Time Tracking Hack

In my Previous Post I talked about how beneficial it was to master your time. I mentioned some time tracking tools for you to keep track of your daily grind, but recommended instead trying my time tracking hack using IFTTT (If This Then That), which enables users to put the internet to work for them!

This Hack Requires : • A Google Account ( I know you already have one for gmail)
• An IFTTT Account
• A Smart Phone

First, sign-up for an IFTTT account :

Once you finsh signing-up and log-in, you’ll need to make a New Applet :

Then you’ll reach a screen like this :

This is where you’ll be making your applet. The general idea is if “A” happens then trigger “B”. This first applet will send you a notification on your phone every hour asking ‘What have you been up to?”

Click ‘This’, and you’ll reach a screen like this :

Select the ‘Date/Time Service, and next you’ll want to set up this applet to happen every hour at 00, 15, 30, or 45 minute markers (your choice) :

Part one is finished!

Next you what to setup what happens on the hour. So click ‘That’…

You want notifications (I was originally using SMS reminder messages, however IFTTT has a limit of 100 SMS messages per month or about 4 days at my rate. We don’t want that!) So, instead search for ‘notifications’ in the search bar…

You only have one option for the ‘Notification’ service, so select it.

Next you’ll setup what the notification says :

Part 2 finished, and your first applet has been created! (pats self on back)

Next you need to create another applet that takes a text message tagged as #iam to the IFTTT number (415-969-7756) and adds the body of the message to a google sheet.

So again, create a new applet, select ‘This’, and start by choosing the SMS service :

Next you want IFTTT to look out for the #iam tag for when you send in your check-in text :

Now you need the ‘That’ portion. You want IFTTT to update a google drive sheet when you text. So, search for the ‘Drive’ service :

You want to choose the ‘add row to a spreadsheet’ option :

Finally, you need to configure your spreadsheet. Choose a name you’ll recognize. You want two columns, the time-stamp of when you send the text, and then the message itself. Finally, you can optionally create a new folder in your Google Drive to contain these sheets. This is up to you.

This is how I setup my service :

The first time you text IFTTT it’ll create the spreadsheet in your drive account, so don’t worry if you don’t have a sheet created!

Now, head on over to your smart phone and install the IFTTT application so you can receive your notification. I have found that it is a lot easier to use if you send yourself an SMS instead of a notification because you can just respond. However, with that 100 message limit, it just doesn’t cut it.

THAT’S IT! You have created your first life-hack with IFTTT, unless you have used it before… either way, YOU ROCK!

Also, this WILL run at all hours of the day. So, when you sleep, you may want to silence your phone. Just a heads up.

Good luck and happy productivity!

P.S. - Let me know how this works for you : josnatol@gmail.com

Extra Effort: After a week check your sheet and see how much you accomplished for the the past 7 days. Then adjust accordingly.

Cool tip: I’ve taught my Pitching Arts class to over 150 students and business professionals in the bay area. Many of them successfully raised money afterwards, but all of them increased their comfort on stage. So, if you are a business or just want to learn, gather up 10 friends (or co-workers) and I’ll come teach you for FREE! Just e-mail me : josnatol@gmail.com. Can only get 5,8,9 people? Send me an e-mail anyways, and we’ll figure something out.

Now what?

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Living in the amazing San Mateo, CA.