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 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. 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?