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Time Tracker - Track your session timing
Time Tracker - Track your session timing

How to run your session, track your timing and see if you're ahead or behind your planned schedule

Robert avatar
Written by Robert
Updated over a week ago

Next to all the features of SessionLab that save you time and allow you to work collaboratively when planning your sessions, Time Tracker allows you to track the time when you deliver your workshops.

When you’re ready to begin delivering your session, you can click on the Time Tracker button at the top of the session planner to begin running your agenda. You will see the menu that will allow you to choose if you would like to autostart the next block (which means that it would start automatically when the previous block’s time runs out) or if you would like to start the next block manually.

In this menu, you will also be able to start your session by clicking on the ‘Start now’ button, which will show your local time.

If you are starting the Time Tracker after the assigned starting time of your session, you will be able to choose whether to start the session now (at the current time) or to start it at the scheduled start time of the first block in your session (if it is in the past).

Please note that Time Tracker is currently not available for sessions which contain breakout rooms.

How to start the Time Tracker - Automatic vs. Manual Mode

There are two different modes of the Time Tracker, and you can choose which way of running it fits you better:

  • Automatic mode: Once you start it, the agenda automatically transitions to your next blocks as the time passes. This is the default mode that you can start by clicking on the Time Tracker button at the top of your agenda:

  • Manual mode: You need to manually indicate when you are done running your blocks in order to move to the next activity in your agenda. You can start this by setting the Autostart next block to OFF.

Once you launch the Time Tracker in either of the two modes, you’ll see the Player toolbar appear at the top of the session planner, which will always show you the title of the current item on your agenda, and the time remaining in this current block. The colour in the Player toolbar will change from green to orange when 20% of the planned time is left, and to red when only 5% of the designated time remains.

You’ll also see some action buttons on the right side, which allow you to add more time to your current block, or to move onto the next block in your agenda.

You will also see a horizontal line appear on the left side of the session planner in the ‘minimap’. This will show you a visual representation of how far through the current block you are.

After the 15 minutes designated to this particular block is over, the session will automatically progress onto the next block.

Automatic mode of the Time Tracker

The Time Tracker will automatically run through your whole agenda, moving seamlessly from one block to the following in your schedule, without you or your collaborators needing to manually move onto the next block.

This enables you to focus on the delivery of your session and not on spending time clicking the ‘next’ button. However, while Time Tracker is running, you can still adjust the timings of your agenda or fast forward in case your plan changes.

Finally, at the end of the session, you can choose if you would like to keep the updated plan, or restore the session to the original plan.

Manual mode of the Time Tracker

If you prefer to manually indicate when a block is finished in your session, you can use the manual mode of the Time Tracker.

To start Manual Mode, after clicking the Time Tracker button, set the Autostart next block to OFF.

You will see the Player toolbar appear at the top of your session where you can see your current block, how much time you have remaining, and if you're ahead or behind schedule.

The next block will not start automatically. You can use the Next button to go to the next block of your session when you’ve finished delivering the current one.

If at any point you would like to stop manual mode and allow the next block to start automatically, you can tick the box in front of the ‘Start next block automatically’ option at the top of the player toolbar.

Adjusting the timing of the blocks

If you find you need more time on your current activity, you can add more time to the block while Time Tracker is running. In the ‘Add Time’ section of the Player toolbar, you’re able to add time in 1-minute or 5-minute increments.

Adding time in this way will not only add time to your current block, but it will also amend the start time of all the following blocks in your session. You can also adjust or even reorder the blocks as you would do during planning, while Time Tracker is running.

If you need less time than you planned on a block in your session, you can click the ‘Next’ button in the Player toolbar to move on to the following activity in your agenda.

It might happen that you go over time and that the Player toolbar transitions to the next block before you are finished delivering the current one. In that case, you can return to the previous block by simply adding more time to it as you would normally during planning.

Ending Time Tracker

When you’ve finished delivering your session, you can click on the ‘End’ button in the Player toolbar to stop Time Tracker running.

A separate copy of your session is created with the actual timings as a separate day in your session. You’ll see that an additional day is added to your session with the session title followed by text ‘[delivered]’.

If you used Time Tracker on a day in a multi-day session and decide to keep both versions of the day-agenda, the second day will be added immediately after the day you just ran:

Please note: if you end the session with some blocks that have still not been delivered and you decided to keep the actual plan, the duration of these blocks will be adjusted to a 0-minute duration, to reflect that they have not been delivered.

Compare planned agenda with delivered one

If you keep both the original planned and the final delivered version of your agenda, then that allows you to compare the differences between the two versions.

You can see the two version next to each other if you go to the Overview of your session:

If you decide that you don't need either the original or the final real-time agenda, you can still delete one of the delivered days from your session, or extract it into its own separate session.

What if I forgot to start the Time Tracker on time?

If you didn’t press the Time Tracker button at the moment you began running your session, you can choose to start delivering from the first block in your session, by choosing the starting time of this block. The time tracker will then go back in order to start from the first block of your session.

If you have other blocks in your session where their starting time is already in the past their title will be highlighted in orange to indicate this.

If you click the Next button in a session that is behind schedule, the time tracker will automatically skip to the first block which is on schedule.

The same will happen if you run the Time Tracker in the automatic mode.

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