Tag Archives: time management software

RescueTime: Easy Time Management

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.

Rescue Time – a nifty time management tool

I think I’ve mentioned before what a shareware/freeware addict I am. I think I called myself a betaholic. Sometimes it is a waste of time, other times it isn’t. For instance, I’ve been using a little program called Rescue Time for a little less than a week and I think it is going to save me time.

You install a small application that sits in your system tray and logs the programs on which you are actively working, then sends it to your online dashboard where your time is visually represented in a graph form. You can “tag” activities and the dashboard will display the tags as a graph as well.

Besides showing me where I was wasting time, this application is helping me keep track of my work hours. I’d been tracking my time with XNote Stopwatch, but often forgot to turn it on when I began working or forgot to pause it when I quit working. Then if the computer crashed or I forgot to save it, I’d lose my log of time. Now that I have tagged my applications and websites that I use exclusively for work as “work” I can get a pretty good idea how much time I spent actually working on tasks for my job.

Rescue Time is still in Beta and invitation only, but I got an invitation only a few days or so after signing up. I was worried that I’d discover that I wasted my time more than I do, so perhaps I am not such a slacker after all!