(formerly known as ProjecTrak)
© 2004 James Preston
Brought to you by Inertron Software
This product is shareware, US$25.
You can register and pay for it at this website:
PicoTrak now has a desktop companion program. Try it at www.inertron.com/palm/ptdesk.
This product is NOT free. If you continue to use it, you are obligated to pay for it.
PicoTrak is distributed fully functional; it is not crippled in any way. There is, however, a 30-day evaluation period. After 30 days, if you have not registered, the application will cease to function. All your data will remain intact, as long as you don't delete the application. When you register (and enter your valid registration code) the application will again work and all your data will be there.
You can, of course, register at any time. Doing so will permanently remove the reminder screen that shows every time you start PicoTrak.
Registering entitles you to unlimited upgrades; all future versions will recognize and accept your registration code.
Important note to those upgrading from a version of TimeTracker:
Follow these steps EXACTLY to avoid losing your data:
PicoTrak is a time-keeping tool for contract workers, lawyers, or anyone else who works on multiple projects on an hourly basis. You enter the project names and optionally assign each to a client. Select a project and tap to start a timer for that project. Tap again to stop the timer. You can start and stop projects as often as needed throughout the day and the times are accumulated. A detail view shows the daily totals for each project. You can also get a summary over all projects for a specified time period. The data can be exported to a memo for transfer to your PC during the next HotSync operation. Times can be displayed in any of five different formats.
PicoTrak is compatible with all Palm devices from the Palm Pro on up, including the Palm III, Palm V, Palm m100 series, Palm m500 series, Palm i700 series, Palm Zire, Sony Clie series, Palm Tungsten series, etc. It has been tested under and is complaint with Palm OS 5.
The Main Display
The main display consists of four columns:
The list is sorted alphabetically by project name.
The buttons across the bottom:
The Options Menu
Some PicoTrak functions are accessed via the Options menu. You access the menu by tapping the menu button, which is the button in the lower left of the silk-screen area. Tap the menu name (if needed) to show the menu, then tap the desired menu item.
Eventually, you will probably have a lot of projects entered into PicoTrak. To help you quickly locate a desired project, there is a navigational shortcut. Write a lowercase letter or digit in the Graffiti area and the display will automatically scroll to the first project that starts with that letter or digit (or the first project that starts with a higher letter or digit if none exist that start with the one you wrote).
This also works in the client list view, automatically scrolling to the first client name that starts with the letter or digit entered.
Starting with version 1.7, PicoTrak is in color (on color devices, such as a Palm IIIc, Palm m505, Sony Clie, or Visor Prism). You can assign a color to a client, and project names are displayed in their client's color. See Editing Client Names below for more details.
International Time, Date and Number Formats
PicoTrak honors the time, date and number formats that you select from the Palm's Prefs application. All dates, all time values, and all numeric values will be displayed in the selected Prefs formats.
The example to the right shows the Prefs application setting the formats to the presets for Italy. This setting uses a '.' as the separator between hours and minutes, a ',' as the radix character in numbers, and specifies that dates be displayed in a "date/month/year" format.
The PicoTrak screen on the right shows the middle column (which always displays hours, minutes, and seconds) using the '.' separator. The total column is displaying hours and tenths of an hour (PicoTrak lets you choose among a number of different formats) using the ',' radix character. And the date in the upper left is in "M/D/Y" format.
Creating a New Project
Tap the New button (or select New Project from the Options menu) and enter the name of a project. The popup menu on the field contains a list of all unique project names entered so far. Selecting a name from this list will automatically enter it in the Project name field; this is a convenience if you have multiple projects of the same name.
If desired, use the Client popup to select the client that the project belongs to (the popup also leads to a dialog for entering and editing client names).
If you have assigned an hourly rate to the selected client, that rate will automatically be assigned to the new project.
Importing a list of client and project names
If you have a pre-existing list of client names or clients and projects, you can save time by importing them into PicoTrak.
Using your Palm Desktop software, create a memo in the MemoPad with the title "ttimport" (without the quotes); the title must be exact.
Each subsequent line of the memo may contain either a single client name, or a client name followed by a comma and a project name.
