RescueTime has been a 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 few months ago. Swipeclock
A few months ago marked my first year of self-employment. I took the time to my resources and working processes to make sure I had a good moment equilibrium among my own priorities.
After all — whether you are paid Your time is the sole non-renewable resource. It should become your time if you are going to handle anything.
Since nearly all my priorities are on A pc — time management applications (ie, RescueTime) is a core part of that.
Here is my RescueTime review with pros utilize Cases and next steps based on my experience.
What Is RescueTime?
RescueTime is a time direction & Productivity software company founded in 2008. The RescueTime app runs in the background of your devices automatically categorizing your own activity, measuring and tracking.
RescueTime is a free app with a premium update That enables attributes and more reporting like offline time input. It delivers a reporting dashboard with your data chopped, diced and sorted into charts that are useful that will assist you manage your own time.
The program is based on Peter Drucker’s (the famous Management consultant) maxim that”what gets measured, gets managed.”
RescueTime takes time’s manual monitoring And makes it automatic and painless so that you actually track your time so that you can be aware of time usage.
That said, there are dozens and dozens of Productivity & time management programs on the Internet. What are the pros & cons of RescueTime? Here’s what I’ve noticed over time.
Disclosure — I receive referral fees from firms Mentioned on this website. Any info and/or opinions are based on my experience as a paying client or adviser to a client. Swipeclock
Rescuing Your Time
To reiterate, RescumeTime is a productivity tool at the Feel that it helps you improve your time-management skills. It gathers data about the apps and websites you use, then creates reports based on that information.
You set up a and create an account to Begin Desktop app on your own personal computer (s) and optionally a cell program on Android apparatus ) There’s no iOS program because the operating system prevents RescueTime from amassing the data it needs to carry out its purpose. Those apps quietly and invisibly track which apps you use and which sites you visit, as well as the amount of time you spend on these.
The tough nut to crack is the Way to make sense of all that information. To get the best results, you have to customize your account from the RescueTime site and tell the program more about what you consider productive versus unproductive activity. The further you fine-tune it to your particular circumstances, the better your results. For example, someone who operates in the finances industry may classify reading financial news on sites including MarketWatch and FT.com as a productivity task, whereas for me, that’s an unproductive use of time.
You can categorize each program and website on a 5-point Scale of very effective, productive, neutral, unproductive, and very unproductive. You could even categorize activity into work categorizes. For example, I record Google Docs as very productive, and that I categorized it as Writing, which will be a subcategory of Layout and Composition. Looking at Redfin.com is very distracting when I am trying to work, and I have categorized it as such.
In the desktop program, there’s a simple set of controllers That lets you pause RescueTime for 15 minutes, 1 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 will monitor Everything you do and give you insights about your customs! –some people may, justifiably, be worried about their privacy and the safety of information in their hardware. If you use sensitive info on the internet or keep sensitive information in your own computers and mobile devices, you are going to want to read RescueTime’s privacy and security statements closely.
If your worries are somewhat more relaxed and you simply don’t Want RescueTime monitoring you on the weekend, so you have control over the days and times the app monitors your behaviour. 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’ve used RescueTime for decades, and that I don’t check my Productivity reports daily. I love to let the service run in the background so that when I really do want to get a better picture of how I have been spending my time, a good quantity of information is awaiting me.
When I do go through the reports, however, they are Magnificent. I love the variety, giving you get multiple methods of understanding your productivity and habits, from bar charts and pie charts that show lump sums of activity, to line things of applications you used.
One simple but effective piece of information RescueTime Provides is an analysis of when during the daytime you are inclined to be the most productive. I was not surprised to observe that my mind peaks in the morning and slacks off after 2:00 p.m., as that fits fairly well with everything I understand about my customs. If you’ve never studied your productivity, nevertheless, that may be a beneficial revelation for you, one which may help you schedule your times more .
The longer you use RescueTime Premium, the more useful the Data becomesbecause you may view your data daily, week, month, or year. And as you might expect, it is possible to toggle which days and times RescueTime records your activity so that it turns off automatically on weekends, for instance. Swipeclock
Much of the value you get from RescueTime comes from what You make of the information and the way you use that data to influence your behavior. Changing behaviour is hard, but getting rich insights does not need to be.
One of those manners RescueTime makes it easy to understand how To interpret all the data it collects is using a Productivity Pulse score. This daily score, shown as a percentage, comes from calculating the percentage of time spent very productive, productive, impartial, unproductive, and very wasteful jobs. To be clear, nobody is advocating you aim to get a 100 percent Productivity Pulse score.
