The Printable CEO™ Online Emergent Task Timer

The Printable CEO™ Online Emergent Task Timer

ETT I was getting pretty fed up with my kitchen timer-based Emergent Task Timer sheet. The sheet itself I like a lot, but I was continuously getting out of sync with my kitchen timer. I sometimes would get lost in my work and forget to mark where I was leaving off between tasks. Very annoying.

To resolve the kitchen timer issue, I put together a quick Flash 8 prototype. Once I got going, I added more of the functionality of the paper-based form and ended up with something that is usable day-to-day. It’s useful enough to release to the public, I think: Emergent Task Tracker Online Tool. This is an alpha-quality release, but I am finding it already useful in my day-to-day.

Basic Instructions

As this is a functional prototype, a lot of the UI hasn’t yet been worked out and may be confusing. The basic operation is this:

  • Choose a start hour. If you’re starting work at 9AM, set the start hour to 9. The timer uses 24 hour time, which I am partial too because it makes it easier to calculate things like time durations.
  • Enter some names of tasks on the left side. I don’t have drag and drop working yet, so you’ll have to make do with just filling text in.

  • Track the current time by looking for the red vertical line. If you don’t see it, it’s possibly not visible on the current range of hours you have displayed. Just adjust the start time (base it on the current time) and you’ll see it.

  • Optionally turn on the 15-minute alarm by checking the box in the lower left corner.

  • Print your sheet when you need a hardcopy with the PRINT button in the lower right.

  • Don’t Worry about Closing the Window…I’m using “Local Shared Objects” that save data persistently between sessions; it’s sort of like a “Flash Cookie”. The upshot is that if you accidently close the browser window, you won’t lose your data…just open it up again and it should all be there.


Right now, the ETT tool tracks a single day consisting of 24 hours. There currently isn’t a convenient way to browse the day. To see other parts of the day, just set the start time to something else. I’ll be adding those kinds of UI elements as the feature set starts to finalize. If you want to erase the current day and start a new sheet, you need to go into the debugger:

  1. Click the movie, type CTRL-SHIFT-~ (tilde, usually upper left of your keyboard).

  2. Click in the bottom line of the console (the input line) and type lso clear. This erases the persistent storage (the local shared object, or LSO).

  3. Reload the web page, and the hour tracking information for the CURRENT DAY will be created.

More Later


p>I’m pretty tired and I still have to clean up the house for Creative Retreating this weekend, but I’m jazzed to have gotten one of my backburnered projects actually off the ground. Yay! GTD helped me maintain momentum with all that next-action talk. Dang…it actually worked!

There’s some interesting things about the software design, particularly the data structures for the tasks and hours, that would be fun to talk about. In the meantime, please feel free to give the prototype a browse and let me know what you think. Thanks!



  1. Lauren Muney 18 years ago

    This ROCKS!! Wow. Pretty cool!!

    Is this something that I can offer to clients (I coach people in time management, stress management, productivity, nutrition, exercise, goal-setting…)

    How can I design one of these? I know you used Flash, but HOW? What app?

    So many questions – this was GREAT!

  2. Michael Montgomery 18 years ago

    This is great!

    A thought for future features/development:
    * Customizable chimes. The current sounds is okay, but it seems a little long for me. (I suppose others might want to upload their own sounds?)

    A question (just curious): Does the clock run off your server time (which I think is more accurate) or the local clock time?

    By the way, I automatically did the same thing you do—load work items at the top & personal at the bottom.
    More later.
    In the meantime, thanks!!

  3. daniel 18 years ago


  4. John 18 years ago


  5. Jonathan 18 years ago

    My previous timer hack (to help me keep track of my emergent tasks) had been to set a recurring midnight meeting in Outlook and having it alert me 12 hours early and then clicking “Snooze” every 15 minutes.

    Needless to say, this is a MUCH more sophisticated way.  It’s become my new homepage!

    A possible future idea would be to make it available as a Flash Lite app so I can take it with me on the run.

    Thanks for the amazing app!

  6. Doug 18 years ago

    As usual, elegant and functional design. Nice job. I’d be happy to talk to you about db stuff if that would help.

