Background Computer Activity Tracker
RescueTime has been part of my life For at least 6 decades, but I’ve never sat down to write a RescueTime review until just a couple of months ago. Computer Activity Tracker
A Couple of months ago marked my first full year of self-employment. I took the opportunity to my resources and working processes to make sure I had a solid moment balance among all of my priorities.
After all — if You’re paid Your time is your only non-renewable resource. It should be your time, if you are going to manage 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, utilize Next steps and cases based on my experience.
What Is RescueTime?
RescueTime is a time management & Productivity software company founded in 2008. The RescueTime program runs in the background of your apparatus automatically categorizing your activity, measuring and tracking.
RescueTime is a free app with a premium update That enables features and more special reporting like moment input. It offers a reporting dashboard with your information diced chopped and sorted into charts that are useful to assist you manage your own time.
The app relies on Peter Drucker’s (the famous Management advisor ) maxim that”what gets measured, gets managed.”
RescueTime requires time’s monitoring So you truly track your time so that and makes it automatic and painless you may be conscious of time usage.
Nevertheless, there are dozens and dozens of Productivity & time management tools on the Internet. What are the pros & cons of RescueTime? Here is what I’ve noticed over time.
Disclosure — I receive referral fees Mentioned on this site. Any data or opinions are all based on my experience as adviser to a client or a customer. Computer Activity Tracker
Rescuing Your Time
RescumeTime is a productivity tool in the to reiterate Feel that it helps your time-management skills improve. It collects data about the apps and websites you use, and then generates reports based on that information.
To get started, you create an account and set up a Desktop program on your personal computer (s) and a mobile app on Android devices. There is no iOS app because the operating system prevents RescueTime from amassing the information it needs to perform its function. Those apps quietly and invisibly track which programs you use and which websites you visit, as well as the quantity of time you spend on them.
The tough nut to crack is how to make sense of all that information. To get the best results, you have to customize your account from the RescueTime site and inform the program more about what you consider productive versus unproductive action. The more you fine-tune it to your particular conditions, the better your results. As an example, somebody who operates in the finances industry might classify reading financial news on sites such as MarketWatch and FT.com as a productivity task, whereas for me, that is an unproductive use of time.
You can categorize website and every program on a 5-point Scale of quite effective, productive, neutral, dependable, and very unproductive. You could also categorize activity into perform categorizes. By way of example, I list Google Docs as quite productive, and that 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 work, and I have categorized it as such.
In the desktop app, there is a simple set of controllers That lets you pause RescueTime for 15 minutes, one hour, or till tomorrow, giving you easy access to shifting the app off for days or breaks when you wrap up early.
When faced with RescueTime’s proposition–We’ll track Everything you do and provide you insights about your habits! –some individuals might, justifiably, be worried about their privacy and the safety of information on their hardware. If you use sensitive information on the internet or store sensitive information on your own computers and mobile devices, you are going to want to read RescueTime’s privacy and security statements carefully.
If your concerns are somewhat more relaxed and You Just Don’t Want RescueTime monitoring you on the weekend, you’ve got control over the times and days the program monitors your behavior. It is simple to set it to just 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 I don’t check my Every day productivity reports. I love to let the service run in the background so that when I do want to find a better picture of how I have 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 numerous methods of knowing your productivity and habits, from bar graphs and pie charts that reveal lump sums of action, to line items of software you employed.
1 simple but powerful piece of advice RescueTime Supplies is an analysis of when during the day you tend to be the most successful. I wasn’t surprised to see that my mind 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 have never studied your productivity, nevertheless, that may be a beneficial revelation for you, one which might help you schedule your days more .
The longer you use RescueTime Premium, the more applicable the Data becomesbecause you may see your data daily, week, month, or year. And as you might expect, you can toggle that times and days RescueTime records your action so that it turns off automatically on weekends, for example. Computer Activity Tracker
Much of the value you get from RescueTime comes in what You make of the data and the way you use that information to affect your own behavior. Changing behaviour is hard, but getting rich insights does not have to be.
One of the ways RescueTime makes it easy to understand how To interpret all the information it collects is with a Productivity Pulse score. This daily score, shown as a percent, comes from calculating the percentage of time spent on very productive, effective, impartial, unproductive, and incredibly unproductive tasks. To be clear, nobody is advocating you aim to get a 100 percent Productivity Pulse score.
