Toggl Desktop has changed a lot over the past months – especially on Windows. Last week we released another big update (7.3.157) with a number of new features, improvements and other changes to the Windows version.
In this post I would like to bring you up to speed with these changes to make sure you can use Toggl Desktop’s features to track your time as efficiently as possible.
As already announced last month, Toggl Desktop on Windows now includes the Autotracker feature that made it’s debut on Mac OSX a few months ago.
While we first released the Autotracker only to our beta users, it is now available for everyone with the newest version of Toggl Desktop for Windows.
The Autotracker’s main purpose is to help you start your timer when you start working – and to help you to quickly track under the right project. This allows you to focus more on your work, and pay less attention to tracking it.
You can activate the Autotracker in the application’s preferences. You have to both enable it, and let us know what projects you would like us to help you track:
Simply type in which active windows you want to trigger tracking, and under which project.
For example, you could add the rule with term “photoshop”, and project “Drawing”. If Toggl Desktop then detects that you are running Photoshop, and you are not yet tracking, it will show you a notification asking you whether you want to start tracking under the “Drawing” project.
You can add as many rules as you like to help you automate your tracking.
Default project setting
Another feature to help you be more efficient at tracking your time is the new Default project setting which you can find under the general preferences of Toggl Desktop:
If you do most of your work on the same project, you can select it here to automatically have the project be filled in each time you start a time-entry without a project.
Of course you can still always change the project for both running and stopped time-entries – just like before.
Project colour selection
The ability to create projects and clients has been a feature in Toggl Desktop for quite a while.
Until now, newly created projects were assigned a random colour from the available ones. If you (like me) prefer certain colours for certain kinds of projects, this meant that you have to go to the web interface and change the colour there for every project created with Toggl Desktop.
This is no longer the case.
From now on, when creating a project, you can click the grey project colour circle to the left of the project name and select a colour for the new project yourself:
We hope this will make it a lot easier for you to colour-code your projects.
Note that we do not support changing the colour of a project after it has been created. This – and any other such administrative work – has to be done using the web interface.
Start new time-entry from clipboard
Another new feature to help you start tracking quicker is the ability to start a new time entry just by copy pasting a piece of text into Toggl Desktop.
For example, if you start working on an issue from an issue tracking system, or you start working on a task from an email (or any other place where you can copy text) just select the piece of text describing your task and copy it.
Then go to Toggl Desktop and hit Ctrl+V – the program will instantly start tracking and fill in your copied text as description. You can then select a project if you like, or just get working straight away, and fill in additional information later.
Note that this feature only works when you are not currently tracking anything. However, you can of course always stop the current time-entry with the shortcut Ctrl+S, and start tracking the new task right away.
See current time in taskbar icon tooltip
During a hectic day, or when something distracts you from work for even just a minute, it sometimes takes a moment to remember what you are working on.
Instead of trying to remember, I often simply check my Toggl timer for what I am currently tracking, to quickly see what I’m supposed to be doing.
From now on you no longer have to open the application to be able to do this. Instead, you can simply hover your mouse over the Toggl Desktop notification icon on the right side of the task bar, and a small popup will show you the description and running time of the current time entry:
Apart from helping regain focus after a distraction, I find this feature also very useful to quickly check for how long I have been working on the current task to make sure I spend my time as productively as I can.
Timer duration textbox and manual mode
Something you may notice right away when starting the new version of Toggl Desktop for Windows is that the timer no longer shows the time “00:00:00” when stopped.
More importantly, you can also no longer enter time without starting a time entry. Previously, entering time before starting Toggl Desktop would add a new stopped time-entry with the given time instead of starting the timer.
This is part of an ongoing effort to streamline the user experience, and make Toggl Desktop as easy and efficient to use as possible.
If you like or need to add a time entry manually, do not worry though. You can still do so by using the manual mode which is accessibly in the cog-wheel menu or by hitting Ctrl+D.
And if you simply forgot or where unable to start tracking on time and want to start tracking retroactively, you can simply start the timer as usual and enter the duration in the edit popup menu.
Aside from these major changes and new features above, we have also changed a number of smaller things to make Toggl Desktop an even better tool for time tracking.
Better keyboard controls
One big feature we have had for some time are keyboard-controls that allow you to access all features within the app without having to use the mouse.
We improved this feature even further by making global keyboard shortcuts (you can find these in the preferences) more robust, and by allowing easy keyboard control of confirmation message boxes.
Style and Layout changes
We have made some changes to the overall layout and design of the application to make it more sleek and uniform.
These changes include making the timer area of the main window more compact to waste less space. We also decreased some margins across the application for the same purpose, and improved the transitions between the parts of the Toggl Desktop to be less jarring and more intuitive.
Additionally, we changed the order of the edit-popup elements to now have the description and project text-boxes on top. These are more often used, so that these changes allow for quicker editing of time-entries, especially when controlling the app with the keyboard.
Unfortunately, it is virtually impossible to write completely bug-free software.
As developers, we are in a constant battle to find and eradicate these problems. This new release includes a number of fixes to the most serious problems our users encountered over the recent weeks.
These range from small improvements like the time-entry list sometimes scrolling up without user-input to fixes of more severe problems like the window position not always saving correctly when exiting the app.
For a full list of fixes (and all other changes) feel free to take a look at the Windows Toggl Desktop changelog at Github.
Your Feedback Counts
As a developer working on Toggl Desktop, my main goal is to make the application as easy and pleasant to use, and as useful a time tracker as it can be.
We can only do so by listening closely to what our users are saying about the program. As such, many of the changes above have been implemented in response to the feedback from our users.
If you have comments on these changes, or ideas for improvements or new features, please feel free to let us know in the comments below, or by contacting us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you have any questions about or are encountering any problems with Toggl Desktop, the best way to get help is by using the “Send Feedback” function inside the application.