    Interestingly, I’m more of a “paper guy”. I don’t bother with the 15-minute timer, though. I simply keep the ETT page in front of my monitor and fill it in whenever I change task (or think of ETT during a long task). I may be a few minutes off occasionally, but I don’t mind that—even a quick email can easily be absorbed within the time tracking of another task if that task is a lengthy one. But if I’m off-task for more than a minute or two I’ve already broken my concentration and give email and blogs a check, noting the change in task.  Then back to work on the prior task. Fortunately I don’t get too many interruptions; my challenge is to keep myself on-task, and ETT helps a ton!


  7. peninah 18 years ago

    you ROCK.

  8. Bradleyscott 18 years ago

    This is a great app.  One of the reasons I come here all the time is the stuff you produce to help keep people like me on track and accountable.

  9. Dave Seah 18 years ago

    Lauren: Feel free to point your clients to it! It’s not available yet as a full-fledged service (there’s quite a bit of background work to do still). Feel free to give me a call if you’d like to chat about how you’d like to see a tool like this develop for your own business needs.

    Michael: Yes, customizable sounds would rock! I was thinking of a playlist of MP3s that you could set up in a dramatic arch over the day, to help remind you when to do things, maybe play something more stirring if you’re tending to be sleepy at the end fo the day, etc. But I’m being nutso…I’ll need to add a preloader anyway, so I’ll work in the MP3 loading at the same time.

    The clock is based on Flash’s clock, which is the computer local clock. My computer clocks are all synched to the master clock on the Internet via NTP, so they’re pretty accurate. You’re right, though, that using the server time is potentially more accurate (assuming it is on NTP as well); in the past, I’ve pulled the time from the server and used that to seed Flash, which then keeps count internally of milliseconds elapsed since startup. Not entirely accurate either, but close enough.

    Jonathan: Oooo…Flash Lite! I will look into that. For now, you can actually just grab the SWF and so long as you have Flash Player 8 runtime installed, you can create a projector and it will still run. However, the data might not carry from the browser.

    Doug: Thanks for the offer of help with the DB stuff! I haven’t done much real database programming myself, so I may have some questions. I’ll probably post them as part of an article. Glad to hear the ETT helps you stay on task! I’m amazed myself at how keeping myself aware of what I’m doing helps with focus.

    Daniel, John, Peninah, Bradley: Thank you for the encouraging words…YOU ALL ROCK too! :-)

  10. Michael Montgomery 18 years ago

    Further thoughts after using this all day:

    <li>Feature request/suggestion: Accumulated totals of time spent on each task. (Not that I can be bothered to add up each row, right?)</li>
    <li>Tempus fugit: That clock chime is quite … persistent. Oh, the wonders of accountability!</li>

  11. Michael Montgomery 18 years ago

    Okay, last one for today:

    <li>Is it possible to prevent two bubbles from being checked in the same time slot?</li>

  12. Mattbob 18 years ago

    This is incredible Dave!! I’m always forgetting to fill in the bubbles when I finish and too often I don’t pay attention to the time when I start.

    This is a very helpful tool and way cool!

    Thanks yet again!

  13. Brian 18 years ago

    This rocketh!!  Can’t wait to give it a shake at the office on Monday.

  14. Dave Seah 18 years ago

    michael: probably will add hour sums as a separate mode (task progress tracker view). The ETT tracks time continuously (no UI for it yet). Besides, the focus for the ETT is not to sum hours of time, but to focus on where the time is going. Adding the hour focus would, I think, shift the focus from the important task of just noting what you’re doing to trying to maximize time. That has its place, but one general philosophy I have in the PCEO tool design is to keep that kind of pressure off the users until it’s time to assess.

    That said, I’ll think about it…this is just my initial reaction.

    On the two-bubbles from being checked: it is certainly possible to do that…I considered it, but still allow it because I often do time splits (15 minutes split among multiple bubbles) on the paper version. Underneath the hood I can track whole-minute utilization per bubble.

    MattBob, Brian: Thanks! Let me know how it goes!

  15. Glen T 18 years ago


    Like it a lot. Printed pdf and use it the second day in the row.