Please note that the rules for parsing the memo are very simple: If there is no comma on a line, the entire line is considered a client name; if there is a comma, then everything before the comma is considered the client name and everything after the comma is considered the project name. This means that if you put a blank space after the comma, you will get a project name that starts with a blank (which is probably not what you wanted).
Now perform a HotSync function to get the memo onto your Palm device. Run PicoTrak and tap on the "Import Client/Project Names" menu item. Tap "OK" in the warning dialog, and you're done; the clients and projects from your memo will now be in the PicoTrak client and project lists.
Here is an example memo:
After this has been imported, there will be four new clients in the client list: "Argo City", "Concat", "Flowpond", and "Faraday Melos". In addition, there will be three new projects: a "Biz cards" with "Argo City" as the client, another "Biz cards" with "Concat" as the client, and a "green project" with "Concat" as the client.
It is not possible to import a project name without a client name. If you want to import a list of projects and you don't care about the client name, you can just use a dummy client name on each line (such as "c").
Using the Timer
you want to start timing your work, select a project name and tap the Start
button. The timer will start for that project and the running daily time
will be underlined. When you stop working on that project, tap the St
op button to stop the timer. If you are switching to a different project,
select it and tap the Start button to start the timer for that project.
If you go back to timing the first project, the timer will pick up from where it left off (currently there is not an automatic way to keep track of individual work "segments" in a day but you can manually itemize your time using the note feature on the Details View or by setting up your projects as daily tasks).
if the Tap in 'today' col controls timer preference
is turned on, you can start the timer for a project by simply tapping on
that project's today column. Tap again to stop the timer. If one
project is being timed and you tap on the today column of another
project, the first project's timer is automatically stopped and the second
project's timer is started. This allows you to quickly switch from one project
to another with a single tap.
If you have a lot of projects, you can enter a "." character (tap-tap) on the main display to automatically scroll to the project being timed.
Note that the running time is not added to the total column until you stop the timer.
The Project Details View
a project and tap the Details button to bring up the Details View
dialog. At the top are the project name and client. You can change and/or
edit those from here.
The list in the middle of the screen shows every date on which any time was accumulated for the project, and the time for that date.
The small button on the left with the arrow on it toggles the order of the list between ascending and descending by date.
The checkboxes to the left of each date can be used to check off dates as they are billed. The billed status of dates can be used to control which dates are exported, and you can easily delete all billed dates with the purge command.
Above the list is the total time for the project (the sum of all the times in the list), and the total unbilled time (the sum of just the unchecked dates).
Hourly Rate: To the left of the totals is the hourly rate for this project. To the right of the total and unbilled times are the corresponding monetary totals (time multiplied by the hourly rate). The rate is in an editable field so you can change it. However, if you do change it, you need to tap the small "R" button underneath the field to have the monetary totals recalculated with the new rate.
On the lefthand side, below the arrow button is a pair of toggle buttons. One has a "T" for "Time", the other has the currency character (which is settable on the Preferences screen). As seen in the screenshots to the right, these buttons control whether the right column of the table shows the times or the money values (time multiplied by hourly rate) for each date.
The buttons across the bottom:
The scroll buttons of your Palm device (the physical buttons below the screen) can be used to cycle through the projects without the need to go back and forth to the main view. Any changes made are automatically saved when you use these scroll buttons.
You can manually change the time on an existing date. This might be needed if you stop working on a project but forget to stop the timer, or if you forget to start the timer when you start working. To change the time, select the date and tap the Edit button. In the small window, select one of the digits and use the arrow buttons to change it appropriately.
Both of the minutes digits behave additively. As you increase (or decrease) a value, it affects the entire time as if you were adding (or subtracting). For example, if the time is "2:39" and you select the ones digit and click the up arrow, the time will become "2:40" (you added one minute). If the time is "3:04" and you select the tens digit and click the down arrow, the time will become "2:54" (you subtracted ten minutes). This should make it easier to add in an amount of time; no manual addition is necessary, as it was previously. For example, if the current time value is "2:47" and you need to add an additional 35 minutes, you do it by tapping to select the ones digit, then tap the up arrow five times, then tap the tens digit and tap the up arrow three times. This has the effect of adding the 35 minutes to get the new value "3:22".
If you manually edit today's time and increase it, and then start the timer for that project, it's possible that the timer will reach 24 hours. Since it's not possible to have more than 24 hours in a day, if this happens the timer will automatically stop and a warning will appear.
