Time Balance is a personal-oriented time tracking tool that allows you to visualize how you spend your time in daily activities, and set reminders and minimum and maximum duration limits for them.
Time Balance includes activity timers that can run exclusively or in parallel. Timers continue to work even when the app is not running (in this case they consume almost no battery). An alarm is triggered when an activity reaches the maximum duration defined, or if you have not spent the minimum duration for an activity by a certain time of the day.
Before creating your daily activities in the app, you may wish to create categories for them first. Using categories to organize activities is optional, however they provide a clear division for your tasks and a broader view of how your time is spent (eg. Work, Family, Health etc). To create categories, use Menu/Categories. To rename or remove a category, tap and hold it and select the action desired.
Use the first button (+) at the top of the main screen to create a new activity. At this point you can optionally define the minimum and/or maximum time you wish to dedicate to the new activity in a specific time interval. For example, you may create an activity named "Exercises" with a minimum duration of 6 hours per week, another called "Internet" with a maximum of 2 hours per day, and so on.
It is possible to select the days of the week in which the activity is done, in order to keep your activity list clean. For example, if you pick Monday, Wednesday and Friday for the "Exercises" activity, this activity will only be shown in your list on these days.
In this screen it is possible to assign a category for the activity using the Category selector. This is recommended for a better separation of your activities.
If an activity is selected in field Next Activity, it will start automatically as soon as the current activity stops. If "Previous" is selected instead, the app will resume the activity that was running before the current one has started.
You can also set a daily reminder to start the activity or choose to hear an "audio cue" every 10 minutes to remind you it is running. This audio cue can be a beep, a voice saying the current duration of the activity, or both. You can also set the phone to vibrate in order to get a "silent" reminder.
If you are a Google Fit user, you can use field "Google Fit Activity" to link an activity from Time Balance to its counterpart in Google Fit. You can find more details later in this document.
To edit an existing activity, tap and hold it in the activity list and select Edit Activity.
When you have created your common activities in the program, you can start to track the time spent in each of them. To do this, ensure that the current date is selected at the top of the list, then tap the desired activity to signal that you are starting or stopping it.
By default, timers run in exclusive mode, what means that if you start one activity while other is still running, the previous activity will be automatically stopped. You can however change this behavior in program settings, allowing multiple timers to run in parallel. In this mode, activities continue to run until you explicitly stop them.
By default, Time Balance shows a notification when an activity is started, which is kept in your phone's notification area while the corresponding timer is active. Select the notification to access the activity list, where you can stop or change the current activity.
In Android 4.1 and later, you can start or stop activities directly from notifications.
Remember that the program does not have to be running for timers to work (in fact, they continue to work even if you turn off your phone). Note also that timers are only shown when you are viewing the activity list for the current day.
It is possible to review and edit the time recorded for each activity for the current day or past dates. To navigate to a specific date, use the arrows at the top of the main screen or swipe left/right, or tap the date currently shown to select another date directly.
To adjust the time spent in an activity, tap and hold it and choose Adjust duration.
You can also transfer time from one activity to another using Transfer time. This is especially useful if you forget to start a new activity and let time continue to account in the current activity.
Note that is not possible to make those adjustments if the activity is currently running; you must stop it first.
Attaching Notes and Ratings
You can enter a note and a rating for each date an activity is run. Just tap and hold the activity and select Notes/Rating. To view or edit notes previously created, select "Notes/Rating" again or touch the note indicator in the view (list mode only).
Tap and hold any activity and select Statistics to view how many hours you spent in that specific activity in the last week, month and year, and the corresponding ratings, if given.
You can share the report via compatible apps using the button at the top of the screen.
You can tap and hold an activity and select Reset duration to erase the time recorded for the activity for the current day, or Reset time history to erase all durations previously recorded for the activity.
If needed, you can also reset all time history for all activities using Menu/Tools/Reset all history.
Note that these actions cannot be undone.
