SimpleTimer 2

Recently, Lars Gerckens released the Simple Timer 2. It is a very simple and stylish tool for organizing projects and measuring how much time you spend on them.

SimpleTimer 2

Basically, the screenshot says it all. You define a project, define a to-do list of tasks for each project. You estimate how much a given task will take. You click on a task when you begin working on it and click again when you quit. The tool will log your time, give you some statistics, tell you if you underestimated the work, etc. I actually made a concept for a similar tool once but mine was supposed to be a physical product.

If you work as a freelancer or generally do your own work on a project basis, logging the time you spend working is actually an essential part of the daily routine. I found at some point it made the work even harder because it was yet ANOTHER barrier you had to overcome when you started working. As if the work alone wasn’t daunting enough. The previous Version, Simple Timer already was quite useful as it automated that little part and even made it a bit exciting with spiffy animations and such things. The new version has less spiffy animations but is certainly more flexible and useful. There is a nice calender view and Excel export but what really makes that one stand out is the ability to define tasks.

There are still some problems with. Every time you use such a tool you need to adapt to a certain philosophy inherent to it. So in Simple Timer 2 you HAVE to define a deadline for a project and you HAVE to estimate how long a task will take and you HAVE to describe what you just did every time you stop logging a task. Actually, that last dialog has even a nasty button – pressing “cancel” on that dialogue will delete the log you are about to stop and potentially delete an important entry. But those are minor details you get used to pretty quickly and future versions might be more flexible.

Simple Timer and Simple Timer 2 are also the first two Adobe AIR applications I’ve used. I’m actually quite fond of it. The installation is smooth. The applications can do advanced things like have Tray Icons with menus. Adobe AIR even automatically checks if there is a new version of an application available and automatically upgrades it if necessary. Apart from that functionality, AIR itself remains invisible and the applications work like every other program out there. So far: good work, Adobe!

Krystian Majewski

Krystian Majewski was born in Warsaw and studied design at Köln International School of Design. Before, he was working on a mid-size console project for NEON Studios in Frankfurt. He helped establish a Master course in Game Design and Research at the Cologne Game Lab. Today he teaches Game Design at various institutions and develops independent games.

One response to “SimpleTimer 2”

  1. axcho

    Looks like a useful tool – I think I’ll try it out. Thanks for suggesting it. :)


The Game Design Scrapbook is a second blog of group of three game designers from Germany. On our first blog, Game Design Reviews we describe some games we played and point out various interesting details. Unfortunately, we found out that we also need some place to collect quick and dirty ideas that pop into our minds. Hence, welcome to Game Design Scrapbook. You will encounter wild, random rantings. Many of then incoherent. Some of them maybe even in German. If you don't like it, you might enjoy Game Design Reviews more.


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