Sometimes time flies by so fast that 24 hours a day feels inadequate. Imbalance usage of time can cause a lot of hours spent for works, very little for sleep, and none for exercise. It's unhealthy for the long run.
After trying several free Android apps, I found aTimeLogger, a simple and easy-to-use time management app that have everything I need to budget, track, and log my time. This review is written after I use the app for more than a month.
This article is by no means a complete tutorial on how to use aTimeLogger to budget, track, and log time. I hope this review can help you decide which app worth your time to try. If you have any questions, feel free to leave comments. I will help if I can.
Budgeting the Time
I use aTimeLogger app mainly to manage my sleep and screen times.
I'm trying to follow the healthy guidelines when budgeting my time. It is recommended for adults to sleep 7-8 hours a day. So, for the start, I set the target of sleeping minimum 7 hours per day.
The more difficult thing to budget is the screen time. Many of us, including myself, use computers and mobile phones for work. Then, after office hours, we use computers, mobile phones, or televisions to entertain ourselves, such as by playing games, online shopping, or watching movies. At the end of the day, our screen time can rise to 10 hours or more. The recommended screen time outside of work is less than 2 hours a day. It's hard to limit the screen time for work- or school-related activities, thus the total screen time for a day is quite difficult to be limited. However, it is said that using computer and watching television more than 6 hours a day can cause moderate or severe depression. So, I'm trying to reduce the screen time to maximum 6 hours a day.
Now that we have set the daily budget for sleep and screen times, let's utilize aTimeLogger app as a reminder.
First, you need to set the types of activities in the "Types" tab. You can set the name, icon, and color for each activity. Let's create "Sleep" and "Screen".
Then, go to the "Goals" tab and create our targets. For "Sleep", set the duration to "7 hrs 0 min day". Choose "Reach" as the goal type. The "Reach" goal type will show red or orange bar if we don't reach 7 hours in a day. Don't forget to check the "Alert" option if you want to be notified if you have reached your goal. Do the same for "Screen", but set the duration to "6 hrs 0 min day" and "Limit" as goal type. The "Limit" goal type will make the bar showing red color if you go over 6 hours in one day.
You may also need a reminder to rest your eyes every 30 minutes. We can set it in the "Goals" tab too. Choose the "Screen" in types, set "0 hrs 30 min activity" for duration, choose "Limit" as goal type, and check the "Alert" option. It will pop a notification in your notification bar if you have spent 30 minutes in the "Screen" activity.
Tracking the Time
You can start tracking the time by clicking the icon of the activity that you want to track in the Activities tab inside the app or on the provided Activities widget.
It works like stopwatch for each activity. If you have set the goals, it will automatically count into the budgets and show you the remaining times in the Goals tab or widget. The progress bar will also show the color depending on your goal type and the progress. For example, the "Enough Sleep" goal's progress bar in the image below is orange because I slept only for 3 hours 32 minutes that day which is not good. While the "Screen Time" goal's progress bar is green because I only spent 3 hours in front of screens which is good.
Logging the Time
aTimeLogger automatically log all the tracked times. You can see the log per day, week, month, or year in the form of List, Pie Chart, and Calendar for the free version.
There is option to see the untracked time as well so you can know how much time you have spent for activities other than the ones you have set in this app. This time log gives you the precious information on how you spend your time and it will definitely help you to manage your time better.
Other Features I Love
The free version of aTimeLogger app provides three types of widgets:
- The aTimeLogger app icon to open the app.
- Goals: make it easier to see the progress of your goals. It's similar to the content of the "Goals" tab in the app.
- Activities: make it easier and faster to start new activity or pause and stop the current activity. It's similar to the content of "Activities" tab. I prefer to track my time from the widget because it's faster and has no confirmation dialog every time I want to start, pause, and stop activity.
There are no ads that will disturb you even if you keep using the free version. Though, if you want to support the developer, there are four levels of contribution ranging from $1.49 to $4.99 that you can purchase in-app.