Tracking work hours toward co-op goals

I’m starting to track hours for time spent volunteering at Resonate. We don’t have a tracking system for worker patronage. Once something like this is established, I’ll feel a lot better about the effort I spend here – and feel my work accounted for.

In terms of “chartering” this work (so that the hours spent are less arbitrary and self-determined), what I plan to do is state which goal my work is going toward – similar to what I proposed in Kielest.

Since there is not much action or capacity around here in terms of collectively deciding goals, what I intend to do is start working on stuff I feel is a priority and be transparent about what goal the work is aimed at.

In my work as a volunteer, if there is a disagreement about the value of a goal I’m working toward, I request that @brndnkng or @directors speak up so that we can refine the goals as needed and be on the same page about what projects we are prioritizing and how to get them resources.

To be clear, I will not be doing any more work for the co-op unless it is being recorded and going toward a system of patronage. This is a fundamental part of what a co-op is. Since such a system doesn’t exist, I’m going to start acting like it does.

If any other @workers want to join me in declaring goals and tracking hours, let me know. Likewise, if you wish to join the discussion about what current work goals should be or how to coordinate to get them done, please reply.


It is important to track this information- especially if we can trace it to a specific role. Thatll help Resonate in that we can ask folks who have concentrated their efforts into one channel for their opinion. We can also quantify it on other mediums like linkedin if the volunteer hours can help with other realms folks are involved in


Did you reach out to them prior to this post?

Is that a requirement before posting something asking for their input?

On the topic: I think this is a really good idea, as long as there isn’t (beyond the collectively agreed upon requirement of worker member status) too much sway between workers dependent on this, or some controlling variable based on capacity outside of day jobs. I’m not sure what the solution is here, just want to bring it up. There’s a lot of labor that goes unnoticed at Resonate simply to keep the lights on. Artist uploads, emails getting sent, social media, organizing meetings, all done late at night and in people’s precious free time, alongside other jobs.


I never thought about the potential employment implications of being active as a volunteer at Resonate. But I think @ode12 is right. This is something that workers should be able to carry out of this space.


this makes sense to me @Hakanto. i kno this is something we’ve been discussing since i first joined the coop. experimenting with clockify and all the things.

completely agree that volunteer time needs to be valued and creating a patronage system has def been something on the docket and may be a way for us to address this. (capacity is limited and i don’t believe we came across a proposal for us to discuss, refine, implement and iterate)

whatever system you set up for yourself, def hope you glean from that what’s good and share w/ other workers best practices for this


Appreciate the support, @brndnkng @psi @ode12 @tshiunghan. We all know I and others made a variety of such proposals around here, but it’s always tough to get from the proposal/brainstorming stage to implementation because the implementation is dependent on labor we’re short on. Bit of a chicken/egg situation.

What I’m pitching here is the lightest weight process I can imagine that has the necessary info and no blockers to being started immediately:

  • Hours tracked can be used as a measure of relative contribution (a mediocre measure since hours don’t equal value, but a good place to start for making work/effort visible which is the more important issue right now)
  • Tracking hours toward achievable goals (rather than work areas like “development”) encourages hours to not end up being tracked for indeterminate busy work, and encourages discussion about where we want to go together and can organize around
  • If and when formal teams with role descriptions get approved or form around goals (like the @maintainers), they can track time spent toward their role and complement this with a stated goal (like the Product Goal in the Product Backlog)

And if someone ends up with a lot of miscellaneous tasks which are valuable but hard to say go toward an achievable goal, then the goal-setting discussion will help make their effort visible (and possibly get these folks a role description they can track time toward so what they are doing can be recognized and supported).

Or alternatively, if they feel the work they are doing would be better off automated (like uploading music or responding to emails), then we can define a goal to automate that process.


I have confidence in the executive, both in their role as given in the co-op’s rules and in the individual now serving.

Fair estimation and administration of worker contributions is a complex topic. Perhaps this is why conversations on this that people like @Hakanto and myself have pursued since 2020 haven’t yet led to policy or practice.

I feel the executive has an essential role to play in setting an inclusive tone and tempo in the coop’s self-reflection and coordination across its disparate structures.

Given Hakanto’s position as an ‘elder’, Director, and former member of the Executive team, I would have preferred to see him model coordination with the Exec instead of announcing a move and then reqesting a response.

