to be logged unless you specify otherwise, see the next section). The "Undefined" setting has a sole purpose of distinguishing the projects whose settings you viewed (and possibly edited) from those entered automatically by the application and not viewed yet. Please see the next section for the description of steps to change the project type.

Tip: Sort the projects by type by clicking on the "Type" ("T") column header in the Projects view.

Marking projects to be ignored

If you don't want a particular project to be logged, change its type to "Ignore". The projects with the type of "Ignore" are not logged. When you want the project to be logged again, change its type back to "Normal" (only in Projects form).
To change the project type:

  • Go to the Projects view (click the Projects menu item in the menu bar on top of the application window)
  • Right-click a project to highlight it and select "Edit project" from the context menu.
  • In the dialog box that appears, select the required project type from the dropdown list.
  • Press "Save".

1

Setting up the new project's logging parameters as soon as it appears (training mode)

By default, the application does not display any messages when a new project appears and is added to the log. In this case, the default settings are used, and you can change the logged information later.
If you want to set up the project's logging parameters for each project before it is added to the log for the first time, enable the training mode.
To do that, select the Tools -> Enable Training Mode menu item.
If there is a Disable Training Mode menu item in the Tools menuthis means that the training mode is already enabled.
When the training mode is enabled, a project settings dialog box appears every time before a new project is added. Update the project settings in the Edit Data form that you see on the illustration above (see the "Setting up logging rules for a particular project" section for explanation of project settings) and click Save.

Then, every time a new project is about to be logged, the Add Data Form appears:

1

You can change any settings (except for Application path) or accept the existing settings.
You can also choose for the project to be ignored (by pressing Add to Ignore button) or make it temporary, so the project is logged but this data is not stored after the application shuts down.
For the explanation of other settings, please see the "Setting up logging rules for a particular project" section below.

Grouping

Initially the projects are grouped by default. The visited URLs are grouped by websites they belong to, and the files, by the applications used to process them. You can create custom groups and add projects to them.
To assign a project to a group, go to Projects view (by clicking the Projects menu item), right-click a project and select "Add project to a group".
In the list of groups that appears, select an existing group and press "Apply", or press "Create group" to create a new group. A new dialog box will appear (see below). Enter the name of the new group, press "Create" and then "Apply". Now you can go to the Report view, if you like (click the "Report" item in the menu bar), find the group in the list, expand it and check that the project is there.

1

Assigning several projects at once to a group

You can select multiple projects to assign all of them to the same group at once.
Click on the first project to select it. Then select other projects by pressing and holding SHIFT or CTRL buttons. When you are done selecting, right-click the selected projects and assign a group to them as you would to a single project (see the "Grouping" section above).

Assigning a project to multiple groups

It is possible to assign a project to multiple groups. For example, if your company uses Facebook for marketing, you can add the Facebook - related URLs to both the Marketing group and to the Social Networking group. It is done in the same way as assigning to a single group, except that several groups are selected in the group list.

Setting up grouping by sub-domain

You can set up automatic creation of groups using third-level subdomain. For example, if you would like somename.livejournal.com to be automatically grouped separately under somename.livejournal.com and not as livejournal.com, you should add livejournal to the list of domains.
Open the Settings dialog by selecting Tools -> Settings menu item. Select the Projects tab. Add the sub-domain to the list of URL sub-domains and click Save.

1

Deleting a group

You can delete a group by selecting it in Project view and selecting Delete Group from the context menu.

Deleting a project

You can delete a project by selecting it in Project view and selecting Delete Project from the context menu.

Ungrouping projects

You can ungroup projects by selecting a group in Report view and selecting Ungroup from the context menu.

Removing a project from a group

You can remove a project from a group by selecting it in Project view and selecting Delete from the context menu.

Setting up logging rules for a particular project

To edit the logging rules of a particular project, right-click a project in Projects view and select Edit Project from the context menu.

The Edit Data Form will appear.

1

You can also edit project properties in the Add Data Form when the project is logged for the very first time, if the Training mode option is on. Please see the "Setting up the new project's logging parameters as soon as it appears" (training mode) section.

You can:

  • Select project name from the list or type in a new one;
  • Edit the window title. For example, if you enter "Notepad" in this text box and specify the Comparison type of Substring, all the Notepad windows with the word Notepad in the title will be processed as part of this project.
  • Similar to the previous one, but describes website URLs. If you enter "Firefox" and specify the Comparison type of Substring, all the Firefox windows with the word Firefox in the title will be processed as part of this project.

The Comparison type option, as described above, specifies the type of comparison of the actual window title or URL with the one you specify here.
Example:

Comparison type

The title of the new window

What gets logged

Exact match

AutoTimeSheet - SharpDevelop

AutoTimeSheet - SharpDevelop

Substring

AutoTimeSheet - SharpDevelop

SharpDevelop (or AutoTimeSheet, or TimeSheet - Sharp, etc.)

