Streamdeck as time clock?


for a long time I have wanted a mechanical time clock to literally clock in and out for certain parts of my job, so as to enable task/role/project switching. I thought pressing a physical button of some sort (or inserting a card) would make it easier to ‘wear a different hat’, if that makes sense (e.g. now I’m doing research, now I’m prepping for teaching, now I’m having a break looking at Facebook…ahemm or to stick with @MacSparky contextual computing Maker/Manager/Consumer).

I have an old iPhone lying around and I thought after the recent episode with @Tjluoma that it might be possible to do this with the Streamdeck app on the phone? Not quite the same as a nice physical button, but maybe for a start…(and then I can convince myself to buy an actual Streamdeck). Would this be possible? I have no idea what app/script or whatever the stream deck would have to link up with (timing or some such?), perhaps even a txt file that makes a note such as 11:45 Facebook, 12:35 Research Project X, etc…

Any ideas how this might work?

#askautomators :wink:

As long as your destination is accessible to a script, you can trigger the script from your phone you can do this. The Stream Deck software certainly supports executing scripts.

There are also other techniques that could be used based on the service. For example web services could be accessible to specific phone apps//Shortcuts. You could trigger an automation on your computer via SSH, Alfred’s remote app, or Keyboard Maestro’s web server. You could write to a file in shared cloud storage from a wide variety of apps.

Your choices are wide open and only begin to narrow when you select where you want your data to end up, and the driver for that should come from what you ultimately expect to do with it.

Ok, I clearly should have thought this through better…basically I want to overview of where my time goes with as little friction as possible, while also shifting my mind to a new task or mindset through a physical action (as opposed to a keyboard shortcut or clicking a menu) and a visual reminder.

Something a bit like the TimeBuzzer, but my thinking is that a Streamdeck might be more versatile and I could relatively cheaply do a proof of concept through an old phone. before committing to spending a lot of money.

So, perhaps toggl might be an app that could be addressed (through the stream deck? I don’t know how to script or how to imagine how this might work…basically I want to push a button and have it start a timer, press another button and it ends the first timer, and then starts a new one. Then give me a report of what happened throughout the day.

I gather fro your response the this would in principle be possible, but have no idea how to go about it…

Using the Stream Deck approach, you would set up a key on the deck (initially the virtual deck on your phone) to run a script on your Mac. You do this through the Stream Deck software on your Mac.

The script would be written in whatever language you happen to choose to learn. Python might be a good choice for you. This script would be stored in a file on your Mac.

That script would contain instructions to talk to the Toggl service via a web API (Application Programming Interface). Through that API you would start/stop timers, etc. using calls with a specific syntax as described in the documentation for the API or any simplification wrapper you might use.

You can find details about the API and even examples here:

thanks for your answer…unfortunately that all seems way above my pay grade…I was hoping it would be easier. But thanks anyway!

Check this out, I Just found it yesterday when pondering the same thought. It’s a ready to go plugin that talks to the Toggl desktop client from the StreamDeck. I’ve been using it since yesterday and it is just the ticket.

I ended up creating a profile with the Toggl icon on my main home page on the StreamDeck, and then on the sub profile I have tobimori’s plugin set up as buttons to my various categories, and a regular launch that just takes me to the Toggl client itself. Pretty sweet!