Time tracking can be a pretty annoying thing to do, whether you’re doing it for personal productivity or professional necessity. It’s kind of a Catch-22 because if it’s done meticulously in real-time, depending on the methodology, it can decrease productivity through interruption and distraction; but if it’s not done meticulously in real-time, the data isn’t reliable. What seems to be missing is a tool that is equally easy-to-use, portable, customizable, kind of fun, and straight-up sexy. Well, perhaps, what was missing…
ZEIº is an 8-sided physical time tracker with a wireless connection to a computer or smartphone. When configured with the paired software, users can assign tasks or projects to each face of the device. To track time spent on any item, users simply turn the device and place it with the corresponding side face-up. When they’re done time tracking, users only have to change to a different face or turn the device off. (Users can also use the companion app to start and stop timers.)
Another cool feature: when users shake ZEIº, a text field or project’s to-do list opens up in the connected software so that they can add details or various other time and task entries.
As far as the inspiration, the opportunity and the solution goes, the founders write the following:
As engineers and designers, we were tracking our time at work but found that it is not an easy task, even if there are many good solutions out there… and the best thing is, we are not trying to create a completely new time tracking solution, we make existing ones more user friendly by combining them with simple and intuitive hardware.
The software makes it easy to assign different clients and projects to each side of ZEIº, serving as a nifty solution for tracking billable hours (agencies, lawyers, consultants, etc.). Where the fun part comes in though, is in assigning different clients, activities and projects to the physical object itself; you can write on the device with dry-erase marker or even add stickers. Did you read that? YOU CAN EVEN ADD STICKERS.
Users with more advanced needs can purchase a ZEIº Pro subscription which features personal weekly productivity reports, productivity recommendations, automatic CSV export to email, and integrations to leading time tracking apps, like Toggl, Harvest, Wunderlist, Timeneye, and Timely.
ZEIº is about the size of a solid little snowball; it’s 100 x 74 x 74 mm, weighs 70g, and is made of polyamide material. It’s equipped with Bluetooth connectivity, and is powered by a replaceable CR2032 battery that should last about 1.5 years.
Once the data is collected, there are some handy reporting features within the product’s software component, the core of which is a dashboard to view progress, status and tallies; there’s a timeline view, and the insights panel shows the number of time entries, total time logged, average time logged per day, and percentage of entries categorized by time (short, medium, long).
ZEIº is available for pre-order via the company website for $129.00. The estimated shipping date is April 2017. Each purchase includes one ZEI device, the ZEIº base, and a year of ZEIº Pro (although original backers were given lifetime subscriptions). ZEIº Pro will cost users $3/month.
Originally launched on Kickstarter, the company raised €313,637. ZEIº supports macOS, Windows, Linux, iOS, and Android.
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