A few days ago I wrote about installing a Secs desktop timer program to remind me when it’s time to get up from the computer and put another log on the fire. I’ve made some interesting discoveries since then.
I was so pleased with the results that I investigated several other products from Sinner Computing in hopes that I might keep better track of the tasks I am juggling. They have a pot load of shareware programs including more complex counters, but in the end I realized that my requirements didn’t fit any of their more complex products.
My needs are quite simple:
In order to track what I am spending time on, I need highly visible task timers which allow me to switch instantly between tasks with one or two mouse clicks.
I went back to the original Secs Desktop timer and found that this tiny application does exactly what I need. The only cost for me is screen space, but my second monitor does an admirable job of displaying all of my current tasks and allows for insertion and substitution of other tasks in a few seconds.
I just fire up as many instances of Secs as I have tasks to monitor, making sure that I have distinctive colors for each task. In normal use, the timers are much smaller than what I’ve shown here. I
expanded them so you could see clearly what I was monitoring.
In the close-up view of my task timing panel, you can see timers for the activities I perform at my desk plus a Stove Alert timer which reminds me to break off working and reload the woodstove before the fire dies down too far.
At the end of a work period, I have a good idea of what I can do to improve my output or my mood, whichever is lagging.
By the way, these timers will run in minimized mode, but I like them to be visible so I can keep an eye on where the time is going so I can change tasks if necessary.
I am sure that some of you will come up with more imaginative schemes for tracking your production and I welcome your thoughts on the subject.
By the way, the stove timer is an unqualified success. The stove has not gone out since I started using it.
I want to thank my friend Teri Walters for creating this business card holder. I have used all sorts of card holders over the years and they all got lost in the shuffle of papers on my desks. This "Helping Hand" card holder keeps business cards right where my guests can see them and easily take one. It is weighted properly so it stays where it is put and won’t tip over.
This is an original design which gives me a great deal of satisfaction. I am sure Teri would be happy to design a hand to suit your particular desk decor.