Time Tracking Software That's Automatic

Track Your Time – Without Notes or Timers

Phone Call and Meeting “Away Time” Tracking

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When your computer is idle for a period of time (by default 5 minutes), Chrometa will stop recording active computer time, because you may be on the phone, or off to a meeting.

When you return to your computer, Chrometa will ask you if you’d like to log the time while you were away.

How to Log Away Time

When you get back to your PC after being away, you’ll see this popup:

Away Time Popup

To log your time, enter a description in the text box (the Phone Call, Meeting, Lunch buttons are there as clickable text shortcuts).  Then click Log It!

Or, you can defer annotation for later by clicking Not Now.  This time entry will still be captured, but it will not have a description – only a time, date, and duration.

Viewing Away Time

Your Away Time entries can be found at the bottom of the Unbilled Time section located on the Time – Summary screen.

Away Time Entry

They are also visible from the Time – Timeline screen, listed there in chronological order with your computer time entries.

Away Time Timeline

Splitting Away Time Entries

To split an Away Time entry, mouse over the entry itself, and click the Split Time button that appears towards the right.

Split Away Time

This popup will appear – move the slider to the left or right to allocate time to the first or second segment.

Away Time Split Slider

You can only split an entry into two parts – but you can split the subsequent entries again.

Categorizing Away Time to Your Timesheet

Away Time can be categorized in the same manner as Computer Time. Click the checkbox at the start of the entry, then select the Project you want to move the entry to from the Move To Project dropdown menu.

Away Time Settings

By default, Chrometa will start logging Away Time after 5 minutes of computer inactivity. You can modify this threshold by adjusting the the Tracking Settings, located under the Options menu (Preferences on Mac) on the time collector itself.

Options - Settings

Chrometa Options – PC

Chrometa Mac Preferences

Chrometa Preferences – Mac

Turning Off the Reminder Popups

Want to get rid of the Away Time reminder?  Go to Options/Preferences again, and uncheck the final checkbox, “Remind me to log away time when returning to my computer.”

Your Away Time will still be captured automatically – you just won’t be prompted to log it immediately upon returning to your computer. You can log it after the fact by annotating the entry from the main Time interface.

Adding a Manual Entry

You can add a manual entry by clicking the + button in the horizontal toolbar available from the top of the Time – Summary and Time – Timeline views.

Manual entries are ideal for time entries that are not reflected in your Computer or Away Time.  You can annotate, categorize, and add them to your timesheet in the same manner as an automatically captured entry.

Manual Time Entry

Tracking Time Automatically by Document, Email, and Website

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Chrometa captures your time “automatically” for you as you work on your computer, so that you can accurately and easily account for every minute of your day – without the need to start/stop a timer, or manually enter any times or notes as you go.

We achieve this by having our time collector act as your personal timekeeper.  It records how long you are working on an activity, and the relevant details associated with that activity (such as the application and file name).  When you switch tasks, our time recording switches with you.

The result is an accurate timesheet that is compiled for you in real-time as you work.

Locating Your Chrometa Time Collector

Our PC time collector is located in your Windows System Tray, denoted by a yellow clock icon, generally in the lower-right portion of your screen.  (Please see: Managing the PC Time Collector)

Our Mac time collector is denoted by an orange clock icon in your menu bar, generally located in the upper-right portion of your screen.

Viewing Your Captured Time Entries

Your time entries will initially appear under Computer Time in the Unbilled Time section of the Time – Summary screen (which is the first tab in the Time section).

The setup is analogous to your email inbox.  If we were not able to find an automatic project match for the time entry (more on keyword-based rules in a bit), we drop the time entry in your Unbilled Time section.

Time entries here are grouped by application, with the total number of uncategorized entries listed in parenthesis to the right of the application name.  Click on the application line itself to expand it and view your specific time entries.

Unbilled Time By Application

Unbilled computer time, by application.  Click on an application name to expand and view the individual time entries themselves.

