Tracking your desktop usage

Blog Author: Aaron Smith | October 31st, 2013

If you are really serious about productivity then one of things you should be doing is tracking what you are doing on your desktop. That way you can easily determine if you are actually being productive or spending your time aimlessly surfing YouTube videos of cats flushing toilets.

Here are a few apps that you can use:

1. Rescuetime

 

This service has a free and paid version. You simply sign up, install the tracking application on your desktops and then continue on as normal. You’ll then be able to log into the web portal and view information about what you are doing with your time. You can customized what time is productive and what is distracting. As you can see from the above screen shots you get a nice breakdown of your stats that you can easily drill down into.

2. Manictime

 

Again, available in a free and paid version. Create an account, download the app and start tracking your usage. Manictime is probably more granular than Rescuetime which allows you to get much greater detail on exactly what you are doing. However, sometime too much information isn’t good and a general overview is better but if you want lots of detail then Manictime is probably for you.

What about applications that you may want to use to monitor your employees productivity habits? There are certainly team options with the above applications but some dedicated employee monitoring solutions like:

Desktime

 

However, if you do elect to monitor others make sure that they are aware of the fact. Most businesses lay these out in their policies and employment contracts (which you should have in place if you don’t already).

Given that all of these products have functioning free versions there is no reason why you shouldn’t at least give them a try. If you are serious about getting more done everyday then you should.

When you start using productivity monitoring software you’ll be surprised at how you spend your time. It is generally very different from what you think. Making small changes in the way you approach your daily technology usage can have huge impacts on your daily productivity and general satisfaction but that is the subject of another blog post.

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