tl;dr – Our friends at awesome companies are hiring. If you’re top talent in information/technology fill out this survey to let us know if and how we can help make some strong introductions. We’re not going to expose users’ data.
The other day we saw a post on Hacker News from SEOmoz advertising a $12,000 reward for software engineers. My first reaction was the thought, “I feel like I must know someone who would be a good match for this position.” We get this a lot because we’re always running into Y Combinator or True Ventures startup founders or friends at companies like Google, Facebook and Amazon who are looking for “only the best” to fill open positions on their teams. It’s always hard to recommend people for jobs without being able to vouch for them personally, either about their work habits or that they’ve actually worked with the technologies they claim to have worked with. But it occurred to us that we might be able to help solve this problem. We have the best users in the world! So we found ourselves wondering, “do our users want that?”
As a RescueTime Solo user, we’re pretty sure you’re either already an overachiever, or at least well on your way to cementing yourself firmly in the top-tier of knowledge workers in your particular field (and yeah, your RescueTime profile proves it). One of the problems top workers may have is that they don’t have the time they need to focus on making progress toward their goal of working for the company they’ve always loved. They’d jump at the chance to land a gig at one of the exciting companies where everyone wants to work, but they’re just not networked enough or even statistically likely enough to have their resume noticed by the right person that would lead them to their rightful spot at their favorite company.
I think we can help! Not only can we vouch for you as someone who is in the top of users in your field in terms of efficiency, but we can also say with a great deal of certainty that you’ve been working hard in the skill areas in which the companies you’re interested in are looking to hire. We also have connections! RescueTime already has users, investors, and advisors connected to most of the top companies you’re probably thinking you’d like to work for. There are definite opportunities for us to make mutually beneficial connections there.
Top percentile talent is expensive to source because there are (by definition!) only a small number of people who match that description. Our business is built on helping our users become more efficient and it seems like it’s only natural that we can do something about the inefficiencies here. We should be able to save you time getting you in front of the people you most want to work with, while saving them time and money trying to find you.
Here’s where you come in. If you’re top talent in the information/technology space (and of course you are!) we need you to fill out this survey to let us know what you think of this plan, and to give us a better idea of how to proceed.
Let’s be clear. We are well aware this is a delicate thing to balance. We’re absolutely not talking about giving any of your information to recruiters or spamming you with emails for boring jobs that you don’t care about. That wouldn’t do anything but waste everyone’s time. Our focus for this is centered on the experience of our users. The companies we’re talking to about this are all companies we’d want to work at ourselves. This idea came from the Hacker News community and we want to be careful to continue to make something people want. Also worth noting is that if you are a RescueTime Team account user you and your team are off limits. We’re not about to let other companies poach your team members out from under you.
Here’s what we think we can do:
- Help users be more focused so they can improve their career in the direction they want.
- Connect users to companies we trust once we can vouch for them and their skills.
- Provide a way for users to show off their skills via a badge, or public profile summary.
Here’s what we won’t do:
- Expose users’ time and attention data.
- Sell users’ email addresses. We would act as a trusted intermediary between parties.
- Spam users with distracting job offers. We hate distractions. That’s why we made RescueTime.
So answer the survey and tell us what you think. And as always, thanks for your time!
Ok, here goes!
We’re often asked if there was an easy way to share your RescueTime scores with others, just like you can do with fitness apps or runkeeping apps. What we’re working on is our first stab at just that. We’ve added what we’re calling the Heads Up Display bar at the bottom of the page. Here’s what it has (so far!) and what’s coming next:
Please remember that these are still very much beta features with some glaring bugs sometimes and some missing parts other times. I really wanted to put it out now though so we can get a lot of feedback from our loyal users to make sure we keep heading in the right direction. With that in mind, please post discussion, feedback, requests, etc. over on our Suggestions board. I’ve set up a topic for the beta features here.
Oh! I almost forgot! To enable these features you’ll need to go into your settings page and check the box under Product Settings. Thanks, and good luck!
Hey folks! We’ve been working hard on a lot of new features as of late. Here’s a sneak peek at something we’re testing in limited beta right now:
We’ll keep you posted from this blog on how to participate in our beta test for these new features. Happy RescueTiming!
By popular request, I’m proud to announce that we’ve released a RescueTime package aimed at families with school-aged children. You can check out the tour here. Spoiler alert: it’s really just a version of RescueTime for Teams that we’ve tweaked toward the household environment instead of the office.
Now you can have the power of RescueTime Team Edition in your home. We hope we can help families stay ahead of the game in the escalating war against distractions and internet information overload. You can set goals for spending time on the computer and keep an eye on what sites your kids spend the most time on. We had a rule in our house growing up (hi mom!) about spending an hour doing homework after dinner each school night. Now that so much of homework these days is online or uses the computer, you can use RescueTime to facilitate good work habits or at least make sure those pesky Neopets or Gaia Online games aren’t turning As into Bs or Cs.
