Skip to content


Switch branches/tags

Name already in use

A tag already exists with the provided branch name. Many Git commands accept both tag and branch names, so creating this branch may cause unexpected behavior. Are you sure you want to create this branch?

Latest commit


Git stats


Failed to load latest commit information.

Timetrap Build Status

Timetrap is a simple command line time tracker written in ruby. It provides an easy to use command line interface for tracking what you spend your time on.

Getting Started

To install:

$ gem install timetrap

This will place a t executable in your path.

If you have errors while parsing the documentation, use --no-document option when installing the gem, or other option is to gem install rdoc before installing the timetrap. This is a known issue from rdoc

Basic Usage

$ # get help
$ timetrap --help
$ # or
$ t --help

Timetrap maintains a list of timesheets.

$ # create the "coding" timesheet
$ t sheet coding
Switching to sheet coding

All commands can be abbreviated.

$ # same as "t sheet coding"
$ t s coding
Switching to sheet coding

Each timesheet contains entries. Each entry has a start and end time, and a note associated with it. An entry without an end time set is considered to be running.

You check in to the current sheet with the in command.

$ # check in with "document timetrap" note
$ t in document timetrap
Checked into sheet "coding".

Commands like display and now will show you the running entry.

$ t display
Timesheet: coding
    Day                Start      End        Duration   Notes
    Sun Nov 28, 2010   12:26:10 -            0:00:03    document timetrap
    Total                                    0:00:03

$ t now
*coding: 0:01:02 (document timetrap)

If you make a mistake use the edit command.

$ # edit the running entry's note
$ t edit writing readme
Editing running entry

You check out with the out command.

$ t out
Checked out of entry "document timetrap" in sheet "coding"

Running edit when you're checked out will edit the last entry you checked out of.

$ t edit --append "oh and that"
Editing last entry you checked out of

You can edit entries that aren't running using edit's --id or -i flag. t display --ids (or t display -v) will tell you the ids.

$ # note id column in output
$ t d -v
Timesheet: coding
Id  Day                Start      End        Duration   Notes
43  Sun Nov 28, 2010   12:26:10 - 13:41:03   1:14:53    writing readme
    Total                                    1:14:53

$ # -i43 to edit entry 43
$ t e -i43 --end "2010-11-28 13:45"
Editing entry with id 43

$ t d
Timesheet: coding
    Day                Start      End        Duration   Notes
    Sun Nov 28, 2010   12:26:10 - 13:45:00   1:18:50    writing readme
    Total                                    1:18:50

Natural Language Times

Commands such as in, out, edit, and display have flags that accept times as arguments. Any time you pass Timetrap a time it will try to parse it as a natural language time.

This is very handy if you start working and forget to start Timetrap. You can check in 5 minutes ago using in's --at flag.

$ t in --at "5 minutes ago"

Command line flags also have short versions.

$ # equivalent to the command above
$ t i -a "5 minutes ago"

You can consult the Chronic gem ( for a full list of parsable time formats, but all of these should work.

$ t out --at "in 30 minutes"
$ t edit --start "last monday at 10:30am"
$ t edit --end "tomorrow at noon"
$ t display --start "10am" --end "2pm"
$ t i -a "2010-11-29 12:30:00"

Output Formats

Built-in Formatters

Timetrap has built-in support for 6 output formats.

These are text, csv, ical, json, and ids

The default is a plain text format. (You can change the default format using t configure).

$ t display
Timesheet: coding
    Day                Start      End        Duration   Notes
    Mon Apr 13, 2009   15:46:51 - 17:03:50   1:16:59    improved display functionality
                       17:25:59 - 17:26:02   0:00:03
                       18:38:07 - 18:38:52   0:00:45    working on list
                       22:37:38 - 23:38:43   1:01:05    work on kill
    Tue Apr 14, 2009   00:41:16 - 01:40:19   0:59:03    gem packaging
                       10:20:00 - 10:48:10   0:28:10    working on readme
    Total                                    3:46:05

The CSV formatters is easy to import into a spreadsheet.

$ t display --format csv
"2010-08-21 11:19:05","2010-08-21 12:12:04","migrated site","coding"
"2010-08-21 12:44:09","2010-08-21 12:48:46","DNS emails and install email packages","coding"
"2010-08-21 12:49:57","2010-08-21 13:10:12","A records","coding"
"2010-08-21 15:09:37","2010-08-21 16:32:26","setup for wiki","coding"
"2010-08-25 20:42:55","2010-08-25 21:41:49","rewrote index","coding"
"2010-08-29 15:44:39","2010-08-29 16:21:53","recaptcha","coding"
"2010-08-29 21:15:58","2010-08-29 21:30:31","backups","coding"
"2010-08-29 21:40:56","2010-08-29 22:32:26","backups","coding"

iCal format lets you get your time into your favorite calendar program (remember commands can be abbreviated).

