Time tracking with Minco 2

If you’re a freelance, a time tracking app to prepare for your invoices is a must-have unless you never bother to see how much time you spend on tasks. And if you ever find yourself calculating a time-based fee, a time tracking app should really be capable to automatically add up the numbers for invoicing. A small Mauritius-based team of developers may have the time-tracking app you’re looking for. Minco 2 lives in your menu bar, has a small memory footprint and tracks time as none other.

minco list

A year and a half ago I went looking for a time tracking app that didn’t require me to run a full app but that would quietly track time in the background. I ended up with Timelime, a nicely designed menu app. A year went by and Timelime seemed abandoned by its developer. More importantly, I couldn’t use it to create my invoices with any sort of automation. Furthermore, Timelime is pretty much an island as it doesn’t integrate with OS X Calendar or Reminders or anything else for that matter. I started looking for a better solution.

minco menu

I think I have found it. Minco 2 is developed by Celmaro, a very small team of people who are based in Mauritius. Minco 2 is in pre-release beta and as such the company is currently offering a nice discount. I decided to give it a try.

Minco 2 has a nice interface, user-friendly and pretty customisable. The first thing that struck me is its capability to use Calendar events and Reminders entries to track. In addition, Minco 2 lets you use your location for tracking purposes and integrates with Things, the GTD app. Minco 2 also adds up your time-based fee in whatever currency you like. You can set a default fee and a separate fee per timeline. The app will track multiple tasks/timelines simultaneously as well. And of course you can enter task times manually if you want to.

Another feature that I like about Minco 2 is that it offers two notifications to remind you of counters not running. The first is optionally set for each individual timeline and starts nagging you when you select the timeline and when you forget to start a counter within the delay you chose. The second is the more traditionally available idle time that you can set from 1 minute to 1 hour in five minute increments before the timer stops tracking.

minco 2 reports

Minco 2’s reporting section is another feature that makes Minco 2 truly stand out. It has “Extensions”, meaning you can create CSV or other formatted reports with a layout that uses drag-and-drop variables. For example, you can create a CSV file with your time tracking events and tasks of the day, open it in Apple Numbers or Microsoft Excel and prepare an invoice in one of these applications. Another example: there is a Calendar extension that lets you create Calendar events live from your tracked time. The list of extensions is quite limited, but there are two of them — the AppleScript and Web Services Extensions — that potentially allow you to create invoices or enter your tracked time into a Web-based management system via the POST or GET form method.

Minco 2 has more of these carefully thought out features scattered around the interface. For example, timelines can show the duration of all tasks. They can also show your revenue and more. That’s why I would like to see added to Minco 2 a decent help file or at the very least an introduction that shows you how all the features work and what they are for.

minco 2 extensions

That would make this little gem perfect. Minco 2 is yours for just over €10 for as long as it’s in its pre-release phase. Afterwards it doubles in price, which still is ridiculously low.

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