If you wish to stop tracking an activity that is not being performed anymore without losing the time already entered, you may use the enable/disable button available in the activity details in order to hide it from the activity list and/or the activity summaries (you can control this visibility in app settings).
To remove the activity permanently with its time records, tap and hold it and select Remove.
At any time you can check your "time balance" using the second button at the top of the main screen.
The activity summary shows in its first section the average time spent in all activities, along with the minimum and maximum values achieved. The second section represents the time allocation for a typical day, considering the day of the week
selected in the main activity list when you opened the report. Finally, the third chart shows the accumulated time spent in all activities in the last week, month and year (the chart displays the total for the year).
Tap an activity name to view its individual statistics. Press the Back button to return to the summary report.
You can share the report via compatible apps using the button at the top of the screen.
Time Balance includes a widget that displays current durations and allows you to start or stop activities without leaving your home screen.
To install the widget, tap and hold an empty space on your home screen and select Time Balance in the list of available widgets. Use the arrows at the bottom of the widget to navigate among activities and tap the desired activity's icon to start or stop it. Tap any other area in the widget to open the app. When an activity is started in the app, the widget will display it automatically.
A larger version of the widget can also be installed on the lock screen, allowing you to record activities when your phone is locked (this feature requires Android 4.2).
It is possible to export all activity entries to a text file in CSV format, which can be shared with compatible apps or imported later in tools like Microsoft Excel.
There are two export formats available: grid and list. The former builds a simple table with the time spent in each activity for each date recorded, while the later includes categories and notes.
Time Balance has a built-in backup function which can be accessed from Menu/Tools. The app creates a copy of its data in the folder specified in Settings/Backup.
In the same screen it is possible to configure the backup to run automatically, and also to upload the data file to Dropbox.
To restore a backup made previously, use Menu/Tools/Restore Data. If you are restoring the data after a hard reset or in another device, adjust the backup settings first so the app can find the file. If "Backup to Dropbox" is enabled, Time Balance will download the file to your device automatically prior to restoring it.
Time Balance is compatible with Tasker, Locale and Llama, the popular task schedulers for Android. This allows you to start/stop activities automatically when specific events are triggered, like starting activity "Work" when your phone connects to your company's network, "Commute" when your phone enters car mode or even "Exercises" when you are at the gym.
To do this, choose the desired event/condition in one of the apps mentioned, select Time Balance plug-in and choose an activity and action to perform (start, stop or toggle activity).
Time Balance can also start external tasks when an activity is started or stopped (this feature only works with Tasker). To configure this type of integration, edit the activity and check the event(s) that will trigger the external task ("on start" and/or "on stop"), then select the desired task from the list that will appear in a few seconds. Please also ensure that option "Allow External Access" is enabled in Tasker.
Time Balance has experimental support for importing and exporting activity times to/from Google Fit.
To enable this integration, check Enable Integration in the app settings, under Google Fit section, then follow the instructions. After the app has been authorized, touch Import Mode and select the direction for the import (Time Balance to Google Fit or vice-versa). Finally, edit each activity that you want to sync and select the corresponding Fit activity.
Note: The import process will occur periodically in background; it may take a couple of hours for the imported activities to show up.
Time Balance includes a wearable app that allows you to view, select, start, stop and adjust activities from your watch.
You can start the watch app in two ways:
- Select "Activity" in the list of apps installed in your watch.
- Say "OK Google" and "start activity". Then say the name of the activity to start (or "stop" followed by the activity).
When in the app, swipe left or right in the activity area (below the current time) to navigate. Use the button at the bottom to start or stop the activity currently displayed, or the top button to start or stop any activity using your voice. To adjust the time spent in the activity, press and hold it and increase/decrease the time as needed. To exit the app, swipe right anywhere above or below the activity area.
The app will change to Ambient Mode as needed (if supported by your watch), so the current activity can be always visible.
Note: The watch app continues to track time spent in the current activity even when disconnected from the phone, however it is not possible to start, stop or adjust activities in this mode.