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Timebook is a small utility which aims to be a low-overhead way of tracking what you spend time on. It can be used to prepare annotated time logs of work for presentation to a client, or simply track how you spend your free time. Timebook is implemented as a python script which maintains its state in a sqlite3 database.


Timebook maintains a list of timesheets -- distinct lists of timed periods. Each period has a start and end time, with the exception of the most recent period, which may have no end time set. This indicates that this period is still running. Timesheets containing such periods are considered active. It is possible to have multiple timesheets active simultaneously, though a single time sheet may only have one period running at once.

Interactions with timebook are performed through the t command on the command line. t is followed by one of timebook's subcommands. Often used subcommands include in, out, switch, now, list and display. Commands may be abbreviated as long as they are unambiguous: thus t switch foo and t s foo are identical. With the default command set, no two commands share the first same letter, thus it is only necessary to type the first letter of a command. Likewise, commands which display timesheets accept abbreviated timesheet names. t display f is thus equivalent to t display foo if foo is the only timesheet which begins with "f". Note that this does not apply to t switch, since this command also creates timesheets. (Using the earlier example, if t switch f is entered, it would thus be ambiguous whether a new timesheet f or switching to the existing timesheet foo was desired).


The basic usage is as follows:

$ t switch writing
$ t in document timebook
$ t out

The first command, t switch writing, switches to the timesheet "writing" (or creates it if it does not exist). t in document timebook creates a new period in the current timesheet, and annotates it with the description "document timebook". Note that this command would be in error if the writing timesheet was already active. Finally, t out records the current time as the end time for the most recent period in the writing timesheet.

To display the current timesheet, invoke the t display command:

$ t display
Timesheet writing:
Day            Start      End        Duration   Notes
Mar 14, 2009   19:53:30 - 20:06:15   0:12:45    document timebook
               20:07:02 -            0:00:01    write home about timebook
Total                                0:12:46

Each period in the timesheet is listed on a row. If the timesheet is active, the final period in the timesheet will have no end time. After each day, the total time tracked in the timesheet for that day is listed. Note that this is computed by summing the durations of the periods beginning in the day. In the last row, the total time tracked in the timesheet is shown.



Inserts a note associated with the currently active period in the timesheet.

usage: t alter NOTES...

aliases: write


Run an interactive database session on the timebook database. Requires the sqlite3 command.

usage: t backend

aliases: shell


Display a given timesheet. If no timesheet is specified, show the current timesheet.

usage: t display [TIMESHEET]

aliases: show


Export the current sheet as a comma-separated value format spreadsheet. If the final entry is active, it is ignored.

If a specific timesheet is given, display the same information for that timesheet instead.

usage: t format [--start DATE] [--end DATE] [TIMESHEET]

aliases: csv, export


Start the timer for the current timesheet. Must be called before out. Notes may be specified for this period. This is exactly equivalent to t in; t alter NOTES

usage: t in [--switch TIMESHEET] [NOTES...]

aliases: start


Delete a timesheet. If no timesheet is specified, delete the current timesheet and switch to the default timesheet.

usage: t kill [TIMESHEET]

aliases: delete


List the available timesheets.

usage: t list

aliases: ls


Print the current sheet, whether it's active, and if so, how long it has been active and what notes are associated with the current period.

If a specific timesheet is given, display the same information for that timesheet instead.

usage: t now [--simple] [TIMESHEET]

aliases: info


Stop the timer for the current timesheet. Must be called after in.

usage: t out [--verbose] [TIMESHEET]

aliases: stop


Print all active sheets and any messages associated with them.

usage: t running

aliases: active


Switch to a new timesheet. this causes all future operation (except switch) to operate on that timesheet. The default timesheet is called "default".

usage: t switch TIMESHEET