Chrometa captures your time "automatically" for you as you work on your computer, so that you can accurately and easily account for every minute of your day - without the need to start/stop a timer, or manually enter any times or notes as you go.
We achieve this by having our time collector act as your personal timekeeper. It records how long you are working on an activity, and the relevant details associated with that activity (such as the application and file name). When you switch tasks, our time recording switches with you.
The result is an accurate timesheet that is compiled for you in real-time as you work.
Locating Your Chrometa Time Collector
Our Mac time collector is denoted by an orange clock icon in your menu bar, generally located in the upper-right portion of your screen.
Viewing Your Captured Time Entries
Your time entries will initially appear under Computer Time in the Unbilled Time section of the Time - Summary screen (which is the first tab in the Time section). The setup is analogous to your email inbox. If we were not able to find an automatic project match for the time entry (more on keyword-based rules in a bit), we drop the time entry in your Unbilled Time section.
Time entries here are grouped by application, with the total number of uncategorized entries listed in parenthesis to the right of the application name. Click on the application line itself to expand it and view your specific time entries.
Unbilled computer time, by application. Click on an application name to expand and view the individual time entries themselves.
Example 1: Documents and Files
Chrometa will capture the name of a file you work on, the total amount of time spent on the document, and exactly when you worked on it (via the Timeline). This includes Microsoft Office documents like Word and Excel, Adobe products such as Reader, Photoshop, Illustrator, and the Creative Suite, and so on.
Here is an Adobe PDF document that I spent 7 minutes reading, entitled "The Economist - Billable Hour Not Dead.pdf".
By mousing over the time entry, I can click the Timeline button to see exactly when I was reading this PDF. We can see that the 7 minute total is actually composed of three different instances:
The beauty of the Summary view is that it totals up each individual instance into a single time entry.
Example 2: Emails
Chrometa will generally capture at least the Subject Line of the email you are reading, writing or replying to.
If you use Microsoft Outlook, Gmail, or Mac Mail, you're in luck - we have developed special plugins for these email clients that will provide you with the To, From, and CC lines as well. Let's say you are composing an email in Outlook, Gmail, or Mac Mail. Chrometa will capture the following information for you:
- The total amount of time you spent composing the email
- The Subject Line of your email
- The To/From and CC lines of your email
Time entry captured from Microsoft Outlook, displaying its Subject Line, Folder, From, and To info.
If you are a Microsoft Outlook or Gmail user, please download the appropriate email time capture plugin here. If you're a Mac Mail user, you are already good to go, as our plugin is "baked into" our Mac time collector.
Example 3: Websites
Chrometa will capture the URL and Title of websites visited your Mac or PC, grouped by web browser. You can search entries, categorize them, or create rules based on the URL/Title information.
Time entry for my visit to our Outlook Plugin page in our Help forum. The title of the page is on top, with the clickable URL underneath.
If you prefer to not track all website activity, we recommend establishing a browser for personal usage only, and creating a rule that removes all entries captured from that browser.
Moving Unbilled Time Entries to Your Timesheet
You can categorize time entries by checking the box to the left of the entry, selecting the Move To Project dropdown, and then selecting the appropriate project for categorization.
First, check the box to the left of the entry.
Tip: Select multiple consecutive entries at once by selecting the first entry, holding down the Shift key, and selecting the last entry you want. Each entry in between the two will also be selected.
Then click the Move To Project dropdown to select the project for this time entry.
Use the auto-complete field to filter your client/project list - just start typing, and it will pare down your list.
You can also setup a Keyword-Based Rule to perform this action automatically for you. Please see: Setting Up Keyword-Based Rules for Automatic Categorization
This rule will automatically categorize captured time entries that contain the keyword SMUD to the project SMUD Partnership.
For more on categorization, please see: Categorizing Your Time Entries to Your Timesheet.
FAQ: What If You Run Multiple Applications at Once?
That's fine - Chrometa never double-counts time, because it's able to detect which application has your active focus. When your focus changes, Chrometa will automatically stop timing your old activity, and start on your new one.
Result: If you work for 8 hours and 27 minutes on a given day, Chrometa will have exactly 8 hours and 27 minutes of time entries recorded for you, which you can categorize to your timesheet and/or send to an invoice or third-party billing system.