Tablets

Keep track of mileage and travel expenses with TripLog

Jack Wallen takes a look at TripLog, a free Android app that helps you keep track of mileage and travel-related expenses.

If you're looking for a free Android app to easily track your mileage in your auto, check out TripLog - GPS Mileage Tracker by eSocial. You'll no longer have to rely on paper logs or fail to have all of the information you need for informative, useful records of your expenses related to travel.

TripLog offers the following features:

  • Track vehicle mileage and locations using GPS
  • Auto start (when device is plugged in and you drive more than 5mph)
  • Auto stop (when vehicle stops and device is unplugged)
  • Home screen widgets (one-click start, stop, or pause GPS tracking)
  • Commercial truck support (scale, lumpers, per diem allowance, and state-by-state mileage)
  • IRS compliant tax return
  • HTML and CSV reports and built-in mileage rates
  • Take expense receipt photos with camera and upload to the cloud
  • Calculate fuel economy
  • Back up to SD card or Amazon cloud
  • Import locations from phone Contacts and Google Maps
  • Support multiple vehicles, tax categories (business, medical, charity, etc.), and business entities
  • Customizable

One of the best things about TripLog is that it doesn't try to be too much. This app keeps track of your traveling expenses and nothing more. For anyone who needs to keep careful mileage and track fuel expenses and other travel-related expenses, TripLog truly is a great app.

Let's walk through the process of installing, configuring, and using TripLog.

Installation

It's easy to install TripLog. Just follow these steps:

  1. Open the Google Play Store
  2. Search for "triplog" (no quotes)
  3. Tap the entry for TripLog
  4. Tap Install
  5. Tap Accept & download

Once the installation is complete, you should find the launcher either on the home screen or the app drawer (or both).

Setup

There isn't really much to the setup of TripLog. In fact, there are really only two configurations you need to take care of initially:

  • Vehicles
  • Locations

Locations are used to make keeping track of travel easier. How? When you start a trip, if the trip is from a regular location, it's easiest to have that location saved so that you can quickly select it from a dropdown menu.

Here's how to add vehicles:

  1. From the main window (Figure A), tap the menu button
  2. Tap the Vehicles button
  3. Tap Add Vehicle
  4. Fill out the information for the vehicle
  5. Tap Save
Figure A

TripLog on the Verizon-branded Samsung Galaxy Tab.

You can add as many vehicles as you need. You can even add Plate, State, and the VIN number for vehicles.

Once you've added all of your vehicles, you'll want to add locations. Just follow these steps:

  1. From the main window, tap the menu button
  2. Tap Locations
  3. Tap Add Location
  4. Enter the location information in the resulting window (Figure B)
  5. Tap the Find Latitude/Longitude by Address button
  6. Tap Save
Figure B

You can force TripLog to be accurate to a certain distance here.

Usage

To begin using TripLog, go to the main window and tap the Start Trip button. When you do this, the Trip Window will open (Figure C) for you to enter the details for the trip. Figure C

If parking and/or tolls are involved, you can snap a photo of them and attach the photos.

After you've entered all of the necessary details, make sure to tap the Start GPS Tracking button to begin recording GPS mileage details. Now, tap the Save button, and you'll be taken back to the main window. At this point, the trip is being logged (including mileage from GPS locators).

NOTE: If your GPS locators aren't switched on, you'll need to go back to the system settings and enable all three GPS location services.

When your trip is over, tap the End Trip button on the main window to stop recording. The trip window will appear (the same one where you initially set up the trip). Your odometer reading should have changed. If, however, a satellite signal was unavailable (for whatever reason), you can manually enter the ending odometer reading. Tap Save when everything is good to log the trip.

When you purchase fuel for a particular vehicle, you'll want to log that as well. This will help the system keep track of how much gas you're using (and how much that gas cost). To enter a fuel purchase, follow these steps:

  1. From the main window, tap the Fuel tab
  2. Tap Add Fuel Purchase (Figure D)
  3. Select the vehicle the fuel was purchased for
  4. Enter the Volume Price
  5. Enter the Total Cost
  6. Enter the Odometer read at fill time
  7. Tap Save
Figure D

Make sure to select the right vehicle for this purchase.

You can also add vehicle-related expenses (oil, tires, repairs, insurance, etc) by going to the Expenses tab, selecting the vehicle, choosing a category, entering the cost, and adding images of receipts. These numbers will also be included in the reporting.

If you're looking for a solid solution to keep well-documented information on your mileage expenses, look no further than TripLog. Not only is it free, but it's incredibly simple to use.

About

Jack Wallen is an award-winning writer for TechRepublic and Linux.com. He’s an avid promoter of open source and the voice of The Android Expert. For more news about Jack Wallen, visit his website getjackd.net.

3 comments
steve_david
steve_david

I agree that car mile logging is very easy using an app. However, there are also GPS car mile loggers like this that are non-app and are simpler than the android app in this article.

Leafgreen
Leafgreen

Here are the problems with using an app for tracking your miles. 1. You have to make sure the app is started as you begin driving, and then exit the app when you're finished driving, expecially since many GPS apps drain the battery like crazy. 2. You might forget to turn on the app. That will cost you in lost expense reimbursement or tax deduction. 3. Many people upgrade their phone once every year or two. Transferring the data can be a hassle. There is a better, non-app solution, but unfortunately for you I can't mention it because of the rabid moderators here on TR. Just google something like "gps car mile logger".

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