Confession time. I’m a certified Mac geek. Inside and out, I know my Macs. There are few decent Mac apps I haven’t tried. I’m on my Mac (or a nearby PC) most of the day.
Some days are productive. I get things done. Other days, not so much. On those less productive days I’m not altogether sure where the time goes. I’m busy. I’m on my Mac. Not much is getting done. My latest app tracks what I do.
Good And Bad Of Tracking Time
Assembly line workers don’t care much for time and motion analysts. Imagine that your Mac could track your every move; the time you spend on each app and what you do.
Then, your Mac gives a detailed daily report to your boss.
Isn’t that exactly the kind of app you’d like running in the background on your Mac?
There is such an app and it’s actually a good news, bad news proposition. The good news is that you can see exactly which apps you use the most and when. The bad news is that someone else can see which apps you use and when.
That’s what TrackTime does. It tracks your time.
Be Your Own Big Brother
My first thought when I came across TrackTime is that it’s a big brother spying app. After all, it sits in the background while you work on your Mac, tracking every app you use and when you use it (but not necessarily what you use it to accomplish).
Check out this graphic of what’s been tracked and when:
If you’re in need of ways to improve your Mac usage and efficiency, TrackTime does that simply by recording which apps you’re using and when. But it’s not a big brother app built to spy on your Mac usage habits.
TrackTime also tracks the time you devote to specific projects and activities. It’s easy to set up a project and TrackTime monitors what you do.
Tracking the time you devote to specific projects as well as the time you spend on various Mac apps is a good way to improve your ability to manage time.
TrackTime creates a timeline of each day overlaid by your application usage, iTunes listening, web browsing, and your projects.
The Toolbar lets you control the start and stop time of your projects so the tracked data is as accurate as what you plug into it.
The timeline can be scaled from a few hours to beyond by using the left-to-right slider.
TrackTime’s personality is general tracking, rather than big brother tracking. It monitors the time you spend in eight Mac web browsers. It also records your iTunes music and video habits, recording what you play and when.
This is the type of app I’d like to see used more often and even extended to track what a user does in each app, even capturing a snapshot photo of the user at the beginning of each session.
Sorry. It’s the big brother in me, and tracking what happens on a computer is exactly what a computer is good at doing.