Maybe it’s a good thing that Apple doesn’t build in app usage tracking functionality.
All it would take is a click to find out that we’re not as productive on our Macs as we think we are.
For the past week I’ve been using Activity Audit on my Mac and the results are nothing short of staggering. The truth is out there. What we do on our Macs, when tracked, audited, and journalized is more than revealing. It’s downright scary.
Mac User, Audit Thyself
Activity Audit is a little behind-the-scenes background app that simply creates a tracking journal of all the apps you use on your Mac.
Think of it as a digital audit trail. It watches which apps each user uses, when they use each app, and for how long.
You’ll be surprised at the results. After using it for a couple of days I was surprised at which apps I used the most (too much time in Safari and Mail), and which apps corresponded to my more productive moments.
Even better, Activity Audit works with iCal on your Mac and displays a calendar of your Mac usage.
Controls are simple. Double-click to launch Activity Audit and click to Start.
Select the iCal calendar to use (you may need to create one). Click to display Activity Audit in the Mac’s Menubar.
Stopping Activity Audit’s audit is a click, but you can also delete the audit entirely simply by deleting the app’s calendar in iCal.
You also get control over which apps can be audited by using the Exclude section, which means those apps won’t get tracked.
In the end, you get a not-quite-but-almost comprehensive audit trail of which apps you’ve been using, and when, and for how long.
After just a few days you’ll see which apps require more of your time, and which don’t, and then you can give thought to what changes you can make to become more productive on your Mac.