A RescueTime blog article explaining the productivity Score notes that the score is 67 percent, and the on site average is 79 percent. The majority of people want to do some job which isn’t considered”very productive” throughout daily. The entire point of using RescueTime will be to help you figure out how to focus on productive and very productive tasks when you will need to and possibly save less productive tasks for times as soon as your ability to focus was waning anyway.
Tasks that are less productive are not the Exact Same thing as distractions. RescueTime has a smart and simple attribute for controlling behavior that is unwanted, like getting sucked into sites that are distracting , also. A feature named FocusTime, when enabled, blocks your ability to access sites for a period of time you specify. It takes a little setup and customization, but it is quite powerful, after it is ready to set up. For example, let us say you wish to finish a record, and also to make progress on it, you need to concentrate hardcore for the next thirty minutes. It may prevent you from taking a look at email, posting on Twitter, checking sports scores, or other websites and actions, and switch FocusTime you deem deflecting.
The RescueTime mobile app has Silence your phone whenever you enable FocusTime. Likewise, you may set up other automation with the support of third-party providers IFTTTFree in iTunes Store and Zapier to obstruct 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 enable FocusTime, then automatically set my Slack status to busy.”
RescueTime also Provides you the Choice Idle moment. Any time RescueTime notices the computer was idle for several minutes in a row, so it pops up a dialog asking if you were in a meeting, on the telephone, taking rest, and so on, and permits you to categorize the idle time accordingly.
Advantages of RescueTime
Here is some of the advantages of using RescueTime Over other solutions. Swipeclock
At its core, RescueTime does something — track time. It is not special, if you look at it that way. Technically, you can do any of those dozens of programs or this using a spreadsheet on the internet.
However, RescueTime’s feature set The way that it tracks time and exactly what it does with all the data (aka, one you’ll really use).
RescueTime watches that windows now have Activity, looks at the window name, and times the action in this window. It’s constantly running in the background watching.
Unobtrustive, automatic tracking that is 100% makes RescueTime worthwhile. There’s not any friction or barrier to tracking time.
Since RescueTime’s monitoring feature simplifies that Problem, you will have data that is complete, useful & appropriate.
RescueTime’s other features focus on making their Core attribute better. Like time-tracking & billing for 15, they do not attempt to add on features. They do not try to enter any side companies.
They do have Feature in an intriguing way. The Get Focused! Feature blocks distracting sites and/or apps.
They have alarms and aims that Permit You to decide What when X occurs, you want to happen — and RescueTime will do this based on which it’s tracking.
I also love how RescueTime does Offline Time Tracking. Rather than having to search and put in it 100% manually, you select a time period that is unlogged and fill in the blank.
You can also customize the buttons to create logging Offline time simple and quick.
It’s a feature set — but that is precisely Making it great. It is simple, simple and well-done.
Pricing and Plans
RescueTime provides two tiers of support: Lite (free) and Premium ($9 a month or $72 annually ). Organizations or Firms that are looking to use RescueTime across a group of individuals pay the exact same speed as Premium subscribers.
RescueTime Lite offers Monitored his or her period. The app monitors which sites and applications you use, and how much time spent on or in every one of them. You may categorize every app and site you use on a Productive/Unproductive scale, and RescueTime creates a couple of primary reports demonstrating the best way to spend your time. Lite members can place weekly goals, such as”spend hours per week on productive jobs and fewer than Y minutes on unproductive items.” You can find a report email for you. For reports, you are confined to a history.
Paying subscribers get everything in the Lite program that is free, Plus extra features and reports, such as an history. Premium also comes with alerts you can enable for when you reach daily goals. You can more accurately log time spent away from the computer, noting if you were in a meeting, on a telephone call, or just out to dinner. Furthermore, there is a Get Focused option, which lets you block websites that are deflecting for a period of time you set. Swipeclock
Comparing RescueTime’s cost to that of other programs Requires an open mind because few apps do precisely what RescueTime does. Qbserve is one and it costs a flat one-time fee of $40.
We could, but look at more Apps for freelancers that include tools for creating invoices. HarvestFree at Harvest is a decent example. At $12 per individual a month for Premium, it costs over RescueTime, but it has a clear return on investment because it helps ensure more accurate charging. How you will translate RescueTime’s reports and make better use of your time as a result is much less clear.
Toggl Popular among freelancers, costs $9 a month, and it provides you tools for monitoring time spent on projects with the usual end aim of charging customers. It has integration options for connecting with invoicing services, although toggl doesn’t contain its own invoicing tools.
