A rewrite of JobLog in Rust.
JobLog, referred to herein variously as "JobLog", "Job Log", "jobrog", "job log", and "job", is a command line utility that helps one keep track of what one does in a day. With a little anonymization, here is an example of an actual report of use in the wild:
> job summary last friday Friday, 10 January 8:55 - 9:35 0.75 e, o email 9:35 - 9:41 0.00 f, o filing time 9:41 - 10:50 1.25 30, mr, fo Create booster view which lets you add people to booster 10:50 - 12:15 1.50 10, mr, fo get multi-tenant S3 attachments to work 12:15 - 12:16 0.00 c, o feeding the cat 12:16 - 3:46 3.50 10, mr, fo get multi-tenant S3 attachments to work 3:46 - 3:50 0.00 29, mr, fo Make it so the Plugh API is only called for gargamel stuff 3:50 - 3:50 0.00 mtg, fo FO/UPI Monthly Check-In 3:50 - 4:01 0.25 29, mr, fo Make it so the Plugh API is only called for gargamel stuff 4:01 - 4:30 0.50 mtg, fo FO/UPI Monthly Check-In 4:30 - 5:01 0.50 29, mr, fo Make it so the Plugh API is only called for gargamel stuff TOTAL HOURS 8.00 10 5.00 29 0.75 30 1.25 c 0.00 e 0.75 f 0.00 mr 6.75 mtg 0.50 o 0.75 fo 7.25
In this case the user (me) has typed something like
job add --tag email --tag o email
or, more likely,
job a -t e -t o email
or still more likely,
job r -t e
and added a line to
~/.joblog/log which looks like
2020 1 10 8 55 27:e o:email
Job log lets one manage a log of one's activities as a log file. A log line consists of a timestamp, some metadata, and a description of the current event.
Watch Job Log in action!
- when am I done for the day?
- vacation time
- report time by the quarter hour
- what was the last thing I logged?
- taking notes
There are many alternatives to JobLog. One can use Harvest, for instance. The advantages of JobLog over web apps are
- your data is on your own machine; it is your own file; you can keep it across changes of employer
- if you live on the command line, or typically have one handy, the mental context switch and manual dexterity required is less when one changes tasks; one simply tabs to the command line and types
job a new thing I'm doing
- it doesn't need any internet connection
- job log is blazingly fast
- job log keeps random notes for you as well as events; this sometimes is helpful
Some other command-line time trackers I've come across
I'm partial to JobLog, of course, because I wrote it and so it does exactly what I need.
JobLog can produce JSON summaries, so it should be possible to export JobRog events to other time trackers.
The typical things one does with job log are
- register a change of task
- take a note
- register going off the clock
- summarize a period to enter it into some other time tracking system
Here is the complete list (
testing 0.1.9 dfhoughton <email@example.com> command line job clock USAGE: job [OPTIONS] [SUBCOMMAND] FLAGS: -h, --help Prints help information -V, --version Prints version information OPTIONS: -d, --directory <dir> Looks in this directory for the log rather than ~/.joblog SUBCOMMANDS: add Adds a new task summary Says when you will have worked all the hours expected within the given period done Ends a currently open task resume Resumes a stopped task last Shows the last task recorded first Shows the first task recorded note Adds a new note when Says when you will have worked all the hours expected within the given period edit Opens the job log in a text editor configure Sets or displays configuration parameters vacation Records vacation time parse-time Shows the start and end timestamps you get from a particular time expression truncate Truncates the log so it only contains recent events statistics Shows overall statistics of the log help Prints this message or the help of the given subcommand(s) The 'job' executable allows one to maintain and view a log of daily activity. > job add creating demonstration events in the log starting creating demonstration events in the log (no tags) > job add events have a duration starting events have a duration (no tags) > sleep 60 > job add --tag foo tags facilitate searching and aggregation starting tags facilitate searching and aggregation (foo) > job note you can take notes as well noted you can take notes as well (no tags) > job note notes are events without a duration noted notes are events