Editing Project Names
The Edit Project Names menu item brings up a dialog that shows a list of project names. Initially, this list is automatically generated and contains every unique project name that has ever been created. This list is used in the New Project dialog, and the Summary screen.
Note that changes made here affect only the popup list in the New Project dialog; changing a project name here does not change existing project names in the main list; adding a project name here does not add a new project to the main display.
Editing Client Names
The Edit Client List menu item brings up a dialog that shows all the client names currently in use.
This dialog works differently than the Edit Project Names dialog in that changes made here do indeed affect the client names used elsewhere in the application. For example, if you have five projects with a client of "ArgoCity" and you use this dialog to change that client name to "Argile City", all five projects will then show "Argile City" as the client in the details view.
Hourly Rate: Tap on a client name then tap the Hourly Rate button to assign a rate to that client. From then on, when you create a new project under that client, the project will automatically be assigned the client's hourly rate. You can, of course, change a project's hourly rate on the Project Details view.
|If you have a color Palm device, you can assign a different color to each client name. On the main display (and on the Summary screen), project names are displayed in their client's color. This should make it easier if you have multiple projects with the same name for different clients.||
When you complete a project, check it off using the checkbox at the left of the main display. The middle column will now show the date that it was completed (the date on which you checked the checkbox). You can set a preference to have completed projects sorted to the end of the list to get them out of your way. When you do an export, you can choose to have completed projects included in the export, or not. You can easily delete all completed projects with the purge command.
You can choose to have the main list sorted alphabetically by project name, or by client name. In the latter view, each client name is listed, followed by the projects belonging to that client. Tapping on a client name brings up the New Project window with that client selected.
You can choose to have completed projects sorted to the end of the main display, useful to get them out of the way of projects you're still working on.
The "Tap in 'today' col controls timer" option determines whether or not you can start and stop the timer by tapping in the "today" column of the main display.
The "Use 'live' scrolling" option determines whether the display will scroll while the scrollbar controls are being activated, or if the display will only scroll once a scrollbar control is released. Live scrolling is generally nicer, however there is a bug in the OS that sometimes causes the display to jump back to a previous position when live scrolling is used. If you experience such jumping, you should turn off this option.
The "Right Column" option controls what is displayed in the righthand column of the main display. You can choose to see either the overall total time for the project, or the total of just the unbilled dates. If you choose the former, and you have a color Palm device, the total will be displayed in red if there is any unbilled time for that project.
You can also toggle this option directly from the main display by tapping on the column header. For example, if it is set to display total time, a tap on the word "total" will change it to display the unbilled time.
The "Currency Symbol" is used on the lefthand side of monetary values, shown in various places such as the Project Details screen and the Summary screen.
You can choose to have times displayed in any of six different formats:
The header above the total column on the main display changes to reflect which format is currently selected, to serve as a reminder.
This option affects all displayed and exported times except the "today" column of the main display, which always displayes hours, minutes and seconds.
Also, if the "quarters of an hour in fractional format" option is selected, the Export function (described below) will output totals using decimal format since PC programs would not understand the Palm's font.
"Always round up" - If this checkbox is checked, time values will be rounded up to the next highest value of the selected time format. If it is not checked, times will be rounded up or down to the nearest value. For example, if the time format is hours.tenths, the values in that format are multiples of six minutes. The following table shows the affect of the two rounding options:
The "Sort completed projects to end" option also applies if the
Sort list by Clients option is selected; i.e. completed projects
are sorted to the end of the entire display (prior to version 1.7, completed
projects were sorted to the end of their respective client sections). This
means that the main list will actually consist of two lists: first, a list
of clients with the uncompleted projects, and then a list of clients with
the completed projects.
The examples to the right should make this clear:
The Summary Screen
This screen allows you to see the total times -- billed, unbilled, and overall total -- between two specified dates. There are popup menus for specifying a client and/or a project.
The table in the middle displays the totals for individual projects for the specified period. The popup at the bottom right allows you to see either the overall total, just the billed total, or just the unbilled total.
To get a summary across all projects, set the Client and Project popups to "All".
