Command-line tool for manipulating Harvest timesheets
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Harvest Command Line

HCl is a command-line tool for interacting with Harvest time sheets using the Harvest time tracking API.

View this documentation online.

Build Status Gem Version


You can install hcl directly from

gem install hcl

or you can install from source:

rake doc && rake install

Once installed, you can view this README as a man page:

gem man hcl

I recommend aliasing your man command to additionally load gem man pages:

alias man="gem man -ls"


hcl [start] @<task_alias> [+<time>] [<message>]
hcl note <message>
hcl stop [<message>]
hcl resume [@<task_alias>]
hcl log @<task_alias> [+<time>] [<message>]
hcl show [<date>]
hcl tasks [<project_code>]
hcl alias <task_alias> <project_id> <task_id>
hcl unalias <task_alias>
hcl aliases
hcl (cancel | nvm | oops)
hcl config
hcl status


Available Projects and Tasks

To start a new timer you need to identify the project and task. The tasks command displays a list of available tasks with their project and task IDs.

hcl tasks

You can also pass a project code (this is the short optional code associated with each project) to list only the tasks for that project.

Starting a Timer

Since it's not practical to enter two long numbers every time you want to identify a task, HCl supports task aliases:

hcl alias tacodev 1234 5678
hcl @tacodev Adding a new feature

Starting a Timer with Initial Time

You can also provide an initial time when starting a new timer. This can be expressed in floating-point or HH:MM. The following two commands are equivalent:

hcl @tacodev +0:15 Doing some stuff
hcl +.25 @tacodev Doing some stuff

Adding Notes to a Running Task

While a task is running you can append lines to the task notes:

hcl note Then I did something else

Note that show only displays the last line of the timer notes. You can list all the notes for a running timer by issuing the note command without any arguments:

hcl note

Stopping a Timer

The following command will stop a running timer (currently only one timer at a time is supported). You can provide a message when stopping a timer as well:

hcl stop All done doing things

Resuming a Timer

You can resume a stopped timer. Specify a task to resume the last timer for that task:

hcl resume
hcl resume @xdev

Canceling a Timer

If you accidentally started a timer that you didn't mean to, you can cancel it:

hcl cancel

This will delete the running timer, or the last-updated timer if one isn't running. You can also use nvm or oops instead of cancel.

Logging without Starting a Timer

You can log time and notes without leaving a timer running. It takes the same arguments as start:

hcl log @xdev +1 Worked for an hour.

The above starts and immediately stops a one-hour timer with the given note.


Bash Auto-completion of Task Aliases

You can enable auto-completion of task aliases by adding this to your shell configuration (note the backticks inside the double quotes):

complete -W "`cat ~/.hcl/aliases`" hcl

Warning: You will need to have run hcl at least once to create the aliases file. Without it, this command will fail with an error.

Configuration Profiles

You can modify your credentials with the --reauth option, and review them with hcl config. If you'd rather store multiple configurations at once, specify an alternate configuration directory in the environment as HCL_DIR. This can be used to interact with multiple harvest accounts at once.

Here is a shell alias myhcl with a separate configuration from the main hcl command, and another command to configure alias completion:

alias myhcl="env HCL_DIR=~/.myhcl hcl"
complete -W "`cat ~/.myhcl/aliases`" myhcl

Adding something like the above to your bashrc will enable a new command, myhcl. When using myhcl you can use different credentials and aliases, while hcl will continue to function with your original configuration.

Interactive Console

An interactive Ruby console is provided to allow you to use the fairly powerful Harvest API client built into HCl, since not all of its features are exposed via the command line. The current {HCl::App} instance is available as hcl.

It's also possible to issue HCl commands directly (except alias, see below), or to query specific JSON end points and have the results pretty-printed:

hcl console
hcl> show "yesterday"
# => prints yesterday's timesheet, note the quotes!
hcl> hcl.http.get('daily')
# => displays a pretty-printed version of the JSON output

Note that the HCl internals may change without notice. Also, commands (like alias) that are also reserved words in Ruby can't be issued directly (use send :alias instead).

Date Formats

Dates can be expressed in a variety of ways. See the Chronic documentation for more information about available date input formats. The following commands show the time sheet for the specified day:

hcl show yesterday
hcl show last friday
hcl show 2 days ago
hcl show 1 week ago

Harvest service status

Harvest provides a status API, which you can query using the hcl status command. This will tell you whether Harvest itself is up, along with a timestamp of when it was last tested.


HCl was designed and implemented by Zack Hobson.

See LICENSE for copyright details.