Example 1: Documents and Files

Chrometa will capture the name of a file you work on, the total amount of time spent on the document, and exactly when you worked on it (via the Timeline).

This includes Microsoft Office documents like Word and Excel, Adobe products such as Reader, Photoshop, Illustrator, and the Creative Suite, and so on.

Here is an Adobe PDF document that I spent 7 minutes reading, entitled “The Economist – Billable Hour Not Dead.pdf”.

Document Time Summary

By mousing over the time entry, I can click the Timeline button to see exactly when I was reading this PDF.  We can see that the 7 minute total is actually composed of three different instances:

Document Time - Timeline

The beauty of the Summary view is that it totals up each individual instance into a single time entry.

Example 2: Emails

Chrometa will generally capture at least the Subject Line of the email you are reading, writing or replying to.

If you use Microsoft Outlook, Gmail, or Mac Mail, you’re in luck – we have developed special plugins for these email clients that will provide you with the To, From, and CC lines as well.

Let’s say you are composing an email in Outlook, Gmail, or Mac Mail. Chrometa will capture the following information for you:

  • The total amount of time you spent composing the email
  • The Subject Line of your email
  • The To/From and CC lines of your email

Outlook Time Entry

Time entry captured from Microsoft Outlook, displaying its Subject Line, Folder, From, and To info.

If you are a Microsoft Outlook or Gmail user, please download the appropriate email time capture plugin here.  If you’re a Mac Mail user, you are already good to go, as our plugin is “baked into” our Mac time collector.

Example 3: Websites

Chrometa will capture the URL and Title of websites visited your Mac or PC, grouped by web browser.  You can search entries, categorize them, or create rules based on the URL/Title information.

Time spent on website

Time entry for my visit to our Outlook Plugin page in our Help forum.  The title of the page is on top, with the clickable URL underneath.

If you prefer to not track all website activity, we recommend establishing a browser for personal usage only, and creating a rule that removes all entries captured from that browser.

Moving Unbilled Time Entries to Your Timesheet

You can categorize time entries by checking the box to the left of the entry, selecting the Move To Project dropdown, and then selecting the appropriate project for categorization.

Checked Entries

First, check the box to the left of the entry.

Tip: Select multiple consecutive entries at once by selecting the first entry, holding down the Shift key, and selecting the last entry you want. Each entry in between the two will also be selected.

Move To Project Dropdown

Then click the Move To Project dropdown to select the project for this time entry.

Use the auto-complete field to filter your client/project list – just start typing, and it will pare down your list.

You can also setup a Keyword-Based Rule to perform this action automatically for you.  Please see: Setting Up Keyword-Based Rules for Automatic Categorization

Basic Rule Creation NEW

This rule will automatically categorize captured time entries that contain the keyword SMUD to the project SMUD Partnership.

For more on categorization, please see: Categorizing Your Time Entries to Your Timesheet.

FAQ: What If You Run Multiple Applications at Once?

That’s fine – Chrometa never double-counts time, because it’s able to detect which application has your active focus. When your focus changes, Chrometa will automatically stop timing your old activity, and start on your new one.

Result: If you work for 8 hours and 27 minutes on a given day, Chrometa will have exactly 8 hours and 27 minutes of time entries recorded for you, which you can categorize to your timesheet and/or send to an invoice or third-party billing system.

Easy, Accurate, Automatic Timesheets From Chrometa

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The latest release of Chrometa — automatic timekeeping software — enables you to create an accurate timesheet with virtually no effort.

First, Chrometa passively captures your time entries from your computer-based (and quite soon, mobile) work.

Then Chrometa uses keyword-based rules to assign your time entries automatically to the appropriate client/matter, and rounds it up to the 6-minute increment.

Take a look at this short demo video and sample timesheet to see how it works.

Please start using Chrometa’s new automatic timesheets feature now

(Free 14-day trial included, for Mac and PC)

The Two Hottest Products for Attorneys Now Work Together

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If you’re like most solo and small firm attorneys we know, you probably just want to make sure you capture all of your time, bill for it, and manage your practice without any headaches. You want your practice to “just work!”

