Time tracking with BusyCal


I’m one of those people that simply has to have a calendar. If I don’t have events stored somewhere then the odds are extremely high I will forget all about them. Hence, when I’m organized, my day is meticulously mapped out from morning to night. The benefit to this is that I know I can really relax when there’s nothing on the calendar. I’ve written before about Calendars 5, and that’s still my go-to app on iOS.

On the Mac, I rely on BusyCal. I’d be willing to bet you won’t find a calendar app with more functionality. I’m always finding new features.

In my job it’s helpful for me to keep track of the amount of time that I spend on certain projects, because my time is split between a couple of different areas. I don’t need to track time right down to the second, though, a ballpark figure rounded to the nearest hour is generally good enough. So I was delighted that instead of tacking a dedicated time-tracking app onto my workflow, and giving me something else to forget, I managed to slightly tweak what I was already doing for a very simple but completely sufficient solution.

This takes advantage of three important BusyCal features: Tags, Total Duration, and Smart Filters.

  1. Make sure that every event you do that you want to track has an appropriate tag.

  2. Go to the List view (⌘5)

  3. Right click on the top of the columns and make sure Tags and Total Duration are checked.

  4. Create a Smart Filter (⌃⌘N) where events have a tag of whatever category you’d like to track.

Now when you click that Smart Filter, you’ll be able to look at the total duration numbers and see how much time you’ve spent that month. You can select to see only by Day, Week, Month, Year.

Simple time-tracking, right there in the app I use every day anyway.