Beeminder Forum

What is the deal with TagTime?

I’ve started using tag time since few weeks and I really like it. I never liked paying exorbitant amount for RescueTime, or to explicitly track every activity through Toggl.

TagTime has the added advantage that I really try to get back to my activity because I am worried I might get pinged at that moment.

Question: Why aren’t other geeks using this? @dreev do you happen to have insight / telemetry on the number of active users for TagTime? I’ve seen few posts where usability is slightly better (?) but I’ve always stuck to using the perl script, because somehow they are all “off”.

I would really like to see it in the wild, and contribute my time to it, but I see the last few attempts have fizzled out - mainly because it didn’t catch on. Wanted to know from others who have used it and given up - why?


I don’t have particular insight or telemetry. It’s just some perl scripts Bee and I made back in the 2000s! The offer of the domain is still open to anyone who makes s proper TagTime-in-the-cloud that Pareto-dominates the perl scripts.

As I recall, Alice Monday’s version is basically there, with a few caveats:

  1. It’s written in a custom dialect of Javascript called zetascript that may be difficult for mortals.
  2. It’s written using whatever the predecessor of Electron was called (Atom shell or something?) and would randomly crash. Obviously Electron has become rock solid in the meantime (Slack and Discord, for example, use it for their native apps) so theoretically it’s just a matter of porting this to modern Electron and we’re golden?
  3. It didn’t do the “in the cloud” part, I don’t think. Just a nice native app that doesn’t involve running perl scripts.

I was hoping through some proxy, coz some fraction of the users who use tagtime would also like to sync it with Beeminder :sweat_smile: (also maybe current active android installs?)

I was just browsing the source code, and wow. Not for mortals like me.

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Ah, good call, that’s 104 (compared to 2.8k for Beedroid).

I’m one of the geeks who tried Tagtime and has stopped using it. I was trying to track time in too many categories, I think - I ended up with maybe 25 different tags, which was too many for me to track and I ended up creating several duplicates.

Thinking about it afterwards, and having realised I could add multiple tags at each ping, I think if I used it again I’d do that: some sort of activity + status tag pair, with many fewer categories of activity and a handful of statuses.

How have others been using it? Many/few categories? One or multiple at each ping?

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Yeah, I did the same when I started using the app. Too many tags built up over a week. However, with my computer it’s different - I find it more useful.

May be we do too many things to be useful with phone, but do structured stuff to be useful for computer.

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Good question! I don’t use it because I use rescuetime and toggl :wink: And for me, knowing when I did things (for instance, what time did I drop off my daughter for childcare this morning) is just as useful as knowing the statistically likely distribution of what I did.

Yeah. There are few tasks I really want to be accurate with, the time I practices something that day. I am using Toggl for those. But there is still a lot of value in TagTime!

many many. often multiple.

No idea how to count… oh yes, I can hack together a one liner: cat merged.log | perl -ne 'print join "\n", split(/\s/), "\n"' | grep -E '^[a-z]' | sort -u | wc -l

1267 unique tags (in spelling, not necessarily intent)

Only 60 tags used in 1% or more of pings, since records began in December 2012.

Only 3 Tagtime-fuelled Beeminder goals, partly because I find the combination of beemergency days and stochastic time tracking difficult.