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A silly simple time tracker

Project description

ti – A silly simple time tracker

ti is a small command line time-tracking application. Simple basic usage looks like this:

$ ti on my-project
$ ti fin

You can also give it human-readable times:

$ ti on my-project 30mins ago

ti sports many other cool features. Read along to discover.


ti is a simple command line time tracker. It has been completely rewritten in Python (originally a bash script) and has (almost) complete test coverage. It is inspired by timed, which is a nice project that you should check out if you don’t like ti. ti also takes inspiration from the simplicity of t.

If a time-tracking tool makes me think for more than 3-5 seconds, I lose my line of thought and forget what I was doing. This is why I created ti. With ti, you’ll be as fast as you can type, which you should be good with anyway.

The most important part about ti is that it provides just a few commands to manage your time-tracking and then gets out of your way.

All data is saved in a JSON file ,``~/.ti-sheet``. (This can be changed using the $SHEET_FILE environment variable.) The JSON is easy to access and can be processed into other more stylized documents. Some ideas:

  • Read your JSON file to generate beautiful HTML reports.

  • Build monthly statistics based on tags or tasks.

  • Read your currently working project and display it in your terminal prompt. Maybe even with the number of hours you’ve been working.

It’s your data.

Oh and by the way, the source is a fairly small Python script, so if you know Python, you may want to skim over it to get a better feel of how it works.

Note: If you have used the previous bash version of ti, which was horribly tied up to only work on Linux, you might notice the lack of plugins in this Python version. I am not really missing them, so I might not add them. If anyone has any interesting use cases for it, I’m willing to consider.


Here’s the minimal usage style:

$ ti on my-project
Start working on my-project.

$ ti status
You have been working on my-project for less than a minute.

$ ti fin
So you stopped working on my-project.

on and fin can take a time (format described further down) at which to apply the action:

$ ti on another-project 2 hours ago
Start working on another-project.

$ ti s
You have been working on another-project for about 2 hours.

$ ti fin 30 minutes ago
So you stopped working on another-project.

Also illustrating in the previous example is short aliases of all commands, their first letter. Like, s for status, o for on, f for fin, etc.

Put brief notes on what you’ve been doing:

$ ti note waiting for Napoleon to take over the world
$ ti n another simple note for demo purposes

Tag your activities for fun and profit:

$ ti tag imp

Get a log of all activities with the log (or l) command:

$ ti log

Command reference

Run ti -h (or --help or help or just h) to get a short command summary of commands.


  • Short: o

  • Syntax: ti (o|on) <name> [<time>...]

Start tracking time for the project/activity given by <name>. For example:

ti on conquest

tells ti to start tracking for the activity conquest now. You can optionally specify a relative time in the past like so:

ti on conquest 10mins ago

The format of the time is detailed further below.


  • Short: f

  • Syntax: ti (f|fin) [<time>...]

End tracking for the current activity now. Just like with on command above, you can give an optional time to the past. Example:

ti fin 10mins ago

tells ti that you finished working on the current activity at, well, 10 minutes ago.


  • Short: s

  • Syntax: ti (s|status)

Gives short human-readable message on the current status, i.e., whether anything is being tracked currently or not. Example:

$ ti on conqering-the-world
Start working on conqering-the-world.
$ ti status
You have been working on `conqering-the-world` for less than a minute.


  • Short: t

  • Syntax: ti (t|tag) <tag>...

This command adds the given tags to the current activity. Tags are not currently used within the ti time tracker, but they will be saved in the JSON data file. You may use them for whatever purposes you like.

For example, if you have a script to generate a HTML report from your ti data, you could tag some activities with a tag like red or important so that activity will appear in red in the final HTML report.

Use it like:

ti tag red for-joe

adds the tags red and for-joe to the current activitiy. You can specify any number of tags.

Tags are currently for your purpose. Use them as you see fit.


  • Short: n

  • Syntax: ti (n|note) <note-text>...

This command adds a note on the current activity. Again, like tags, this has no significance with the time tracking aspect of ti. This is for your own recording purposes and for the scripts your write to process your ti data.

Use it like:

ti note Discuss this with the other team.

adds the note Discuss this with the other team. to the current activity.


  • Short: l1

  • Syntax: ti (l|log) [today]

Gives a table like representation of all activities and total time spent on each of them.

Time format

Currently only the following are recognized. If there is something that is not handled, but should be, please open an issue about it or a pull request (function in question is parse_time)

  • n seconds ago can be written as:
    • n seconds ago

    • n second ago

    • n secs ago

    • n sec ago

    • n s ago

    • a in place of n in all above cases, to mean 1 second.

    • E.g., 10s ago, a sec ago 25 seconds ago, 25seconds ago.

  • n minutes ago can be written as:
    • n minutes ago

    • n minute ago

    • n mins ago

    • n min ago

    • a in place of n in all above cases, to mean 1 minute.

    • E.g., 5mins ago, a minute ago, 10 minutes ago.

  • n hours ago can be written as:
    • n hours ago

    • n hour ago

    • n hrs ago

    • n hr ago

    • a or an in place of n in all above cases, to mean 1 hour.

    • E.g., an hour ago, an hr ago, 2hrs ago.

Where n is an arbitrary number and any number of spaces between n and the time unit are allowed (including zero spaces).


The project is in beta. If you find any bug or have any feedback, please do open a GitHub issue.


You can download ti from the source on GitHub.

  • Put it somewhere in your $PATH and make sure it has executable permissions.

  • Install pyyaml using the command pip install --user pyyaml.

  • Install colorama using the command pip install --user colorama.

After that, ti should be working fine.

Also, visit the project page on GitHub for any further details.


Originally created and fed by Shrikant Sharat (@sharat87). Now forked and maintained by Trevor Bekolay (@tbekolay) and friends on GitHub.


MIT License.

Release History

0.1.2 (November 19, 2017)

This release fixes several Python 3.6 compatibility bugs.

0.1.1 (January 7, 2017)

This release fixes a few bugs with command line handling. If you run into any issues with this release, please file an issue!

0.1.0 (June 27, 2016)

First release of ti on PyPI! Thanks to all of the original authors, particularly Shrikant Sharat, who has turned over development of ti to me, Trevor Bekolay.

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