Product Updates

Next-level automation: meet the new Memory

Written 25 March, 2019, 6 minutes to read

Memory just evolved! In fact, your entire “Hours” page in Timely evolved. We’ve rewritten tons of the code to enable next-level automatic time logging.

Over the past two months we’ve cleaned up how memories are presented, created custom interactions for detailed data exploration, and matured our AI to make automated time tracking even smarter.

Here are the biggest changes in a nutshell:

  • Timely’s AI can now create draft entries for you — your time sheets can create themselves!
  • You can train your AI to link memories to projects for you — spend less time editing entries.
  • You have a new “List” view of your memories — access a whole world of detail.
  • You have a cleaner space for reviewing memories — focus on what’s most important.

The whole memory review process should be a lot more hands-off — meaning you spend even less time on time tracking. And we have a feeling you’re going to like it 😊. So let’s show you around!

Memory reimagined

Let’s start with what matters most: the private record of tracked memories that Timely’s Memory Tracker creates for you every day. While on the surface it looks pretty similar to what you already know and love, there’s a world of extra data waiting to be explored in there.

hours@2x

First up, you can now just hover over tracked memories to see the juicy details – no more clicking around. When you’re ready to log time against them, you have three options:

  • Click memories from your Timeline view
  • Click memories from your List view
  • Click and drag on your Timeline to log a period of time
  • Hit the “+” button and manually select the memories you want to link

In every case, something snazzy happens – Timely creates a draft time entry for you, showing how long you spent on each selected memory for quick reference.

entry@2x

But it gets cooler: Timely also suggests the project you want to log the time against. By looking at the activities you log against different projects, Timely’s sweet AI highlights the project it thinks you worked on.

project draft@2x

Once you’ve logged your suggested time entry, all the memories connected to it will adopt the relevant project colour and fade on your Timeline. It’s a neat way of visually highlighting all unassigned memories that need to be logged, as well as the project spread of all your work.

timeline@2x

Automating your timesheet

While you can continue to log hours to your timesheet as before — by clicking on individual memories — your AI can now do the job for you. Click the Memory brain icon in Timely and toggle “Create AI drafts” to get started.

dropdown@2x

Here’s how it works:
  1. Click any AI draft entry
  2. Review what the AI has selected and edit if needed
  3. Approve to add it to your timesheet

Get the video walkthrough here!

You can get Timely to notify you when new drafts are created — just head to Settings > Notifications to set it up.

The new “List” view

Your memories have also gained a completely new view! Switching to “List” lets you interact with tracked memories in an entirely different way by presenting them in highly-detailed, prioritized groupings.

list@2x

Where the Timeline view gives you a clear chronological overview of how you spent your time, the List view lets you cut and slice the details of your day in a format more suited to granular analysis.

Your view is also prioritized – memories you’ve logged are listed at the bottom under “Logged Memories”, and those you need to log appear at the top under “Unassigned Memories”. They’re also all grouped by work app or specific app page used, so you can quickly see where the weight of your time is spent across your tools.

Training your AI

Timely’s AI is continuously learning, but it needs your help to get better at serving you. You can do this in four ways from the List view:

train-ai

  • Hitting the “Ignore” button on any unassigned memories that you don’t want to log hours for (effectively teaching it to deprioritize those activities).

  • Hitting the “Add to project” button on any unassigned memories to show the AI how to assign similar memories.

  • Hitting the “delete” button on an unassigned memory to tell your AI not to use it to draft entries.

  • By clicking the “…” button on a tracked memory, manually selecting the project Timely should link it to in future, and saving your entry.

Cleaning up your view

So far, so cool. But with great data visibility comes great complexity – so to keep things clean, we’ve added in a few custom controls and smart tricks to adjust how memories are displayed.

  • Zoom: increase or decrease the size of tracked memories on your Timeline view. It’s ideal for zooming in on tiny tracked memories, or zooming out to get the full picture.

  • Filter: customize what you see, with options to show “Logged”, “Unlogged” and “Ignored” memories in Timeline and List views.

  • Prioritized view: your entire List view is intelligently ordered by your AI, with important memories placed at the top, and historically “ignored” ones pushed to the bottom.

You can also now arrange your Hours calendar in three different ways:

day week month

  1. Day: ol’ reliable for everyday logging.
  2. Week: same as before with some fancy shortcuts – copy hours, accept or reject all AI-suggested time entries, and jump to a report for any day in your week
  3. Month: a new view! Great for a total overview of the projects and activities you’ve been working on. Jump to “Day” view for a specific date just by clicking on it.

We’ve also improved the UI for actions like copying or deleting entries and starting timers – it’s all nicely in-line and natural; no more pop-ups or insane mouse dragging! 🐭

Extra goodies for “Company” view

Now we’ve dealt with the “Solo” view, let’s show you what’s changed in the “Company” view.

First up, we’ve built in the ability to filter by teams, instead of just showing a never-ending list of everyone in your company. It’s lot more manageable and loads whole lot faster.

teams@2x

Secondly, you can now see the week view of your whole team in one beautifully stacked calendar view.

company@2x

We’ve also added a handy banner to make sure any changes you make are for the right employees. So, when you go to log missing hours or fill in an absence for people who are away, it’s clear on whose behalf you’re acting.

Log on behalf

Finally, we’ve added in a nifty shortcut: you can now select and switch between whole teams at a time, instead of selecting users individually. It’s a small change, but makes navigation so much more efficient.

team view

All in all, the whole thing is a lot more performant. We’ve applied a technique called “virtualization” – or “windowing” – so your web browser only loads what you’re looking at at that moment. Where the previous Company view loaded the whole overwhelming thing, this new Company view makes everything lighter, quicker and smoother to navigate.

Phew! 💨

So that’s what we’ve secretly been busying ourselves with for the past few months! We think these changes will go a huge way in minimizing the time you spend logging hours, structuring data and making sense of your time in Timely.

From a more technical side, in rewriting a ton of the code, we’ve managed to make the whole “Hours” section run a lot faster, which means a smoother experience for you as a user. We’ve also paid off a lot of old technical debt, meaning we have way more flexibility to build all your great ideas and suggestions as they roll in. So keep ‘em coming!