Starting today, you can — using a new integration between two of the hottest products for solo and small firm attorneys.

Many of you are familiar with my company, Chrometa — our product helps you capture all of your billable time by acting as your personal timekeeper, so that you don’t have to constantly hit a start/stop timer, or enter your time manually as you go.

I’m pleased to announce that we’ve partnered with small law firm practice management system Clio to deliver a seamless time capture and practice management tool to solo and small firm attorneys.

In case you missed TechnoLawyer NewsWire’s coverage of our products, please see these recent articles now…


When managing your practice, you want it to just work. With the new Chrometa-Clio connection, you’ll:


If you already use both Chrometa and Clio, simply enable this new export in Chrometa by going to: Account / Integrations / Export to Clio.

If you use Clio but don’t yet use Chrometa, sign up for Chrometa now for free and start capturing your billable time automatically on your Mac and/or PC. Then just use the above instructions.

If you use Chrometa but don’t yet use Clio, sign up for Clio now for free and start managing your contacts, calendar, and tasks online and offline on your Mac, PC, iPad, and/or smartphone with seamless synchronization. Then just use the above instructions.If you don’t use either:

Sign up for Chrometa.

And then sign up for Clio.

There’s no charge to try them.

Clio and Chrometa: A co-hosted webinar from Clio on Vimeo.

Mac Attorneys: Automatic Time Tracking Software, Built For You

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Dear Mac Attorney:

Thank you for NOT being shy about the fact that you wanted a version of Chrometa that’d provide with automated
timekeeping for your beloved Mac.

I’ve received many emails like these (usually on the weekend for some reason) from outspoken solo and small firm Mac attorneys like you:

  • * “Seriously, HOW MUCH LONGER BEFORE US MAC USERS CAN USE CHROMETA?” — KG, Solo Attorney in Nashville, TN
  • “I’VE BEEN EAGERLY AWAITING THE BETA VERSION OF YOUR MAC-COMPATIBLE (presumably, web-based) product but you’ve gone silent.” — JH, Solo Attorney in Albuquerque, NM

Thanks for whacking us on the head until we got the message! I’m excited to tell you that we took the hint — and went out and hired a top notch Mac developer.

And our “Mac guy” has done a spectacular job building a Mac compatible version of Chrometa for you — I think you’re really going to like it (and save a ton of time and effort on your time reconciliation).

Please download Chrometa for Mac here.

How I Make Sure I Capture All My Time – Including Emails – Without a Lame Stop/Start Timer

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Dear Fellow Attorney at Work Reader:

Like you, I hate keeping track of my billable time. I used to spend hours each week going through sent emails, my calendar and my notes to figure out what I did every day.

I knew there had to be a better answer than notepads and start/stop timers.

The problem with the start/stop timer, for me, is that I’m constantly getting interrupted throughout the day. So I’d start the timer once in the morning – and realize 5 hours later it’d be running against the same task ever since, because I forgot to toggle it!

Time entry methods were equally ineffective – I am far too busy and multi-task far too much during the day to be bothered with the tedious effort of creating a new time entry when I change tasks.

Finally in 2007, I’d had enough – so I designed a product that’d automatically track my time and let me easily organize that time so I could accurately and easily bill my clients.

I’m excited to announce that our groundbreaking timekeeping product, Chrometa, is now available to Attorney at Work readers.

You can get started with Chrometa for free – and be up and running in a matter of minutes.

Please start capturing your billable time automatically with Chrometa now. (Available for PC and Mac)


Adam Tope, Esq.
Special Advisor to Chrometa, LLC

Track Your Billable Hours More Accurately

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Whether you bill clients by the project or the hour, you need to keep accurate records of time spent on each job.

For hourly clients, keeping correct timesheets ensures you get paid for all the work you do.

I use Chrometa time tracking software because it tracks my time as I work automatically.

