TimeCamp allows its users to track time on projects/tasks automatically, based on the keywords. TimeCamp will start tracking time on a specific project/task each time it will be able to detect the assigned keywords in the application’s name or window title, as well as in URL addresses.
Keywords and automatic time tracking are available to all subscription plans. Only the Project Manager or RegularUsers with additional time tracking permission can enable and assign keywords.
What are keywords?
Keywords are specific words of your choice that you assign to tasks. As soon as the desktop application recognizes a keyword in the title of a document or in the name of a page in the browser, it switches to the task assigned to that keyword.
Keywords cannot be found inside the document - only in the page title or file/folder name.
How to set keywords?
To start automatic time tracking, first, you need to define keywords for your projects and tasks so the system knows which applications and websites should be assigned to which projects. In order to create a new project go to the Projects section on the left side menu.
Click on the project/task to open an edit panel and click on the Enable keywords option. Next, input your keywords and save changes. Choosing the right keywords is necessary for TimeCamp to work properly. Those words “tell” TimeCamp when you start and finish working on a project.
If you want to add more than one keyword to one task, you should add a comma after each keyword. Don’t use quotation marks for multiple words.
How to choose the best keywords?
TimeCamp detects those words and automatically assigns time to a particular project. The keyword should appear in the name of the active window. The most common examples of those names are:
– folder’s name or file’s name
– application’s name
– address of a website (or part of it)
– project’s name
– the name of a client
There are a couple of conditions that keywords need to meet. First of all, a keyword needs to be unambiguous. For example, if you want to measure time spent on programming, using the word programming as a keyword will NOT be a good idea. The word is too general and it doesn’t really tell TimeCamp anything specific. It would be better to use the application’s name (for example NetBeans) used for programming or the title of the project we’re working on.
What would be a great idea is to avoid common words, like www, website, and dashboard.
It’s important to break the habit of entering the description of our activities as a keyword. For example, creating a website, writing a document, modifying a database, and working on graphics. That information is not useful for TimeCamp. For the examples mentioned above, it would be a much better idea to use the address of the website we’re working on, the name of a document we’re editing, the name of the database, and the name of the application used to work on graphics.
It’s also extremely important to use unique keywords. In case we created many tasks, we need to avoid using the same keywords in multiple of them.
For each project, you can assign a keyword but sometimes, however, it is not enough to properly configure the task/project by switching with the standard keyword. For this purpose, were introduced Advanced Keywords or Metatags.
To apply this mechanism just enter the appropriate marker before the keyword, e.g.:
- [+] - Mandatory: The task will not be selected if all of its mandatory keywords are not detected, e.g.: [+]Poster, 2011
The application will select this task only when in the window title, or in the application name the word Poster can be found (occurrence of the string “2011” together with the word Poster will “ensure” TimeCamp, that this task should be selected).
- [1+] - At least one of these keywords must be detected to start a task.
- [-] - Negative: The task will not be selected if any of its negative keywords is detected, e.g.: Poster, [-]sketch
TimeCamp will select this task when the word Poster occurs in the window title, but only if there won’t be any sketch word.
-  - Weak: By default when TimeCamp can’t match any new task with keywords, it will continue to track time for the last detected task (for about 20 sec, it can be configured in settings).
But there are activities (applications, websites) at which we usually finish work on a task and we want TimeCamp to select no task after them. To do this use weak keywords, e.g.: [+]Poster, [+]mail.google.com
These keywords will select the task when the words Poster and mail.google.com occurs in the window title (or URL in the browser). However, TimeCamp will immediately switch to no task when the report window will be closed, and the next activity won’t appear in any of the defined keywords.
- [b] - Full word: The task will be selected only if the given tag occurs in the window title as a full word (and not part of it), e.g.: [b]sketch
This meta tag will match in “Sketch of a project”, but it won’t match in “Project Sketching”.
- [*val] - Re-evaluated: By default, TimeCamp determines how important a tag is by checking its length. That way longer tags are more valuable because they are more specific.
Sometimes you may want to override this behavior and that’s what the re-evaluation meta-tag is for. Simply put the desired length of your tag instead of "val". That way tag [*7]qwe will be more important than qwerty.
More than one matching keyword
The automatic detection mechanism looks for keywords in window titles. If TimeCamp will find two keywords (which are added to separate tasks) in the same window title, it will choose the longer keyword (or the sum of characters in multiple detected keywords) and select the task based on that.
Example: You have 3 tasks titled Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday. Assign a keyword kanban to the Monday task, a keyword template to the Tuesday task, and a keyword trello to the Wednesday task. All 3 words are in the title of the URL address of your Trello board. The desktop app will start tracking time to the task Tuesday because the assigned keyword template is the longest.
If keywords are the same length, the application will start tracking time to the task that was created as the latest one.