Introduction Automatic Time Tracking
RescueTime has been part of my life that is working For at least 6 years, but I have never sat down to write a RescueTime review until a couple of months ago. Automatic Time Tracking
A few months ago marked my first full year of self-employment. I took the opportunity to re-evaluate all of my tools and working processes to make sure I had a good moment balance among all of my own priorities.
After all — whether You’re paid Your time is the sole non-renewable resource. It ought to become your time if you’re likely to handle anything.
Since almost all my priorities are on A computer — time management applications (ie, RescueTime) is a core part of that.
Here’s my RescueTime review with pros, cons, use Cases and next steps based on my expertise.
What Is RescueTime?
RescueTime is a time management & Productivity software firm founded in 2008. The RescueTime program runs in the background of your devices measuring tracking and automatically categorizing your activity.
RescueTime is a free app with a premium upgrade That enables features and more specific reporting like moment input that is offline . It offers a reporting dash with all your data diced chopped and sorted into helpful charts to help you manage your time.
The program relies on Peter Drucker’s (the famous Management advisor ) maxim that”what gets measured, gets managed.”
RescueTime requires the manual tracking of time And makes it automatic and painless so you actually track your time so that — you may be aware of time use.
Nevertheless, there are dozens and dozens of Improvement & time management tools on the Internet. What are the actual pros & cons of RescueTime? Here’s what I have noticed over the years.
Disclosure — I receive referral fees from companies Mentioned on this website. Any info or remarks are based on my experience as a customer or adviser to a client. Automatic Time Tracking
Rescuing Your Period
To reiterate, RescumeTime is a productivity tool at the Sense that it helps you enhance your time-management skills. It collects data about the apps and websites you use, then creates reports based on that info.
To get started, you create an account and set up a Desktop app in your own personal computer (s) and optionally a mobile program on Android apparatus ) There’s no iOS program because the operating system prevents RescueTime from amassing the data it needs to perform its function. Those programs quietly and invisibly track which apps you use and which websites you visit, as well as the amount of time spent on these.
The tough nut to crack is how to make sense of all that information. To get the best results, you have to customize your accounts from the RescueTime site and inform the app more about what you consider productive versus unproductive action. The further you fine-tune it to your specific circumstances, the better your results. As an example, somebody who works in the financing industry may classify reading financial news on web sites including MarketWatch and FT.com as a productivity task, whereas for me, that is an unproductive use of time.
You can categorize every app and website on a 5-point Scale of quite productive, effective, impartial, dependable, and very unproductive. You could even categorize activity into perform categorizes. For instance, I record Google Docs as very productive, and I categorized it as Writing, which will be a subcategory of Layout and Composition. Looking at Redfin.com is quite distracting when I am trying to function, and I have categorized it as such.
In the desktop program, there is a simple set of controllers That lets you pause RescueTime for a quarter hour, one hour, or until tomorrow, providing you easy access to switching the program off for days or breaks when you wrap up early.
When confronted with RescueTime’s proposal –We will monitor Everything you do and give you insights about your habits! –some individuals may, justifiably, worry about their privacy and the safety of information in their own hardware. Should you use sensitive info online or keep sensitive information on your computers and mobile devices, you’ll want to read RescueTime’s privacy and safety statements carefully.
If your concerns are more relaxed and You Just Don’t Want RescueTime tracking you on the weekend, so you have control over the days and times the program monitors your behavior. You can easily set it to only watch your action from 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Monday through Friday, or whatever schedule suits you.
I have used RescueTime for years, and that I do not check my Every day, productivity reports. I love to let the service run in the background so that when I do want to get a better image of how I’ve been spending my own time, a good amount of information is waiting for me.
While I do go through the reports, however, they’re Magnificent. I really like the variety, providing you get multiple ways of knowing your productivity and habits, from bar charts and pie graphs that reveal lump sums of action, to line things of software you used.
1 simple but effective piece of advice RescueTime Provides is an investigation of when during the day you tend to be the most productive. I wasn’t surprised to observe that my brain peaks in the morning and slacks off after 2:00 p.m., as that fits fairly well with everything I know about my habits. If you’ve never analyzed your productivity, nevertheless, that might be a beneficial revelation for you, one that might help you schedule your times more .
The longer you use RescueTime Premium, the more applicable the Data becomesbecause you may view your data by day, week, month, or year. And as you might expect, you can toggle which times and days RescueTime records your action so that it works automatically on weekends, for example. Automatic Time Tracking
Much of the value you get from RescueTime comes in that which You make of this data and the way you use that data to influence your behavior. Changing behavior is tough, but getting rich insights doesn’t have to be.
