Tracking Time Spent in Tasks/Tasks Pro

I’m working on the UI in Tasks and Tasks Pro to track how long a task took. This is one of the most requested features and one I almost put into Tasks Pro 1.0. I actually did put the back-end code in place, but didn’t add it to the task form.

So now I’m building the way you enter the time and I’m coming up against a number of interesting issues. I’ve decided to use Hours and Minutes as the time segments; Days is a term that is too hazy to be meaningful.

Sub-task issues

  1. Do I add up the time spent on sub-tasks and set it for the parent task? I initially thought not, but it might make sense.
  2. If not, what is the right way to handle time spent for tasks with sub-tasks?
  3. If I allow you to set a specific amount of time on tasks that have sub-tasks, there is a possibility for that time period to be quite large – is it still meaningful?

Entering data

  1. Do I allow you to enter an exact # of hours and minutes in text fields or use drop downs?
  2. If I use drop downs, what should the minute increments be? 5? 10? 15? I think 10-15 would be about right.
  3. If I use drop downs, how high should the hours go? This ties back in to the question of how to handle time spent for parent tasks.
  4. Would you realistically be able to use a ‘Start/Stop’ timer to track how long something took? My experience with this is that it works less than 50% of the time because of various interruptions, etc. but maybe this is something you’d like.

If this is a feature you want, how would you want it to work? What decisions would you make?

I will also be adding a ‘Billable’ flag as well, both of these features will be optional (turn them on in your Preferences).

This post is part of the project: Tasks Pro™. View the project timeline for more context on this post.