February updates: Smarter website categorization, video tracking, email preferences, and more!

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We’ve pushed a bunch of new improvements out this month. We’ve been able to boost performance, add new features, and address some of our most long-standing support requests. Happy slightly-late Valentine’s day, everybody! 🙂

Subdomain categorization / scoring

We often see some form of this question in our support forums:

I see a lot of subdomains in my uncategorized time report. Can I create a rule somewhere to auto-categorize any site that matches the pattern “*.example.com”?

Many sites have subdomains that all show up as separate activities in RescueTime. It’s a pain to have to categorize all of them, and that’s a problem because it leads to a LOT of websites being uncategorized. Having a lot of uncategorized time really reduces the value of your reports. We just changed our categorization logic so all subdomains automatically inherit from their root domain. This instantly makes our default categorizations a LOT better across the board. You can still override the defaults just like before, should you find a sub-domain that doesn’t fit the domain default.

This is a huge help for things like…

  • Reference sites: *.stackexchange.com, *.about.com
  • Local classified sites: *.craigslist.com, *.backpage.com
  • Major blog platforms: *.tumblr.com, *.wordpress.com, *.blogspot.com
  • Local development servers: *.localhost, *.localhost:8080

MUCH more accurate video logging

video logging

Another common support request is better handling for video. RescueTime uses mouse and keyboard interaction to determine if you have left the computer, and stops logging after a period of no activity. This has an obvious flaw when it comes to video, or any other hands-free application or website. We added some special handling for known video websites and applications, so your logs will be much more complete and meaningful.

You can now have a MUCH more accurate record when you binge watch the new season of House of Cards in a couple weeks!

For this first version, we’re supporting: VLC, Quicktime, Windows Media Player, Facetime, Google Hangouts, Netflix, Hulu, and Youtube. We have plans to expand this list in the future.

Choice of delivery date for the weekly summary report

Your "Start of the Week" day will determine when your weekly summary arrives.

Your “Start of the Week” day will determine when your weekly summary arrives.

In your preferences section, you can set your preferred day to start your week. Some people prefer it to be Sunday, others Monday. But regardless of your preference, we used to send out all weekly summary emails on Sundays. We’ve just split the summary emails out into two different batches for each preferred week-start date.

Track your Github commits as Highlight events

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We recently added API support for RescueTime Premium’s Highlight Event logging. We’re working on several ways to automatically get highlight information into RescueTime, and we just added support for Git commits via a post-commit hook you can add to your Git projects.

Read this blog post to learn more.

Day-timer windows now show the elapsed time in the window title

day-timer-tabs

You can open a day-timer window for any category, productivity level, application, or website and track where your time is going throughout the day. The only problem is the timer windows take up a lot of space. One of our users recently made a suggestion in our forums to add the elapsed time into the title bar, then the timers can be placed in a tab. It’s an amazing reduction in screen real-estate and lets you keep your stats right in front of you as you work. (Thanks Michael!)

RescueTime for Android can receive alerts as push notifications

We released an updated version of RescueTime for Android that features better reports and the ability to receive push notifications for your alerts. We are going to be doing a lot of work on our mobile apps over the next few months, so expect this to just get better and better.

Lots and lots of performance improvements and bug fixes

In addition to the features above, we made several major performance improvements to make everything faster and more reliable.

We also fixed an early front runner for the prestigious “most ridiculous bug of 2015” award: FocusTime was broken on OS X if you were using Firefox AND had the Caps Lock key on. (our reaction when we discovered it)

I hope these updates help make your RescueTime experience better. We’ve got a lot more on the way so stay tuned!


6 Comments on “February updates: Smarter website categorization, video tracking, email preferences, and more!”

  1. saturnonostropicos says:

    Thanks for constantly improving RescueTime!

  2. Great work, also BSPlayer support would be much appreciated ^^.

  3. Barry Holtslander says:

    I very much like the idea of adding more accurate video logging. May I suggest you add TED talks to the list?

    • Robby Macdonell says:

      That’s a good one. We’ll add that to the list for our next version. Eventually we hope to have something that’s configurable so if you find things that we haven’t covered you can easily add them yourself. Still some kinks to work through on that, though.

  4. Daniel Kim says:

    Hi, I just started using RescueTime and I really like the idea. I have one question though, is there any way I can sub-categorize YouTube videos? I watched a video lecture and it categorized it as “Entertainment”, so I re-categorized it to “Learning” but I guess any future YouTube video will be categorized as learning…How can I address this?