Does everyone track time spent on personal projects? I feel that it is valuable to know how much time (and potential money) has been put into a hobby.

I am currently using harvest to track time.

closed as not constructive by user40980, gnat, GlenH7, Jimmy Hoffa, Martijn Pieters Mar 12 '13 at 18:10

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If you're idea of a good time is counting and tracking things, then go for it. I'd rather get lost/zoned out/lose track of time in a hobby project. Chances are you would have to code completely different, track time, bill, take requests, if you wanted to sell it. Sounds too much like work.


I am not used to track my time for my personal projects. But I do track time for my freelance projects.

My personal projects are more of experimental things. So, I don't really feel the need to track that time. But, once the personal projects starts making money, I guess it's a good idea to track the amount of time spent.


Time tracking is useful for determining your capacity as a programmer. It tells you how accurate your estimating is. It is useful for forecasting future work.

So this would be important if your fun programming is going to turn into something you start bidding projects based on. If it's truly just for fun don't muck up something fun by putting in extra work you don't need. Spend that extra 5 to 10 minutes a day writing in your blog/journal about what you did today and why it was cool. That will have a much better payoff both personally and professionally.



I treat my personally hobby in the same manor as my commercial work. I manage it as if I was at work.

I use Issues logs, bug tracking & source control.

I find this helps me keep focus on my hobby projects and see it through to completion.


If you do, track it with a tool you are already using (e.g. bug tracker). Much easier to remember. For example FogBugz and Redmine.

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