    Suggestion—to use different colors to fill up the bubbles. Might denote whatever you want. Mood, level of productivity, level of focus on your job… I use markers, but you can add color to the program.

  16. Graham H 18 years ago

    Dave, Great tool. Hope you don’t mind but posted link to it over on Chris Brogans blog as he has been talking about time tracking too.

    My only request would be optional Chime sounds or at least something a little shorter.

    When it goes off when I’m on the phone or in a meeting I have some explaining to do.

  17. Lazlo 18 years ago

    Dave, this is mighty fine.  Here are the things that occurred to me as I played with it:

    1) Can it be made resizable?  I run my monitor at ~100dpi and the display is pretty small at that resolution.

    2) Seconding Michael’s request for an hour summary column. Regardless of its actual intent the print version of the form is great for tracking my hours at work by task or project; I end up summing the times in the margin each day.

    3) It’d be nice to be able to tag bubbles or groups of bubbles with notes somehow.

    Thanks again for the great tool!

  18. GTD Wannabe 18 years ago

    OMG what an awesome thing to see when I get back from vacation!!!  I’ve been using your ETT printouts (wide version) faithfully for the past several weeks.  Instead of trying to use a kitchen timer, I was just using a widget to chime every 15 minutes, just like you’ve proposed for this flash version.  Wow.  I’m going to try this flash today, although I really like having the printout on my desk.  Keep up the great ideas – they’re a treat, and I can always find something to help keep me working more productively!

  19. GTD Wannabe 18 years ago

    Hi Dave.  Already, I love your new online form.  One thing I do miss about the paper version though, is the fact that on paper, I can divide a dot into 2 or 3 tasks.  I’m wondering if there is a way of making the online form do the same thing.  For example, if I click on a dot, it turns blue.  If I click again, it would colour half the dot.  Click one more time, colour one third of the dot.  Click one last time to get to an empty dot.  This way, it would be easy to cycle through 0, 5, 7.5 or 15 minutes for a particular task.  (A great example is that it doesn’t take me 15 minutes to go get a glass of water ;)).

  20. Dave Seah 18 years ago

    Glenn: MOOD BUBBLES? I love the idea! :-)

    Graham: You CAN change the sound of the chime if you upload an MP3 file to a webserver somewhere, and issue the command set alarmURL, replacing the URL with your actual one of course. It will remember the URL between loads. Type help at the command line for some simple help.

    Lazlo: Note tagging is planned…I want to be able to set alarms for certain times to go off also, so it becomes a useful pacing tool. I’ll have to rework the style of interaction I think. Thanks for the suggestion! Resizing is something that I’ll eventually add; it will happen after I get a full feature set in place, and then have time to refactor into a more dynamic app.

    GTD: Thanks for the kind words and enthusiasm! I’m not a big fan of multi-click button states usually, but it seems to be a popular request. What I do when I do more than one task in one 15-minute segment is just click the other box anyway. I just want to show WHAT I did during each 15-minute segment, not time it to the minute. I don’t think encouraging the “track every minute of time” mentality is ultimately productive, but yes, having some way of designating task splits would be useful.

    Thanks again for all your feedback, guys! I really appreciate it!

  21. GTD Wannabe 18 years ago

    Dave, I see your point about not wanting to track every single minute.  I guess I would just like more of a visual clue that I wasn’t “faithful” to that that particular task for the whole 15 minutes.  It’s a good way of showing interruptions, or when I’ve managed to distract myself.

    Also, I’ve finally gotten off my butt to post about your Emergent Task Timer form (it’s a tool that I use every single work day!).  Here’s a link to the post:

    Finally, I’ve noticed a wonky link at the bottom of your online ETT page.  Hovering over “for more information about this tool” shows a link, but it doesn’t go anywhere (Firefox).

  22. Dave Seah 18 years ago

    GTD: Thanks dude! I left a comment. Nice to know that people are enjoying the series of work! Funny comment on the “procrastination monster”…yeah, it’s a good 50% of that :-) The monster might be telling me, though, that this is what I need to be doing full time.

    I’m not seeing the wonky link though…what is the URL of the page?

