timedot format

This doc is for version 1.3.

NAME

Timedot - hledger's human-friendly time logging format

DESCRIPTION

Timedot is a plain text format for logging dated, categorised quantities (eg time), supported by hledger. It is convenient for approximate and retroactive time logging, eg when the real-time clock-in/out required with a timeclock file is too precise or too interruptive. It can be formatted like a bar chart, making clear at a glance where time was spent.

Though called "timedot", the format does not specify the commodity being logged, so could represent other dated, quantifiable things. Eg you could record a single-entry journal of financial transactions, perhaps slightly more conveniently than with hledger_journal(5) format.

FILE FORMAT

A timedot file contains a series of day entries. A day entry begins with a date, and is followed by category/quantity pairs, one per line. Dates are hledger-style simple dates (see hledger_journal(5)). Categories are hledger-style account names, optionally indented. There must be at least two spaces between the category and the quantity. Quantities can be written in two ways:

  1. a series of dots (period characters). Each dot represents "a quarter" - eg, a quarter hour. Spaces can be used to group dots into hours, for easier counting.

  2. a number (integer or decimal), representing "units" - eg, hours. A good alternative when dots are cumbersome. (A number also can record negative quantities.)

Blank lines and lines beginning with #, ; or * are ignored. An example:

# on this day, 6h was spent on client work, 1.5h on haskell FOSS work, etc.
2016/2/1
inc:client1   .... .... .... .... .... ....
fos:haskell   .... .. 
biz:research  .

2016/2/2
inc:client1   .... ....
biz:research  .

Or with numbers:

2016/2/3
inc:client1   4
fos:hledger   3
biz:research  1

Reporting:

$ hledger -f t.timedot print date:2016/2/2
2016/02/02 *
    (inc:client1)          2.00

2016/02/02 *
    (biz:research)          0.25
$ hledger -f t.timedot bal --daily --tree
Balance changes in 2016/02/01-2016/02/03:

            ||  2016/02/01d  2016/02/02d  2016/02/03d 
============++========================================
 biz        ||         0.25         0.25         1.00 
   research ||         0.25         0.25         1.00 
 fos        ||         1.50            0         3.00 
   haskell  ||         1.50            0            0 
   hledger  ||            0            0         3.00 
 inc        ||         6.00         2.00         4.00 
   client1  ||         6.00         2.00         4.00 
------------++----------------------------------------
            ||         7.75         2.25         8.00 

I prefer to use period for separating account components. We can make this work with an account alias:

2016/2/4
fos.hledger.timedot  4
fos.ledger           ..
$ hledger -f t.timedot --alias /\\./=: bal date:2016/2/4
                4.50  fos
                4.00    hledger:timedot
                0.50    ledger
--------------------
                4.50

Here is a sample.timedot.