Ever wanted to know which applications or websites you spend the most time on? Well, look no further. This handy service can help solve your problems.
Rescue Time (for Windows and Mac), is one of the simplest, easy to use, online services, helping you see what your biggest time suckers are on your computer. You first have to download the free software, which runs as an application; basically monitoring your every click.
Once you have logged onto their site, you can then get access too all the data it has collected, laying it out in simple to read bar graphs. This allows you to see the apps/sites you are using the most and also, how much time you’re actually spending on your computer.
You then have the ability to go back throughout the day and see exactly when you were on your computer and what you were doing. There are also charts for the day, week, month and year to help you look back at those productive and unproductive days, weeks and months. Tying into that, there is a tab labeled goals and alerts where you can set up reminders to yourself for general things in life, or to remind yourself of the apps or sites you are using a little too much.
One feature which I find extremely useful is that you have the ability to tag multiple apps or sites. So let’s say, you tag Textmate and Mars Edit (two wonderful text editors) with the tag “Blogging.” And then you put Safari and Mail under a tag called “Personal.” This is a great way to see how much time during the day which you spend on work versus play.
Personally, I check Rescue Time once every 2 days, taking points of the things that consume the most time for me. I then gradually try and cut back at least 20 minutes a week, on these time consuming apps/sites. While this service might not be for everyone, I do encourage heavy computer users to take a look at it. Productivity and simplicity are two key traits in living a happy life.
Best of all, this is available as a free service for individual use. Signup can be found here