@richjensen I find this patronizing. Particularly so when thinking about how often I have felt shut down by you when I’ve tried to have conversations with the Board.

Even now, your response isn’t about my needs I’m trying to have heard. Your response is about other people’s needs you claim to speak on behalf of and a suggested propriety that in practice mostly leads to people walking on eggshells and not talking openly about important matters.

Meanwhile there is an AGM coming up and a gigantic pile of dirty dishes in the sink.

I can observe that posting about this topic publicly in the forum got me a quick response on a matter which is fundamental to me getting my needs met. Appreciate @brndnkng’s reply.


Is there software people have used to track hours that they like?

A while back there was an experiment using Clockify. Info can be found here. Using a common tool like this seems wise because it means there is a clear way to determine who is “onboarded” to start tracking hours – for example they either are on Clockify or they aren’t. If folks use their own tools, we could have people start tracking for work before being onboarded as a worker which could lead to tricky convos later on.

The Resonate Clockify has some “work areas” defined that I would remove if up to me. I think it best to track hours toward either goals or roles, and not toward work areas like “development” or “coordination” as we previously tried.

I can send folks invites to Clockify if they want and am also down to hand off the keys for managing it to @brndnkng


I’m down using Clockify for the time being until we collectively decide to move to another system – if ever.

I completely agree with @ode12 – tracking the time is a great way to get a better overview of how much work is going into this project and even if it’s only for that purpose, I believe it’s already important enough to start now : )

Also, since reading your initial post in this thread @Hakanto – I can’t stop thinking about as I’m currently planning on implementing this for another project where I’m involved: (a platform for German-speaking camper van enthusiasts)

“Ownco is the easy way to motivate the contributors that power your growth. Share ownership based on results.”

I feel like this could be one potential way of achieving what we’re after. However, it costs money – 200€ per month, if I’m not mistaken…

Still, I believe we can learn from some of the things they are doing with / for their current clients, like this coworking startup: One Coworking


So I started using clockify just now for hours spent working on Resonate that I feel like are “work” hours. (don’t worry I did not count drafting the Elephant in the Room post).

I’m curious at what point we ask volunteers (for example @matt_burnett @terla and @dominictwlee who have been helping write code) to track as well? Especially because I’m not sure that they’re thinking of their contributions as track-able hours (or want to!).


I hadn’t really thought about tracking hours until the topic appeared in this forum. The value I receive in exchange for my labor is what I refer to as “contributor points”, meaning that I have stats on GitHub that show my level of involvement using a metric that others (ie potential employers) can understand.

Not really sure what purpose would be served by tracking hours, but I’m happy to start tracking them if doing so would benefit the coop.


I feel pretty similarly to Matt here as far as the value I get back for contributing being more about the “contributor points” as he described them, as well as the value of the experience towards building my skills as an engineer.

Another thing that appeals to me about being a contributor is the lack of pressure to be quick about solving a particular issue. So, if I got very familiar with the code and to a point where I was making lots of PRs and doing so in an efficient manner, maybe then it would be nice to say, I solved all these issues in X amount of time, but for now I’m perfectly happy not tracking my own work hours, as sparse as they will be for the next number of weeks as I take holiday vacation and whatnot.


My thoughts on this:

I essentially contribute when I have free time (not swarmed at my full-time job), out of interest and passion towards the vision of the coop, on a voluntary basis.

Tracking hours = extra work, so unless there is some kind of remuneration and the coop becomes self-sustaining with adequate funding, I feel this just adds extra overhead. Is there a particular purpose to this that benefits the coop, given that we’re all just doing things for free (at least us dev volunteers I assume, not sure about whether anyone else gets paid for their work)?

Personally I don’t care all that much about brownie points/recognition :P, but that’s just me.


besides acknowledgement and affirmation, i think there are other nuanced reasons for visibilizing and tracking work.

after mapping out the first few months of 2023, i’ve determined i have the capacity to contribute under ten hours per month to Resonate. personally, if i have a sense that my labor is lost and not really making a difference or moving towards collectively valued goals, it results in me feeling like i have to do more. even if i’ve met or exceeded the time parameters i previously committed to.

when i think of volunteering for Resonate, tracking my hours would partially serve the purpose of helping me to keep the boundaries i set with myself.