There’s no need to enter any times. The software automatically tracks every minute you’re on the PC by document. It also automatically tracks your time away from the PC, too!

Please click here to order Chrometa on a risk-free trial basis.

Chrometa Overview from Brett Owens on Vimeo.

Automatic Timekeeping Software for CPAs and Accountants

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CPAs, accountants, and bookkeepers that loathe taking notes or starting and stopping timers all day to log their time may find Chrometa’s unique approach to time tracking both refreshing and empowering. It allows a person to just focus on working while the program collects data on the amount of time each window is active. Traditional timekeeping methods struggle to keep up with today’s multitasking professional. Chrometa, on the other hand, effortlessly and automatically tracks the amount of time a user opens and responds to an e-mail for one client that interrupted the input of data in a tax software for another client, for example.

Chrometa does one thing extremely well: It tracks time. It offers few features on the billing side, but for firms needing more robust billing capabilities, Chrometa exports time in several formats and to many accounting and billing programs.

Chrometa’s value is larger than its ability to track chargeable time. For all computing activities, it answers the question, “Where did all the time go?” For instance, it brings self-accountability to a user who has no idea how much time he or she spends using social media.

Full story here: Automatic Timekeeping for CPAs

Written by Brett Owens

June 6th, 2012 at 3:46 pm

Posted in CPAs

Best Ways to Increase Your Billable Hours

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A recent survey found that attorneys work three hours for every two they bill.

Picture a publicly traded companythat disclosed it had only billed (forget about collecting) two-thirds of the items it sold. The Board of Directors would reprimand and probably terminate the CEO, CFO, and CTO for failing to develop processes to prevent this catastrophe. Shareholders would file class action suits. And yet, this scenario is essentially the current state of most, if not all, law firms.

This situation exists for many reasons, including: (1) administrative overhead, (2) reasonable accommodations to the financial circumstances of clients; (3) write-offs for poor results, and (4) write-offs for training new associates.

And then there is the significant amount of non-billable time spent by lawyers just reconciling their time — over two hours per week on average. But none of these factors explain the majority of the unbilled time. The reality is there is no legitimate business reason for the majority of unbilled time. So the question arises — how can you increase your billable time?

Read On: The Top Five Ways to Increase Billable Time

The Recession is Back: Here’s Your Law Firm’s Escape Plan

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The average small law firm of 1-9 lawyers, including yours most likely, leaves 10-25% of billable revenue on the table in the form of work you performed for your client, but were not able to track down after the fact.

This is a fact based on a recent study.

It’s crazy to leave such large amounts of money unbilled in this environment. Most of your competitors are not reading this TechnoRelease so you’ve got a leg up.

Watch this free video now: “How to Increase Your Billable Time by 10-25% — While Actually Working Less.”


There’s a lot of talk these days about alternative fees.

That’s all well and good but guess what? No matter how you bill clients, you need to accurately understand how much time you spend on your cases.

The problem with keeping time via a start/stop timer or any other manual method is that you’re constantly getting interrupted throughout the day. So you start the timer once in the morning — and realize five hours later it’s still running against the same task because you forgot to toggle it! Being ethical, you then conservatively underestimate the amount of time you spent.

Time entry methods are equally ineffective — you’re probably far too busy and multi-task far too much during the day to be bothered with the tedious effort of creating a new time entry when you change tasks.

It only took 100 years, but Chrometa solves this problem.

As a growing number of attorneys can attest, Chrometa automatically captures every second of your billable time with no effort or data entry on your part.

The “magic” of Chrometa is that it runs in the background of your PC and/or Mac, quietly making note of your activities. It’s like having your very own personal timekeeper.

When you open or compose an email, Chrometa captures that activity. Same for documents you draft, web research, and even phone calls and meetings — everything is captured passively without you lifting a finger.


Chrometa has been around long enough that we have some data to share from our customers, virtually all of whom work in small law firms.

Their feedback suggests that you will increase your monthly billings by 20% or more while actually working fewer hours.

Available for PC and Mac, try Chrometa for free now.