A Minimalist Approach to
Time Tracking
1-Click TimeTracker

I track my work hours.

Hours don't lie. Time tracking is one of the most effective ways to get things done. You plan ahead and track your progress to ensure work productivity.

I tried many time tracking apps. At some point, I finally realized:

It's too much overhead.

The Problem

You're standing around the whiteboard, sketching out some cool ideas.
You're facing the blank Photoshop canvas.
You're rushing to a meeting.
You're replying to mountains of emails accumulated in just an hour.
You, simply are not in the mindset to remember that tracking app.

They are too proactive.

Many time tracking apps require constant thinking about time tracking as a task and demand too much attention from you. For example, one app asks you to click on a button to start a task, and click again to end it. It secretly plans to take over your life.

It's like heavy lifting.

Not every task is about hi-fi prototype that would last for hours. You often deal with little things that together make a huge part of your job. However, tracking them is another big project. Time-tracking apps interrogate you about all the details they don't need to know.

Multi-tasking is a miss.

Multi-tasking is not uncommon. You'll also encounter all sorts of unexpected situations (e.g. being pulled into a high priority meeting, longer-than-expected coffee time because you run into an old friend, etc.). But many apps are rigidly single threaded, and you need to put another tracker in your mind.

Time tracking quickly turns out to be a burden. It always competes with you, rather than serving your need.

* Oh, what about Excel and paper time sheet? I tried, and didn't feel I'm a professional in IT industry.

Key Considerations

After two weeks of using Toggl, Klok, and Excel time sheet (you sense the desperation here), I stopped accepting the status quo. I ask:

  • What if time tracking didn't get in your way of concentrating on work?
  • What if the interaction was as easy as clicking on a button?
  • What if it was customized for you, not making you change?

I was determined to create better solutions.


  • It must be a background app that's unobtrusive.
  • Users must understand the concept at first glance.
  • The concept must be simple yet flexible for various use cases.


  • Users must be able to quickly locate the item they are looking for.
  • Users must be able to customize the way of finding information.


  • The interaction must be very simple and requires little user input.
  • The interface must provide assistance, but not making decisions for users.
  • Users must be able to use it without learning.

1-Click TimeTracker

Simple concept

You add up time to a tile and it tells you how much you've spent so far. What's a tile? A coffee break or a big project? It's your call.

Just a click

As the name indicates, adding time requires only one click. You can track your fragmented work time with ease, without worrying about the time spent on time tracking.

Humble assistant

It doesn't ask for attention and get in your way. You call it only when you need it. You get some hint, one-click add, then leave it alone.

And the flexibility and customization.

  • Apply color. So you can highlight important tiles, or just use it to group tasks.
  • Reorder. So the most important comes first.
  • Cloud sync. So you have all logs in one place. work in progress
  • Report. So you can quantify your productivity. work in progress


1-Click TimeTracker is a Chrome extension built on HTML, CSS and Javascript, utilizing Chrome extension APIs for quick browser access and cloud data storage.


It's not officially released in Chrome Web Store. You can try the beta version here.

Chrome Apps

With the release of Chrome Apps on multiple platforms, 1-Click TimeTracker will also be converted to a Chrome App.