A RescueTime blog article describing the productivity Score notes that the score is 67 percent, and the average is 79 percent. Most people want to do some job which isn’t considered”very productive” throughout daily. The whole purpose of using RescueTime will be to help you work out how to focus on productive and very productive tasks if you need to and possibly save productive tasks for times as soon as your ability to concentrate has been waning anyway.
Jobs are not the Exact Same thing as distractions. RescueTime has a smart and simple feature for curbing behavior, such as getting sucked into distracting websites. A feature called FocusTime, when empowered, blocks your ability to access websites for a time period you specify. It takes a little setup and personalization, but it is quite effective after it is ready to set up. As an example, let us say you wish to to finish a record, and also to make progress on it, you really need to focus hardcore for the next 30 minutes. Switch on FocusTime, and it can prevent you from taking a look posting on Twitter, checking sports scores, or other sites and activities you deem deflecting.
The RescueTime mobile program has Automatically silence your phone whenever you empower FocusTime. Likewise, you may set up other automation with the support of third-party services IFTTTFree in iTunes Store and Zapier to block or silence other distractions. By way of instance, you may create a rule using IFTTT (it stands for”if this, then that”) that says,”If I empower FocusTime, then mechanically set my Slack standing to busy.”
RescueTime also gives you the option to log time computer Idle moment. Any time RescueTime notices the computer was idle for several minutes at a row, so it pops up a dialogue asking if you were at a meeting, on the phone, taking rest, etc, and lets you categorize the idle time accordingly.
Pros of RescueTime
Here is a Number of the advantages of using RescueTime Over solutions. Computer Activity Tracker
At its heart, RescueTime does something — track time. It’s not unique, if you look at it that way. Technically, you can do some of the dozens of programs or that using a spreadsheet on the internet.
However, RescueTime’s feature set How it tracks time and what it does with the information (aka, you you’ll really use).
RescueTime watches that windows have Action, looks at times, and the window title the activity in this window. It’s constantly running in the background watching.
100% automatic tracking, unobtrustive makes RescueTime rewarding. There’s not any friction or barrier to monitoring time.
Since RescueTime’s monitoring feature solves that Problem, you’ll have data that is complete, useful & appropriate.
RescueTime’s other features focus on producing their Core feature. Like time-tracking & billing for 15, they do not try to add on features that are complementary. They don’t try to get into any side businesses.
They do have a few features that use the tracking Feature in an intriguing manner. By Way of Example, the Get Focused! Feature blocks programs when chosen from running.
They have aims and alerts that Permit You to decide What you want to occur when X happens — and RescueTime can do that based on what it is monitoring.
I also love how RescueTime does Offline Time Tracking. Rather than being required to search and add it in 100% manually, you pick a time interval that is unlogged and fill in the blank.
You can even customize the buttons to make logging Offline time quick and simple.
It’s a feature set — but that What makes it great. It’s well-done, simple and easy.
Pricing and Plans
RescueTime offers two tiers of service: Lite (free) and Premium ($9 a month or $72 annually ). Organizations or businesses that are looking to use RescueTime across a bunch of individuals pay the exact same speed.
RescueTime Lite offers lots for Somebody Who Has never Tracked his or her time before. The program monitors which websites and applications you use, and how long you spend on or in each of these. You may categorize every app and website you use on a Productive/Unproductive scale, also RescueTime creates a couple of primary reports demonstrating the best way to spend your time. Lite members can set weekly goals, such as”spend X hours per week on productive jobs and fewer than Y minutes on faulty products.” It’s possible to get a weekly report email. For reports, you’re limited to a history, however.
Subscribers get everything from the free Lite plan, Plus features and reports, including an report history. Premium comes with alarms you can enable for when you reach daily objectives. You can more accurately log time spent away from the computer, noting whether you’re in a meeting, on a telephone call, or simply out to lunch. There is a Get Focused option, which lets you block websites that are deflecting you place. Computer Activity Tracker
Comparing RescueTime’s price to that of other apps Requires an open mind as apps do exactly what RescueTime does. Qbserve is one and it charges a flat fee of $40.
We could, but look at traditional time-tracking Programs for freelancers who contain tools for bills. HarvestFree at Harvest is an adequate example. At $12 per individual per 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 consequence is not as clear.
Toggl, another Classic time-tracking app that’s Popular among salespeople, prices $9 per month, and it also gives you definite tools for tracking time spent on jobs with the typical end aim of charging clients. Toggl doesn’t contain its own invoicing tools, but it has several integration options for linking with additional invoicing services.
A Couple of apps are nearer to RescueTime in what they have to Provide, for example Slife, even though they have a tendency to have fewer features even if they’re free (and Slife is).
