Time Tracking Tools: Using RescueTime and Time Doctor to Track and Manage Your Time

Posted on December 3, 2012, under Time and Technology.

time tracking toolsTime tracking tools are very helpful to your time management efforts, because they help you see how you spend your time, as well as helping you manage it going forward.

Last week, in my post titled “Time and Energy Tracking Tool to Boost Your Productivity” I wrote about Juice, an app from Mindbloom that looks at your time usage in conjunction with your energy levels.

In response to that post, a couple of people shared time tracking tools that they use, so I thought I would highlight two of them today.

Time Tracking Tools:  2 Possibilities

Two of the time tracking tools that readers mentioned to me were RescueTime and Time Doctor.  Both offer free and paid versions, both are computer-based, and both will give you a much fuller picture of how you are spending your on-line time now.

RescueTime begins its time tracking enterprise with the question, “Am I really spending my days the way I want to?”  The answer, as you might imagine, can be very revealing.

The free version (RescueTime Lite) offers good, baseline time tracking so that you can know as much as possible about how you spend your on-line time. Here’s how they describe what this tool does, once you’ve set it up:

RescueTime automatically records your time spent on websites and in different applications. Even more, activities are automatically grouped into categories so you can see how much time you spend doing different types of activities. You can customize any of our default categorizations, of course.

Time Doctor offers a feature that I was especially interested in:  it allows for tracking of time spent focused on priority items.  Here’s what they say about this feature on their site:

Priorities: The major feature of Time Doctor that is not available in other software is the priority feature and the ability to know how much of the day a person is focusing on their priorities. It’s one thing to reduce wasted time, this is a big benefit, but an additional and probably greater benefit is having your team focus on their priorities and knowing exactly what priorities they are focusing on.

Time Tracking Tools:  How do YOU Keep Track?

I find the time tracking possibilities offered by these tools to be very intriguing and am pleased to be able to highlight them for you today.  Are there tools that you like and use, either in your business or just to track your personal time?

Drop me a line, I’d love to hear about what works for you!

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Disclosure of Material Connection: I have no material connection with these tools and have not received any compensation for writing this content.

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There are 12 Responses to “Time Tracking Tools: Using RescueTime and Time Doctor to Track and Manage Your Time”

#1 kellydrill - 03 December, 2:13 PM

Hours Tracking is another great option for freelancers. It’s super simple to use and priced right for a solopreneur at just $1/month. Worth a look! http://hourstracking.com

#2 Paula - 03 December, 8:18 PM

Hi Kelly –

I thank you for sharing about Hours Tracking. It certainly looks like a user-friendly tool … at a very reasonable price. I look forward to exploring it further, and was impressed with their informative website and detailed outline of their goals (in their Manifesto). Thanks for highlighting this resource for Time Finder readers!

Best,

Paula

#3 Jon - 04 December, 4:53 AM

Hi Paula,

I’m a freelance programmer and I use Time Doctor to track my time and productivity. Such a very useful tool for freelancers who take multiple jobs every week. I’ve already tried 3 time trackers in the past but I stopped with Time Doctor.

#4 Paula - 04 December, 6:31 AM

Hi Jon –

It’s so good to hear from people who have hands-on experience with these tools. My VA uses Time Doctor, too, and has found it to be a very helpful element in her time management and time tracking efforts. Thanks for your contribution!

Best,

Paula

#5 Peter - 04 December, 11:43 PM

Hi Paula,

Great post, thanks for sharing your thoughts with us. I also been using time tracking tool that helps me improve productivity and get things done especially at work. I tried to use Rescue Time and it works great but I feel that there are still needs for improvement until I read this article http://blog.timedoctor.com/2010/07/25/how-is-time-doctor-different-than-rescue-time that convinced me to try Time Doctor. I’ve been using this tool for a year now and I would say that it suffice my needs on a time tracking tool.

#6 Paula - 05 December, 6:41 AM

Hi Peter – Thanks so much for your comment and for the link to the post comparing Rescue Time and Time Doctor. It sounds like you were pleased with both, but after trying Time Doctor you found it to be superior. So, I’m curious: What is the feature of Time Doctor that you find most helpful? Having everyday experience with a tool is, I think, one of the most reliable ways to assess its usefulness. Thanks again, for stopping by and sharing your thoughts!

Best,

Paula

#7 emma - 11 December, 1:25 PM

Hello Everyone, Even I was going through some software sites and reviews such as TopTenReviews.com – http://bit.ly/Oxkqf0 and found Replicon to be one of the most hassle free and great time tracking software – http://www.replicon.com/time-tracking-softwares.aspx. It seems to have cool calendar view interface and so many nice features.

#8 Paula - 12 December, 7:32 AM

Thank you for sharing this, Emma. Have you used Replicon yourself? It does sound like an interesting soluton to the time tracking challenge!

#9 Peter - 18 December, 10:33 PM

@Paula

The most helpful features for me especially at work are where I could list my entire tasks. Then, organize it depends on their priority levels. This way I could effectively do tasks that are needed to be done. It also allows me to take a regular break where I could relax a bit and help me regain sanity. At the end of the day it gives me analytics on exactly where I spent time and how much of that time was productive or unproductive.

#10 Paula - 19 December, 7:15 AM

Hi Peter – Thanks so much for this additional information. It sounds like Time Doctor really offers you the flexibility and detailed feedback that makes it a winner for you. Building in breaks is an excellent practice, and I imagine that it enables you to get a lot more done over the course of your day. Thanks again, Peter – and here’s to your continued time success!

Best,

Paula

#11 PaulS - 01 June, 11:20 AM

Greate review, but few cents from me.
Personally we tried several services, and selected Screenshot Monitor app and service for our remote researchers and have a policy for office employees to use it when working from home…

Ups, the link of course: http://screenshotmonitor.com/

Have a good weekend

#12 Paula - 01 June, 8:25 PM

Hi PaulS – Thanks for stopping by and sharing the tool that you use with your off-site employees. It looks like it would be an especially useful time-tracker for managers. There certainly are a lot of options to choose from – and it’s so good that you took the time to find the one that worked best for your purposes.

To your time success …

Paula

I'd love to hear what you think!

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