without a duration (no tags) > job add you can go off the clock starting you can go off the clock (no tags) > job done ending you can go off the clock at 11:13 am > job resume --tag foo resuming tags facilitate searching and aggregation (foo) > job note you can resume an earlier event noted you can resume an earlier event (no tags) > job note you can summarize the log noted you can summarize the log (no tags) > job summary today Sunday, 19 January 11:11 - 11:12 0.021 creating demonstration events in the log; events have a duration 11:12 - 11:13 0.006 foo tags facilitate searching and aggregation 11:13 - 11:13 0.001 you can go off the clock 11:13 - ongoing 0.007 foo tags facilitate searching and aggregation TOTAL HOURS 0.036 UNTAGGED 0.022 foo 0.013 > job summary --notes today Sunday, 19 January 11:12 you can take notes as well 11:12 notes are events without a duration 11:13 you can resume an earlier event 11:13 you can summarize the log > job note you can configure job noted you can configure job (no tags) > job configure --precision quarter setting precision to quarter! > job summary today Sunday, 19 January 11:11 - 11:12 0.00 creating demonstration events in the log; events have a duration 11:12 - 11:13 0.00 foo tags facilitate searching and aggregation 11:13 - 11:13 0.00 you can go off the clock 11:13 - ongoing 0.00 foo tags facilitate searching and aggregation TOTAL HOURS 0.00 UNTAGGED 0.00 foo 0.00 This version of job is a Rust implementation: https://github.com/dfhoughton/jobrog. The original implementation was in Perl: https://metacpan.org/pod/App::JobLog.
The examples shown here and throughout the job log documentation are generally the most verbose possible for the sake of clarity. They all have short forms, however, to save keystrokes. Instead of
job add --tag overhead --tag email Reading the morning email.
you can type
job a -t overhead -t email Reading the morning email.
You will probably find that long tags like this are irksome and reduce them as well:
job a -t o -t e Reading the morning email.
But if there is something you do frequently, the easiest thing to do is to give it a distinctive tag and just resume it:
job resume -t e
job r -t e
To be ensured the latest version, one needs to use
cargo install jobrog
There is also a homebrew tap:
brew install dfhoughton/tap/jobrog
This will also work, albeit more slowly:
brew install jobrog
Changes from App::JobLog
For the most part the features of jobrog are a superset of those of App::JobLog. There are some differences, though:
- You can mark when repeating vacation intervals go into effect or become inactive. If you use this feature however, or if you add a new repeating vacation interval, your vacation file will no longer be readable by App::JobLog. This feature adds two colon-delimited timestamps to the end of the relevant line. This is the only breaking change I know of.
- There is optional color!
- There is a
firstsubcommand parallel to
todaysubcommand has been subsumed into
summary, which now has "today" as its default period.
- There are fewer compression options for the
truncatesubcommand in the interest of simplicity.
- The filtering options for summaries behave somewhat differently and are, for me, more useful.
- You can round up, round down, or "round center" the durations for lawyer-billing, saint-billing, and ordinary-shmoe-billing modes.
- You can configure jobrog to use fractional hour precision, like quarter and half.
- You can obtain summaries as line-delimited JSON as well as tabulated text.
- The merging and display of summary information is considerably less configurable.
- There is a statistics subcommand if you want a quick overview of a time period.
Why Rewrite App::JobLog?
- Everyone's doing it!
- Rust is fun!
- The Rust version is perceptibly, and in some cases usefully, faster.
- My Perl skills were in little demand and thus becoming rusty.
I would like to thank
- my wife Paula, who has been the only consisten user of Job Log other than myself over the past ten years or so
- my son Jude, who helps me debug stuff and proded me to get back on task when I was letting the JobLog rewrite lie fallow
- my co-workers, who humor me when I talk about JobLog and then go back to using other mechanisms to keep track of their time