The summary information is automatically recalculated when either of the date selectors or either of the popups are changed.
|The toggle buttons in the lower left allow you to switch the totals between time and money. The symbol on the righthand button (a "$" here) will be the currency symbol as set on the Preferences dialog.|
To get a summary of all projects for a particular client, select that client name and set the Project popup to "All"
|If you have more than one project of the same name but with different clients, you can get a summary of all projects with that name by selecting the name from the Project popup and leaving the Client popup set to "All".|
If, on the other hand, you want to see one specific project (from among several with the same name but different clients), you will need to select both the project name and the desired client name.
Once you have used the two date selectors to set a time interval, you can "scroll" ahead or backwards by the interval amount using the two little arrow buttons.
The left arrow moves the dates into the past, and the right arrow moves the dates into the future. Both dates are moved by the difference between the two.
For example, the top screen on the right shows the interval set to one week, from Sunday the first through Saturday the seventh.
Tapping the right arrow button will move both dates seven days ahead, as shown on the next screen, so that the summary is now for Sunday the eighth through Saturday the fourteenth.
Export to Memo
To get your PicoTrak data into an application on your PC/Mac such as Excel, use the following steps:
If you select All, the exported data will include all dates (subject to the options explained below). If you select Date Range, two date selector boxes will appear. You can then select a starting and ending date. Only project dates between those (inclusive) will be exported.
In the Export dialog, you have two layout options, Spreadsheet or Linear.
Select Spreadsheet layout if you will be importing the data into a spreadsheet program. The output will be in a column-oriented format -- each date on a separate line such that all clients, projects, dates, times, etc. are in the same columns -- and will include a header line identifying the columns. For example:
Client Project Date Hours Rate Total Billed? Notes client1 project1 1/1/03 2:10 50.00 108.33 yes client1 project1 1/2/03 3:30 50.00 175.00 no client1 project1 1/3/03 3:00 50.00 150.00 no client1 project1 Total: 8:40 433.33 client1 project1 Billed: 2:10 108.33 client1 project1 Unbilled: 6:30 325.00 client2 project2 1/1/03 1:20 55.00 73.33 no client2 project2 1/2/03 2:50 55.00 155.83 no client2 project2 Total: 4:10 229.16 client2 project2 Billed: 0:00 0.00 client2 project2 Unbilled: 4:10 229.16
If you do not have the Include billed dates option selected, the Billed? column will not be included, nor will the Billed: and Unbilled: total rows.
Select Linear layout if you will be importing the data into a program that expects a more compact format. The output will have each project on a single line, and will not include a header line. The order of the fields is:
client,project,[hourly rate],date,hours,[$total],[billed?], . . . total_hours,[$total],billed_hours,[$billed],
Where fields enclosed in square brackets will only appear if the appropriate option is selected.
The Separator option allows you to select what character is used between data fields, either a comma or a tab. If you are not sure which to use, try making two memos the first time, one with commas and one with tabs, and then see which is accepted by the program you are importing into.
You also have the option to put quotes (") around each data field or not. Most programs that can import data are smart enough to understand quoted fields, and it is recommended that you use quotes if you will be including your daily notes (without quotes, any comma, tab, or newline that appears in a note will be interpreted by the importing program as a field separator).
The Mark all exported dates billed option will automatically check the billed checkbox for all dates that are exported. This can be useful if the way you use the export feature is to bill all of the projects and dates that are exported; this option saves you from having to manually go through and check all the billed checkboxes. Since currently your only choice is to export all the data, this means that if you turn on this option, all dates on all projects will be marked as billed.
The other options allow you to select whether to include projects that are marked completed, dates that are marked as billed, and/or the daily notes.
A Note About Memo Size
The PalmOS limits a single memo to 4,000 characters. When the exported data exceeds that size, PicoTrak automatically creates a second memo (and a third, fourth, etc. if necessary). The new memos have the same title as the first plus sequential numbering. Thus, if you use the default title of "PicoTrak Data", the first memo will have that title, the second memo will have the title "PicoTrak Data1", the third memo will be "PicoTrak Data2", etc.
After you perform a HotSync function, you will need to either manually combine the multiple memos into one text file, or do multiple copy-paste operations, to get the data into your spreadsheet application (or whatever application you desire). The data is always split between memos at a line boundary to make this task easier.
This command has three options; you can select any of them in any combination.
