Getting started with Auto-tracking

Auto-tracking is a Timepal Pro feature that enables you to track time automatically

What is Auto-tracking?

Auto-tracking starts the timer for you without taking away your control over it. You only need to define a few rules for Timepal Pro by which it is guided. After that, Timepal Pro will work completely autonomous — start and pause the timer depending on your behavior.

How to enable Auto-tracking

To enable Auto-tracking, you will need to give Timepal Pro accessibility permission. Follow the steps below to activate it.

First, you'll need to open the Timepal Pro settings and go to the "Auto-tracking" tab. Press the "Activate" button to proceed.

Follow the steps that are described to enable accessibility permission.

After you've completed all the steps, you should be able to see the following window. That's it — Auto-tracking is activated!

Creating rules

Now after you've successfully activated Auto-tracking, you are able to create rules on individual tasks. Rules are defined by a list of action-attributes which you can configure to your needs.

Hover a task for which you want to configure rules and click on the Auto-tracking button to open the rules configurator.

Let's get familiar with the rules configurator to understand what is possible here.

Before we start building a rule, let's understand the difference between a stand-alone action-attribute and a combination of attributes.

You can add multiple action-attributes in a row for Auto-tracking to be activated if any of the attributes apply. If you unite them into a combination, then auto-tracking will only start when all of the actions within the combination are detected.

To add an action attribute click on the "+"-button. Get familiar with all the possible action-attributes. Click on the drop-down with "Launched Application" being preselected, to see the whole list.

Launched Application

Choose a specific application as an action-attribute. As soon as it is launched auto-tracking will be activated and the pre-counting begins. Quit that app to stop the time tracking.

Active Application

This attribute is similar to the previous one with the exception that it only activates if the chosen application is in focus. If the focus is lost because you, e.g., switched to a different window the down-counting will begin and then stop auto-tracking.

Working on File

Select a file, and as soon as you start working on it, auto-tracking will be activated. "Working on File" behaves the same as the "Active Application" and only track the time if the chosen file is in focus.

Working on File in Folder

Select a folder, and as soon as you start working on any file inside that folder, auto-tracking will be activated.

Window Title

This attribute will start auto-tracking as soon as it detects a window with a title text that you set up and will only stop if the mentioned window is no longer open. This attribute also provides a few options for how to set it up. Choose from the options: "is", "contains", "starts with" and "ends with" to specify the detection of the window title text.

Website URL

Enter a URL, and as soon as you open the chosen website, auto-tracking will be activated. This attribute is also only active as long as the website is in focus. It has the same specification options like "Window Title".

As you can see, Timepal Pro provides a variety of action-attributes to choose from and create the perfect rule that works best for you. Try to combine attributes to achieve a more specific rule. Check the examples below to get started.

Example 1

Create a combination of attributes:
"Launched Application" e.g. "Photoshop" and
"Working on File" e.g. "photoshoot_edits.psd"

Now if you open the "photoshoot_edits.psd" with "Photoshop", auto-tracking will be activated.

Example 2

Create 2 separate action attributes:
"Working on File" e.g. "index.html"
"Website URL" + "contains" e.g. "google"

With this rule, auto-tracking will start if you either work on "index.html" or/and visit Google's website.

Example 3

Create 2 separate action attributes:
"Active Application" e.g. "Numbers"
"Website URL" + "contains" e.g. "nasdaq"

This rule will only be activated if you browse the Nasdaq website or/and have the "Numbers" application in front of you.

Frozen Auto-tracking state

If you manually pause a running auto-tracking session, Timepal Pro will freeze the rule for the running task. Until you unfreeze them — auto-tracking will not start for this specific task. That's needed because Timepal Pro cannot know that you are active again and therefore can't start the timer. If you reactivate any of the rules action-attributes, you will achieve the same effect.

Disable rules or Auto-tracking completely

For the case, if you no longer want to track the rules, you can turn them off individually. Enter the rules configurator and turn off the switch on the top.

If you've decided that auto-tracking shouldn't operate entirely, open the Timepal Pro settings and click on the "Auto-tracking" tab. Turn off the switch, to completely disable Auto-tracking.

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