  23. GTD Wannabe 18 years ago

    There’s no URL on the words, but if I mouse over the “for more information…”, I get the blue and underline of a link.  Status bar just says “done” and the source code doesn’t show anything abnormal for that line.  Maybe it’s just me :)

  24. Dave Seah 18 years ago

    Oh, in the app’s upper right corner? Yah, that’s not an active link…it’s just blue text :-)

  25. GTD Wannabe 18 years ago

    Nope.  Last line of your notes.  See screenshot at

  26. Dave Seah 18 years ago

    Oh, got it! It didn’t show up on my browser until I rolled over the end of the sentence…thanks!

  27. dimeo 18 years ago

    OMG, David, you’ve earned some massively good karma with this one!  This printable time tracking sheet has helped me be more productive lately than ever.  I love scribbling in each little bubble, esp when its the last bubble I need to nail an ugly job.  I think because the more I see myself recording things done, the more I’m inspired to jam as much into a 15 minute block as possible.  It’s become fun again, to Get Things Done (GTD). Rather than feel stressed about a huge overwhealming to do list staring back at me… I do a job that needs doing, for at least 15 minutes.  Sure enough I start jumping around until I hit a really big important job where I end up working for an hour straight.  If I take a break, nap, [insert distraction here], I find it easy to jump back onto the next chore at the next 15 minute reminder. I have a snooze 15 minutes setting on my pocket PC alarm.  I also use a $1 store digital timer…. (not as pretty as the Kitchen Aid one that David Seah has,  but that was $30 at sears… boooo, hissssss.)

  28. Dizzy 18 years ago

    Wonderful, wonderful, wonderful. The online version is the only one I’ve used, but it’s awesome. For all of those for whom @computer or @desk are where our main tasks lie, the online version is effortless and golden. Seeing bubbles that show all of your wasted time for the first day or two is all it takes for you to start working, moving from task to task filling in the constructive bubbles. Thanks a lot for this. One request, for those of us that don’t have websites to upload mp3’s onto and also don’t want whole mp3’s to play every 15, would it be possible to have another chime option? The chime is my only criticism. A shorter one would work, about 2 cycles would be sufficient ((do do…do do)), or perhaps a differnt chime, perhaps a calmer one? Anyways, thanks a lot David, this is great!

  29. Dave Seah 18 years ago

    dimeo: Awesome! I’m glad that it’s had a positive impact on your routine! :-) It’s nice to have a piece of paper to keep you on track. It’s amazing that it works :-)

    dizzy: Glad you like it! I just hacked in a new command: ‘set alarmloop’ so you can set a shorter chime…I’ll post this shortly.

  30. Marc 18 years ago

    Thank you so much for developing this tool, it really is fantastic!  The only real annoyance is that I now have to put a slash in the last 15 minutes because I’ve been distracted reading all the comments!
    This tool is brilliant as is but if you are developing it further, here are some ideas/thoughts/requests:
    – server-side tool so I can log in and view any day’s ETT output.  Thinking monthly calendar view with bolded days when tool was used. Lots of space for little reports and the like
    – really like the idea of different colored circles: I wouldn’t use them for mood but for how effective I feel I had been at achieving progress
    – GUI for scrolling forward and backwards in time during the day
    – I’m not sure whether this could be a yahoo/google desktop widget that hangs around in background vs being an app
    – option to email raw data to user; might be easier than full-on server-side app
    Thanks a million again!!!
    p.s. I studied at Harvard Business School so if you get a chance when in Cambridge, take a look at the campus just on the other side of the Charles

  31. jd 18 years ago

    This is a great little app! Extremely useful. I would like to be able to keep a copy on a USB drive for when I’m not online for whatever reason? Is this possible? What do you mean by ‘just grab the swf’?

    I’m assuming if I can do that I can save it on my USB drive.

  32. Dave Seah 18 years ago

    jd: Because you asked, I just made a quick Downloadable Projector for Windows you can try. Note that data saving isn’t portable between machines right now; this will have to wait until I get some kind of server and user authentication scheme set up.

