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a web page to track time usage


June 2009: This page had not been updated since May 2004 and things changed between then and now regarding web browsers - the only software this application needs. It was not working in IE7, IE8 or Firefox 3. I took a quick look at it and updating the cookie expiration date got it working in IE7. It doesn't work in Firefox 3 and I don't know why. Firefox shows the cookie as a session cookie rather than a permanent one. TimeKeeper was originally developed in 2001.

TimeKeeper is a web page that can be used to track hours/minutes spent working on a project. The intended audience is someone who bills clients by the hour (consultants, lawyers, etc.).

It is a bit unusual in that the application consists entirely of JavaScript embedded in the web page (cookies are the data store).

TimeKeeper is free. It requires only a web browser that supports JavaScript and thus should be usable from pretty much any browser on pretty much any Operating System (Windows, Mac, Linux, etc.).

TimeKeeper can be used either on-line or off-line. That is, you can use it from this web site while logged on to the Internet or, better yet, download it to your computer and use it in off-line mode at any time. Although it is a web page, TimeKeeper was designed and intended for off-line use. The on-line use available here is intended only as a demonstration (but it is fully functional). To use it off-line, you have to download the single TimeKeeper web page to your computer (instructions are below). 

clock image

The application is brutally simple, using it involves nothing more than clicking on buttons on a web page. One button tells it when you start working for the day, another tells it when you stop working for the day. In between, you can suspend working and resume working any number of times. (see usage notes) All TimeKeeper does is add up all the minutes/hours you worked and report on it. 

Your web browser does not have to be active or running TimeKeeper while you are working. After you tell TimeKeeper that you have started or resumed a work day, you can close your web browser. TimeKeeper saves the information it needs in a cookie, which is read later when you suspend your work session or end the work day. The advantages of leaving TimeKeeper running while you are working are that it makes it harder to forget about TimeKeeper when you stop working and you can use the reminders feature.

A short introduction to using TimeKeeper is included with the off-line version and available from the Help button. A longer discussion of all the ins and out of using TimeKeeper, is available on the Usage Notes page. 

Cookies are small text files that are read and written by a web browser program. TimeKeeper's use of cookies is unusual in that it does not require a web server. Instead, TimeKeeper issues JavaScript commands to your web browser to read and write the cookies it needs. This is what enables TimeKeeper to be used off-line.

Why use cookies? Originally JavaScript was intended for use within a web browser and for security reasons was not allowed to read or write to files or databases. This has changed over time, ASP on the server side and WSH on the client side now allow JavaScript programs to access files and databases. Cookies have always been allowed from client-side JavaScript and they are a safe means of data storage. They are plain text files and by restricting itself to cookies, TimeKeeper can not read any data on your computer. If you have any security concerns about TimeKeeper, just look at the source code of the web page. 

Can you run TimeKeeper?

As noted above, TimeKeeper requires JavaScript which is built into almost every web browser. However, even if your web browser supports JavaScript, the use of JavaScript might be disabled. Below is a test of whether your web browser both supports JavaScript and is enabled to use it. There are many versions of JavaScript and the test shows the version used in your web browser. TimeKeeper should work with all versions of JavaScript as I avoided any recent (meaning nothing new as of 2001) or fancy language features. However, I have not tested it with each and every web browser. Your test results:  

Get the Off-Line Version

To use TimeKeeper off-line, you have to download a single html file to your computer. The download page has instructions on this and also shows the date of the latest version of TimeKeeper (I track updates based on dates, not versions/releases). The off-line version reports it's last update date at the bottom of the web page.  

To help you decide whether to upgrade to the latest version of TimeKeeper, see the changes made on the change history page.

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Last Updated: June 28, 2009 Previous Update: May 2004