Among those manners RescueTime makes it easy to understand how To interpret all of the information it collects is using a Productivity Pulse score. This daily evaluation, shown as a percent, comes in calculating the percent of time spent on very productive, productive, neutral, unproductive, and incredibly wasteful jobs. To be clear, nobody is advocating you target for a 100 percent Productivity Pulse score.
A RescueTime blog post describing the productivity Score notes that the average score is 67 percent, and the average is 79 percent. The majority of people want to do some work which isn’t considered”very productive” during their day. The whole purpose of using RescueTime will be to help you work out how to concentrate on productive and incredibly productive tasks if you need to and perhaps save productive tasks for times when your ability to focus has been waning anyway.
Productive jobs are not exactly the same thing as distractions. RescueTime has a simple and smart attribute for controlling behaviour that is unwanted, such as getting sucked into deflecting sites . A feature named FocusTime, when enabled, blocks your ability to access. It requires a little setup and personalization, but it’s quite powerful, after it is ready to set up. For example, let’s say you wish to to finish a record, and also to make progress on it, you need to focus hardcore for the next 30 minutes. It may block you from looking at email, posting on Twitter, checking sports scores, or other sites and actions, and switch on FocusTime you deem distracting.
The RescueTime mobile app has a setting which will Silence your phone whenever you enable FocusTime. Likewise, you can set up other automation with the help of third-party providers IFTTTFree at iTunes Store and Zapier to block or silence other distractions. For example, you can make a rule with IFTTT (it stands for”if this, then that”) that says,”If I enable FocusTime, then mechanically set my Slack standing to busy.”
RescueTime also Provides you the option to log time computer Idle time. Whenever RescueTime notices the computer has been idle for several minutes at a row, it pops up a dialog asking if you’re in a meeting, on the telephone, taking break, and so on, and lets you classify the idle time accordingly.
Advantages of RescueTime
Here is a Number of the advantages of using RescueTime Over other solutions. Automatic Time Tracking
At its core, RescueTime does something — monitor time. It’s not super unique if you look at it that way. Technically, you could do that with a spreadsheet or some of the dozens of programs that are free on the internet.
However, RescueTime’s attribute set How it tracks time and what it does with all the data (aka, one you’ll actually use).
RescueTime watches that windows now have Action, looks at instances, and the window title the activity in that window. It is always running in the background always watching.
Unobtrustive, 100% automatic tracking makes RescueTime worthwhile. There is no friction or barrier to tracking time.
Since RescueTime’s tracking feature solves that Problem, you will have data that’s complete, correct & useful.
RescueTime’s other attributes focus on producing their Core attribute. They don’t attempt to add on characteristics that are complementary like time-tracking & charging for freelancers. They don’t try to enter any side companies.
They do have Attribute in an intriguing way. The Get Focused! Feature blocks programs.
They have alerts and aims that allow you to pick What you want to happen when X happens — and RescueTime will do that based on which it’s monitoring.
I love how RescueTime does Offline Time Tracking. Rather than having to search and add it in 100% manually, you select a time period that is unlogged and fill in the blank.
You can customize the buttons to make logging Offline time quick and simple.
It is a feature but that’s exactly Making it great. It is well-done, straightforward and simple.
Pricing and Strategies
RescueTime offers two tiers of service: Lite (free) and Premium ($9 per month or $72 per year). Organizations or Firms that are looking to utilize RescueTime across a bunch of people pay the same speed.
RescueTime Lite offers plenty for someone who has never Monitored his or her period before. The program monitors which websites and programs you use, and also how much time you spend on or in every one of these. You may categorize each app and website you use on a Productive/Unproductive scale, also RescueTime creates a couple of basic reports demonstrating how you spend your time. Lite members can set weekly objectives, such as”spend X hours each week on productive jobs and fewer than Y moments on faulty products.” It’s possible to get a report email. For reports, you are limited to a history, however.
Subscribers get everything in the free Lite program, Plus reports and features, such as an unlimited history. Premium comes with alerts you can empower for if you hit objectives. You can more correctly log time spent away from the computer, noting if you were in a meeting, on a telephone call, or simply out to dinner. There is a Get Focused alternative, which lets you block distracting websites you place. Automatic Time Tracking
Comparing RescueTime’s cost to that of other programs Needs an open mind because few apps do exactly what RescueTime does. Qbserve is one and it charges a level one-time fee of $40.
We could look at more traditional time-tracking Apps for freelancers who typically include tools for invoices. HarvestFree in Harvest is a decent example. At $12 per person a month for Premium, it costs over RescueTime, but it has a very clear return on investment since it helps ensure more accurate billing. How you’ll translate RescueTime’s reports and make better use of your time as a result is not as clear.