  33. jd 18 years ago

    Thanks for the exe Dave!  That’s great. Actually, right after I posted that message I did a ‘Save-As’ on the page. I could launch that from my USB drive and use it in a browser. I also could have then uploaded it to one of my webservers.

    However, your standalone exe for Windows is a better solution for my USB drive.

    Keep up the good work, please.

  34. Michael 18 years ago

    I like the idea, but the chime should stop once the webbrowser regains focus, or at least once a bubble is clicked.

    It would also be nice if the flash version had a potentially infinite number of lines.

  35. Allen 18 years ago

    Absolutely remarkable tool! I’ve used it for 2 days and have already learnt from it. Thanks!
    One (not unusual) request: more space for tasks and a 12 hour view on the web version…

  36. Allen 18 years ago

    Forgot to mention the following:
    i) To me, a long chime is a good reminder that time is flying…and that it matters.
    ii) The simplicity and elegance of the design makes this tool more desirable and user-friendly.

  37. Dave Seah 18 years ago

    Michael: thanks for the feedback!

    Allen: You’re the first person to note the “time is flying” quality of the chime; that’s why the default is rather long. Hooray! :-) Plus I tend to not notice shorter chimes…they blip, and then because I’m in the middle of something I don’t really notice that the 15 minutes has passed. The very long chime gets my attention. A future version of the tool will actual vary these chimes slightly (you’ll be able to tell what quarter hour just chimed, too)

  38. clickglue 18 years ago

    Dave, thanks for the tool, it works fine. I combine it with the printable CEO: giving points to each task, multiply this times the 15 minute slots I worked on it gives me a days productivity score. I was thinking: wouldn’t it be a good idea to integrate this calculation in the tool?
    thanks again.

  39. Garth Kidd 18 years ago

    David, I love the simplicity of the tool! There are some tweaks I’d make to its context so I can get at the back-end data, but the interface pretty much nails it for me.

    One thing my wife sure noticed, though: that timer keeps going off even at night when there are no more dots to fill in…

  40. Dave Seah 18 years ago

    Clickglue: Neat idea! I probably would tend not to insert calculations like that into the tool, though, because it starts to create a bias in actually interpreting productivity rather than just reporting it, and it may not be universally applicable to everyone’s needs. I think it’s a cool idea though…maybe the reporting module will incorporate the idea.

    Garth: You can get at the back end data, albeit indirectly, by using the ‘dump’ command, but this is mostly useful for debugging the display. Incidentally, you can set the time forward and the bubbles are saved…the next iteration of the UI will allow for actual browsing of multiple days.

  41. Ken 18 years ago

    David, you are my idol! :-)

    To see past days entries I just change my laptop’s time, that allows me to see yesterday’s tasks. Would be great to use it as an interface to a db of sorts but I love it as it is right now!

    Working more efficiently 15mins at a time.

  42. Dave Seah 18 years ago

    Ken: Wow, you change your laptop’s time to see previous days! That’s dedication! There’s a command I haven’t mentioned in the console, the yesterday command, which decrements the epoch date by one. You can then see previous days with that (it doesn’t update the other date displays though). This is a debugging command I used, so I didn’t mention it before.

  43. LS 18 years ago

    Great Idea.  Maybe you can kindly add a Log feature.  Some kind of semitransparent “progress bar” showing the time you actually spend doing that tasks.

    In this way, you can keep a record of how faithfully you managed or followed your own planed day.

  44. LS 18 years ago

    … maybe, the easiest, and quickest, way is to implement a 4-State bubble.  Now they have 3: blank, full and slashed-grey.  It would need just one more.

    What is the meaning of that 3d state?

    The 4 states could mean:
    – blank,
    – programed,
    – programed-and-actually-worked-on,
    – worked-on-but-wasn’t-programed.

    Thanks again.

  45. LS 18 years ago

    Maybe some comenta about the “4th state of the bubble”?

  46. Dave Seah 18 years ago

    LS: great ideas…I’ll certainly keep them in mind! I’m thinking that rolling in the TPT functionality into the same data would handle the “how mcuh time you did”, along with the background task tracking. Each line actually represents a unique task, though the UI isn’t actually making use of the data. The goal is to manage the life of a task through different views, so you can pick whatever view fits your application.

