Jiffy Keeps Track of Your Precious Time

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A lot of us need to track the time we spend on something. In the open-ended freelance world, many bill their employer by the hour. Or maybe you just want to know the time you would need to complete a particular activity? Jiffy for Android is a nifty little app that eases this rudimentary task. It works on a freemium model; i.e. you can get a basic feel of the functionality and then via an in-app purchase (costing $2) unlock full functionality.

The design philosophy is extremely simple — there’s no use of vibrant colours, just a plain combination of white and grey. Opening the app reveals projects that you’re keeping a track of. On top there’s a graphical and numerical overview of how much time was tracked in a day and in a week. New projects can be added by clicking the button at the bottom. You need to fill out the ‘Customer’ name, the ‘Project’ name, and a colour you want to assign to that project. Unfortunately, the ‘Customer’ name is compulsory, which is irrelevant when you want to track something that doesn’t involve mentioning one, like say ‘Exercise’ or ‘Cooking’. Once you’ve filled in the details and added the project, it appears on the main screen. In the free version, you can track only three projects. To start the clock, simply tap on the project and it begins counting. You can also preset a starting time so that it automatically starts counting then. Tapping on any other project pauses the current project’s tracking and begins the one just tapped.

The UI has a strong sense of Android 4.0 painted over it — I’m referring to things like the H:MM:SS (Hours, Minutes and Seconds) clocks or three vertical dots that represent a drop-down menu. There are two menus on top — ‘Summary’ shows you a total counting of all your projects with a radical-looking pie chart representing the split. You can view the Summary by day, week or month by tapping the date on top. There’s also an ability to export the summary data into a CSV file, which will come in handy while say, filling out an invoice for an employer or importing this data into another web app.

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The other menu is called ‘History’. It shows a weekly calendar view with coloured markers of which day and what time you started a project. From here, you can also log time that wasn’t tracked by Jiffy in the past. You can swipe leftwards to see recordings of up to three weeks, beyond which you’ll have to get the in-app purchase to unlock it.

If you want to make sure you don’t end up working all day long, you can set a work time (by default it is set to the usual 8 hours) and also select your work days. Even when Jiffy is minimized, it shows a symbol on the notification bar and a counter in the notification drawer. This app requires no online connectivity and you can create a ‘Jiffy.db’ backup file which can be used to restore, for instance, when you switch from one Android phone to another.

I’ll conclude by saying that Jiffy for Android is a very nifty time tracker. The interface is dead-simple to use and the app is quite swift in its operation. As usual, you can download the app from Google Play.

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