Monday, September 3, 2012

Time Management (with Hamster on Ubuntu)

If one wants to excel in multiple disciplines, one needs to be
able to manage time effectively. I have often found it difficult to
track and maintain a long list of diverse tasks with tight time
constraints. I think that a Personal Information Manager would
really help in managing the time and tasks. Ideally it should
enable me to
  1. Enter in personal data with support for organizing the content.
  2. Set up and Manage concrete goals with strict or approximate deadlines.
  3. Create tasks, activities and to do lists from the goals.
  4. Select particular tasks or activities for tracking progress.
  5. Post-processing of the data and ability to export and import.
I believe that all of the above may be implemented in a single application intuitively. Though, I have not found a single application that covers all of the above requirements, yet, Hamster covers many features with minimal overhead.

Installation in Ubuntu


There are basically two versions of hamster, hamster-applet and hamster-indicator. I would recommend installing the hamster-indicator applet as it hovers in the Panel to the right (if you use Gnome-Desktop).

To install
sudo apt-get install hamster-indicator


For adding a task just before starting
Blogging@Hobbies, Writing a post on hamster
For adding an earlier completed task
12:30 -13:00 Lunch@Day-to-day, Ate in a restaurant
For adding an earlier ongoing task,
-60 Checking Mail@Day-to-day, Reading mails ... 

in the above command -60 refers to the fact that the activity started
60 seconds earlier.


If you are using ubuntu 12.04 and later and you want to automatically start hamster when ubuntu starts, then you can do the following ... 
  • Click on the wheel on the top right hand side on the panel
  • Select Startup Applications and then click on Add
  • Type in "hamster-indicator" in the Command and optionally one can add in the Name and comments.
The next time you restart, hamster will automatically start up.


As I mentioned earlier, I want an application to manage my tasks as well
in addition to the time. However, hamster currently has support for only the basic features for personal data management. Hence, I am on the look out for better apps. Some of the features that I would like to have include the ability to import and export the tracked data, enhanced task management and the like.