$ t d -f ical > MyTimeSheet.ics

The ids formatter is provided to facilitate scripting within timetrap. It only outputs numeric id for the entries. This is handy if you want to move all entries from one sheet to another sheet. You could do something like this:

$ for id in `t display sheet1 -f ids`; do t edit --id $id --move sheet2; done
editing entry #36
editing entry #37
editing entry #44
editing entry #46

A json formatter is provided because hackers love json.

$ t d -fjson

Custom Formatters

Timetrap tries to make it easy to define custom output formats.

You're encouraged to submit these back to timetrap for inclusion in a future version.

To create a custom formatter you create a ruby class and implement two methods on it.

As an example we'll create a formatter that only outputs the notes from entries.

To ensure that timetrap can find your formatter put it in ~/.timetrap/formatters/notes.rb. The filename should be the same as the string you will pass to t d --format to invoke it. If you want to put your formatter in a different place you can run t configure and edit the formatter_search_paths option.

All timetrap formatters live under the namespace Timetrap::Formatters so define your class like this:

class Timetrap::Formatters::Notes

When t display is invoked, timetrap initializes a new instance of the formatter passing it an Array of entries. It then calls #output which should return a string to be printed to the screen.

This means we need to implement an #initialize method and an #output method for the class. Something like this:

class Timetrap::Formatters::Notes
  def initialize(entries)
    @entries = entries

  def output{|entry| entry[:note]}.join("\n")

Now when I invoke it:

$ t d -f notes
working on issue #123
working on issue #234

Timetrap Formatters Repository

A community focused repository of custom formatters is available at

Harvest Integration

For timetrap users who use Harvest to manage timesheets, Devon Blandin created timetrap-harvest, a custom formatter which allows you to easily submit your timetrap entries to Harvest timesheets.

See its README for more details.

Toggl Integration

For timetrap users who use Toggl to manage timesheets, Miguel Palhas created timetrap-toggl (a fork of the timetrap-harvest integration mentioned above.

Like the Harvest integration, this one allows you to easily submit your timetrap entries to Toggl.

See its README for more details.


Timetrap has a feature called auto sheets that allows you to automatically select which timesheet to check into.

Timetrap ships with a couple auto sheets. The default auto sheet is called dotfiles and will read the sheetname to check into from a .timetrap-sheet file in the current directory.

Here are all the included auto sheets

You can specify which auto sheet logic you want to use in ~/.timetrap.yml by changing the auto_sheet value.

Custom AutoSheets

It's also easy to write your own auto sheet logic that matches your personal workflow. You're encouraged to submit these back to timetrap for inclusion in a future version.

To create a custom auto sheet module you create a ruby class and implement one method on it #sheet. This method should return the name of the sheet timetrap should use (as a string) or nil if a sheet shouldn't be automatically selected.

All timetrap auto sheets live under the namespace Timetrap::AutoSheets

To ensure that timetrap can find your auto sheet put it in ~/.timetrap/auto_sheets/. The filename should be the same as the string you will set in the configuration (for example ~/.timetrap/auto_sheets/dotfiles.rb. If you want to put your auto sheet in a different place you can run t configure and edit the auto_sheet_search_paths option.

As an example here's the dotfiles auto sheet

module Timetrap
  module AutoSheets
    class Dotfiles
      def sheet
        dotfile = File.join(Dir.pwd, '.timetrap-sheet') if File.exist?(dotfile)


archive Archive the selected entries (by moving them to a sheet called _[SHEET]) These entries can be seen by running t display _[SHEET].

usage: t archive [--start DATE] [--end DATE] [--grep REGEX] [SHEET]

backend Run an interactive database session on the timetrap database. Requires the sqlite3 command.

usage: t backend

configure Create a config file at ~/.timetrap.yml or ENV['TIMETRAP_CONFIG_FILE'] if one doesn't exist. If one does exist, update it with new configuration options preserving any user overrides. Prints path to config file. This file may contain ERB.

usage: t configure

display Display a given timesheet. If no timesheet is specified, show the current timesheet. If all is passed as SHEET display all timesheets. If full is passed as SHEET archived timesheets are displayed as well. Accepts an optional --ids flag which will include the entries' ids in the output. This is useful when editing an non running entry with edit.

Display is designed to support a variety of export formats that can be specified by passing the --format flag. This currently defaults to text. iCal, csv, json, and numeric id output are also supported.

