I need a tool that works on my desktop (Linux) that helps me keep track of the time I spend doing a task (telephone, coding, going-to-lunch, ...)

The less it distracts me the more I like it, it should have a minimalist approach to the UI.

I cannot plan all tasks in advance, so it must be possible to hit the icon then do my work (leaving the window open) and when I'm finished enter what I just did.

The following scenarios should be covered:

  1. I start work in the morning doing something planned (coding)
  2. I get interrupted by a co-worker with a question to a different project and need to help him now (I click the icon, leave my place and go to his, return and type whatever I did)
  3. I get interrupted by a customer calling (I click the icon enter the name of the customer hit enter, the window goes away. I interact with the customer however and need to add details to the task later)
  4. I forgot to click the icon when I started a work and need to change the entries of what I did (that can be complicated, but must be possible)

If I can give the program details like "customer" or "project" and then create from that information an invoice that would be a huge plus, but is not necessary.

The program should export the stored information in some sort of table-oriented data (CSV, Excel, ODS, whatever...).

I searched for such a tool but didn't find one and am considering writing it myself currently. I prefer open source software but that's not a must-have. If I have to pay for it, the price should be below {20€|25$} / month and there MUST be a payment method different to PayPal.

1 Answer 1


Perhaps you want to give Hamster a try. Although I never used it at work, it has a minimal GUI, it is easy to switch a task and you can export to some formats.

With the invoice, I am not that sure if you can realize it. But it has some overview functionality, with which you can filter your tasks and then export it to a file. Perhaps you can use that exported file as a basis for your invoice.

Some Screenshots:

The main window

Main Window

It is possible to add an earlier task during the time, where another task is.

Adding an earlier task

The added phone call can be seen.

Hamster - Time Tracker Screen

  • (Just FYI: testing the software will take a while, I can't currently start gnome applets in my xfce panel) Feb 6, 2014 at 20:03
  • I tried it. Works good. Userinterface is a bit bloated but I think I can fix that (when I find time). Dec 23, 2014 at 11:08

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.