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Dimlog tutorial

This tutorial is about the software program Dimlog 1.5, a time registration tool.

In this tutorial, we will use the example file that is provided with Dimlog. The tutorial contains links to the online manual for more information.

1. Installation

To install Dimlog, use the installer provided to you upon purchase, or otherwise download the 30-day trial version. The installation requires about 4 Mb disk space. By default a shortcut link will be created on your desktop.

2. Start-up

When you start Dimlog for the first time, the start-up configuration screen is displayed:

Start-up screen

  • Click on the button "Open example file".

If the start-up screen is not visible, open the example file by choosing in the menu: File, Open example file, Air conditioning (3 category trees).

The example file contains sample projects, users, time recordings, and to-do items.

3. Main screen and user selection

When Dimlog has opened the file, the Main screen will be displayed:

Main screen

In the title bar, you can see which file is opened. The Main screen provides links to the important areas of Dimlog, such as Time recording, and the Calendar. At the bottom of the screen, to-do items that are due today are displayed. In this example, two to-do items are displayed: one for Simon, and one for Ben. Normally, one would see only the to-do items of one person, but we have not yet chosen a user.

  • Click on the "Select user" button at the top of the screen, click on "Research and development", and double click on "Ben".
"Ben" is now selected as the current user. The main screen now only shows Ben's to-do item.

4. Switching between screens

When you click on the "Time recording" button, Dimlog moves to the Time recording screen. To go back to the main screen, click on the "To main" button in the top-right corner, or press Escape. You can also go directly to one of the screens, by using the View-menu.

5. Time recording

A separate screen is designed for time recording.
  • Click on the "Time recording" button.

Before we click the Start button, we must first select the project on which we are going to work.

  • Select "Vacuum cleaner E42".
  • Select the type of activity: "documentation".

The user is automatically filled in to be "Research and development \ Ben", because Ben is the current user.

  • Click on the Start button
We have now told Dimlog that Ben has started to work on the documentation of the Vacuum cleaner E42.

Time recording

When we stop working on this combination of categories, we click on the Stop button. While time recording is active, you can minimize Dimlog, or even close Dimlog to save computer resources.

6. Manual time entry

Sometimes you want to enter time into Dimlog manually, without using the Dimlog-stopwatch. To do this:

Time entry

Move through the calendar with the arrow keys. (You can also resize the calendar.) The calendar shows how much time has been logged on each day. Time sessions are shown as black horizontal rectangles. A time session of eight hours takes one third of the width of a calendar cell, because it is one third of a full day. Sessions that overlap, are displayed in separate rows. To view a list of the sessions of a day, double click on the day in the calendar. Then, the 'session list'-tab will become active (except when no sessions start on that day).

To add a new session:

  • Fill in the start and stop time
  • Click on the Add button to add a session.
  • Click Ok in the confirmation dialog.
The newly created session is visible as a new rectangle on the calendar.
  • Click on the "Session list" button.
The result of your action is also visible in the Session List.
  • Click on the "Back to Time entry" button, at the top of the screen to return to the previous screen.

7. Statistics and timesheets

The screen shows how much time has been spent on the various categories by Ben. To see the time spent by everyone:

  • Click on the People category, and press F4.
This removes the filter on Ben. You can experiment by setting other combinations of category filters and time filters. For example, to set a filter on 'research':
  • Click on the research category, and press F4.

To view the timesheet for the currently selected user:

You can move to another week by selecting another date. For each category tree (Projects, Types of activity and People) you can decide how much detail must be included.

8. Setting up a new file

To setup a new file:

  • Click in the menu: File, New...

By default, the new file will have three category trees: Projects, Types of activity and People. But we can define our own category tree structure. To do this, uncheck the "Use default category trees" checkbox.

New file dialog

You can think of category trees as properties of a time session that must be specified always when time is logged. It is recommended that your category trees are orthogonal to each other. For example, if a project is usually for one client, than you put both projects and clients in one category tree "Clients and projects". Projects would be subcategories of Clients. But if you have a small set of recurring projects that you do for a set of clients, you would have a separate category tree Projects and a separate category tree Clients. Other possible category trees are: hourly rates, process (instead of Types of activity), and location. When you are satisfied with the category structure:

  • Click Ok

To save the new file:

  • Choose in the menu: File, Save As... and choose a location for the new Dimlog file.

If you want the file to be used by others, save the file on a shared location on a network drive. Dimlog regularly saves and loads changes to the file. Other users must also install Dimlog and open (File, Open...) the file from the network location in order to use it. A Dimlog "database" contains only one file with the extension .ppe.

The category structure can be filled in with categories in most screens (also in the Time recording screen). To add a category, right-click on the parent category, and select "Add a new subcategory".

See also

Produced by Starflower Software