    I’m thinking of getting rid of the “third state”, because I don’t like having to click through the states. It might be implemented more as a button-press time-dependent mode…if you press and hold, or if you click on the task bubble when it’s NOT the active task (highlighted), you get a gray slash. The highlighted task is supposed to be the “current task you’re doing”, and the auto-fill-in I’m thinking of would be taking care of that.

  47. BB 18 years ago

    Dave, this is a superb tool. Feature request:

    1) a more persistant data store which can be backed up easily to ensure survival
    2) task definition feature to enable tasks to continue over days / weeks / months and be totalable as such
    3) a way to browse these days / weeks / months easily to be able to gage habit progress, etc.

    Looking forward to updates!

  48. kevin 18 years ago

    Love your work. This tool could become tremendously helpful to me. I love your designs, they are both beautifully simple and functional. Paper is good, but a web UI is better. And being able to print from the web is obviously an extra benefit.

    I’m trying to read through all your posts to find out which works best for me. It seems you’re working on a natural progression yourself.

    Right now I like the Emergent Task Timer the best, both the paper and the web. I just need to know what I have to focus on today, the priority (points?) and then keep track of what I worked on, or what procrastination took place (like this post) during the day.

    Keep up the good work!

  49. Karl Whealton 18 years ago

    This is absolutely spectacular.  It accomplishes 3 things incredibly well:
    1.  It lets you see where your day is going
    2.  It lets you improve your ability to estimate how long it will take to do something.  (I do this by putting my estimate in parens with the task)
    3.  It encourages you to work.  I love filling in those bubbles.

    I love the paper-based forms also, but this is much more usable for me.  I know some of them don’t lend themselves as well to an electronic version.  Keep up the great work.  You’re going really deep into an area of productivity no one else is even touching.

  50. Donna 17 years ago

    ohmigosh, I just found your task timer, while searching the web tonight.

    I’ve been looking for a simple easy to use tool, that can help me track where my time goes each day, since I always seem to be doing something but not a lot gets in the heck does that happen? Well, having this tool should really help, and I can’t wait to use it for a few days, and try to see where my time really goes. I’m trying to be more accountable in my job, and also want to see where my time at home is going.

    Also, just looked at your Flash online version real quick and I love it already!!!

    Great work and I’ll check out your site for other ideas tomorrow—thanks!

  51. Donna 17 years ago

    p.s. Now i just need to get a timer :o)

  52. Eliza 17 years ago

    Dave, I have used your wonderful emergent task planner tool and only wished I found a way to time myself accurately. This version has addressed that weakness and it’s great at tracking my tasks at work. Thank you so much for this and for all the other tools. My suggestion would be to echo GTD’s, to be able to shade half a bubble instead of one full one. After all, 7 or 8 mins can still add up to a lot, accummulated. Lovely chime, btw.

  53. Darroch Reid 17 years ago

    I really appreciate the work gone into this prototype. I’ve found that it’s increased by productivity and reduced time wasted on distractions. I have used the information it stores to record my day in your task progress tracker.

    Since I use your tool in this way, I wondered if you could combine it with the task progress tracker. Why? well mainly I’ve spent 3 days on the same big task and seeing the high priority green colour would encourage me further.
    Here’s my wish list (in order of significance to me):
    1. Allow priority colouring for each task similar to your concrete goals tracker.
    2. Have a ‘done’ button to show a task is completed, which could change the background highlight to the goal priority colour.
    3. Allow up to 15 tasks to be recorded as I often max out the 12.

    Thanks again

  54. Dave Seah 17 years ago

    Eliza: Sorry I missed your comment earlier! I may add sub-bubble shading (the internal data structure can store down to the 1-minute resolution) if that’s a request. You can feel free to shade multiple bubbles though…I like to see where I’m thrashing back and forth between multiple tasks.

    Darroch: Those are good suggestions. I’m not sure how DONE would work in the context of an ongoing task. I’m thinking of a task flow model that allows changing from ETT view to TPT view, which would be pretty cool. Maybe the TPT view is what would have the DONE field in it. And yes, an expanded view (scrolling) is something I’d like. Right after I get data saving to work. Unfortunately I am busy with other projects and haven’t had time to learn how to do this.

