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I am looking for a personal time tracking software which allows me to set a category (project, task or whatever out is called) for each work item. This categories must be organizable into subcategories (sub projects, subtasks) and I need to be able to get statistics how much work I have spent on each category in some timeframe.

A desktop software (Linux) is preferable, but browser based (self hosted) is OK, too. Open Source is big bonus.

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Have you tried Toggl? It should be able to do most of the things you want:

  • it has a desktop software for Linux,
  • it has a browser based app,
  • you can create workspaces that you can divide into categories, work on tasks within the categories, assign tags, (even mark the clients you are working with, if you want to),
  • you get a dashboard and reports to view how much time you spent on any given task,
  • the above features are part of the free plan, if I am not mistaken, and
  • if you decide that you want more, you can opt for a paying plan.

We used it for tracking the time we spend on tasks in our team and it worked quite well for us.

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    As far as I see, it can't be used locally but only hosted at Toggl. Running locally or self-hosted is a must for me. – mat Jul 26 '17 at 12:38
  • Yes, the desktop clients (Windows, Linux, Mac) run locally and can run offline but the server is necessarily Toggl's own. – Alex Jul 26 '17 at 12:52
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KTimeTracker

I've used KTimeTracker in the past and I believe it fits your requirements

Among its key features:

  • Thanks for the tip. The problem I have with that is, that I do not really get a "journal view" (list of items I have worked on today). I'd like to task/category view to be an aggregation of my daily logs and not the main view. – mat Jul 26 '17 at 13:39
  • @mat KTimeTracker outputs iCal files, which can be opened with calendar software. In fact, the documentation says that it integrates well with KOrganizer which has a journal view. I'm not sure if it'll output daily logs though, and I can't test it for a while. Could you try it out? – Tymric Jul 26 '17 at 16:17
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    I did try the export to CSV function, but that is not really useful. Plus, sometimes I need to be able to change certain work items in the past which also appear to be impossible with KTimeTracker. It's sad, some form of hybrid between it an hamster would be perfect. – mat Jul 26 '17 at 16:24
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Watson

This meets all your requirements except it's not exactly desktop software but command-line software. But since good time-tracking applications under Linux are notoriously rare and the command-line interface is really good with auto-completion etc., using this in a terminal emulator window should be an acceptable compromise.

Watson meets your other requirements as follows:

  • "Set a category / project / task": watson start [projectname]

  • "Categories must be organizable into subcategories / sub projects / subtasks": watson start [projectname] [+tagname]. Technically you can use multiple tags at the same time, but by only using one they take on the role of sub-tasks.

  • "Statistics how much work I have spent on each category in some timeframe": watson report --from 2014-04-01 --to 2014-04-30, with an example output like this:

       Tue 01 April 2014 -> Wed 30 April 2014
    
       apollo11 - 13h 22m 20s
               [brakes    7h 53m 18s]
               [module    7h 41m 41s]
               [reactor   8h 35m 50s]
               [steering 10h 33m 37s]
               [wheels   10h 11m 35s]
    
  • Linux software: yes (cross-platform as it's Python based).

  • Open Source: Yes, MIT licence.

  • Other features: log of daily activities, syncing with a team server, canceling and adapting logged times etc. – see the command reference.

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