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Time is our most valuable asset. Especially as a business owner getting the focus and allocation of time in the right areas is so critical for success. Working on the business, as opposed to working in the business is the constant challenge of many business owners, including my own personal use of time. An area which is much less of a challenge now I have started my exciting adventures into time tracking apps.

How well planned and focused we are at doing the important things, rather then the urgent things makes all the difference. The urgent things can be reacting, or more fighter fighting, doing the things that have the appearance of being urgent. Yet if we are well planned and understand the important things for our day, efficiency will flow. The level of importance of any task is evaluated by using our goals to determine the level of importance of each activity. How important is it at moving us towards our goals. We can then make some quantum leaps ahead in personal productivity.

As a result I decided to try three iPad apps that track my time, so I could see how my day is being used. This process has been inspirational, as I feel much more in control of my most valuable asset, yes time I am of course talking about here, taking full responsibility!

I started out with aTimeLogger which was my favourite in terms of the most user friendly of the three iPhone/iPad apps I tested. Although the free version is iPhone only, it still looked good and had the most visually appealing interface of the three. I did not use aTimeLogger 2 which is an iPad version, and offers the best value for money option of the paid apps but I have not given it a shot as I have moved on to my next apps.

My second app was Eternity Time Log Lite – Personal Timesheet which is very powerful as it allows tags as well as the more standard descriptions for that event/job. I used the free version which has some restrictions but I liked it. It is pitched as an app to focus on the work that matters and avoid distractions. The description explains that is helps to make sure you get enough rest to stay productive and enjoy your hobbies, family and friends. Very much a life balance focused app which was appealing. I would have been happy with this option, until I found the following, designed more for charging out jobs.

My third app HoursTracker is my favourite. See a short video below.

It is my pick because it can do most that the above apps can do, yet is build for charging out time on jobs. It does not have tags like the Eternity app does but that is not a big thing, more a nice thing.

While I liked the features of the first two apps focused on life balance, I can still use this app for such a focus, although it is not designed for this as such. I can set-up job tracking for each life balance area, after being conditioned for this from the first two apps. Plus this third option has great charge out features such as you can enter the hourly charge out rate for each job. Wonderful features with its design for track specific jobs in a better way at work.

HoursTracker is described as a mobile time sheet app that allows business owners to instantly log their work time during the day, instead of waiting to get back to the office. It allows professionals to charge their time to multiple clients as they swap jobs, so is great for many uses. They state some user examples as accountants, lawyers, architects or almost any business that bills hourly with multiple clients.

I am currently using the free app which has ads but will upgrade soon. Similar to the Eternity app, this app can sent an email with a spreadsheet listing all the time activity. Plus both these last two apps allow me to adjust the start time of each task I track.

HoursTracker  when I upgrade costs $9 which seems like great value for money to get the efficiency gains! Even if I don’t use it for time/job charging to clients, it is a great app to feel in control of my destiny! An example is writing this post and doing research to find the links, is taking significantly more than an hour!

Yes I am no speedy writer!