Display also allows the use of a --round or -r flag which will round all times in the output. See global options below.

usage: t display [--ids] [--round] [--start DATE] [--end DATE] [--format FMT] [--grep REGEX] [SHEET | all | full]

edit Insert a note associated with the an entry in the timesheet, or edit the start or end times. Defaults to the current entry, or previously running entry. An --id flag can be passed with the entry's id (see display.)

usage: t edit [--id ID] [--start TIME] [--end TIME] [--append] [NOTES]

in Start the timer for the current timesheet. Must be called before out. Notes may be specified for this period. This is exactly equivalent to t in; t edit NOTES. Accepts an optional --at flag.

usage: t in [--at TIME] [NOTES]

kill Delete a timesheet or an entry. Entries are referenced using an --id flag (see display). Sheets are referenced by name.

usage: t kill [--id ID] [TIMESHEET]

list List the available timesheets.

usage: t list

now Print a description of all running entries.

usage: t now

out Stop the timer for the current timesheet. Must be called after in. Accepts an optional --at flag. Accepts an optional TIMESHEET name to check out of a running, non-current sheet. Will check out of all running sheets if the auto_checkout configuration option is enabled.

usage: t out [--at TIME] [TIMESHEET]

resume Start the timer for the current time sheet for an entry. Defaults to the active entry.

usage: t resume [--id ID] [--at TIME]

sheet Switch to a timesheet creating it if necessary. The default timesheet is called "default". When no sheet is specified list all existing sheets. The special timesheet name '-' will switch to the last active sheet.

usage: t sheet [TIMESHEET]

today Shortcut for display with start date as the current day

usage: t today [--ids] [--format FMT] [SHEET | all]

yesterday Shortcut for display with start and end dates as the day before the current day

usage: t yesterday [--ids] [--format FMT] [SHEET | all]

week Shortcut for display with start date set to a day of this week. The default start of the week is Monday.

usage: t week [--ids] [--end DATE] [--format FMT] [TIMESHEET | all]

month Shortcut for display with start date set to the beginning of this month (or a specified month) and end date set to the end of the month.

usage: t month [--ids] [--start MONTH] [--format FMT] [TIMESHEET | all]

Global Options

rounding passing a --round or -r flag to any command will round entry start and end times to the closest 15 minute increment. This flag only affects the display commands (e.g. display, list, week, etc.) and is non-destructive. The actual start and end time stored by Timetrap are unaffected.

See configure command to change rounding increment from 15 minutes.

non-interactive passing a --yes or -y flag will cause any command that requires confirmation (such as kill) to assume an affirmative response to any prompt. This is useful when timetrap is used in a scripted environment.


Configuration of Timetrap's behavior can be done through an ERB interpolated YAML config file.

See t configure for details. Currently supported options are:

round_in_seconds: The duration of time to use for rounding with the -r flag

database_file: The file path of the sqlite database

append_notes_delimiter: delimiter used when appending notes via t edit --append

formatter_search_paths: an array of directories to search for user defined fomatter classes

default_formatter: The format to use when display is invoked without a --format option

default_command: The default command to invoke when you call t

auto_checkout: Automatically check out of running entries when you check in or out

require_note: Prompt for a note if one isn't provided when checking in

auto_sheet: Which auto sheet module to use.

auto_sheet_search_paths: an array of directories to search for user defined auto_sheet classes

note_editor: The command to start editing notes. Defaults to false which means no external editor is used. Please see the section below on Notes Editing for tips on using non-terminal based editors. Example: note_editor: "vim"

week_start: The day of the week to use as the start of the week for t week.


Timetrap has some basic support for autocomplete in bash and zsh. There are completions for commands and for sheets.

HINT If you don't know where timetrap is installed, have a look in the directories listed in echo $GEM_PATH.


If it isn't already, add the following to your .bashrc/.bash_profile:

if [ -f /etc/bash_completion ]; then
  . /etc/bash_completion

Then add this to source the completions:

source /path/to/timetrap-1.x.y/gem/completions/bash/timetrap-autocomplete.bash


If it isn't already, add the following to your .zshrc:

autoload -U compinit

Then add this to source the completions:

fpath=(/path/to/timetrap-1.x.y/gem/completions/zsh $fpath)

Notes editing

If you use the note_editor setting, then it is possible to use an editor for writing your notes. If you use a non terminal based editor (like atom, sublime etc.) then you will need to make timetrap wait until the editor has finished. If you're using the "core.editor" flag in git, then it'll be the same flags you'll use.

As of when this command was added, for atom you would use atom --wait and for sublime subl -w. If you use a console based editor (vim, emacs, nano) then it should just work.


Get bundler in case you don't have it:

gem install bundler

Set a local path for the project's dependencies:

bundle config set --local path 'vendor/bundle'

Install timetrap's dependencies:

bundle install

Now you can run your local timetrap installation:

bundle exec t

Or run the test suite:

bundle exec rspec

Special Thanks

The initial version of Timetrap was heavily inspired by Trevor Caira's Timebook, a small python utility.

Original Timebook available at:

Bugs and Feature Requests

Submit to