Simple tracking of time on a document

I’ve searched, and not seen something like this. I simply want to know how much time I’ve spent working, in all my sessions, on a particular document.

That is, I just sent off a chapter of an edited book. I had dozens of people read it, multiple drafts, rewrites, etc. And now, as a busy PhD student, I wonder… just how much time did that thing suck away from me, and was it time well spent? How long did I stare at this document, making changes, rewriting, rewriting again… Because getting a publication is good, but a publication that took (only the vaguest guess) 70-80 hours to write the finished version is not the most efficient allocation of my time. There’s a point of declaring “good enough” to be “done” and moving on, particularly if one can notice just how much time one has already put in.

So would it be possible to add a simple bit of metadata to a Scrivener to track how much time that document has been open?

Here is a response to a very similar request. No worries not being able to find it, I have the advantage of knowing I wrote a response and what words I would have used in it. :slight_smile:

Maybe this would work help →

@bobembry, have you used the timing app you linked to? If so how have you found it? Looks interesting and could well fit my needs. Thanks for the link

@Kinsey, I’ve used Timing, along with one or two other applications of a similar nature. Of its type, it’s good, and distinctively colourful. Of course, its strength is that, once set, it’s automatic (as a similar timing feature within Scrivener would also presumably be).

For what it’s worth, my issue with timing software of this type is that being automatic is also its weakness. It doesn’t cover circumstances where you cease to use Scrivener on the computer where the timing software resides, but still write - although this can be resolved if you use Scrivener on another computer where there’s also timing software (and don’t draft longhand, which I often do pre-Scrivener). It also doesn’t cover circumstances where you leave your writing software open unintentionally. For these reasons, I prefer to use timing software which isn’t automatic and where I always decide when to start and stop the timer, not the software.

Edit: Brett Terpstra is currently offering a 20 per cent discount coupon for Timing.