ZEI is a time-tracking solution you’ll actually use

I don’t keep track of my time. There are some things I’d rather not know, and it’s just easier to round up “time spent at the gym” to six hours, rather than acknowledge that time spent thinking about going shouldn’t really factor into things. Nonetheless, if you do want to know how much you spend on various tasks at your desk, then ZEI is a rather clever way of doing so.

ZEI is a time-tracking solution you’ll actually use

Available to back for another couple of days on Kickstarter, ZEI has already comfortably smashed its €75,000 target by nearly €200,000. It looks like a larger version of the kind of eight-sided dice you get in the most intimidatingly complex-looking board games, but appearances can be deceiving: ZEI is ridiculously easy to use. Each side represents a customisable activity. Just put the block with the activity you’re doing face up, and the timer begins. Turn it over to another activity, and the counter begins on that one. Spend a whole week doing this, and the app will give you a handy summary of how you’ve frittered away another 168 hours of your finite time on Earth.

Still, better to spend that finite time turning a handsome-looking block, rather than filling out endless bureaucratic spreadsheets, and it’s hard not to admire the idea: it’s the perfect mix of Internet of Things wizardry, and the simple common sense of the egg-timer.

You can draw different activities on the side of it, so it’s customised for your own business, and the company will sell you a DIY version for you to 3D-print your own shape, should eight sides not be enough for your busy existence. It even plugs into your existing time-tracking software to ensure your flow isn’t too disrupted, from Todoist and Trello to Wunderlist and Google Calendar.

If that sounds like it appeals, then you’ll want to back it as soon as you can. You’ve missed the cheaper early bird rates, so the best price is currently €89 (~£79), which the creators say is around a third off the final retail price. Alternatively, the DIY version where you 3D-print your own shell will set you back €39 (~£35).

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