CNET Editors' review
Anyone who tracks billable time will appreciate Grindstone 2, a personal time-tracking and managing tool from Epiforge Software. Whatever it is you're working on, Grindstone 2 can keep track of it for you in the background, while you work, and generate a variety of reports and billing options when you're done.
Grindstone 2's main interface, the Task List, is divided into two panes, one on top of the other: the Task Pane and the Time Pane. The Task Pane is where you create, modify, and track tasks; the Time Pane manages the saved time from your tasks. In addition, there's a floating Stopwatch feature that's about the size of a media player in mini mode that you click to start and stop tracking your time. The last part of the Grindstone 2 system is the Date Filter, which lets you search for and display specific tasks and time. We started with the Quick Task Entry toolbar in the space between the two panes. Clicking the Create New Task icon called up a small dialog that let us quickly set the estimated time for the task in hours, minutes, and seconds; set Due and Complete dates by clicking on a handy pop-up calendar; and set an hourly rate using a rate calculating tool. We clicked Start Timing, and the Stopwatch appeared with the selected task name and a running digital clock displayed. We clicked the red Stop button, and the clock stopped while our task data simultaneously appeared in the Time Pane. We clicked the green Start button and our task resumed, displaying a new instance of active time in the Time Pane. When we left for a while and returned, a Welcome Back dialog appeared. It was easy to modify and delete tasks, too, and to generate a menu full of reporting options. There's a neat Egg Timer pop-up, a Travel installation option, XML exporting, and a lot more, especially for freeware.
We were impressed with Grindstone 2's performance and pleased by its extras. It's easy to use but does a lot, so the excellent Help file, online forums, and video tutorials go a long way toward getting the most out of all that this fine free tool offers.
From Epiforge Software:
Grindstone greatly simplifies everything about staying on top of your time, from automatically recording it to producing useful reports based on it. Just tell Grindstone what you're working on and it will keep tabs on your time in the background while you work. Incorporating automatic away detection, advanced task and time management functions, and customizable billing calculation, Grindstone is the most powerful personal time tracking solution.
What's new in this version: Version 2.2.5998 includes unspecified updates.
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All versions:3.5 stars
out of 13 votes
Current version:2.7 stars
out of 3 votes
My rating:Write review
Results 1-3 of 3
"Installs Unwanted "BackUp Software" Difficult To Remove"
Version: Grindstone 2.2.5998
Keeps track of time nicely.
Remains resident taking valuable memory.
Installs unrelated "BackUp Software".
Help File needs to address a few simple but common "How Tos"
I used it twice, then uninstalled it. After I did, the "BackUp Software" was still there. Been having some minor issues with computer since.
"Decent, but could be great"
Version: Grindstone 2.2.5998
Easy to use, Easy to add tasks, easy to switch between tasks, easy to start and stop timing.
No ability to track multiple tasks at the same time. I find the lack of this feature to be a killer and the companies unwillingness to add the feature to be a huge downside to the software and a poor reflection of customer service.
While true human multi-tasking is not possible since the mind can actually only be doing one thing at a time, this isn't the case when it comes to being a consultant. Sometimes work we are doing requires us to wait for something to happen, and every effective consultant I know wants to make the most of his/her time since they are paid and bill based on their time, so they take advantage of those wait times and work on something else. Billable time can and does overlap between tasks, and a tool that allows that would be king of the hill.
It's an alright product that does what it's designed to do fairly smoothly, but the fact that it's limited in the ability to time multiple tasks is a huge downside, and the companies stance on not being willing to add the functionality, even with many such requests downgrades this rating severely.
"Solid program that allows time management"
Version: Grindstone 2.2.5998
Performs as promised and has an impressive set of features.
With the features comes a learning curve. No complaints as yet.
Worth a test drive