I asked myself that same question after my husband asked me what I did all day (the day our girls visited grandparents). You know what? I didn’t have much of an answer. It wasn’t housework or shopping or napping. I was on my Mac but couldn’t point to anything I did that was worthwhile.
What did I spend my time on? There’s a Mac app that knows.
Wasting More Time Than I Thought
After browsing around the Mac App Store I decided that Mac users probably don’t want to know where their Mac time is wasted. I’m in that group.
What I found was an inexpensive app that tracks not only how much time is spent using your Mac, but how much time on each app.
It’s called Time Sink (I think Time Drain would be more appropriate) and what it does is log what you do. It logs your apps, open windows, and keeps track of what you use on your Mac.
It’s actually pretty cool to use; provided you don’t mind finding out that you’re wasting time here and there. It’s a good tool to help you focus on being productive vs. simply doing something that’s not.
When you startup Time Sink you get a choice whether to run it as a Menubar app or typical Dock icon app.
After that, Time Sink simply tracks which apps you use, which windows are open, and when. It all gets logged while you work, behind the scenes, so it’s easy to set it and forget it.
The real fun begins after you’ve used Time Sink a few days or a week. The Time Sink Organizer gives you a quick look at details for each application.
You can choose to view the reports on a per-app basis, or set up apps within a group and track your activities that way.
Or, take a quick look at the colorful Applications chart to see which apps gets used the most.
The reports may surprise you. For me, I was surprised at how much time I devoted to browsing and email.
I don’t make any money with either one, yet both suck up an inordinate amount of time. Performance measured is performance improved, right?
So, measuring what you do and when gives you an idea of what to do more of and what to avoid.
Speaking of avoiding certain apps, Time Sink has a blacklist so you can add apps to it that you don’t want to be tracked and logged.
Other settings are useful, too. You can set the idle time so tracking stops after so many minutes of non-usage on your Mac.
If you’re using Time Sink to track your Mac work for a business, you can also add new apps to an existing group (called a pool) for billing purposes. Time Sink even takes notes for each app, so you have an idea of why you were using an app and can attach the note for the future.
All things considered– the price and easy setup– Time Sink is surprisingly useful. It’s out of the way until you want a report, and the quick glance report is to die for as it focuses your attention on what you do with your time.