Forty Hours a Week Is Plenty

published Wednesday, December 30, 2020

I made Forty to help me keep track of the number of hours I was working so that I could find balance in my life. My belief is that forty hours a week is plenty and I'm betting people will benefit from an app that reminds them of this fact!

Personal Time Tracker

I've been referring to Forty as a Personal Time Tracker - you track your work hours but not for them, for you! Some will find this idea of logging hours akin to homework and quite tedious, but I find it deeply satisfying and key to finding good work/life balance.

Make Forty a Habit

One of the first things I do when I sit down at my desk is open Forty and then enter my start time and when I expect to be done for the day. At the end of my day I check back in to make sure nothing changed. It's two times a day to think about how much I'm working and my overall schedule for the week. Some days I forget to do it and that's ok too - I just try to remember the times as best I can and move on. Forming new habits can be hard so give yourself some time!

Keeping Pace

Each day I try to work 8 hours so that for the week I'll land on 40. I use this goal to keep an eye on my pace. Say it's Wednesday morning and I see that my total for the week stands at 15 hours. That's an hour off pace so maybe I'll try to get an extra hour in to get back on track. More often I find that I'm an hour up so maybe I'll take an extra long lunch. Forty tracks this and shows your pace for the week next to the total.

Knowing where I stand is liberating for me.

Unlimited Time Off Is Dangerous

Sure it's possible there are people out there taking advantage of unlimited time off policies, but I've never met them! More often what I hear, and certainly what I've experienced, is that when you have unlimited time off you don't take enough.

This caused me to want to add time off tracking to Forty. There's a spot each day to write in any PTO you used and then you have a place to see what you've used year-to-date and also the total entered. This way you can be more deliberate about how you take care of yourself. Please take more time off!

Free Forever if You Want

Free accounts only have access to the current and previous week and I intend to keep this option for users that want it. This means that there is very low risk to trying Forty and seeing if you can work in into your routine. Give it a week or two and see how it goes!

By launching this app I'm betting that it will work for people and hopefully improve their lives! A paid upgrade gets you access to everything but a free option will be there for those that want it.

Open Source by Default

Oh I almost forgot - Forty is open source! You can actually browse all the source code that I've written to build this sucker and hopefully learn a thing or two. Probably the most interesting project is the Rails app. I plan to write a lot more about the code and how I made Forty so if that's interesting to you, I suggest adding the Forty RSS feed to your reader.

Next Up

I'm not totally sure what's next for Forty but I have lots of ideas! I've always wanted an Apple Watch complication to show me my pace at-a-glance so that would be sweet. The app doesn't look good at all on mobile, so making the design of the site responsive would be huge. Finally, I have some data visualization ideas that I'd love to experiment with. I have this picture in my head of a screen where you can see how often you hit the 40 hours even mark.

Give It a Shot

In summary: use Forty to track how much time you work and help you establish better work/life balance. It's free to sign up and then you can pay if you like it and want access to everything. I hope it works for you and I'd love any feedback you have at either or @fortyeven.