Please be certain that you have billed for, or at least recorded the times for, all completed projects and/or all billed dates that might be deleted.
When the purge is finished, a screen is displayed showing the various results.
If you work late into the night and have a timer running over midnight, PicoTrak will automatically change to the next day and continue the timer.
If you accidentally leave a timer running and don't return to PicoTrak for several days (you forget to turn the timer off on Friday and leave it running over the weekend, for example), all intervening days will have accumulated 24 hours of time. You can use the Details View to delete those dates.
New Features in Version 2.0
Name changed from TimeTracker to PicoTrak.
You can assign an hourly rate to any project, and that rate will be used to show a monetary total (the time multiplied by the rate) in various places. You can assign a "default" rate to each client, and that rate will be used on all new projects created under that client. The rate for each project can also be set individuallly.
A new option to specify that times should always be rounded up, rather than being rounded up or down to the nearest even multiple of the selected time format.
In the Summary view, the up and down buttons on your Palm device will function like the right and left arrow buttons, respectively.
New Features in Version 1.8
You can now choose to have the righthand column of the main list show either the overall total time (as before) or show the total of just the unbilled dates for that project. This option can be set on the Preferences dialog, or by simply tapping on the column header.
You can now import a client/project list from a memo in the MemoPad.
The Summary screen now includes buttons for "scrolling" backward or forward by the selected interval.
You have the option to use live scrolling or not.
PicoTrak version 1.8 is PalmOS 5.0 compliant.
New Features in Version 1.7
Color support. You can assign a color to each client, and project names are then displayed in their client's color.
Improved support for international time and number formats. PicoTrak honors the time format and number format selected in the Palm Prefs application.
The oft-requested hundredths of an hour time format has been added.
The edit time dialog behaves in an additive fashion, rather than each digit being independent.
On the Summary screen, the project totals are displayed in the selected time format.
On the main screen, the auto scroll feature now accepts digits as well as letters.
In the "sort by client" view, with the "Sort completed projects to end" option turned on, completed projects are sorted to the end of the entire list, rather than only to the end of their respective client sections, as before.
A small bug was fixed: If you renamed a project to the name of an existing project, you would get two entries by that name in the project name list.
Note: There was no version 1.6.
New in Version 1.5
The Export to Memo feature allows you to optionally specify a range of dates to be exported. It also allows you to optionally include the totals in the exported data.
The Summary screen includes a project-by-project summary.
You can edit and/or delete the project names as used in the popup menu on the New Project and Summary screens.
On the main display, if you enter a lowercase letter, the display will scroll to the first project (or client when in list-by-client view) that starts with that letter (uppercase or lowercase). Entering a period (i.e. tap-tap) will cause the display to scroll to the project being timed.
After using the Purge command to delete all dates marked as billed, the project totals displayed on the main screen were not being updated. This has been fixed.
The occasional problem where the main list would "jump" back when scrolling has been fixed. Unfortunately, this required getting rid of the live scrolling feature.
New in Version 1.4
The Export to Memo function will automatically create multiple memos if the data exceeds the maximum memo size of 4000 characters.
The Export to Memo function will automatically convert any newline in a note to a space. This will prevent the columns from being messed up when the data is imported on the desktop.
You can tap on the today column to start and stop the timer.
The Summary screen can display the summary for a specified client or a specified project.
The New Project dialog includes a popup that allows you to easily set the name to that of an exsiting project.
New in Version 1.3
A Summary screen that can display the total times across all projects between any two dates.
You can add a note to the current date of a project (even if it's the project being timed) directly from the main screen.
On the Project Details screen, you can sort the date list either ascending or descending.
The Purge command includes an option to purge all billed dates.
The Export to Memo command includes an option to automatically mark all exported dates as billed.
PicoTrak databases are fully backed up during a HotSync function.
The Delete Project function has been moved from a button to a menu item.
New in Version 1.2
An option to have the main list sorted by client name (with the client names displayed).
The ability to add a date in the past to a project.
The "wandering timer" bug is fixed.
New in Version 1.1
The ability to export your data to a memo in the MemoPad (see below for details).
Total times are now being rounded (to the nearest minute or nearest tenth of an hour, depending on the preference setting) rather than truncated.
A new option to display total times rounded to the nearest quarter hour.