Chrometa for keeping track of project time

I’ve been using Thomas Anagnostou’s brilliant Project Timers for years, but I always forget to set up keywords as I start a project so I lose a few days there. Also, it won’t keep track of time I spend on emails or uploads or other tasks which don’t include a keyword in the title bar. That time adds up.

I recently found a new alternative which does title bar sniffing, and also tracks all browser (with an extension) and other computer activity for sorting after the fact. It’s exactly what I wanted, but was really hard to find so I wanted to share it with y’all.

I’ve been testing it out for the past week, and so far it’s working perfectly. Lots of data to sort through, but you can create rules (which can act 90 days in retrospect) so it’s totally manageable. Works on Mac or PC.

It’s not free (after 30 days) and not even cheap compared to the competition (none of which seem to do title bar sniffing BTW), but hopefully all of our hours are worth enough to make it worth it to keep track of everything. Don’t forget to turn in your quarterly timesheets…

[FULL DISCLOSURE: Note that the above is an affiliate link, so I get $100 if you pay for the software for 6 months. I would have posted this review regardless, but if you want to help a brother out then use the link above. If you don’t believe in that kind of stuff (I have mixed feelings about it, myself, and make my living from using Rhino not affiliate marketing), then here’s the non-affiliate link: http://www.chrometa.com]

And here’s a link to Project Timers if freeware is more your speed: http://www.rayflectar.com/Software/Software-Gallery.htm

TIME OUT

I just noticed that the basic plan only stores data for one month. I inquired about that to customer support, and they said that yes indeed, you do have to do your invoices on the 31st of every month. I called bullsh*t, and wrote this note to support@chrometa.com:

I’d like to request that for all of the plans, some leeway be given for when invoices need to be generated. I suggest a period of one week.

Otherwise, it seems like the Startup plan is just a way to push people into buying the Basic Plan. And then if you do quarterly invoices like I do, then the Basic Plan isn’t really going to cut it either if we’re being honest.

I don’t know about you guys, but about the last thing I want to do after work is to generate an invoice. And then if I don’t I’m kind of screwed? Personally, I’m usually too busy, and anyways I like to make the accounting department sweat it out and get their beans a couple days late.

If I went ahead and bought the Plus, then I’ve got to do invoices after work on New Year’s Eve? REALLY?

Pushing a customer into buying an upgrade like that is bad business, in my opinion. It’s enough to make somebody go looking for the next piece of software, it’s not like building a title bar sniffer is that difficult to add to one of the many existing timer packages. I already found a github that has the code.

But I like this software and it’s 99% of the way there so I want it to succeed even though it is twice the price of the competition. Come on guys, let’s get that extra 1% so I can feel good about recommending it to my boss and all of my other consultant friends.