After using Toggl for 5 months, I have two takeaways – it has given me a tool that helps keep me more focused on completing tasks, and I am able to provide a complete record how my time is spent.
In late 2018, I read about a cross platform app named Toggl that was useful for tracking time in a variety of ways (across teams, projects, client-based, project-based, etc.). I have worked at the same privately owned company for a number of years (in a variety of positions across divisions).
When the corporate paralegal retired in 2017, I took over her primary functions, but not all of them. A few months later, when the intellectual property paralegal resigned, I took over her primary functions. By the time I read about the app, I was interested in tracking what I was working on based on my primary functions now that I was on the legal team.
The first step was to download the app (for iPhone, iPad, and my Mac), and setup a profile. I then had to classify the major functions of my job I wanted to track. Most of my workload is related to my paralegal role, but tech support and research will always follow me from my time in IT, as well as other projects:
- Tech Research/Support
- Board Consents
- Sales Related
- Other Projects
Each time I would begin a task, I would click on the Toggl button on the top of my menu bar—I could just put in a short note and add detail later if needed. I could leave the default project or click on the dropdown box and select the correct one for this task. (You can edit the project names/color assigned as you go along.) Example: Diane comes in my office with an iPad question, I quickly start Toggl with an entry “iPad question”. I help Diane. When I go to stop the task, I complete the task information with “iPad question – Diane, email account”, “Tech Research/Support”, and end the timer. If you forget to start/stop correctly, you can go back and correct it.
With frequent interruptions, it can be difficult to refocus when you have so many things to do. In fact, it can be overwhelming. However, once I deal with the immediate distraction Toggl helps me refocus on the specific task I was working on because I want to complete it and wrap it up.
I only put a small amount of information in Toggl, just enough to track the task and time allotment. I plan to continue using it because it’s proved to be a useful tool.