1 Introduction

2 Installation

2.1 Download

2.2 Getting started

3 User Manual

3.1 Toolbar

3.2 Creating new tasks

3.3 The display for the current task

3.4 Modifying tasks

3.5 Analyses

3.6 Settings

3.7 Tray icon (Windows only)

3.8 Context menu

4 Appendix

4.1 Shortcuts

4.2 Contact

1 Introduction

Everybody knows the feeling after a long day passed by and no task was getting done. The Time-Tracking-Tool was designed to get an idea of the time passing by while working on different tasks. This tool measures the time of a number of different tasks. After a while, you will be able to view a clear statistic which shows what you spent time on.

The tool was programmed and designed in Java ( http://java.sun.com ), i.e. it can be used platform-independently. It has been successfully tested on Windows XP, SuSE 9.1 and Gentoo (Java 1.4.2 , 1.5.0)

Used libraries/sources are:


Windows Tray Icon vs 1.7.9:



JFreeChart vs 0.9.16:


JCommon vs 0.9.1:


2 Installation

2.1 Download

To get the software installed, download the zip-archive which can be found on the web page and unpack it into an installation directory. The Time-Tracking-Tool will be available immediately. Make sure the following files exist in the installation directory:

TTT.jar (mainfile, needed)

jcommon-0.9.1.jar (diagram, needed)

jfreechart-0.9.16.jar (diagram, needed)

TTT_TrayIcon.dll (tray icon, only for Windows, if tray icon wanted)

2.2 Getting started

The distribution also contains two .bat-files. These files were created for Windows users for a convenient possibility to execute the program.

To start the tool, just run the batch-files or start it on the command line with

javaw –jar TTT.jar”. The console will be free for use again. Try “java –jar TTT.jar &” to launch it on a Unix-System as a background task.

To load a project file on program start, add the path to the file after the call of TTT.jar.

javaw –jar TTT.jar C:\path\to\my\project.ttt” (Windows)

java –jar TTT.jar /path/to/my/project.ttt &” (Unix)

3 User Manual

The following image shows the main window of the Time-Tracking-Tool.

The window's title shows the name of the selected task (“programming”) and the time tracked for this task (“0:15”).

For faster navigation and better usability, the toolbar can be used to get access to the main functions of the software. The tasks are organised in a tree structure which is displayed in the lower part of the main window. Each task is represented by a node which contains the task's name. The time next to the tracked task's name is the time when it was started to be tracked. It's a very valuable feature because it allows to see when the tracking started, in case somebody forgot to set it in pause-mode before moving away from the computer.

To get a better overview of the tasks, group all tasks to little sub trees. In the picture above “programming” is the main-task of “tests” and “debug”, i.e. “tests” and “debug” are sub-tasks of “programming” and “tests” is called a neighbour-task of “debug”.

The progress bar shows how much seconds have been tracked for the current minute. Its value will stay as long as no other task will start to track.

Every time the project file is saved manually, the old file will be moved to oldname.bak”.

3.1 Toolbar

The toolbar was created to provide a fast access to the functions of the software. It contains all buttons needed to work quickly and efficiently with the Time-Tracking-Tool.

Move selected task (Ctrl + arrow down)

Make selected task a neighbour-task of its current main-task (Ctrl + arrow left)

Make selected task a sub-task of the top task (Ctrl + arrow right)

Move selected task (Ctrl + arrow up)

Edit selected task

Start tracking the time for selected task

Stop time tracking for the currently selected task

Get a task-specific analysis.

Get a project-wide analysis.

Task is being tracked – Set task to pause-mode

Task is pausing – Set task to tracking-mode

Create a new task as a neighbour-task of the selected task

Create a new task as sub-task of the selected task

Delete the selected task

3.2 Creating new tasks

To create a new task press „Ctrl + N“ (new sub-task), „Ctrl + B“ (new neighbour-task) or one of the buttons shown above. A window will popup to set the name and the color for the new task. The color will be used as bar color when the analysis diagrams are shown. Press „Return“ or „Ok“ to confirm, the task will be added. Press „Escape“ or „Cancel“ to abort, no new task will be created.

The displayed table doesn't need to be used while creating a new task and will be explained in section 3.4 Modifying tasks

3.3 The display for the current task

Next to the minimise/maximise button and play/pause button there are two labels. The first one displays the tracked time for the task and will be updated every minute; the other one shows the name of the currently tracked task.

