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gtimelog - minimal time logging application


gtimelog [options]


gtimelog provides a time tracking application to allow the user to track what they work on during the day and how long they spend doing it.

Here's how it works: every day, when you arrive to work, start up gtimelog and type "arrived". Then start doing some activity (e.g. reading mail, or working on a task). Whenever you stop doing an activity (either when you have finished it, or when you switch to working on something else), type the name of the activity into the gtimelog prompt. Try to use the same text if you make several entries for an activity (history helps here — just use the up and down arrow keys). The key principle is to name the activity after you've stopped working on it, and not when you've started. Of course you can type the activity name upfront, and just delay pressing the Enter key until you're done.

There are two broad categories of activities: ones that count as work (coding, planning, writing proposals or reports, answering work-related email), and ones that don't (browsing the web for fun, reading personal email, chatting with a friend on the phone for two hours, going out for a lunch break). To indicate which activities are not work related add two asterisks to the activity name:

lunch **
browsing slashdot **
napping on the couch **

If you want some activity (or non-activity) to be completely omitted from the reports, use three asterisks:

break ***

gtimelog displays all the things you've done today, calculates the total time you spent working, and the total time you spent "slacking". It also advises you how much time you still have to work today to get 8 hours of work done, and how much time is left just to have spent a workday at the office (the number of hours in a day is configurable).

There are three basic views: one shows all the activities in chronological order, with starting and ending times; another groups all entries with the same title into one activity and just shows the total duration; and a third one groups all entries from the same categories into one line with the total duration.

At the end of the day you can send off a daily report by choosing Report... from the menu. You can select a date and a date range (day/week/month) and preview the report directly in the gtimelog window before sending it. (Actual sending requires a working local MTA, such as Postfix, to be installed and configured, which is outside the scope of this document.)

If you make a mistake and type in the wrong activity name, or just forget to enter an activity, don't worry. gtimelog stores the time log in a simple plain text file ~/.gtimelog/timelog.txt (or ~/.local/share/gtimelog/timelog.txt). Every line contains a timestamp and the name of the activity that was finished at the time. All other lines are ignored, so you can add comments if you want to — just make sure no comment begins with a timestamp. You do not have to worry about gtimelog overwriting your changes — gtimelog always appends entries at the end of the file, and does not keep the log file open all the time. You do have to worry about overwriting changes made by gtimelog with your editor — make sure you do not enter any activities in gtimelog while you have timelog.txt open in a text editor.


Show program's version number and exit.
Show this help message and exit.
Show debug information.


gtimelog uses XDG-compliant config and data directories by default (~/.config/gtimelog, ~/.local/share/gtimelog). For backwards compatibility, if ~/.gtimelog exists, it will be used instead.


Activity log file. Each line contains an ISO-8601 timestamp (YYYY-MM-DD HH:MM:SS) followed by a ":" and a space, followed by the activity name. Lines are sorted chronologically. Blank lines separate days. Lines starting with # are comments.


Tasks to be shown in the task pane. Each line is either "task name" or "category: task name", lines starting with a # are comments.


A CSV file listing reports that have been sent. The columns are: timestamp, report kind (daily/weekly/monthly), report date, recipient's email address.


Legacy configuration file. If it exists when gtimelog 0.11 starts for the first time, settings from it will be migrated to gsettings.


Marius Gedminas <>


Marius Gedminas

2017-12-16 0.11