Martin showed you a nifty time tracking app for Adobe Air called Klok in a previous post, and now I'm here to tell you more and to show you the changes and improvements that are making Klok better every day. First of all, head on over to the Klok website and grab a copy of the application, preferably the beta version. As usual it may have some bugs, but I've been using it for a while on XP without a problem. Note that not all changes described here happened in the beta, they have been happening since around May.
If you've already used a previous version, the most prominent change you'll notice is the UI differences. I am not a huge fan of changing a UI that already looks and feels good, but they did a great job here, everything is a bit bigger, easier to use, and logically arranged into tabs. My favorite new visual feature can be observed right here in a project's summary menu, where there is a big "Actual hours vs estimate" representation with a horizontal bar filling up as you go along. Visual stuff like this helps me tremendously, it instills more "panic", so I will probably get a move on if I see the estimate being overshot soon.
Of course this isn't a hugely useful feature otherwise, but some great time tracking and usability issues have been addressed as well. You can now reorder your projects using drag and drop, which was something I really missed, now you can push subtasks between main tasks, so if you work in a project oriented workspace (as opposed to a client oriented one), you can easily move subtasks here and there. Another great feature implemented is better exporting capabilities. If you click on a summary you can now simply drag and drop an Excel icon onto the desktop to export to a file (along with comments), but if Excel is open, you can simply drop it in there to open it right away. So simple, yet so elegant, I love it!
Apart from these, smaller issues were addressed, for example renaming was a bit clunky in previous versions, it wasn't updated automatically, you had to click update for it to get updated, which is not a huge thing, but having it all done without needing to commit the changes can save you a boatload of time when adding a lot of projects.
I'm really hoping a lot more development goes into the app, as I can think of a lot of features that could be helpful. I would welcome some client management options. Since I organize Klok projects on a client basis, it would be great if contact people for all subtasks would be the same as the contact for the main entry by default. I would also have use for a sort of client management page separate from tasks where I could assign a project to a client and the appropriate structure would be created. A wonderful feature implemented is the option to give a project code to a project. I actually do this anyway, so inputting it here too is a great help, but it would be even better if you could set some rules to create these numbers automatically. I know its a long shot, but I actually manage my projects in a mysql database because I have a project management site for my clients, so exporting and interacting with mysql would be awesome, but I think I personify the one and only unit of demand for this feature.
All in all I would recommend Klok to anyone, freelancers, young mothers staying at home, office workers, anyone can benefit from a little time tracking, maybe only for fun to see what you waste time on? On another note, does any of you know if there will be a paid version of Klok? The download link says "Free personal edition", although there is no payment option. I am guessing there are some plans to add extra features later, anyone have some news on this?
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Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.