Your Efficiency Scores may have changed!

Just a quick newsflash for those keeping score at home.  Individual users of RescueTime may have their score look very different as of this release.  The reason for this that previously, you probably had much of your data untagged and unscored.  Also, RescueTime didn’t do a fabulous job of making sure all of the many sites people visit every day had categories and scores– so these didn’t really effect your scores.  So what’s likely happening is that lots of “surfing” time (which was previously not effecting your efficiency because RescueTime wasn’t smart enough to assign it a default score) was not hurting your score.

All that being said, assigning default scores is HARD– everyone is different.  For me, email is a sorta-productive necessary evil and IM is the devil.  You might work differently.  While we’ve done the best we can with default scores/categories, you should feel free to override them based on your workstyle.

Quickest way to do this is:

Go to the new Manage Categories Settings Page.  Here you’ll see a bunch of boxes that look like this:

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You can mouse over each of the categories to see an edit button, where you can change the default score (-2 is bad, +2 is good) to better fit your style.

If you find that a lot of your time is uncategorized, you can go to the list of all uncategorized activities and spend a minute or two categorizing the big ones.

And, finally, you can check out your top activities in a list ranked by how much time you spent on them.  It’s a good idea to glance down this list to see if the scores are appropriate.  As with all things, don’t go crazy here– once you find yourself scoring sites that you visited for only a few minutes in the month, it’s probably time to say, “good enough!”.

The exciting thing about the new release is that everyone’s scores and categories contribute to everyone else– so as people categorize and score sites, that means you’ll get democratic “defaults” and won’t have to spend time monkeying with your data in RescueTime (making us all more productive!).


4 Comments on “Your Efficiency Scores may have changed!”

  1. David Rogers says:

    Okay, guys, the new UI looks decent, and the functionality is okay, but the complete loss of ranking data is VERY NOT GOOD. Granted, adjusting one or two key entries DID “bring back” much of my data… I just looked at my list of “uncategorized” sites and apps for the past six months, and there are definitely some entries there that had productivity scores and categorizations. Without a way to select multiple entries and edit them as a group, I’m looking at 600+ potential edits, which each require multiple clicks (the hover menus aren’t working reliably for me, either)… Tell me how _that_ improves my productivity…?

    Overall, I seriously considered uninstalling RescueTime today and canceling my account. Even though I _like_ the new features overall, the knee-jerk response to seeing a “-0.05” productivity score (down from “+1.67” the week previous) is always gonna be “WTF!?”, IMO. And intentionally discarding user data is a great way to tick off your users, too. 🙁

  2. David Rogers says:

    And one more thing… No, really, let me reiterate: having a multiple-entry edit in an application like this is _essential_. You’ve likened yourselves to Mint.com in a previous post, please continue the analogy. Your existing users with piles of data will be much more likely to organize it meaningfully if you’ll make it easier for us to do so. Thanks.

  3. Qrystal says:

    Well, David? Has your situation calmed down after the initial transition period? Did you really need to edit 600+ items, or were most of them things that only contributed a minute or five to your day’s totals, never again to resurface in your workday?

    You said, “Granted, adjusting one or two key entries DID “bring back” much of my data…” which made me wonder if perhaps you were being too picky about how detailed your past data was. Isn’t the point of a productivity tool to improve the future, not to merely categorize the past?

  4. komatineni says:

    Well, finally I decided to drop by to share my 2c. When Rescuetime was launched i was quite curious how it works and slowly became used to it and started to appreciate the work after going through all the changes. But for the last couple of months the sad part is I really lost on how to interpret the changes. So to save time ‘uninstall rescuetime’. thanks for the good job you’d done.