Activating the button minimises the window. Then, besides the minimise/maximise and the pause/play button, only the tracked time and the task's name will be visible.

3.4 Modifying tasks

Click or press „F2“ to change the properties of the selected task. The dialog that opens, contains edit fields to modify the name, the color and the tracked times. It is not possible to change the time for the current date if this task is tracked at that time.

After selecting a row and pressing “F2”, the time in that row can be edited according to the selected time format (see settings dialog). If the entered value is a normal number, it will be displayed in the selected time format (MM- or HH:MM-format in the settings dialog). If the entered number does not match one of those formats, the changes will be ignored.

Additionally, every day has a field named “comment” which is designed to write a short comment about the work done at the given day.

3.5 Analyses

There are two possibilities to run an analysis, e.g. by clicking the corresponding toolbar buttons:

Get a task-specific analysis: This diagram will only display the times of the selected task and its sub-tasks

Get a project-wide analysis: This diagram will display a total overview of all tasks

To change the settings of the analysis diagrams, use the menu on the left side of the analysis window shown below.

The time span to be analysed can be entered into the first two text fields. The buttons on the right will increase/decrease the corresponding date by one day (week, month, or year, respectively, see below)

The third text field will change the level of the diagram. At the first level, only the time of the selected task is shown. Any higher level results in a more detailed view corresponding to the sub-tasks of the current task.

The diagram allows a time analysis in four levels of time. Tracked time can be displayed as a daily, weekly, monthly and annual time span. The radio

buttons shown on the left can be used to change the time span to be analysed.

There are two diagram types. The first diagram (“summation”) shows the sum of all times tracked in the selected time span. Each level is represented by a bar increasing from left to right.

The second diagram “Overview” shows the tracked time for each time span. So, if the time span is set to “week”, it will display a bar for each week with all tracked times of the selected task and its sub-tasks.

The project-wide analysis will display a bar with all values of all tasks added together. When a level greater “1” is chosen, it will descent into the first task-groups (sub-trees) and so on.

If this button is activated, only those days (weeks, months, years, respectively) are shown for which a time was tracked.

The button showing the current date will reset the time for the diagrams. Additionally, the daily view will be activated.

To make it easier to view different diagrams at the same time (to compare different tasks) the diagrams will save the last start and end date, the level and the time span to display. When the new window is opened, the settings will be restored.

3.6 Settings

To change the general settings, open the settings dialog (Ctrl + F).

This dialog allows to change settings which are not linked to the individual project files.

These settings are:

3.7 Tray icon (Windows only)

If the tray icon is enabled, an icon will be shown in the system tray. With a right click, a menu will popup which contains an option to show/hide all program windows, to stop/start tracking and to exit the program.

In addition to get a better handling, a sizeable group of entries will show the last used tasks which will be reactivated by a click. The number of these entries can be set in the Settings-Dialog

A single click in the tray icon will start/stop the tracking of the current task (if one is selected). A double-click will show/hide the program and all its windows.

3.8 Context menu

A right click on a task will open a menu which contains a few really helpful options. These entries have the same functionality as the buttons in the toolbar. There is an extra option to expand the whole tree at once.

4 Appendix

4.1 Shortcuts

Alt + X

Minimise/Maximise the main window

Ctrl + M / F2

Edit task

Ctrl + P

Change play-pause status of currently tracked task

Ctrl + Q

Exit the program

Ctrl + I

Show informations about the program

Ctrl + O

Open project file

Ctrl + S

Save data to last opened/saved file

Ctrl + U

Open dialog to specify the target file for the data and save it there

Ctrl + E

Rename the project

Ctrl + R

Create a new project


Start to track the time of the selected task

Ctrl + T

Expand the tree of the selected task

Ctrl + Z

Collapse the tree of the selected task

Ctrl + G

Expand the whole tree

Ctrl + B

Create a new neighbour-task

Ctrl + N

Create a new sub-task

Ctrl + K / Del

Delete the selected task

Ctrl + A

Show statistics for the current task

Ctrl + Y

Show statistics for all tasks

Ctrl + F

Show the settings dialog to change the general settings

Ctrl + C

Start/Stop tracking time of the selected task

4.2 Contact

If you have any questions or suggestions, please contact:


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Last update of this document: 25/02/2005