New Feature: Add time spent doing a task

We’ve been getting quite a few emails requesting the ability to add the amount of time spent doing a task. It’s now possible, using an easy shorthand notation when entering what you did.

It’s best illustrated through an example:

I just finished up this feature, and it took me 3 and a half hours. What I entered into ididwork was:

[feature 3:30] Just finished up the enter task time spent feature!

Let’s break the tricky part out, basically everything in the brackets:


This is the name of my tag. I’ve got a tag for features, bugs, server, and a bunch more. I’m a big tag person because I like putting my work into buckets and seeing the pie chart, but it’s totally optional.


The basic format here is h:m. The number of hours you spent goes to the left of the colon, and the number of minutes go to the right. If something took just 5 minutes, you can do “:5m”. If it took two hours (with no minutes), you can do “2:” or “2:00″, whichever you prefer.

We’re now working on how we’d like to present this new bit of data, and need your feedback on that. Do you want to be able to sort/filter by the amount of time taken? What kind of new graph(s) would you like to see using the time taken? Let us know in the comments or by shooting us an email at feedback[at] Thanks!

New feature: time spent

New feature: time spent

15 Responses to “New Feature: Add time spent doing a task”

  1. wes Says:

    very nice feature!! i was just updating a fwe mins ago and noticed the time tag. very nicely impletmeented.

    i’m a very visual person and would like to see a graph that shows the amount of time spent on each tag item; how much i spent working on [feature] over all, by adding all the [hr:mn] together on a daily/weekly/monthly basis.

    also i’m sure this will come up at some point if it hasn’t already; i’m sure folks wouild like to be able to indicate time spent not just on a how much time but what time was spent on an item. [feature 08-09] could indicate i spent the hour of 8am to 9am working on features.

    then a graph breaking the day down by hours showing tags roked on along with overlap.

    keep up the awesome work and i’m loving this site a lot! it’s making my contract work easy to track.

  2. Sudhakar Says:

    Which timezone does this application work in? Could i change it?

  3. Craig Says:

    How nice. Now, how about some basic functionality repairs, like being able to distinguish between multiple people in your group who have the same first name? There doesn’t appear to be a way for either the employee or the manager to change their name to make it more easily distinguishable.

  4. CM Says:

    Nice job on the website and concept! I like where you guys are headed.

    Have you considered a way for people to email their postings in rather than having them log in all the time? (Check out to see some of their functionality/features — members can email and just bcc: from the email that is associated with their account and the entry gets logged automatically to their account.)

    I would think that managers would like to be able to click on an employee and the date and see how they used their 8-10 work day. Obviously employees can completely fudge on the time it takes to do tasks, but hopefully they’d be honest because if they are taking an enormous amount of time doing a pretty simple task, the manager would then be able to question them on their efficiency.

  5. remanc Says:

    @wes Great suggestions. We’re coming up with the types of analysis we can use with time, and this helps a lot. I also like the idea of entering what time period you spent on the task, so we’ll talk about that as well.

    @Sudhaker Right now the server is on Pacific time. We’ll allow for changing time zones once we figure out a good way of sending out reports (the problem being that right now everything’s synced up, and we’d have to account for the difference somehow)

    @Craig Sorry about that. We’re planning on pushing out that update later today (updating your name). Huge oversight on our part.

    @CM Definitely. We want to be able to support multiple types of input into the system (im, jabber, email, etc) and we’re thinking we can get that up and running in the next few weeks. Re the manager stuff, yep, that sounds like a great idea. Right now we’re pretty basic on the manager side of things, so we’re looking for manager feedback about what they’d like to see in the system.

  6. Lee Says:

    Just read about this today and started using it. Very nice. Well done. I really like the tagging feature, but have found one issue: it appears that when there’s a breaking in the name of the tag it treats it as two different tags. For example, I put in biz dev and when I look at the analysis data there was an entry for biz and one for dev. I was able to correct this by changing it to biz_dev, but you may want to put a note on the page about this.

  7. remanc Says:

    @Lee Agreed, we need to use a better description in there. Tags are space delimited, which means that biz dev becomes two tags.

  8. Halesy Says:

    Great update, thanks for listening to the comments, and for the quick turn-around.

    A simple graphic of time is useful for me, different tags having different colours. This would be shown over the course of a working day (I currently do this in Outlook). And a summary table of the total hours over the week/month would be useful.

    I’m also keen on updating via IM (MSN for me), if I could type an IM that publishes to the site with time/tag/task then that would be ideal!

    And not forgetting my split view request where I could see my updates and my team/colleague updates at the same time ;-)

  9. remanc Says:

    @Halesy Can you describe the time example in a little more detail (ie different tags having different colors)? Regarding IM, definitely on the horizon; we’re looking into it now. And about the split view - is that like seeing your tasks intermixed with the feed? Or do you want it separated in a split pane or something more complicated? Thanks

  10. Halesy Says:

    The way I imagine it (and have it in MS Outlook at the moment) is here:

    With a summary table somewhere totalling time on tags.

    As for the split view, don’t think it needs to be complicated. The idea of the intermixed tasks for colleagues sounds good, have my tasks on the left and my colleagues on the right.

  11. Halesy Says:

    Looking at the feed when someone puts in their time spent on a project “in 10 minutes” is the update. Sorry to be picky but can the wording be changed? e.g. [tag] for [time]

  12. remanc Says:

    @Halesy Yep, you caught me on an update so I just fixed the wording there. And thanks for the screenshot, that gives us something to work with.

  13. Alex Says:

    I found your site on technorati and read a few of your other posts. Keep up the good work. I just added your RSS feed to my Google News Reader. Looking forward to reading more from you down the road!

  14. Hypernation Says:

    I’m just not sure. This seems to add to work, it’s metawork. Work about work.

    Maybe if I understood how this can be useful for people…

  15. remanc Says:

    @hypernation There’s a couple things we’re trying to do with ididwork:

    1) Allow you to keep a work log (I personally really like keeping a record of my accomplishments, even if I don’t refer to it on a constant basis - it’s just nice to know its there)

    2) Let you know what your coworkers are doing. In a team, it’s pretty useful to know if someone you’re depending on has finished his work, etc etc.

    3) Share with your manager, and get feedback from them. Managers (especially those that have larger teams and don’t interact with them on a daily basis) like to know what their team is doing. And on the employee side - it’s nice to get feedback from your managers on a more regular basis than the annual performance review.

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