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I'm looking for an application that can help me account for my work hours.

features that i'm looking for:

  1. (essential) regular short term reminders/notifications to ensure that I'm recording time for the correct task.
  2. easy task creation, just type a description and start recording. (rather than selecting from a list of previously created tasks)
  3. easy correction of times recorded (move a start time back and the previous task's end time gets adjusted.)
  4. good reporting or timesheet generation.
  5. free / open-source so that I don't have to get approval from my employer.
  6. (optional) it would be nice if it was portable.

Apps that i've looked at:

timepanic (www.timepanic.com): 1 2 3 4 x x
ptimer (http://www.sprinx.com/ptimer/) : 1 x x ? 5 x
ptm (http://ptm.sourceforge.net/): 1 x x 4 5 6
Grindstone 2 (http://www.epiforge.com/Grindstone2/): 1 2 x 4 5 ?

I’m hoping for a few more suggestions.
If timepanic was free it would be the front runner.
What other apps meet the requirements?

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2 Answers

You might want to consider task management software with time recording features.

I use http://github.com/andreashofmann/AutofocusAHK which make use of AutoHotKey scripts to manage and record tasks based on Mark Forster's AF/DWM task management methods. Meets your criteria 1, 2, 5 & 6. Less so 3 & 4.

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Compared to the other applications I've tested this application seems to be a tool to help effectively manage your to-do list rather than time logging. Sorry, it didn't really fit the bill. –  X-Dev Oct 6 '10 at 22:45
    
If your needs are much more than basic task start/stop/timespent, it's true that AutofocusAHK would not really fit your bill. My needs are more of easy/visible timer while doing tasks, and basic task time used report as per sabre23t.com/articles/Tasks-2010-02-11-10-39-19.html (click on the unactioned/done buttons for different views). I've come across other task management software on Windows/WindowsMobile with a bit more extensive time recording features that I could elaborate on, if it's of interest. –  sabre23t Oct 7 '10 at 15:19
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How about RescueTime Solo Lite which is free?

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free users don't get access to rescuetime Pace (blog.rescuetime.com/2009/11/13/…). I'm not very fond of the active application tracking (as opposed to ask tracking) as i use the same applications to work on different tasks and projects. –  X-Dev Oct 6 '10 at 22:48
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