So let us know what you think! And then spread the word – we’re offering a 20% back to school discount to start out.
[Update: We've modified the link below to point to the current production release of RescueTime for OS X since it now supports both 10.5 and 10.6]
Hello intrepid OS X early adopters! We’ve built a new version of RescueTime that is optimized for (and doesn’t crash or leak memory all over the place like the one that’s up on the download page right now) OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard.
Please note that this build includes the FocusedTime beta features as well, which you can either try out for us or ignore if you’d rather just keep using RescueTime as you have been.
This is technically a beta version, as we just got our hands on 10.6 yesterday and haven’t tested it internally extensively yet, but it at least works much better than the existing version of RescueTime on Snow Leopard.
Send bugs or feedback to team at rescuetime dot com.
Last night we switched on document and activity detail tracking for several of our most popular applications. Starting last night, if you log time in these applications and have the “Collect Window and Document Titles” setting turned on (in either your v1 RescueTime Data collector or on the Monitoring Options settings page if you have the v2 Data Collector), you’ll start to see subtotals by document or activity start to show up in your details reports.
You can expand the rows for these applications to see break down by document name, or activity (like the name of the person you were chatting with for IM applications). There’s also a new Top Activities report for applications that collect detailed information, so you can see who you chat with the most, or which spreadsheets take up the most of your time. Combined with the addition of our new keyword search filter, you’ll be able to dig deeper into your time than you’ve ever been before.
Here is a list of the applications we currently support (Windows and Mac):
Development Tools and System Utilities
Chat / IM / Communication
VLC Media Player
I wanted to write a quick post regarding our absolute commitment to data integrity. And what better time to do that then when we’re busy working behind the scenes to correct some data integrity problems that we discovered today.
Based on results of our validation processes after the upgrades, we found a small number of data inconsistencies for data we processed on Feb 25th and felt it was in the best interest of our users and ensuring the integrity of the data to re-run our upgrade. No data sent has been lost and we plan on having your RescueTime data available for review as soon as possible. Your RescueTime clients will still continue to dutifully send us accurate data, and we promise to report it back to you just as accurate as it came in.
Thanks for your patience with this. We’d rather fix things we broke then try to brush them under the rug and hope nobody notices.
UPDATE (3:16 AM PST THR)
We’ve verified a fix and are processing data for all paid accounts first. Free account data will follow slightly behind.
UPDATE 2 (4:04 AM PST THR)
Paid account data for yesterday (up to Feb 25 at 8PM PST) is all processed. We’re now processing all free account data and everything new that has come in since then. There will be some delayed data for the next 4 hours. It could take a few hours to see new data until we fully catch up. The website is now available again.
UPDATE 3 (9:35 AM PST THR)
All data is current, repaired, and keeping up with live incoming client reporting. RescueTime has now returned to normal operational status. Thanks once again for your patience.
UPDATE 4 (2:50 PM PST THR)
We’ve been tracking another issue where people’s time is coming in as something different than what it had been before (ex. MS Word is now winword) and the new app/site isn’t tagged or categorized properly. We’re taking the site down to merge the data into the correct records. Once that’s done everyone’s data should be correct again. We haven’t lost any time, it’s just been put in the wrong buckets. We’re fixing the buckets.
UPDATE (6:45 AM PST FRI)
Looks like we got everything fixed. The website is back up. Your data should be properly tagged and categorized once more. Many, many thanks to Montana Low, Mark Wolgemuth, and Joe Hruska for their hard work and long hours.
Here at RescueTime we’ve always been focused on helping our users get the most out of their day. With the recent downturn of the world economy, it’s even more clear to us how important it is to help everyone be as cost-efficient with their time as possible. We’ve been reading about people having to pinch their pennies and are starting to encounter companies who want to do the same. We’d much rather see business teams be able to produce more with their existing members than have to cut headcount, so how can we at RescueTime help workers and businesses produce more in these troubled economic times?
RescueTime can help team members produce more in the same amount of time by helping them be more efficient. Just understanding where your time goes helps you make the most of it, and by introducing a certain amount of competitiveness to the rest of your team keeps you focused and engaged. Our service can also help top performers stand out – to make sure they get the credit they deserve.
RescueTime can help team managers more efficiently use their resources. Managers can justify their headcount by proving that all of their team members are engaged in their current projects. They can also immediately identify under-performers and bring them back on track, or even notice when team members are burning themselves out and need to take a break to bring them back to optimal performance.