Either way — RescueTime is a no-brainer pricing-wise. It’s totally free to use.
And if you are saved by the attributes just One hour per month then it’s paid for itself even if you are simply earning US minimum wage.
RescueTime is an investment which makes sense.
A problem with monitoring programs of all types is That they must be on. The”always on” attribute can lead to performance problems on laptops & desktop computers. It can induce battery issues on mobile devices.
But in my own experience, RescueTime causes neither. It’s running from startup in my Macbook Pro, my Windows PC, along with my Nexus 5x phone. I’ve never tracked any functionality or battery issues.
It’s lightweight and well-built.
I enjoy the fact that the mobile app doesn’t demand Dozens of absurd permissions. It requires access to use data, but doesn’t try to monitor contacts, location, emails, or any of the privacy that is typical violating other apps that are permissions ask for.
It is quick to set up and syncs using an online dashboard. It pulls in data from all sources and crunches on the data quickly if you’re on the Premium program or from next day on the free program.
What is the purpose of information if it can’t be interpreted by you Or put it to use? Computer Activity Tracker
RescueTime’s accounts solves that problem — and in Lots of ways is the entire point of working with the app above a spreadsheet.
RescueTime’s Dashboard uses vibrant bar and Pie charts to reveal just what you are (and aren’t ) doing.
You can opt to receive reports Daily, Week or even month.
And on Top of That, you can dig into the Reporting with numerous filters and overlays to find out your habits.
It to see the real amount of Time that each job happens.
When I working for a marketing agency in Atlanta — The time tracked to Gchats and Instant Messages was astounding. It altered processes not only for me, but also my project managers.
Now I’m on my own I will see the time that I devote to tasks that matter. I can build around those.
And Simply to reiterate Built-in to the computer software. The Dashboard is on my default — and reports are pre-built.
It’s all seamless quick and powerful so that you Are not ironically wasting time.
Among the Major selling points of RescueTime is their feature set minimalism. They do one thing and they do it nicely.
That said — most all people using their merchandise Have applications needs that are time-based. When it’s charging, project management, team time tracking or anything else — your own time demands do not stop with measuring monitoring and categorization.
To solve that problem, RescueTime’s applications Integrates with a huge range of applications. They’ve direct integrations and an API with software.
Whether you are Time tracking into even a project manager that needs to collate team member’s time or invoicing applications like FreshBooks, RescueTime will integrate with this.
Cons of RescueTime
Like any software however — RescueTime is Perfect nor is it the ideal fit for everybody. Here’s some disadvantages that I’ve noticed over the years. Computer Activity Tracker
Default Get Focused! Categories
Generally, RescueTime’s categories are fairly good. Sites like Reddit, Facebook and Twitter are”Very Distracting”…for many people. And for general monitoring, RescueTime’s categories are fast & simple to repair.
But RescueTime’s categories News, distracting sites and research websites’ subdomains.
I can not use the Get Focused! Performance for almost any Task which requires research (aka visiting a lot of different sites ).
Ironically, the time that I need smart obstructing Performance is when I am doing research for a post
There is a fine line between which is effective and When I am researching, This really is distracting. It would be good to use RescueTime, but the categories are not true enough for it to operate.
The root problem is that the Block Sites function Is not available in reverse (ie, add certain sites to block). I can add sites to unblock.
And when I am visiting dozen blocked sites — Adding them quickly becomes time wasting.
If You’re Looking for an program that will block only Specific distracting sites — RescueTime isn’t it.
Effectiveness vs. Efficiency
RescueTime (or any time management applications ) Heightens the prejudice towards efficiency over effectiveness.
If you do the wrong thing for 18 hours Every Day, Every day with focus — you are doing the thing that is incorrect.
The most important factor in time management is to Work on the things .
And that. RescueTime Can’t solve that problem.
In fact, in some ways, RescueTime can damage your By pushing you towards efficient doing over planning, research and strategy efforts.
If efficacy is the heart issue, then RescueTime is not for you. It will only make things worse.
Rather, I’d recommend reading a few of these books.
RescueTime continues to be an invaluable tool for me personally. It’s not for everybody and has some attribute quirks and pitfalls.
Nevertheless, the best thing is perspective. It’s easy to think that you”work a ton” or are”not addicted to your phone” or”invest as much time composing” or are”hardly ever on Facebook.”
But the information does not lie. And using RescueTime to Get accurate time data onto your digital time can assist you place your life and conserve your own time. Computer Activity Tracker