If good time tracking, recording and time management are a priority for you in your overall workload management approach, then you may be interested in this tool – especially if you use Microsoft Outlook. The fully featured free trial records exactly how you spend your time at your computer, which could help you with billing clients or just be a revelation in itself!

Phil Benton is a client and a friend who has created, lead and sold a number of successful IT businesses over the years and I have had the privilege of training his teams in managing competing priorities with Microsoft Outlook over those years. He is now getting back to his roots again and is developing apps running in Microsoft’s Azure cloud.

His start-up is a member of Microsoft’s Bizsparks programme and it is through that programme that he introduced me to Anne Currie, who has a very interesting Outlook plugin that collects the time an individual spends on his/her computer undertaking different activities in different applications.

I have spoken with Anne and have been working with her plug-in for over a month now and am happy to go public with it.

Her plug-in is primarily used for billing out time worked although it can be very useful for general time management, especially in collecting the actual time an individual spends on activities within Outlook and other applications.

So, her product is called Qlockwork (non-affiliate) and it is a small file that plugs into Outlook , creating a Calendar subfolder called Qlockwork, and then automatically records the time you spend in various activities inside and outside Microsoft Outlook. All data stays securely within your own system and you access it directly via your Calendar subfolder.

You can select the time frames you want it to track time within and you can set up project rules to track time spent in various applications on individual projects.

The time frame tracking options are 10 minutes, 5, 6 and 2 minute slots. I originally had mine set at 10 minutes and – because I was not always in one application on one task for 10 minutes, the Qlockwork calendar folder was showing me a lot of ‘Unknown’ activities within various applications. Anne explained that this was because I was not in one app for 10 minutes, so I now have mine set to the 2 minute option. This allows me to look back on my days and see what actual emails, docs, spreadsheets, Web Pages I was working on – Awesome!

I strongly suggest that you download the free trial to see how it might help you in your overall time and priority management improvement efforts.  Feel free to call me about this, comment here or email me for further information. I have no business or affiliate relationship with Anne, I just like her product.

PS: When Phil sold his last business to a £169Million turnover market leader, their HR Director called me. She said that when they bought his company they knew they were buying a proven solution that slotted perfectly into their portfolio – what they did not know was that they had bought a very productive team based workload management process and philosophy which Phil said was partly due to our priority workload management training and support. Happily they ended up using our training within their own Management Development programmes. Happy days!