  55. Carl 17 years ago


    Seems churlish of me to ask for a “total” function at the end of the day.


  56. John Hritz 17 years ago

    Very cool stuff and easy on the eyes!  Looking forward to further refinements of the web-based tracker.

    Best regards,


  57. Sam Hasler 17 years ago

    Usability suggestion: when clicking on an empty box make it go to the same type (full or “/”) as the last one filled in on the same row, to make it easier to fill in multiple boxes as “/”.

  58. Sam Hasler 17 years ago

    It appears there’s a bug in the Persistent Data Storage. It sometimes forgets bubbles I’ve filled in, or restores what should be a “/” as a full bubble.

  59. Sam Hasler 17 years ago

    Also, doing some experiments changing the time, it doesn’t appear to remove previous days data. I actually consider that a feature, because I’ve been taking screenshots each day for a record and when my browser crashed at the end of the day I was able to set the time back and get the screenshot I wanted. I do wonder where the data is stored though and if there are any space or speed implications to it accumulating without being removed; although it would be interesting if you could use it in some way to show a summary for a week.

  60. Alex Konev 17 years ago

    Resizable standalone please! )

  61. Will 17 years ago


    Can’t see a “movie” to click to open the debug console: where should I be looking?

    Thanks and regards


  62. Will 17 years ago

    Got it: for some reason its ctrl-shift-@ on my keyboard.

    Is there a list of commands somewhere?



  63. Dave Seah 17 years ago

    Will: Type “help” in the console window, and you’ll see a list of commands. Good luck! :-)

  64. Will 17 years ago

    Very nice!  Thanks!

  65. Bill Busen 17 years ago

    Put a Contributions (Paypal) link up when you do cool stuff like this!

  66. Kevin Meath 17 years ago

    really helpful little fellow. haven’t read all the comments so this may be redundant, but I’d love to be able to choose my own audio file for the alarm.

  67. Pete Murphy 17 years ago

    Wonderful tool!
    Please work on the saving of prior day data!
    I forget to print at the end of the day and lose everything (I could solve by being more disciplined …but).
    I’d be willing to pay something for this if presented as shareware … it better than most anything I have seen.

  68. Jeri Mearns 17 years ago

    I’m loving Emergent Task Timer – using the alpa flash version for the past week has been great for helping keep track of what I’m actually doing – especially separating billable from unbillable time.

    Are you still working on this project? I hope so . . .

  69. SilentD 17 years ago

    I love it.  It saves me from having to build something. :-)

    I know that you can zap a sheet with the command console but here’s my two cents: An erase button at the end of each line.  First click clears the dots, second click clears the text.  Better yet make the first click sound a warning of some sort just so I don’t wipe out a whole line when trying to click on the last dot of the day. :-)


  70. Amy 16 years ago

    This has been great for tracking time and helping to keep me focused on the task at hand. I’m new to billing on an hourly basis. I’m using this in conjunction with Fanurio which is time tracking software for freelancers. I track the time with the Emergent Task Timer and then enter the info into Fanurio. Thanks for sharing this.

  71. Laurence 16 years ago

    I NEVER post comments on blogs—that’s how much I LOVE this little flash program. I spent all day looking for a good time tracking tool (toggl, tickspot, time tracker 3.0, multi-timer, egg timer plus, clockingit, slimtimer) but this one is the best because 1) it forces you to stay on task and 2) it works offline!

    Some suggestions:
    – A Column that autocalculates the total time of each task so far
    – Allow switching between 24hr and 12hr time format
    – Ability to export data

    Thanks Dave!

  72. Dave Seah 16 years ago

    I am planning on expanding and finishing this prototype at some point, but I have to finish my paying projects first. I may open source what exists no, thogh, to help get the bal rollig.

  73. Michael Nordmeyer 16 years ago

    What a cool tool!

    I adore the simplicity of ETT.  I’m looking forward to seeing a new version coming to life some day.  If you need a beta tester someday just drop me a line.


