My last line in my post yesterday said I was off to look for some logging software which I found. I am using MeeTimer which is a Firefox extension (my browser of choice). As I type it’s ticking away in the bottom corner of my browser window. MeeTimer not only records how long you are online but where you spend it. So if I am attending to my email it records I am doing that. If I am answering questions in the joggles forums it records that too. As I said yesterday working out how I spend my time spent online is hard to track because I teach a web design and network literacy including blogging at university level. Tracking latest news and research in particular area means a lot of online reading as that is where it is published.
My reading/research drops a little at this time of year because we have just finished up for the year as our academic year runs from February to November with a mid year break. I keep a blog Mindtracks that logs much of this material which I see as part of my working life. Then there is this blog which of course takes time to write particularly when I have a fit of the chatters like this week!
As readers know I also offer stitching and crazy quilting classes over at joggle.com. Since two classes are currently running I am logged into the forums answering questions for at least an hour and a half a day. Currently too I am writing a new course for joggles.com this one is on visual journals and I have been looking at visual journal and design resources online a bit. Not a lot but a bit.
With MeeTimer I can where I spend your time online and group websites into activities so for instance email can be classified as communication and writing this can be classified as blogging. Thats a big plus.
I keep a To do list on Backpackit, my Calendar is Googles online Calendar, I use Google docs as a word processor to write drafts for blog posts and course materials, del.icio.us to bookmark sites, Google alerts to alert me to regular searches, I also use the Google Reader to pull in RSS feeds, Flickr and Picasa to store images, I do and Gmail for my email, and I am in a number of email Groups. Now as you can see this is all online activity and it is mixed. For instance on my To do list I have both personal and work related tasks. The same applies to my Calender . In google docs I have documents that relate to both work and play and my bookmarks and reader house feeds and resources for all areas of my life. MeeTimer only allows me to allocate a classification to the site not a particular document. So for instance in Google Docs I could be working on blog draft or a course outline. Two different activities as one if for this blog (play) and the other is work.
Why is it all online and browser based? Because I can be sitting at up to 5 different computers in a day. At home we have a computer, I have a lap top, and we have 3 teaching labs at work all of which I teach in. I work from all these computers. This means that if I was using desktop applications I would be forever carrying files around to transfer from one computer to the other. However because much of my work and resources is kept online I can simply log in to my area of the site and work from there.
Now this is the glitch. I have installed MeeTimer on my laptop, as that is the computer I use most but since it can not ‘move with me’ only part of my time online will be tracked.
For what it is worth I am tracking my time online and hope to be able to give an honest answer to much time it takes to blog. With this software I can probably get an idea of what it takes to write 2 blogs. Since sometimes I spend more time blogging and other weeks I ease off I am going to track it for about 8 weeks so that it catches the flow and since Christmas is in the middle of this it will take into account a busy time. The advantage of doing it now is that I am not teaching so I am mainly working from home (doing course preparation keeping up with the reading etc) and if I can contain what I do to my lap top I should be able to get an honest reading.
Since I am watching the clock and its the time of year to be thinking of what is happening next year, goals and the like I will probably end up thinking about time management. Are people interested in this topic? Do you want to know more about how I manage my day? Leave a comment and feel free to ask questions.
The MeeTimer site has a brief article on how to curb time online with logging software which readers may want to check out.
Oh I have the chatters this week what on earth has happened? Well its taken me 44 minutes to write this, or so MeeTimer tell me so I had better get a wriggle on with my day. There are Christmas gifts to make!