Another Classic time-tracking program that’s, toggl Popular among salespeople, prices $9 a month, and it also provides you tools for tracking time spent on projects with the usual end aim of charging clients. It has several integration options for linking with invoicing services, although toggl doesn’t include its own invoicing tools.
A Couple of programs are closer to RescueTime in what they have to Offer, for example Slife, even though they tend to have fewer attributes even if they’re free (and Slife is).
Either way — RescueTime is a no-brainer pricing-wise. It’s totally free to use.
And when you are saved by the attributes just 1 hour per month then it’s paid for itself even if you are earning US minimum wage.
A Frequent problem with monitoring apps of all types is That they have to be on. The”always on” feature can cause performance problems on notebooks & desktop computers. It can cause battery issues .
But in my experience, RescueTime induces neither. It’s running from startup in my Nexus 5x phone, my Windows PC, and my Macbook Pro. I have never tracked any battery or functionality problems to the app.
It is lightweight and well-built.
I like the fact that the mobile app does not demand Heaps of permissions that are absurd. It demands access to usage data, but doesn’t attempt to track location, contacts, emails, or any of the privacy that is typical violating other programs that are permissions request.
It is quick to set up and syncs with an online dashboard. It pulls in data from all sources in the time, and crunches the information if you’re on the Premium program or from next day to the program.
What’s the point of data if it can’t be interpreted by you ? Automatic Time Tracking
RescueTime’s accounts solves this problem — and in Ways is the entire purpose of working with the app over a spreadsheet.
RescueTime’s Dashboard uses vibrant bar and Pie graphs to show just what you are (and are not) doing.
You can Choose to receive emails reports Daily, Week or even month.
And best of all, you can dig into the Reporting with numerous filters and overlays to find your habits out.
It is really eye-opening to see that the amount of Time that each task happens.
When I trying to find a marketing agency in Atlanta — The time tracked to Instant Messages and Gchats was astounding. It changed my job supervisors , but also processes not only for me.
Now I’m on my own with no employees I will see the precise time that I devote to tasks that matter. I can construct my day .
And just to reiterate the reports are Built-in into the software. The Dashboard is on my default — and reports that are advanced are pre-built.
It’s all seamless, quick and powerful so that you While assessing your time are currently wasting time.
One of the selling points of RescueTime is their feature set minimalism. They do something and they do it well.
That said — many people using their merchandise Have applications needs that are time-based. When it’s billing, project management, staff time tracking or anything your time demands usually do not cease with monitoring, measuring and categorization.
To solve that problem, RescueTime’s software Integrates with a massive assortment of other software. They have integrations and an API with applications.
Whether you are a freelancer attempting to integrate Time monitoring into invoicing applications like FreshBooks or a job manager that must collate team member’s time, RescueTime will likely integrate with this.
Disadvantages of RescueTime
Like any software though — RescueTime is Nor can it be the best fit for everyone. Here’s some pitfalls that I’ve noticed over time. Automatic Time Tracking
Default Get Focused! Categories
In general, RescueTime’s categories good. Sites like Reddit, Facebook and Twitter are”Very Distracting”…for many people. And for tracking, RescueTime’s categories are quick & simple to repair.
However, RescueTime’s classes News, sites and research sites’ subdomains.
I can not use the Get Focused! Functionality for almost any Task that requires research (aka visiting a lot of different sites ).
The time I need smart blocking Performance is when I am doing research for a post
There’s a fine line between which is productive and When I am researching, This really is distracting. It would be great to use RescueTime, but the categories are not accurate enough for it to work.
The Main problem is that the Block Sites work Is not available in reverse (ie, add specific sites to block). I can add websites to unblock.
And when I’m visiting dozen blocked sites — Manually adding them becomes time wasting.
If you are looking for an app that will block only Specific deflecting sites — RescueTime is not it.
Effectiveness vs. Efficiency
RescueTime (or any time management applications ) Heightens the bias towards efficiency over effectiveness.
If you do the wrong thing for 18 hours Every Day, Daily with focus that is perfect — you are doing the wrong thing.
The most important factor in time management is to Work on the things that are right .
And that. RescueTime Can not fix that problem.
Actually, in certain ways, RescueTime can hurt your By pushing you towards better efficient doing over research approach and planning efforts.
If efficacy is the heart issue, then RescueTime isn’t for you. It’ll only make matters worse.
I’d recommend reading some of these books.
RescueTime continues to be an invaluable tool for me. It is not for everyone and has some attribute quirks and disadvantages.
That said, the thing is perspective. It’s easy to think that you”work a ton” or are”not hooked on your telephone” or”spend so much time composing” or are”hardly ever on Facebook.”
However, the information doesn’t lie. And utilizing RescueTime to Get precise time data onto your time will be able to help you literally rescue your own time and place your own life in perspective. Automatic Time Tracking