Because I work from home and am paid by the hour, I needed something to help me keep track of the time I spent working on projects. I’d been using Xnote Stopwatch successfully for some time, but often forgot to start it when I began working or stop it, when I moved on to non-project related tasks. I was forced to guess how much time I’d put into projects at the end of the day.
I then heard about a time management software program called RescueTime which was then in private beta and signed on to be a beta tester. After a few days or maybe weeks I was invited to help test RescueTime and found it to be exactly what I was looking for.
You sign up for an account and download a small application from the website. The application sits in your system tray and collects data on which application or website you are actively using and it periodically sends that information to your RescueTime dashboard. On the dashboard you can “tag” the applications and sites you visit with terms like “work”, “fun”, “volunteer”, etc. RescueTime then presents you with a graph that shows you how much time you spent on each category.
You can also set goals and keep track of your goals on your dashboard as well as view your productivity after rating your tags for productiveness.
The folks behind RescueTime are continuously working to make it better and are responsive to user feedback in an almost uncanily rapid time frame. Once I sent feedback through their little user feedback box and within a few moments received an email response from them.
I like it when software works the way it says it will.