Time Tracking with Twitter

At work recently we’ve been trying to get a better handle on how we use our time. My goal has been to document my time usage in 15 minute increments throughout the day. But, obviously this could quickly become a tedious task that is counter productive.

Yesterday I had an idea to simplify this task. I setup a new Twitter account specifically for this task. Then I downloaded a Twitter client and setup a cron entry to automatically open the twitter client every 15 minutes throughout my work day. So now documenting my work day is pretty unobtrusive. And if my coworkers ever want a glimpse of what I’m up to, they can simply subscribe to my Twitter feed.

I’ve been auditing my work time in a similar manner for the past couple of weeks and have found this extremely valuable. I’m finding 4 main benefits:

  1. I feel pressured to be more productive so I actually have something to include in my entries. It’s a kind of accountability.
  2. I can quickly review my week so that preparing status reports for management is easier.
  3. I’m seeing areas where I get bogged down and am unproductive, as well as times of day that I’m simply wasting time or goofing off.
  4. I have a historical log so that I can diagnose issues down the road. Lots of times we’ll see where one of our systems started having problems on a certain date or time; and now it’s easier to recall what might have changed during that particular time frame.

Have you ever found it useful to track your work and time in this much detail?

Do you have any other creative uses for Twitter.com?

5 thoughts on “Time Tracking with Twitter”

  1. I installed the newest version of AIR, and Spaz doesn’t like it. AIR tells me that it wants to use an older version that’s no longer supported and I need to contact the author to get an updated version.

    That said, it seems to work just fine as it is. 🙂

  2. David,
    I’m still not real excited about the Spaz client. I’d really prefer to find another client with a much smaller footprint and less overhead. Ideally I just want a box to pop up and ask me what I’m doing. I don’t need all the extra features of Twitter in my pop up client.
    Let me know if you find a simpler client like this.

  3. I currently use NatsuLion for the Twitter client for this purpose. For my normal Twitter usage, I’m currently using TweetDeck on the desktop, Twitbin in Firefox, and TwitterFon on the iPhone.

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