A few apps are nearer to RescueTime in what they have to Provide, such as Slife, although they tend to have fewer features even if they’re free (and Slife is).
Either way — RescueTime is a no-brainer pricing-wise. It’s free to use.
And if the attributes save you only 1 hour each month then it is paid for itself even if you are only making US minimum wage.
A common problem with monitoring programs of all kinds is That they have to be on. The”always on” feature can cause performance issues on laptops & desktop computers. Battery problems can be caused by it on mobile devices.
But in my own experience, RescueTime causes neither. It is running from startup on my Windows PC my Macbook Pro, and my Nexus 5x phone. I’ve never tracked any battery life or functionality problems to the program.
It is lightweight and well-built.
I enjoy the fact that the app does not demand Heaps of permissions that are absurd. It requires access but doesn’t attempt to track emails, contacts, location, or some of the normal privacy violating other programs request.
It’s quick to install and syncs with an internet dashboard. It pulls in data from all sources and crunches the data if you are on the Premium program or from next day to the free plan.
What is the point of data if you can’t interpret it Or put it to use? Swipeclock
RescueTime’s accounts solves this problem — and in Lots of ways is the whole point of working with the program.
RescueTime’s Dashboard uses bar and Pie charts to show just what you are (and aren’t ) doing.
You can Choose to receive emails reports Daily, Week or month.
And on Top of That, you can dig deep to the Reporting with filters and overlays to find out your customs.
It’s really eye-opening to determine the real amount of Time that each task takes.
When I working for a marketing agency in Atlanta — The time tracked to Gchats and Instant Messages was astonishing. It changed my project managers , but also processes not just for me personally.
Now that I’m on my own I can see the time I devote to tasks that matter. I am able to build around those.
And just to reiterate Built-in into the software. The Dashboard is on my default — and even reports that are advanced are pre-built.
It’s all seamless fast and powerful so that you While assessing your time Are not ironically currently wasting time.
One of the key selling points of RescueTime is their feature set minimalism. They do something and they do it nicely.
That said — many people using their merchandise Have applications requirements. Whether it’s team time monitoring, billing, project management or anything your own time needs usually don’t cease with measuring, tracking and categorization.
To resolve that Issue, RescueTime’s applications Integrates with a massive range of applications. They have an open API and integrations with applications.
Whether you are a freelancer attempting to incorporate Time tracking into invoicing applications like FreshBooks or a project manager that must collate team member’s time, RescueTime will probably integrate with this.
Disadvantages of RescueTime
Like any software though — RescueTime is Perfect nor is it the ideal fit for everybody. Here is some pitfalls that I’ve noticed through time. Swipeclock
Default Get Focused! Groups
In general, RescueTime’s classes good. Sites like Reddit, Facebook and Twitter are”Very Distracting”…for most people. And for monitoring, RescueTime’s categories are quick & simple to fix.
However, RescueTime’s categories can be off with overall News, sites and research websites’ subdomains.
I can’t use the Get Focused! Performance for any Task which requires research (aka visiting a lot of different websites).
Paradoxically, the time I need smart obstructing Functionality is when I am doing research for a post
There is a fine line between this really is effective and This is distracting when I’m researching. It’d be great to use RescueTime, but the categories are not true enough for this to work.
The root issue is that the Block Sites function Is not available in reverse (ie, add specific sites to block). I can only add websites to unblock.
And if I’m visiting several sites were blocked by dozen — Adding them becomes time wasting.
If You’re Looking for an program that will block only Specific distracting sites — RescueTime is not it.
Effectiveness vs. Efficiency
RescueTime (or some time management software) Heightens the prejudice towards efficiency .
If you do the wrong thing for 18 hours Every Day, Every day with focus that is ideal — you are still doing the incorrect thing.
The most important Element in time management is to Work on the things that are right .
And that. RescueTime Can’t fix that problem.
Actually, in some ways, RescueTime can damage your By pushing you towards improved doing over research, strategy and planning efforts.
If effectiveness is the core issue RescueTime is not for you. It will only make things worse.
Instead, I’d recommend reading a few of these books.
RescueTime continues to be an invaluable tool for me personally. It is not for everyone and has some feature quirks and disadvantages.
That said, the best thing is perspective. It’s easy to think that you just”work a ton” or are”not addicted to a phone” or”spend so much time writing” or are”hardly ever on Facebook.”
But the information doesn’t lie. And using RescueTime to Get precise time data onto your digital time can help you rescue your own time and place your own life in perspective. Swipeclock