  74. Michael Nordmeyer 16 years ago

    Um, by the way, do you think it’s possible to release the current downloadable flash alpha as a universal binary for Mac users or at least as an intel binary?

    The current PPC version is grabbing a single processor all for itself and spinning up the fans :(

  75. Dave Seah 16 years ago

    Michael: Goodness, has it been so long since I updated this that it’s still a PPC binary? I will see if I can compile a newer version today. Maybe I can check out AS3.0 while I’m at it…I haven’t even opened Flash CS3 yet.

    The idea of anything I’ve written grabbing a whole processor to itself and heating it up is really awful. Fans spinning! Processes lagging! Ugh.

  76. Michael Nordmeyer 16 years ago

    Thanks Dave.  A new binary would be great.

  77. Dave Seah 16 years ago

    Michael: I just uploaded the universal binary on the main page. I haven’t tested it since I’m not running MacOS X, so let me know if it works.

  78. Michael Nordmeyer 16 years ago

    David:  Everything is fine.  CPU dropped to 8%.  ETT behaves just like the PPC one.

    Thanks a lot for the prompt release.

  79. David 16 years ago

    Any chance of making it work on Pocket PC (windows mobile)?

  80. Jason 16 years ago

    Great tool.  Your notes on clearing the LSO are incorrect.  you need to type ‘lso clear’ (note the space).

  81. Rose 16 years ago

    I like the tool but some of the instructions for clearing the data need rewording.

    Like someone else said, on my keyboard you have to do CTRL SHIFT @ to open the debug console, and you have to type “lso clear” not “lsoclear”. If you changed the instructions it would be a lot clearer to people.


  82. Dave Seah 16 years ago

    Jason, Rose: Thanks for pointing that out. I had expanded the lso command at one point but only updated the notes on the release page. I don’t know why, Rose, your keyboard requires ctrl-shift-@ to open the debug console…perhaps it is because I’m using a US keyboard layout and you may not be?

  83. Michael Nordmeyer 16 years ago

    Yeah, shortcuts on different language keyboards do not always work as intended.

    On a German Mac keyboard it’s ctrl-shift->, which is right next to the left shift key.

    On a German PC keyboard ctrl-shift-ö, which is right next to the ‘L’ key.

    In ETT’s browser version I have to click in the application first to move the focus to the app.

  84. Sanjiv Gupta 16 years ago

    This is a fantastic tool; I use it every day. Would it be possible to reduce the duration of the chime in the downloadable version, say to about half its current value? It’s slightly anxiety-inducing :).

  85. Maurice Calhoun 16 years ago

    Hey David,

    Will you ever release the .fla file and create an open source project of it.

  86. Sean Johnson 15 years ago

    There is now a full blown web application version of David’s Emergent Task Timer available at

    Check it out and let me know what you think of it.


  87. Michael Nordmeyer 15 years ago

    Dave, are you involved in the BubbleTimer project?

  88. Sean Johnson 15 years ago


    Dave’s not involved officially, no. I talked to Dave on the phone a couple of days before starting the project to make sure he was OK with it. Then twice during the course of development Dave took a look at BubbleTimer and gave me his feedback (he’s a great designer, the feedback was awesome).

    But no, he’s not officially involved. I consider him BubbleTimer’s godfather.


  89. Carrie 15 years ago

    I use this almost every day, when I remember. For those of us with adhd, it’s a lifesaver. It keeps me on track, especially when I’m browsing the internet.
    Thank you!

  90. Spirilla 15 years ago

    Thank you Dave,
    this is so good, I hope it helps me in meeting deadlines, next time! ;-)

  91. bert 14 years ago

    Mr Seah,

    discovered this tool only this morning, very useful, thanks. I like the chime which helps me to re-sync between what I’m doing vs. what I should be doing, and, at the end of the day I’ve got a list of what I’ve spend the day on.

  92. John F. Schank III 14 years ago

    This would make a pretty nice iPad app.

    • Michael 13 years ago

      I second this. I would love to have an iPhone/iPad app for this!

  93. Steven Reeves 13 years ago

    Dave, I see this has been around a few years now, is there a finished version? is there a ways to have more rowes for more work like in the paper version? Any progress on the server version? -Steven