With those things in mind, we wanted to make sure we were holding ourselves accountable to our own mission of actually rescuing our users’ time. At a time when people are cutting back, can we provide enough value to justify charging a subscription for our service? To answer this we took a look at our data and discovered that our users tend to see a 9% average increase in time spent on self-identified productive activities over the first eight weeks of using the application. This translates to a ROI of just about $90,000 per year in fully loaded costs for a 10 person team of employees making ~$50K per year. To put it another way, each person on your team only needs to save 20 seconds per day to recoup the cost of the service. You could even say that by using RescueTime, it’s almost like adding another person to your team.
In short – not only would we’d love it if RescueTime can help your business be more efficient and survive current and future market blips, but we also really want it to help people keep their jobs, or even get a raise! Imagine if you implemented RescueTime in your company and saw the gains we’re seeing our users achieve. We think we’re providing an incredible value with our service and hope you take the most advantage of it.
We created a little ROI calculator with Google Spreadsheets, where you can plug in the size and average salaries on your team to get a firmer ROI for your situation. Download the ROI calculator spreadsheet and see how much more cost-efficient your team can be.
RescueTime is still free for individuals, and anyone who wants to can sign up for an account here.
The Rescue Team is proud to announce the release of a powerful new set of features for RescueTime. Here’s a quick rundown of the new goodies and improvements we launched today.
Using the collective knowledge of all of our fantastic users (especially you!), we’ve been able to derive categories for the most used applications and websites in RescueTime. We think this is an extremely powerful feature since it further reduces the need to have to manually tag your data. They also allow for much easier comparisons without a group context than tags, which can often be pretty subjective.
Categories are here for everyone, and they work right out of the box. We recently realized how audacious it is for us to try to categorize every site on the internet, and we understand that some things will probably be miscategorized at first. To remedy this, we’ll soon be offering the ability to suggest categories for things in the event that our categorization engine missed something, or got something wrong.
We’ve enhanced the colors of all RescueTime charts to convey more meaning. Red bars indicate time for things you have scored as unproductive. Bright blue bars represent time spent on things that are productive. Default RescueTime blue represents things that haven’t been scored either way. Just remember blue good (the brighter the better), red bad. You can see the color changes reflected in the category chart screenshot above.
Thanks to everyone for their feedback about the Groups beta. There are still lots of great things on the roadmap for groups, but in this release we’ve added enough improvements and fixed enough issues that we feel like we can safely remove the beta sticker. Categories make your group easier to manage, since everyone’s categories are the same across group and individual views. Navigation between groups has been improved to make it easier to tell where you are. We’ve also added the ability to overlay the individual time of any member of the group onto any of the charts in RescueTime.
For our RescueTime Plus account holders, we’ve also added the ability to see a breakdown of the time each of your team members has spent in total, or in various categories or tags. Paid account holders will see this new graph on their dashboard, and on each tag and category detail page.
If you are an existing groups user and would like to add this feature, you can go to your billing settings page and upgrade your account. We encourage you to try out these improvements and send us your thoughts. There is a 30 day trial period included with all premium registrations.
This morning we pushed live another new RescueTime update – both to the website and to the Windows data collector. There are some big additions and some subtle changes. Let me hit the highlights.
We added a widget builder page where you can go and create embeddable widgets of your RescueTime graphs. You can add them to your blog or website to show off how productive you are or motivate yourself to keep busy! We’ve heard somewhere that the fear of public failure is one of the best motivators, but I like to think about it as the satisfaction of public success. You can add your own title, pick your date range, and even set the colors to whatever you want (and make them shiny!). You can either go directly to the widget page or use the handy embed button to link to a builder for the exact graph you want.
You can see Tony’s widget on his personal blog. Widgets were ranked pretty high on our new feature request survey and we’re excited about them. I hope you are, too.
Other Website Enhancements
We’ve condensed the pages a bit, removing some whitespace and shrinking the header. We think this uses the available space better. I’ve also made some small changes that were frequently requested in feedbacks like remembering which tag slices you pick on the bottom graph on the dashboard, and allowing you to enter fractional values in goals (now you can have half hour goals, or 10 minute goals).
Windows Data Collector Updates
Joe has been really busy fixing bugs and adding new features to the data collector, here’s a list of fixes:
- Dramatically reduced physical memory footprint for RescueTime.exe. Physical memory should now be around 2 MB (vs 32 MB) during most operations. Physical memory will jump to 11 MB when uploading log files to the RescueTime server, but should drop back down to the 2 MB range after the upload completes.
- Additional large file checks to prevent files larger than 1,000K from being sent to the RescueTime.com server.
- Removed updater service. This has been causing a number of our users issues and I don’t think we are seeing a whole lot of benefit from it. RescueTime will still check for updates upon startup and through the “Check for updates” menu option.
And here are the new features:
- URL support for Opera
- URL support for Flock
So now RescueTime uses less of your computer’s resources (well, it wasn’t really using them before but it looked that way) and supports Opera and Flock on Windows. Awesome.
That’s it! We’re already working on a new batch of improvements and new features (as always) so keep checking this blog for updates.