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Summary:

RescueTime, the ridiculously easy time management and analysis application, recently added some great features to its already impressive Web-based service to make it just that much more useful and indispensable in my work routine. The addition of autotagging, group tracking, and improved privacy are the highlights […]

img rescue logoRescueTime, the ridiculously easy time management and analysis application, recently added some great features to its already impressive Web-based service to make it just that much more useful and indispensable in my work routine. The addition of autotagging, group tracking, and improved privacy are the highlights in their most recent release.

We’ve covered RescueTime briefly in the past but for the uninitiated, unlike a typical time-sheet application RescueTime requires no data entry. A small desktop application runs in the background and sends updates to your online profile. By tracking which application you have “in focus,” it knows what you are working on. Using the web application, you then tag and categorize these entries to see how you are spending your time.

An impressive array of charts and graphs break down and present your data for easy evaluation. See at a glance exactly where you are spending your time and what you are doing on your computer.img rescuetime Useful metrics assign a value to your productivity and also provide cumulative and comparative data. The insanely handy goals and alerts functionality lets you know when you are spending too much or too little time in a particular area.

Because it captures every program and every web site, the tagging of items can be overwhelming, especially in the beginning. While it isn’t necessary to tag everything, the new autotagging feature goes a long way to identify those apps and sites that, while you may have only spent a few minutes with, can account for a significant contribution when figured together.

Seeing your time and productivity presented in this fashion for the first time can be humbling. Just how much time did I spend in BlogDesk writing articles this month? Have I really spent almost 4 hours on my Fantasy Baseball league this week? And while I still use a stand-alone time tracking application to capture data for billing, RescueTime is great for examining my overall productivity and helping me make sure that I am putting the proper amount of time into those areas that require my attention. I use it for big picture analysis but the tools for more detailed examinations are certainly present.

The RescueTime data collector is available for Windows and Mac, with a 3rd party Linux app also available. Take a product tour or take the plunge towards greater productivity and Sign Up. Personal and Team Basic accounts are free while Team Plus accounts for groups over 5 are $12.95/month per seat.

They say that with information comes power. Would this level of detail about your activities provide value to you? How are you using RescueTime or other tools to keep your productivity on track?

  1. An invaluable tool… If only I allocated some time to learn how to properly use it!

    Raza Imam
    http://SoftwareSweatshop.com

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  2. I wonder if I signed up for this and used it while I worked for a week – what it would tell me about working on my own blogs and web sites? I certainly would know more about where I spend my time!

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  3. [...] we’d love to get philosophical observations on time itself, just as much as we’d like practical tips for better time management, photos on watches and time, reviews of books about time and watches, articles about special [...]

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  4. [...] from WebWorkerDaily says: RescueTime is great for examining my overall productivity and helping me make sure that I am [...]

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  5. I tried the free version for about two weeks and didn’t find it as useful as 8aweek, which I still have installed.

    What are the actual decisions you have made with the information supplied? I found that 8aweek more useful: it’s active intervention model actually helped me to save time.

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  6. [...] that some apps don’t have to be with you forever. Here at WWD, we’ve often discussed RescueTime. It’s a great tool by itself, but when you become a highly efficient web [...]

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  7. Nice little tool thanks for the review :)

    My only concern is that it sends my data on their server? Any offline product with the same idea?

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  8. Try FruitfulTime ProductivityMeter. I stumbled upon it today. Installed it an hour ago! It’s completely offline and the graphs looks better than RescueTime.

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  9. [...] RescueTime (with time management and project tracking. See our review here.) [...]

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  10. well, I saw a similar solution called kpimatrix (http://www.suzerein.com) they have a free version as well

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