Screenshot of Google Chrome (3:3:14, 6:19 PM)It’s not often that I get emotional about software services, but TimelyApp has me singing a new tune about my former pain and misery of time tracking.

I spend a lot of time consulting and it’s a real problem finding enough time to track time. That was then, this is now. TimelyApp, a SaaS model designed for desktops and laptops, also works great on iPad and likely any modern tablet browser. It’s not perfect in mobile browsers but it’s good enough to post entries and stay ahead of the time-tracking monster. And while there’s no native iPad app, there is an iPhone app (iTunes App Store).

For mobile use, I tend to avoid lots of field entries anyway because Timely supports this great feature that allows me to plan my work in advance by client, by project and by day. You create time entries as “estimates” for the days that lay ahead. When you actually perform the tasks, you change the estimated time to actual time; takes just a few seconds. It’s an ideal tool for setting your work calendar in advance. In fact, it even looks like a calendar. This video says it all…

The calendar metaphor is the game-changer and creator/founder Mathias Mikkelsen has really opened an interesting can of worms with this unique and compelling application. By turning the concept of time-tracking on its head, the delicate blend of time planning and utilization within days, weeks, and months transforms the difficult task of time-tracking into a wonderful and organizing experience.

But make no mistake – this is not just time-tracking for consultants. Everyone who needs to account for time can use this whether you bill for time or not.

Reporting is what you’d expect and there’s plenty of room for improvement. There is a PDF and Excel export but presently no API (rumors are floating about that there may be one in the making). I’d love to see more colors for project selection and there’s presently no way to slice of a portion of a time event as non-billable. There are work-arounds though.

Timely has changed how I work – it is not so much a time-tracker as it is a tactical work planner that will transform your days from chaos to a simple, effective and methodical approach they truly helps you stuff done.

So, take a test drive of TimelyApp and see if it helps.