What’s new in Toggl Desktop (and Our Plans for the Future)

Once again the summer has flown by in an instant. It’s time to change gears and start flying to new horizons with Toggl Desktop. This blog post will reflect on thing we got done this summer and will show our vision for the near future of Toggl Desktop.

Toggl desktop had close to 40k unique users in August and this is how the users were divided by their operating systems.


What we did this summer

During the summer months we had 5 releases for Windows and 2 releases for OSX. Here’s a rundown of the new features, sorted by platforms:

For all platforms

User name displayed in menu – Up until now it wasn’t easy to see which account was logged into the app. Now you can see the user’s email from the dropdown menu – this way there won’t be any confusion about what is currently being used.

For Windows and Mac

Tabbed preferences – We organised all the preferences into tabs, as we now have too many settings to list under a single tab. The new tabbed preferences view is more structured, allowing you do modify settings easier.

Summer for Windows

Converting to WPF – This summer was quite big for Windows as we decided to take the turn for WPF. Most of the summer went to converting the outdated Windows Forms implementations to the more powerful and more beautiful WPF. By now most of the application has been converted and it seems that we are moving on the right direction as the WPF framework has less restrictions and allows us do more cool stuff with less effort.

New design for edit view – We changed the popup edit view design to fit the rest of the app.

Better autocomplete – The new autocomplete is grouped by workspaces and clients! Also, autocomplete items now show you the project colours, making it even easier to find exactly what you’re looking for.

New Mac features

Autotracker – This is an exciting one – the autotracker gives you customised tracking reminders based on which app you’re currently working with!

Toggl will notify you to track time if you have a pre-set application window in the foreground and your timer is not running. You can also connect specific applications to projects, meaning you don’t have to attach a project to the entry you started from the notification popup.

Scheduling reminders – Now you can choose on what days and during what time period you want to be notified to start tracking. For example, you can disable reminders for the weekend – no sense in seeing these reminders when you’re trying to relax!


Tray icon – Yes, we’ve heard you – we have finally added the tray icon that was the single most asked for feature for the Linux app.

Minimised linux app – We have decided to not package any of the unneeded libraries inside the app anymore, opting to instead just package the essentials. This makes the latest release much smaller than the previous ones. We have instructions on how to install the dependencies needed to run the latest Linux app. We have already released the version to Beta channel so if you want to get it right away switch the channel from the About view.

What’s coming next?

One of the key words for next 3 months is transparency. We will try to make the development process more public so that the users can be more informed and feel more like they are part of the process.

General plans

A Public Change log – We have created a public change log page to our Github pages. This way users can always see which changes were included in the last release. The change log is available here.

Public development plans – We will add our 3 month plans to Toggl Desktop Github wiki. We will update the wiki page constantly to reflect on how we are achieving the goals we have set for ourselves.

Moving releases to Github – We will upload all our releases to Github making downloading the application independent from the Toggl infrastructure. This way users can still get the desktop app in case of any emergencies with our services (although the backend guys laughed at me and said that it’s impossible).

Deprecating version 7.1.x – As of August, only 1.6% of the users were using Toggl Desktop version 7.1.x – in light of this data we will be deprecating this version during next 3 months. The transition to a newer version should be smooth however, as there are no fundamental differences between versions 7.1 and 7.2.

Improving our QA process – We have had some issues with our quality assurance and have not always caught all the issues before releasing a new version. We will now be looking into finding some outside help for testing our applications before releases.

Plans for Windows and Mac apps

Syncing indicator and un-synced entries – We’re going to add a syncing indicator along with a counter for un-synced entries at the bottom of the app. This way you can see if something has not synced (and also can see if syncing is in progress).

Windows specific changes

Finishing up the WPF convert – We’re almost there but there’s still some details to be solved. We’ll finish it up and we’ll have a nice WPF app soon at your hands.

Keyboard shortcuts – This is something we’ve been talking about for some time. Mac version already has all the fancy shortcuts to move around the app without mouse, now it’s time to treat the Windows desktop app users with the same curtesy.

Autotracker UI – In the Mac version we already have the Autotracker UI and now it’s time to bring it to Windows. With Autotracker preferences the user can describe applications and project connected to these applications. That way user is notified to track time if timer is not tracking and user start using the described application. For me it’s Slack. If I open Slack it means business and the timer should be tracking.

Windows App Store – If we have successfully finished the WPF convert we will try to invade the Windows AppStore with our app.

Plans for Mac

Timeline UI Prototype – Timeline graph is coming to Toggl Desktop. We will create a prototype of timeline UI first on the osx app. With this feature you will be able to see your timeline data right in the same app where it is tracked. Step two would be adding the possibility to easily create time entries from the timeline graph.

Keep in mind, this not out yet, but here’s a teaser:


Better first time user experience – We will add guides and tips for first time users to make easier for them to learn using the app.


Now for the sad news.

As the user base of the Linux app is very low (only 1% of all desktop users) we have decided to slow down the development of the Linux app. There will be bug fixes when needed, but no new features and developments.

I think the team has learned a lot in the last 3 months and we have taken all these lessons into account when planning these new developments. Keep tuned because there is a lot of more cool updates to come and as always if you want to get the fresh stuff faster switch to the Beta channel.

By On September 16, 2015

    • @Wout, Thank you for sharing the info about Electron. We took a turn to native technologies with Toggl Desktop 7 on each platform for a reason. We want the applications on every platform to follow the platform design patterns and use the platforms native technologies. Toggl Desktop versions 4 to 6 were actually a cross-platform apps similar to the Electron framework. We created Toggl Desktop 4 back in 2013 and it was a slimmed down Chromium Browser that showed our toggl mobile website inside of it. This allowed us to share the code with the mobile web but it also restricted the desktop app functionalities in many ways. For Toggl Desktop 6 we also tried another cross-platform app creation framework called TideSDK. It was a little bit simpler to get up and running, but as with the Chromium based app, this also didn’t fit our needs as we needed functionalities that were not present in the framework. From these Toggl Desktop apps we learned that if we want to not be restricted by any framework limitations in our way, we need to use the native tools for our apps. I hope you enjoy the fully native apps of Toggl Desktop 7, as we really enjoy developing them.

      For retrospective here is an article about Toggl Desktop 4 release:

  1. As a fanatic Linux user the main reason for not using the desktop app is that it pales in comparison to the Web application. Not sure if the Win/Mac versions are better. I might give them a go to have something to compare.

    Sidenote, login with G fails on the site, might want to check that.