Innovative time management with Fanurio

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Article from Issue 225/2019
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If you need to accurately measure time spent on individual projects and tasks, you need something more sophisticated than yellow sticky notes. Fanurio helps you keep an eye on your time, your projects, and more.

Efficient time management is an important key to success, especially for busy freelancers, as well as small companies. However, the free time-management programs available for Linux are oriented more toward the private user than the professional; they often simply measure the time you spent working at the computer.

Fanurio [1], developed and distributed by the Romania-based Fanurio Time Tracking SRL, fixes this problem. In addition to actually timing your work, it also supports statistical analysis and includes an invoicing module that allows freelancers to invoice their customers for time worked.

License Models

You can try Fanurio as a 15-day trial version available from the manufacturer's website. The developers provide the software both as a DEB package and as a tar archive that can be used across distributions [2]. If you need an extended trial period, you can email the company for an extension.

The single-user version of the software written in Java costs $59 for a lifetime license with a year of support; you can extend the support period by another year for $29.

The server version for one user with one year of support and updates costs $89 in licensing fees; an upgrade from the standalone version to the server version costs $30. The server variant for workgroups, which is currently still in the beta phase, will be available for $119 after release [3].

Installation

After downloading the DEB package for Debian, Ubuntu, Linux Mint, and their derivatives, you can conveniently install the package by double-clicking: GDebi or the Ubuntu Software Center will handle the installation. During the install, the routine automatically creates a starter for calling the program in the Office subdirectory.

In a terminal, you can set up Fanurio by entering the command:

sudo dpkg -i <package>

To do this, first move the tar archive into an empty directory and then unpack it with the command:

tar xzf <package>

Since no subdirectory is created during unpacking, you will want to unpack the archive in a newly created directory; otherwise, a collection of subdirectories and individual files will be created in the download directory. After unpacking, call the application by entering the ./fanuriolocal.sh command in a terminal.

First Launch

The first time you start the program, you are taken to a configuration wizard, which first prompts you for the license or unlocks the trial version. You can then use the wizard to create a data directory in which Fanurio later will store your personal data, such as your name, address, and – if you want to use the billing module – also company details. You then enter the data directly. In another dialog box, you need to select a currency (the default is euros). You can also specify other currencies to be used in the invoice module (Figure 1).

Figure 1: Fanurio can bill in US dollars, as well as in many other currencies.

After this, the invoicing module can be activated in another window. This later also influences the software's display functions for the individual tasks that the system captures. The corresponding dialog also lets you enable tax rates; the application can manage up to three different rates for automated VAT calculation later on. Projects and tasks are configured in two additional dialogs. It is also possible to decide whether or not Fanurio should compute travel times and expenses for completing individual tasks.

Clicking on the Finish button, bottom right, in the window closes the wizard, which then loads the program's clearly structured main window (Figure 2). At the top, there is a menubar with a small buttonbar below for quick access to the most important functions. To the right, there is a timekeeper.

Figure 2: No bells and whistles: Fanurio focuses on a deliberately simple interface.

Below this, you see three tabs that display your existing projects, tasks, and the timekeeping table in separate context-sensitive windows. If the invoice module is activated, two additional tabs for payment transactions supplement the interface. The next time you launch the software, the main window now opens directly without calling the wizard again.

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