For the description of Type option, please see the "Spotting newly added projects and "Marking projects to be ignored" sections.
Custom Timeout overrules the global timeout setting for the application (see the "Setting up timeout" section).
You can also make the logging of this project temporary, so the project is logged but the data is not stored after the application shuts down.

Turning messaging on or off

By default, the projects are logged silently, i.e. every time you open a new window, the application logs it without any indicators.
If your training mode is on (see "Training mode"), the application will display a message every time a completely new project appears (i.e. one that was never logged previously).
If both options are off, the application will not add new projects to the log and will only continue logging information for projects that already exist.
See the table below.

Enable silent logging

Training mode

What happens

On

Off

The projects are logged silently, i.e. every time you open a new window, the application logs it without notifying you. This is the default setting.

On

On

The application will display a message every time a completely new project appears (i.e. one that was never logged previously).

Off

Off

The application will not add new projects to the log and will only continue logging information for the projects that already exist.

Off

On

Same as "On, On" combination.

To turn silent logging on or off:

  • Select Tools -> Settings menu item
  • Select General Tab
  • Check or uncheck, respectively, the Enable Silent Logging checkbox.

Viewing list of projects

The list of projects is viewed in the Projects view. (Select Projects menu item located on the menu bar.)

Renaming projects

For renaming projects, see "Setting up logging rules for a particular project" section.

Filtering and sorting

Sort projects in Projects view by clicking any column header. A triangle facing up or down (for ascending or descending sort order) appears in the header of the columns in which the data is sorted.

The Report view

Three types of working time are registered:

  • Working time - the time during which the user actually did something in the active window
  • Thinking time - the time during which the window was active but the user did nothing (was idle for more than 30 seconds)
  • Total time - the sum of the first two.

How to calculate total time for selected projects

The status panel shows summary time for the selected groups and projects. If nothing is selected, the total amount of time for all the data in the window is displayed.

1

Search (by project, application path, window title, website URL or any combination thereof)

The Search panel can be displayed or hidden by clicking the Filter menu item (on the menu bar). Check any of the checkboxes (Project, Program Location, Window Title, Website) to determine where to search for the string you enter in the Search for text box.
Enter the search string, select options and press the Apply Filter button.
Note that if you check several boxes, the conjunction will work as the logical "AND"(i.e. if you enter "google" in the Search for textbox and check "Website", the following groups will be found:

1

However, if you check both Website and Program Location, nothing will be found, because there are no projects that would contain "google" as substring both in the URL and in the application path.

1

Viewing data for a particular time period

To view data for a particular period, select the start and end dates in the dropdown boxes or use the Quick Range dropdown box. Press the Apply Filter button.

1

1

Expanding and collapsing groups

The groups can be expanded, to view the projects that compose them, or collapsed, to view the total time spent on the projects from the group. A collapsed group has a "+" sign on the yellow icon in the leftmost column. Click on it to expand the group. The "+" sign will be replaced with a "-". Click on the icon again to collapse the group.

Refreshing data

To refresh data in the Report view, click the Refresh menu item on the menu bar.

Show/hide/resize columns in a report

To Show or Hide columns, right-click anywhere in the column headers. A list of column names will appear. Check or uncheck as required.

1

To resize columns, place the cursor on the border of two column headers. Click and drag to resize as required.

1

Exporting data (HTML, CSV, Excel, XML formats)

To export data:

  • Go to the Report view
  • Select Export menu item
  • In the dialog box that opens, select file name, format and path.
  • Press Save.

Configuring Auto Timesheet (Settings)

General Settings

settings: general

Setting up automatic start on OS startup

Select Tools -> Settings menu item.
Select the General tab.
Set the "Start with Windows" flag.

Setting up the automatic timer start on application startup

Select Tools -> Settings menu item.
Select the General tab.
Set the "Start Timer at Launch" flag.

Setting up timeout

Select Tools -> Settings menu item.
Select the General tab.
Set up the timeout in the Global User "Away" Time spin box.

Setting up actions for easy access (one-click)

Select Tools -> Settings menu item.
Select the General tab.
In the Tray Icon left click Radio Group, select the action that you want the application to perform when you click the AutoTimeSheet icon in the system tray.
(By default, "Show Report" is selected, meaning that the application window with Report view will be displayed when you click the icon in the tray.)

Checking for updates

You can configure the application so it obtains updates automatically over the Internet. The notifications on auto-updates can be turned on or off.
You can also check for updates manually.

settings: update

Manual check for updates

Select About -> Check for update menu item.

Setting up autoupdates

Select Tools -> Settings menu item.
Select Update tab.
Set the "Automatically check for the program updates" flag.

Turning on or off notifications on auto-updates

Select Tools -> Settings menu item.
Select the Update tab.
Set or remove the "Enable silent update" flag.

Proxy Settings (for working in a network)

Select Tools -> Settings menu item.
Select the Network tab.
Select the required option.

network settings

Stopping timer and starting it again without quitting the app

For stopping timer without quitting the application, select Tools -> Stop Timer menu item in either of the views (Report or Projects).
To start timer again, select Tools -> Start Timer menu item.

stop timer