The Emergent Task Timer (Paper) Power User Edition

The Emergent Task Timer (Paper) Power User Edition

Emergent Task Timer My friend Barry came across one of his co-workers using the paper Emergent Task Timer to keep track of what he was doing. Very cool! His co-worker contacted me later and gave me some useful feedback on the use of the form in his work setting. I’ve incorporated his needs into the new laser printer-friendly version of The Emergent Task Timer. I’ve heard many of his requests echoed for the Online Version as well, so I think they’re good additions.

New Features

If you’re new to the ETT concept, you may want to read the original The Printable CEO™ III: Emergent Task Timing to get an idea of what it does. The new features are geared toward people who are using the ETT as a daily timesheet in addition to its use as a focusing mechanism.

  • Space for “Total Hours Per Task” at the end.
  • Space for “Total Hours” at the top right of the page.
  • Increased number of lines from 12 to 16.
  • Simplified the Notes area
  • Added “contact me” email information at the bottom of the form, to encourage more feedback.

Here’s the file:

» Download Power User Edition (laser-printer friendly) » BW-PCEO-ETT03-PowerUser.pdf

Enjoy! People who are using laser printers at work, please let me know how this version looks compared to the old one. Thanks!

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Read more about The Printable CEO Series of paper-based productivity hacks and tools.


  1. Doug 16 years ago

    Nice work, Dave, as usual! Prints just fine on my laserjet, whereas previous versions were a bit fuzzy. Thanks!

    Two suggestions for minor changes that I (at least) would appreciate…

    <li>Could you make the TASKS section wider and possibly add a dotted horizontal line at the midline of each task (to make it easy for me to write two lines of notes if I need to)? How can you make the task section wider while keeping 12 hours? By reducing the space between the fill-in circles. I think they could almost abutt one another and be just fine. You might also be able to squeeze the gutter between hours a bit too when the circles are closer together.</li>
    <li>I love the space to sum hours for each task. Could you add a checkbox to that space as well? I would use it for “Billable” but others might mean it is “Something worth doing” or even worth noting at one’s annual review with the boss. Without a label for the checkbox it could be used to denote anything for anyone.</li>


  2. Dave Seah 16 years ago

    Hi Doug!

    What I can probably do is shrink the circles. I’ll have to see how much smaller I can make the circles and still have them relatively easy to fill in (the limiting ergonomic factor is the average width of a pencil line that’s sorta sharp, but not super sharp). It’s already pretty close to that. I can probably add a very shadowy checkbox also for that purpose.

    I think the wider task area is probably the most important…I find it a little cramped. The person that suggested the change said that he tended not to use all the space.

    I’m curious what other people’s space needs are…please chime in. I’m planning a system-wide refresh in the coming weeks.,

  3. GTD Wannabe 16 years ago

    This is amazing!  I’ve actually stopped playing with the online version because I prefer the paper – there’s something about actually colouring in the dots that makes getting work done so much better.  However, I do actually use the online version in for the chimer thingy – I’ve always got my browser running, so there’s now no need for a separate alarm widget.

    Anyway, I’m excited about this new version – it prints very nicely.  I like the extra spot for total hours per task (I was doing this more adhoc), although it might be a little wide.  I also like the extra amount of task lines – I wasn’t using the note space anyway.  Finally, I like the dots just the way they are – I wouldn’t want them too much closer, especially not touching, brecause that wouldn’t be as aesthetically pleasing.

    Keep up the good work – I love this form!

  4. Robert 16 years ago

    How about an A4 version for the UK and Europe?

    I’ve used Adobe Acrobat to allow me to type into the various boxes, using the Typewriter mode, which I’m hoping will allow me to personalise the form, whilst keeping the master copy on my computer.

  5. Dave Seah 16 years ago

    Robert: I’ve thought of releasing some PDF versions that allow customization like that, not sure though how best to do it. I may release A4 and other euro sizes, but I figure acrobat can scale to it fairly well already when you print, so it’s not a priority.