Emergent Task Timer 2010 Updates

Emergent Task Timer 2010 Updates

Emergent Task Timer Updates

See where your time is going so you stay focused

The Emergent Task Timer (or ETT) is a Daily Task Focusing Sheet that works in conjunction with a simple 15-minute timer. Every time the timer goes off, you take a note of what you happen to be doing, and fill in a bubble marking the time. This simple action allows you to build a picture of how you spend your time during the day. The results are often shocking. Like all the Printable CEO™ forms, it’s designed to provide maximum gain for minimum input.

For instructions, the original post describes each design feature in greater detail.

Over the years, this form seems to be popular with people working in reactionary jobs (tech support, for example) and students who are trying to stay focused. The use of the 15-minute timer is useful for “pacing” the day; when it goes off, you’ll know if you’ve been on task or off task. Even if you don’t note a bubble for every single 15-minute interval, you can often infer how your day has been going from the overall pattern that has built. Some people use it as a simple daily time tracker for billable work. Others have used it to show their bosses that their time gets frittered away by useless meetings.

The 2010 edition is pretty much the same as last year’s, with a bit of cleanup in the typography. If you’re using the form to track time, be sure to use the Power User’s version; there’s a space at the right side of the form to enter in the total amount of time you’ve spent.

Download 2010 Emergent Task Timing Printable Forms

If you are looking for a 15-minute timer, you might try using the ancient online prototype of the Emergent Task Timer. It is not completely functional, but you can certainly use it to try the concept out. Sean Johnson has also created a web app based on the ETT design which is pretty slick. Check it out!

For more information about Emergent Task Timing, the original post describes each design feature in greater detail. Enjoy!


  1. Scott 16 years ago

    Let’s hope those Task Order Up! sheets for 2008 are not far behind!

  2. TERESA 16 years ago

    Hi! I’ve printed them all and i’ll use them as soon as i print my agenda too. I’ll let you know if i can get more organized :D, ty, btw, Teresa

  3. Britt Raybould 16 years ago

    You’ve done it again and produced some amazing forms that will definitely improve my productivity. Thank you for your efforts and continued exploration of this topic.

  4. Nik 16 years ago

    Thank you david you provide a valuable service with these planners. Happy new Year !
    I think i am not gonna buy this year a calendar/planner. I will print your sheets out and make them as a book.
    Ha !? An idea has born.
    Why don’t you go to lulu.com or another print on demand and give them your sheets to make ready made calendars/planners to buy them directly from you !!
    That would save time and money ;) Think about it !
    See ya.

  5. Anton 16 years ago

    Hi David,
    Could you also mention paper size (e.g. Letter, A4 etc.) for these templates. Thanks.

  6. Carl 16 years ago

    I’ve been using the print outs as a vital tracking tool to
    enable me to jump projects mid stream and effectively track.

    The flash timer isn’t very useful because it loses the data
    after a couple of days.  Unless they were printed, the old
    ovals are lost.  I’d like to be able to track back and scale
    through many days.

  7. Robert 16 years ago


    Would you consider adding some concrete goal bubbles to the last column of each row in the wide version? Sinc there are four bubbles you could add one for each goal score (10,5,2,1). Then you could easily add up the last column to se your score for the day. What do you think?

    FYI – I am a Director at an IT consulting firm. I have asked my managers to start using the ETT to track how they are spending thier day. I am already receiving very positive feedback. I’ll keep you posted as we find ways to use your time managment tools.



  8. djb 16 years ago

    The 5-min version is so close to meeting our needs, I’ll write to ask whether you might consider doing a slight mod.  Legal folks often record time by the 10th of an hour—every six minutes. 

    (Yes, it’s ridiculous, but we’ve inherited it, and it’s not going anywhere.  And, just for the record, not all legal nerds earn big enough bucks to afford an iPhone/PDA time tracker…)

    So, if the 5-min version were changed to have a total of five bubbles per hour, and if each bubble were divided in half—> there it is: ten half-bubbles per hour.  Perfect! 

    And if the online flash version would support this, oh my…

  9. Vincent 16 years ago

    Thank you very much! I love this thing – it makes looking bad at the day and feeling good about it so much easier

  10. gautch 15 years ago

    Do you have a weekly version instead of daily. I’d like to cut down on paper and i don’t need one for the whole week.

  11. Eric 15 years ago

    I made a 2 paged version just so I can easily print duplexed pages to save on paper. Would you mind publishing a 2 sided version so others can be encouraged to save paper?

  12. Dave Seah 15 years ago

    gautch: I’m not sure how a weekly version would work. Perhaps you need a different kind of tracker for the week?

    Eric: I wonder if you could just print multiple copies and leave duplexing on and get the same result. Maybe not if it spawns a new page for each copy. I’d prefer not to update every form I have to provide 1- and 2-sided versions of all of them, but I’m sure the environmentally conscious have already figured out (as you have) how to get around this. Isn’t that part of the fun? :-)

  13. Craig 15 years ago

    RE: 2-sided version
    Eric, why not just print a bunch of sheets on one side, then return them to the paper tray (flipped if necessary) and print the other side?

  14. sisira 15 years ago

    Hi Dave
    First I should thank you for making all these available for us to use.
    I am using the online or flash version of your ETT in order to be Greener.
    I do not print as my tasks/job is PC related, at the end day, I take a snap shot of the ETT (using Alt+PrtScrn keys) and save this in one folder for analysis.
    Visited bubbletimer.com, has there been any progress on ETT online other than bubbletimer.com.
    Please let us know.
    Thanks again.

  15. Mike 14 years ago

    Huge thanks for putting the downloadble flash version up for free.

    Do you ever plan on updating it? If you could make it add up the time and put it in a column on the far right the thing would be absolutely perfect!

    And for folk like sisira that save instead of print, I just print them to PDF files and then add them as new pages to a master PDF, then I have a complete record of my work in one PDF file.

  16. Alan 14 years ago

    I’ve just implemented this timer on a month scale instead of a day scale.  Each bubble is how many hours (1-8) worked on a given day, with most bubbles blank.

    With graded shading and borders, it looks very nice in Excel or printed.  Most days the work required is simply writing 3 numbers that add to 8.

    Thanks for the idea.

  17. Alex 14 years ago

    Hey, great stuff.  Thanks.  One thing though: You reference http://www.bubbletimer.com; I find it useful but the blog connected to it does not seem to be very up to date.  I’ll simply stick to the paper resources you have here if the Bubble Timer site is out of date.  (I really need something to help with my time management.)  The site seems to be quite useful though and was curious what you knew about it.


  18. Terence O'Riain 14 years ago

    Please send me a shot of a completed one. I am having trouble envisaging how it works.

  19. Author
    Dave Seah 14 years ago

    Terrence: If you click on the link to the original post, you’ll see an example to a completed one. I just moved that up higher in the post so people can find it more easily.