With 25 years of programming experience, I have always managed my time by using Outlook Journal. The way I used to do things I would just enable Outlook Journal and that would keep track of every document that I worked with and how long I was using editing or viewing each document. When Outlook journal does an awesome job of keeping track of how much time you spend writing emails, I mean it was an amazing tool for determining who to bill for each 15 minute increment of time.
I am hoping that someday I will have a similar tool that will keep track of my Browsing History as well as tools like Visual Studio or PhpStorm. It’s just a shame to me. When people get used to having a certain feature I think that it’s hard to suddenly lose such a great time saver.
I would still be keeping track of some of my time using Microsoft Outlook Journal… But unfortunately I am now a user of Mozilla Thunderbird. I just haven’t had strong enough performance with Outlook for a while. I have atypical needs though. I have multiple email inboxes and I have tried the Google GSuite Email Migration many times, but they can’t seem to deal with my email volume.
Some people decide that they should follow this strategy called ‘Inbox Zero’. People think that they should delete an email when they are done with it, and when they get everything done they will have an empty inbox. In my opinion I’m a database guy and storing the content of emails allows me to easily look back and see a timeline of my interactions with a particular client or project. I mean if I followed the ‘Inbox Zero’ strategy then I wouldn’t be able to build a chart of emails sent to and from that client.
The last thing I would ever do is delete an emailAaron Kempf, founder
I’m sure that someday I’ll write a tool to keep track of things automatically. It’s on my task list, but unfortunately it’s not a billable project so it’s low priority. But if you would like to see the details behind my billing let me know and I will see what I can do.
I have done a lot of database reporting over the years and from a technical standpoint it’s drop dead simple to write some reports that show the work items for a client or project or time period. It’s just a matter of getting the data. To me the part about getting the data means I need be able to do things like look at my email history for keywords. Without being able to automate things like this, I would be just a common developer.
I am probably going to sound arrogant when I say this, but I don’t think of myself as the average developer. For starters, I was FullStack for 10 years before that phrase was popularized. I just want to find new and challenging projects to work on.