NATTT - Not Another Time Tracking Tool (Remake) App Development (Angular), 2022
Not Another Time Tracking Tool …but wait! This one is different.
There are no timers and no dialogs to create and track time spent on your tasks.
When Timo had just started freelancing in 2017, he had to regularly track his time spent on different projects. Looking for a straightforward app for this purpose, he found that they were all too complex and time-consuming for him.
He thought to himself: “Why do you have to manage your tasks and enter countless data in dialogs to begin with? I don’t want to set a stopwatch, but quickly record my times directly after completing a task or at the end of the day. How can I export my recorded data so that I can import it into external systems if necessary?”
That was the birth of NATTT, the “slightly different” time tracking app, which has several hundred active users as of today.
But as it happens, there was little time to maintain and update the app regularly. By the end of 2021, it was no longer running on all platforms and there was a long list of useful suggestions from users. Because Timo was no longer working alone, but had a whole team of developers at his side, the team decided that the app was still very useful and worth implementing from scratch with modern technology and new features. In doing so, we made sure to keep the core design, basic functionality and simplicity of the app and enhance it in defined places.
NATTT has only three main screens:
- Calendar: See which days are already tracked. You can filter the view by category and export your tracked times as XLSX, CSV or JSON file.
- Day: You can track tasks by simply typing
MyCategory:MyTaskonce and NATTT will create a button for you. Tapping it adds 60 minutes but you can change this interval if needed.
- Settings: Customize language, your tracking interval, workdays and notifications. During your custom working hours, you’ll receive push reminders when the interval expires. NATTT won’t bother you in the off hours.
In the end, the following features emerged:
- (Ad-)Free: There are no ads in NATTT and the basic version will remain free forever
- Easy: No timers, no dialogs. Track by simply pressing buttons
- Notifications: NATTT can gently remind you to track your time
- Customizable: Set your tracking interval, workdays & notifications
- Filters & Exports: Get your data quickly as Excel spreadsheet, CSV or JSON
- Live Sync: Data is shared in real-time across all devices
- Offline: You can track time even if you lose your internet connection
- Cross-Platform: Available for iOS, Android, Windows, MacOS & Linux
- Localized: The app is currently available in English and German
The backend is provided by Firebase - just like in the old version. However, in the new variant we also incorporate their new database model with live updates and other goodies.
We then package the web application into native apps for iOS, Android, macOS, Windows and Linux using Electron and Capacitor (as a replacement for Cordova).
This way, we still have a single common code base for all clients, which makes it easier for us to maintain the app. Since a mobile app behaves differently than a desktop app, some adjustments have to be made here and there to suit the target system.
For many of us, the launch day of NATTT was something very special: To finally see our own work in the App Store and to present it publicly - that is a unique feeling.
We still have some ideas for further features. Depending on the success and complexity, we also consider it possible to introduce a “Pro” version of the app in the future, which we might then be able to monetize. In doing so, we will never eliminate existing features and we don’t feel like advertising in our app at all.
At the end of the day, we (re-)built NATTT primarily for ourselves and use the app every day.